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DT 29215

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29215

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Good morning from South Staffs, where it rained overnight and more is forecast.

Plenty of science, some General Knowledge, and a trace of religion: it has to be Giovanni. I don’t have a reliable time for the difficulty marking: my internet connection fell over when I went to submit the completed puzzle, and when I got it back I had a blank grid to fill again.

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 & 18 Down    Possibly a piece of writing that offers a vague opinion? (10,7)
INDEFINITE ARTICLE – Cryptic definition of the grammatical term for ‘a’ or ‘an’.

6a           Quiet road? The reverse — it’s noisy (4)
YAWP – Put together the musical symbol for ‘quiet’ and another word for ‘road’ or ‘direction’, then reverse the result. An ugly word, but it is in the BRB.

9a           Criticise the Spanish group making decision? (5)
PANEL – Another word for ‘criticise’ followed by the Spanish for ‘the’.

10a         Victory’s strange ritual with speed being limited (9)
TRIUMPHAL – Anagram (strange) of RITUAL wrapped around the usual abbreviation for an imperial measurement of speed.

Image result for triumphal arch

12a         Complete departure, terribly hot and bumpy at the outset (13)
THOROUGHGOING  – Put together an anagram (terribly) of HOT, another word for ‘bumpy’, and another word for ‘departure’.

14a         Idle maybe when entertained by a fellow in the USA (8)
AMERICAN – Here we need the first name of Mr Idle from Monty Python, with ‘a fellow’ wrapped around it.

15a         Little message prohibiting Scottish headwear (6)
BANTAM – Split the answer (3,3) and it could be an order prohibiting a particular sort of Scottish headgear.

17a         Language in the borders of Surrey full of jargon? (6)
SLANGY – The first and last letters (borders) of SurreY placed either side of an abbreviation for ‘language’.

19a         Novel set in foreign city areas with churches (8)
PARISHES – The foreign city is the capital of France, and is wrapped around the title of a novel by H Rider Haggard.

21a         Author errs — man ill-suited to be an author (6,7)
ARTHUR RANSOME – Anagram (ill-suited) of AUTHOR ERRS MAN. The author of Swallows and Amazons and with a fascinating life story.

24a         See small particles in positions (9)
LOCATIONS – The exclamation for ‘See!’ or ‘Behold!’ followed by the particles with a positive electrical charge which are attracted to the cathode in electrolysis.

25a         Silly person dipping paper into sauce (5)
SOFTY – A Chinese sauce wrapped around the abbreviation for the pink financial paper.

Image result for softy walter

26a         Proper learner in fight (4)
DUEL – Another word for ‘proper’ followed by the symbol of a learner driver.

27a         Huge bikes in engineering units (10)
MEGACYCLES – Split the answer (4,6) and you have an informal word for ‘huge’ and another word for ‘bikes’.


1d           More than one trouble-maker is besieging politician (4)
IMPS – IS (from the clue) wrapped around the usual politician (one we don’t actually have at the moment).

2d           Girl trapped shortly in eating area (7)
DINETTE – A two-letter shortened form of a girl’s name, followed by another word for ‘trapped’ or ‘entangled’ minus its last letter. The answer is a small area in a flat or caravan with a dining table and seating.

Image result for dinette

3d           Imitating action of a card player? (9,4)
FOLLOWING SUIT – Double definition, the second being what a bridge or whist player has to do when a card is led.

4d           The country’s reasonable, wanting a new leader (8)
NATIONAL – Start with another word for ‘reasonable’, then change the first letter (new leader) to get an adjective relating to the country as a whole.

5d           Marrying and attempting not to have rows initially (5)
TYING – Remove the first letter of Rows from another word for ‘attempting’.

7d           Non-believer witnessing robbery (7)
ATHEIST – Split the answer (2,5) and you have the location of someone witnessing a robbery.

8d           One with several partners, mostly a pig misbehaving (10)
POLYGAMIST – Anagram (misbehaving) of MOSTLY A PIG.

11d         A slim young man surprisingly showing generosity (13)
MAGNANIMOUSLY – Anagram (surprisingly) of A SLIM YOUNG MAN.

13d         A small herd, having gone astray, getting gathered together (10)
MARSHALLED – Anagram (having gone astray) of A SMALL HERD.

16d         End up with girl getting covered in powder (8)
MAGNESIA – Reverse (up) a word for ‘end’ or ‘objective’, then wrap the result around a girl’s name – possibly Miss Grey, the eponymous heroine of the novel by Anne Brontë.

18d         See 1 Across

20d         The male boss at newspaper with terrible flu taking care (7)
HEEDFUL – Put together a male pronoun, the usual abbreviation for a newspaper boss, and an anagram (terrible) of FLU.

22d         River — little one under which darling almost drowns (5)
RHONE – An abbreviation for River followed by another term of endearment like ‘darling’ with its final letter removed, producing a river in Switzerland and France.

Image result for river rhone

23d         A positive response? More than one! (4)
AYES – A (from the clue) and the usual word for a positive response, giving us he word used to describe votes in favour of a Parliamentary motion.

The Quick Crossword pun DEBT + ERMINE = DETERMINE

45 comments on “DT 29215

  1. A real brain exercise, this one, with lots of misdirection. It took a long time to complete it (****) and was quite enjoyable (***) in a masochistic sort of way, although I almost gave up at one point and had to leave 16d and come back to it. Once the penny dropped it was one of my favourite clues, together with 3d and 12a. Thanks to Deep Threat for explaining the parsing and to Giovanni.

  2. Some tricky parsing today and the toughest solve this week but I did enjoy it and an going for ***/****.
    6a was a new word for me-sounded American, like DT I found it in a reference book.
    Not familiar with 15a meaning little, except for a small hen!
    Liked 10a and 14a when the penny dropped.
    Thanks to setter and DT.

  3. Fairly average for a Friday back pager – although I have to say that 17a isn’t a word I’m imagine Mr M using. I too had to check that the awful word in 6a was in the BRB – surely there were many more options for a word with those checking letters? I also don’t agree with the surface reading of 21a as he is one of my favourite authors

    Thanks to Giovanni and DT

  4. Two bung-ins needed to complete this one, although to be fair the wordplay got me there in the end. No real favourite but 5d made me laugh. Agree with CS about the surface of 21a.

    Thanks to The Don and DT.

  5. Once again DG has served just my cup of tea. Top half fell first and was marginally more straightforward than the bottom. 6a is new to me as are the particles in 24a. Mr O’Shanter’s message in 15a took a while to dawn on me. Fav was 12a. Thank you Giovanni and DT.

  6. With only two across and six down on the first pass, I thought I was on the wrong page.

    I eventually gave up with two answers unfilled (6a & 16d) and a further two unparsed (19a & 22d). Definitely in the ****/***** region for me.

    Thanks to the Don and DT.

  7. Wow, that got me thinking a lot harder today, but an extremely satisfying feeling once I had it completed. Some clever wording which slowed me down considerably. I particularly liked 10 and 19a, but 12a has to be my favourite clue. Thanks to DG and DT

  8. Agree on a ***\*** but only because of the usual anagrams and hidden clue to get started. Got stuck for some time on 12A as I didn’t realise this was one word. I am guessing that it is the only word in English that has a GHG in it, besides Proper nouns or names such as Highgate (and prefixes to the answer such as -ness).
    Thanks to DT.

  9. Hmmm….very tricky…..and not all somehow up my street….am I the only person to (wrongly) parse 14a as a reference to American Idol?

    1. No ,I too thought the idle was idol and MAYBE was the synonym indicator-American Idol is supposed to ‘entertain’

  10. Don’t usually comment on a Friday, most will know why that is – but I have to say it was 22d in particular that I didn’t much care for
    With respect to DM and thanks to DT

  11. I did wonder about ‘slangy’ as well. Thanks to The Don, and to DT for the interesting Arthur Ransome link.

  12. A very enjoyable end to the work week completed at a gallop – 2.5*/3.5*.
    On electronic submission I discovered that I can’t spell 11d with an M and an N transposed.
    The BRB says that 6a is ‘Chiefly US‘ – should there have been some indication in the clue?
    Candidates for favourite – 14a, 27a, and 3d – and the winner is 3d.
    Thanks to Giovanni and DT – thanks for the Eric Idle video, my particular favourite is his participation in the finale of the London Olympics.

  13. Super puzzle, right up there with some of his best for me. The only one that I really had to think about for the wordplay was 22d, not a term of endearment that immediately springs to mind. Having said that the mislead by putting Idle as the first word to hide the capitalisation was clever.
    Thx to all

  14. Standard for a Friday, perhaps I am finally getting the hang of Giovanni’s puzzles. That said, 16d defeated me, I never was very good at chemistry.
    Thanks all.

  15. I thought this one would certainly end up in the stinker pile, but after some unscrambling of anagrams it progressed slowly. Some quite difficult clues to parse especially 6a. As they say you learn something everyday.
    Thanks tp Deep Threat and Giovanni.

  16. Another fine offering from G. Excellent clues, a fairly tough challenge and a very enjoyable solve. 24a: since G was the setter, I initially thought that “see” must be the definition and the answer was going to be a bishopric. I’ve ticked a few but will pick 13d as my favourite. Now, I’m off home to tackle Wednesday’s and Thursday’s back-pagers. 3.5* / 4*

  17. Very difficult for someone with my limited ability.Needed a lot of electronic help and took every misdirection .Neverthe got there in the end and really enjoyed the struggle. Thanks to all concerned ,especially the life story.

  18. 1*/3*. Back to earth with a bang after last Friday’s enjoyable back-pager with 6a, 17a, 2d, 16d & 22d fighting it out for the wooden spoon.
    Sorry not to be able to be more positive, but as ever it’s good to see that some others appreciate the setter’s efforts.
    Thanks to DT for the review.

  19. I do enjoy a Giovanni with his admixture of general knowledge. 6a had to be what it had to be but I had to resort to the dictionary to check I hadn’t invented a new word. I didn’t like 17a very much. I was looking for a four-letter langauge until I got the checkers. There was nothing to indicate we were looking for an abbreviation for langauge, was there? I’ll pick 24a as my winner today.

  20. I quite enjoyed the challenge but needed here to complete. But I still don’t get 24ac or 22dn.

    24ac … I get the ‘See’ and the ‘particles’ but the intervening three letters I cannot deduce from the clue.

    22dn … Is the ‘little one’ referring to ‘R’? And I’m happy with ‘darling almost’, but where does drowns fit in?

    Thanks DG and DT

    1. 24a Cations are positively charged ions.
      22d Yes – R is a little (i.e. abbreviated) river. Drowns just means precedes (i.e. engulfs, in a down clue).

      1. Thanks Gazza

        Ah, cations are completely new to me! What are negatively charged ions I wonder? Will Duck&Go.

        Drowns=precedes? But surely engulfs would require a letter at the beginning and another at the end?

        Am I being thick here?

      2. Drowns is just a way (in a down clue) of saying that the HONE(y) goes under the R. So drowns = goes under (Forget the ‘engulfs’ – it was a bad way to explain it).

        1. Ah, thanks anyway. I get it now, but not the best of clues (especially as ‘one’ is in the clue) in my humble opinion.

          Click to EditRequest Deletion (4 minutes and 31 seconds)

    2. 22d – Call me a snowflake, but I just didn’t like little ones and drowning in the surface
      Such an esteemed setter could find better – a little more upbeat, perhaps
      Just my opinion…

  21. Out before the review came up but didn’t really have anything positive to say in any case.

    Thanks to DG for his efforts and to DT for bringing us the blog.

  22. It all went together smoothly for us with the less familiar words such as 6a quite solvable from the wordplay and then checked in BRB. Plenty here for us to enjoy.
    Thanks Giovanni and DT.

  23. Thanks to the Don for a true workout today that had me down for two compulsory counts. Took a while to finish but a begrudgingy round of applause must be given!
    6a new word for me.
    Many thanks to Giovanni & DT for review & guidance

  24. Didn’t get to see this until mid afternoon, so not inclined to spend too much time fighting for answers. Looking at the hints for 6a and 17a (has the answer for the latter but doubted is was an actual word), decided it was not my cup of tea, and hoping for something more user friendly tomorrow.

  25. Didn’t help myself at all today by mis-spelling 11d, and I don’t recall ever having heard of 6a.
    But many smiles when the penny(s) finally dropped.
    Many thanks to DT, and the Don.

  26. A challenge and a half. Another puzzle where somehow (hit and miss) some answers need to be found first, and then the parsing follows.

  27. Had a job to get started on this one and gave up on 6a! Enjoyed the rest including the spelling of 11d, 12a was a challenge to start with until all of the g’s appeared.
    The crossword for me is a late night thing hence posting at silly o’clock!
    Thanks for the challenge.

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