DT 29217 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29217

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29217

Hints and tips by Miffypops

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Having a ‘couple of beers with Craig’ wasn’t the best start to Sunday. Having ‘a couple more’ back at The Green Man didn’t help. Ignoring Saint Sharon’s advice not to go out to The Duck on the Pond and The Buck and Bell was not my wisest choice. Coming home at two am and waking Saint Sharon to see if she was sleeping alright never goes down well. C’est la vie. You only live once.

Once again we have a Monday puzzle. Very Mondayish. However I thought the anagrams at 26 across and 12 down were brilliant. Still solved mentally with no pen or pencil though

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Rally: scholars will go before second date (4,7)
MASS MEETING: The abbreviation for Masters of Arts, as a plural, is followed by the abbreviation for second. That’s the first word sorted. The second word is a synonym of the word date as in an agreement for a lad and a lass to get together and see how things go. Oh the hope and oh the disappointment or oh the joy. Kiss many tell few. 

7a    Strange claim about American in ‘Miss Saigon’, say (7)
MUSICAL: An anagram (strange) of CLAIM sits around an abbreviation for the United States. The result is a stage show with songs that has nothing to do with Tim Rice or Andrew Lloyd Webber.

8a    Distorted point of view held by doctor (7)
MANGLED:  A particular way of approaching or considering an issue or problem” sits inside a Latin abbreviation used by setters for a doctor 

10a    Rant from dreadful-sounding family group (8)
DIATRIBE: A homophone of a word meaning dreadful (think Mark Knopfler) is followed by a social division in a traditional society consisting of families or communities linked by social, economic, religious, or blood ties, with a common culture and dialect, typically having a recognized leader”. Doncha just love Google when you need it

11a    Always filling tin in river (6)
SEVERN: A word meaning always sits nicely inside the chemical symbol for tin

13a    Trademark: duck behind chunk of wood (4)
LOGO: A chunk of wood, maybe a section of a branch is followed by the letter that looks like the cricketing symbol representing a zero score

14a    Crowd at ball, number having gatecrashed (10)
ATTENDANCE: Begin with the word AT. (Thank you Setter) Add a formal gathering for a dance. Insert (having gatecrashed) a number between nine and eleven. The clue is a bit hazy about the number so I have tried to simplify it for you. 

16a    Group of dancers refrain, joining queue (6,4)
CHORUS LINE: It’s very nice that the singers from 7 across have decided to join us. They can be found by using two synonyms. One for a song’s refrain and one for a queue

18a    Small head of dandelion, unwanted plant (4)
WEED: A Scottish word for small is followed by the initial (head of) letter of the word dandelion

21a    One who fishes in corner by river (6)
ANGLER: A corner or the space (usually measured in degrees) between two intersecting lines or surfaces at or close to the point where they meet is followed by the abbreviation for river. Well chap, if the corner is by the river you are dangling your maggot in the wrong place.

22a    Splash first drop of sauce on dish (8)
SPLATTER: Begin with the initial letter (first drop) of the word sauce. Add a dish. The one Jack Spratt And his wife licked clean

24a    I land us in trouble getting something for the garden perhaps (7)
SUNDIAL: Anagram (in trouble) of I LAND US

25a    Defeat, not in sport (7)
OUTPLAY: A word meaning not in is followed by a synonym of the word sport

26a    Bargains to be had here in a bar close to ground (3,4,4)
CAR BOOT SALE: My perfect type of anagram (ground) of A BAR CLOSE TO. Mexican pete hosted a car boot sale in our village for many years. It was Warwickshires biggest collection of tat ever.


1d    Fly problem upset horse (7)
MUSTANG: A flying stinging insect and a mathematical problem are reversed (upset)

2d    Notice about vicious dog in stable (6)
SECURE: To notice or espy something sits around an aggressive dog

2d    Notice about vicious dog in stable (6)
SECURE: To notice or espy something sits around an aggressive dog

3d    Courage under tap? This doesn’t contain that sort of drink! (4,6)
MILK BOTTLE: A synonym for courage sits nicely beneath a verb meaning to tap. There is a bit of a stretch to this but a visit to your dictionary should sort you out. The thing that this bottle doesn’t contain is alcohol which is said to give Dutch courage

4d    European married revolutionary American in novel (4)
EMMA:  The abbreviations for European and Married are followed by the reverse (revolutionary) abbreviation for American. Hands up if your first thought upon seeing the word revolutionary was CHE

5d    Insinuation made by union upset about result (8)
INNUENDO: An anagram (upset) of UNION sits around a synonym of the word result. A girl walks into a bar and asked the barman for an innuendo, so he gave her one.

6d    The Spanish convict brought over on vessel (7)
GALLEON: The Spanish word for the together with a term for a convict are reversed (brought over) and followed by the word ON from the clue 

7d    Note young woman’s section of society (6,5)
MIDDLE CLASS: The note here will be familiar to those who took piano lessons. It is followed by a term that nicely describes a young lady

9d    Put on important match between local teams — event at fete, maybe (6,5)
DONKEY DERBY: Begin with a three-letter word meaning to put on an item of clothing. Add another three- letter word meaning important or essential. Add a match between two local sides

12d    One’s abrupt shredding a vegetable for the chow mein? (4,6)
BEAN SPROUT: Anagram (shredding) of ONES ABRUPT 

15d    Brazilian city surrounded by marvellous lake (8)
SUPERIOR: A word meaning marvellous sits around a Brazilian City. Or does it? The City is Rio De Janeiro and we only need the first part of it.

17d    Developing naturally in cargo at sea (7)
ORGANIC: Anagram (at sea) of IN CARGO 

19d    Girl — is she French? (7)
ESTELLE: The French word for is and the French word for she join to make a girl’s name

20d    Watchword of guy having painting put up (6)
MANTRA: A guy chap or bloke is followed by the reverse of the creative activity encompassing painting 

23d    A length therefore might be further (4)
ALSO: Begin with the letter A from the clue. Add the abbreviation for length. Add a two- letter word meaning therefore. Job done

Quickie Puns:

Top line: Czech+Liszt=check list

Bottom line: purse+owner=persona


47 comments on “DT 29217

  1. A wonderful Monday offering, which I finished without resort to the hints. My favourites are 28a, 7d and 12d.

    Grateful thanks, as ever, to the setter and to Miffypops for the hints – while I didn’t use them to solve the clues, I did use them to check a couple.

  2. A very comfortable start to the solving week with very few hold ups. I agree with MP about 26a, and personally favoured 7d as my COTD. Very enjoyable.

    Thanks to the double-Punner and MP.

  3. Some amusing surfaces today as already spotted by the bloggers , liked 7d and 16a, favourite was19 d -very succinct indeed.
    Going for a **/*** as per MP, excellent start to the week.

  4. My favourite clues were the same as yours YS. 26a was a really good anagram but 7d was glorious. It was not time-consuming but very enjoyable (**/****) and brightened a dreary Monday morning. Thanks to MP for the hints and to the setter.

  5. Enjoyable **\***. Liked 7D 3D and 26A. Nice to see 9D – we had the ambulatory version on the beach here at Southend-on-Sea right up until 2010, when health and safety stepped in and robbed children of this simple pleasure. Thanks to MP.

  6. Why, if this was posted 2 hours ago have I only just been able to access it?
    An enjoyable Monday. Thanks to setter and blogger.

  7. Off to a good start then a smooth run after that but nothing to write home about in the end. Fav was 7d with 9d running up. Thank you Mysteron and MP.

  8. A nice Monday level puzzle – no particular favourites, just a nice gentle solve. Thanks to our Double Punning Setter.

    Thanks also to Miffypops – If you want an alias for this week I’d go for the Cat with Not Many Lives Left – you certainly will be if you carry on waking up the lovely Sharon like that.

      1. Lady Lbr doesn’t mind me waking her up in the night – it’s the promptly falling asleep on my back in nothing but socks and then snoring all night that seems to annoy her :unsure:

  9. Another pleasant start to the week nothing to taxing for the old grey cells. Thanks to Miffypops and Setter

    1. Nice start to the week **/*** 😃 Favourites 10a & 15d. Thanks to MP for a nice blog and to the Setter 🤗

  10. Nice and gentle, just right after a battle with Dada yesterday.
    Lots to like, no particular favourite, but very enjoyable.
    Thanks all

  11. Lovely comfy puzzle, thank you to our setter
    Thanks to the inimitable MP for the blog and thanks also to Saint Sharon for sparing him

      1. I understand how to get the individual words. I just don’t get “This doesn’t contain, etc”. Am I looking too deep?

  12. Quite light and finished well within 2* time, my only problem was justifying “middle” in 7d as I took the note to be “C” alone but the solution was obvious.
    I’ve ticked 10a plus 3 and 9d for podium places but 26a deserves a special mention, where the anagram indicator fits so seamlessly into the surface
    Many thanks to the setter and the man with the thick (not intelligence wise, I hasten to add!) head.

  13. This was really good fun, made all the better by today’s excellent blog from MP. I had to laugh at the brilliant 7d. I made my own life difficult by trying to use US as the American in 4d, but otherwise got through at a good speed (for me, anyway).
    Thanks to setter and to Miffypops. I hope you’re forgiven by now. Loved the Bill and Ben. Flobbadob.

  14. Nice puzzle to start the week. Def a grid of two halves. Needed the hints to explain 1d, right answer but only understood half the clue.
    Thx to all
    PS Thx for the clip of the very best version of Mustang Sally.

    1. Well, apart from the original, obviously……

      Fans of Andrew Strong will be pleased to know he’s still going ‘strong’.

  15. Welcome back, M’pops! Super review today.
    Loved it all, you don’t have to fry your brains to enjoy. Fave was 19d, but I also liked 11a.
    I’ve never heard of 9d, but having all the letters, it just took a visit to Mr. Google.
    Thanks to our Monday setter and to you, M’pops, for the fun.

  16. Nice start to the week.
    Favourite 7d. Nice to have a different note.
    Thanks to MP and setter.
    He must be under the weather if he can’t think up a new name!

  17. That was a real pleasure to solve! 7d top of the podium for me. Even made me forget about the IT problems momentarily….
    Thanks to the setter, and to MP for the review. I admire your courage sir, for even daring to wake the lady!

  18. Very enjoyable only made difficult by insisting that 4d was that famous novel Emus. Thanks To M.p whose humour greatly improved another rainy day.

  19. Late here today but never mind.
    I agree that this was a Mondayish crossword right down to the double pun which I forgot about as usual.
    My only slight problem was trying to make 5d ‘inferred’ which made that corner bit ‘interesting’ for a while – I know – wrong part of speech etc etc.
    Oh – and another minor problem was convincing myself that the first word of 26a had to be ‘cut’.
    Straightforward and enjoyable pretty much sums it up, I think.
    I liked the four long clues round the outside and 3 and 12d.
    Thanks to the setter and to the one with the thick head.

  20. Done in a bit of a rush as I did the 579 prize puzzle first but when I got a round tuit this tripped off the pencil in double quick time.
    Thanks to MP for the hints and for being able to solve and blog with a hangover, Thanks too to Saint Sharon!
    Thanks to the setter too.

  21. 4G out so had to wait to access Wi-Fi before posting.
    Glad to have been able to read the review. Great fun.
    The crossword was very enjoyable and ticked a few clues for favourite.
    I’ll go for the French one.
    Thanks to the setter and to MP.

  22. Really enjoyed this start to the week, funny & straightforward .
    2*4*. Fav 10ac & the long clues
    Thanks to our setter & MP for review

  23. A puzzle that was not too difficult and not too enjoyable. 19d best of an otherwise desultory crossword.

  24. Thanks to setter and Miffypops for an enjoyable puzzle today, although I did find this one of two,halves, the bottom half filling in much more quickly than the top. And, yes I do have to put my hand up for trying to fit Che somehow into 4d. I get really cross with myself when I can’t solve a 4 letter clue… 7d was COTD for me. Do remember 9d, having gone to many an English fete in my younger days.

  25. Rose immediately spotted the name of her only child in 4d. Gray, coming late to the game, gazed at it for ages while she smirked ( yes he is the father). Having finally settled in to our new French home, we too enjoyed the French clue. Thanks to setter and Miffypops, whose help was needed for 5d (oh yes very funny 😂🤣)

  26. Yes I googled Emus as a novel too. Not before I struggled with 1A (Fuzzy head after too much red with Sunday roast) after that enjoyed as it fell apart nicely towards the end. Favourite must be 3D followed by 7D. Thanks to all. I don’t post often but enjoy reading this blog after each daily battle.

  27. Favourites 19 and 9d and 16a in that order. One of my quickest solves but none the worse for that. My only problem which does not seem to have beset anyone else was getting the wrong French girl, I put G (for girl) is (from the clue) and elle (for the right reason). Never doubted it until I came to do 18 and 22a. Luckily the penny dropped before I went through a list of obscure plants! Thanks setter and MP. Confess to putting in the answer to 1d without knowing why so hint revealed that this was another very good clue

  28. I’d booked someone to clean my range cooker this morning, so decided to spend Monday and Tuesday cooking and baking just to give him plenty to do. I enjoyed this crossword, only interrupted by grunts and scraping noises in the kitchen. Maybe experimenting with homemade custard creams on Monday wasn’t such a good idea. Many thanks to the setter and to Miffypops. Hope Saint Sharon catches up on her sleep this week.

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