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DT 29218

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29218

Hints and tips by Mr K

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BD Rating  -  Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

Hello, everyone.  Today has brought us another excellent Tuesday puzzle – accessible without being trivial, and offering plenty of smiles during the solve.  It also felt fresh, which is not surprising given that the last five Tuesday puzzles, including today's, have been created by five different compilers.  If today's setter is reading, we'd all love to see a comment from you below so we can thank you in person, as it were. 

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 or display a bonus illustration.  Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.



1a    Great  spelling (5)
MAGIC:  A double definition.  The kind of "spelling" that a witch does

4a    Period for deliveries which should get extra? (8)
OVERTIME:  The answer split (4,4) could, whimsically, be a period for deliveries made by somebody like Neil Wagner, for example

10a   Diners upset about a fish (7)
SARDINE:  An anagram (upset) of DINERS containing (about) A from the clue 

11a   Artist, once more back in front, falls (7)
NIAGARA:  A usual artist is preceded by the reversal (… back in front) of a word meaning "once more".  These falls separate Canada and the US

12a   Look, trendy item to do 2 with? (4)
LOIN:  An archaic interjection meaning "look" is followed by a usual word for trendy or fashionable.  The result is often associated with the answer to 2d

13a   Problem  children (5)
ISSUE:  A straightforward double definition

14a   Call and help returning student (4)
DIAL:  The reversal (returning) of a synonym of help followed by the usual single letter for a student or learner

17a   Thin material used for tabs? (9,5)
CIGARETTE PAPER:  A cryptic definition of a wrapping for tobacco, tab apparently being North England slang for the result of using the answer

19a   Time off: go to get face bones reset (5,2,7)
LEAVE OF ABSENCE:  Go or depart is followed by an anagram (reset) of FACE BONES

22a   Savage married a posh student (4)
MAUL:  Concatenate the single letter for married, A from the clue, the usual single letter for posh, and the usual student or learner 

23a   Mother, mostly pleasant, is very busy (5)
MANIC:  An informal synonym of mother is followed by all but the last letter (mostly) of a word meaning pleasant 

24a   A footnote on English recess (4)
APSE:  Link together A from the clue, a footnote or addendum to a letter, and the single letter for English. This clue departs from the convention that in an across clue "on" means "following".  Perhaps that convention is changing?   

27a   Composer and men in small room beginning to improvise (7)
CORELLI:  Some usual soldiering men are inserted in a small room and followed by the first letter of (beginning to) Improvise 

28a   Every second on pitch like a great show? (3-4)
ALL-STAR:  Chain together a synonym of every, an abbreviation for second, and the kind of pitch used on roads 

29a   Traveller reportedly much more pretty (8)
WAYFARER:  A homophone (reportedly) of a (3,6) phrase meaning "much more pretty"


30a   Eat constantly -- from scratch? (5)
GRAZE:  A double definition.  Eat constantly like cattle do 



1d    Lose track of rodents crossing mountains, going up? (8)
MISPLACE:  Some small rodents containing (crossing) the reversal (going up, in a down clue) of some high mountains 

2d    Grand noise surrounding one, right? Grand? It's belting! (7)
GIRDING:  Start by surrounding both the Roman one and the single letter for right by the abbreviation for grand and a noise or racket.  Complete the answer by appending the abbreviation for grand

3d    Basket of game (4)
CRIB:  A double definition.  A wickerwork basket is also the informal name of a card game

5d    Money for new business: speculation on London, maybe? (7,7)
VENTURE CAPITAL:  Speculation or a risky business undertaking is followed by something that London defines by example (… maybe?)

6d    Went on horseback, we hear, to make highway (4)
ROAD:  A homophone (we hear) of a verb meaning "went on horseback" 

7d    Pretend I will get publication in English (7)
IMAGINE:  Put together I from the clue, an informal word for a periodical, IN from the clue, and the single letter for English 

8d    Modem/AI link-up incorporates communication method (5)
EMAIL:  The start of the clue hides (incorporates) the answer.  Less than fond memories of antiquated dial-up modems reminded me that today an undergraduate in my group needed to use a 1990s electronic test instrument that saves data to a 1.44MB floppy disk.  Never having seen one before, she looked at the disk in amazement, and then smiled when she suddenly realized that it's the source of the previously mysterious Save icon seen in so many computer programs.  Made me wonder if today's teenagers see many of the standard computer toolbar icons as just arbitrary glyphs 

9d    Exaggerate 'Lioness eats Ian' when broadcast (14)
SENSATIONALISE:  An anagram (when broadcast) of LIONESS EATS IAN 

15d   Doctor, I have to be at the wheel (5)
DRIVE:  Follow an abbreviation for doctor with the contracted form of "I have" 

16d   Fellow's cottage finally becoming minister's residence (5)
MANSE:  A synonym of fellow's (including the S) is followed by the last letter (… finally) of cottageE

18d   Train: concerning transport for those who are late? (8)
REHEARSE:  The usual short word for about or concerning is followed by a vehicle that transports those who are dead 

20d   Question about king supporting eastern attendant (7)
EQUERRY:  A question or inquiry containing (about) the Latin abbreviation for king comes after (supporting, in a down clue) an abbreviation for eastern 

21d   Liquid derived from hash plant, neither large nor small (7)
NAPHTHA:  An anagram (derived from) of HAsH PlANT minus (… neither … nor … ) the clothing abbreviations for large and for small.  The answer is a liquid hydrocarbon mixture   

22d   Bird initially making a sound like a crow (5)
MACAW:  A charade of the first letter of (initially) Making, A from the clue, and a sound that a crow makes.  Since we have a few bird enthusiasts here, I'm including a couple of bird pictures from last week's trip down under.  Click on the picture to see the other one.  Neither has anything to do with the answer to the clue


25d   Jumper seen in sort of market? (4)
FLEA:  A type of market is also a creature that jumps 

26d   Advertise  electrical accessory (4)
PLUG:  Another rather straightforward double definition


Thanks to today’s setter for a fun solve.  I particularly liked 4a, 23a, 27a, and 22d.  Which clues did you like best?


The Quick Crossword pun:  CAP + TIN + FLINT = CAPTAIN FLINT

49 comments on “DT 29218

  1. I rarely disagree with our bloggers, nor do I criticise the compilers, but I thought at least a third of the clues in this puzzle were more suited to the puzzle page of a red top rag than the illustrious Telegraph. A few were more worthy, such as my favourite 27a, but they were in the minority.

    Apologies and thanks to both Misters.

  2. Very much a mixed bag for me, the very obvious, the relatively obscure and some clunky surfaces all blended with a generous sprinkling of excellent clues. Concentrating on the positives I liked 29a (was listening to a Bruce Springsteen song of the same name only last night) and 5d the best.
    Many thanks to the setter and to Mr K for his top notch review.

  3. A 2**\2** for me. Not much wit in this fairly dry puzzle – but my smiles – as often – came from the amusing hints and pictures from Mr K. Thank you.

  4. This has to be one of the most prosaic and least exacting of DT puzzles ever so not much satisfaction in the solution thereof. 18a only clue which could be considered a Fav. In point of fact I found the Quickie to be more demanding than this Cryptic. Thank you Mysteron (look forward to knowing who you are) and MrK.

  5. I will agree with Mr K. I found this quite fun, and got stuck in the NW corner. My only gripe would that the action in 2d is usually associated with a plural in 12a.

    I did wonder how many people would know the ‘tab’ reference in 17a. My work took me all over the country, so I was aware. Don’t get me started on barm/bap/stotty/teacake/cob. A nightmare when trying to order lunch around this fair island.

    Finished in *** in the end, last one in was 3d.

    Thanks to the setter and Mr. K.

  6. 2*/2.5*. I found this light and mildly enjoyable with 4a & 27a my joint favourites.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Mr K for the review. I particularly liked the picture of the fully charged cat :-)

  7. A */** for me today, bit of fun over cup of tea and a round of toast !.
    Like RD , the charged cat amused, as did the quickie pun.
    29a was my favourite followed by 1a.

  8. More like a good Monday puzzle than a Tuesday puzzle completed at a fast gallop – **/**.
    Favourite – 5d.
    Thanks to the setter and Mr K.
    P.S. The Silvanus Toughie is very ‘doable’ (and very enjoyable).

  9. I enjoyed this Tuesday puzzle 😃 (as I do any puzzle that I manage to solve) a little trouble in the NW 😳 Favourites 1a & 1d, thanks to Mr K especially for the bird photos covering both hemispheres 🤗 and to the Setter

  10. An easy solve apart from 21d. Had to look this up in the dictionary. Never heard of it! 9d favourite.

  11. The trouble with 8d was that, in the paper version, it was impossible to determine whether AI was AI or Al( lower case). Confusing – though the answer had to be what it was.

    I, too, had never heard of “tabs” and hadn’t realised 21d was a liquid. We live and learn thanks to these blogs!

  12. I thought that this was very pleasant if not too taxing – thanks to the setter and Mr K. My ticks went to 11a, 22a and 29a.
    I was interested in Mr K’s comment on floppy disks (a very unreliable medium in my experience, especially the early 8″ ones) and their enduring icon. It’s also interesting (to me anyway) that we still use the 14a verb to call even though the round appendage that it relates to disappeared from our phones many years ago – I wonder if today’s teenagers know why that verb means ‘ring’.
    I second Senf’s recommendation for the very enjoyable Silvanus Toughie.

    1. My little grey cells were not unduly disturbed by today’s puzzle, withe the exception of 27a. The little room eluded me for a while. 2*/3*. Thank you all .

  13. Some poorly worded clues made this less than enjoyable, whilst a collection of awkward clues crossing one another in the NW made it time cosuming. Sok it’s **/* for me. Thanks for the entertaining hints, Mr K. Thanks to the setter.

  14. Found this one quite light and enjoyable – took an embarrassingly long time to sort out the anagram at 9d!
    Podium places went to 1,19,22 &29a.

    Thanks to our mystery setter and to Mr K for another excellent blog – finally, I know how to go about 2d! Bird pics much appreciated as was the humour of the ‘charged’ cat.

    Another vote from here re: the Silvanus Toughie – do give it a try.

  15. I’m with YS – one of the easiest back pagers for some time- */**.

    Favourite clue was 22d.

    I’ll also second those who recommend today’s Toughie.

    Thanks to the setter and Mr K.

  16. I’m in the ‘light but enjoyable’ camp. Mr K’s illustration has helped me to properly understand ‘gird your loins’ for the first time in my life. Never too old to learn!

  17. Found this more than bit tricky in the lower half (apart from 3d for which I needed the hint).
    Never heard of the composer (I knew his mandolin!) and I thought 21d was very clunky. Didn’t like 17a at all, never enjoy slang terms in a crossword, suggests the mark of a sloppy setter.
    Very average I thought.
    Thx for the hints

  18. Agree with Toadson with regard to loins . I too had never really understood the phrase until today.

    A so-so puzzle for me and somewhat of a curate’s egg. My COTD is 27a.

    Thanks, as ever to the setter and Mr. K.

  19. Thanks to the setter and Mr Kitty for the review and hints. I enjoyed this one, it had quite a few really good clues. 27a was a really good homophone. I liked 28a, but my favourite was 22d, which made me laugh. After having a couple of my own puzzles in Rookie-corner, I am loth to criticise. It’s very hard to get the level of difficulty and surfaces to be acceptable. I suspect this setter is just setting out if you’ll forgive the pun! Was 1*/3 * for me.

  20. Thanks Mr.K.
    Completed a long time ago. From memory no problems, a normal Tuesday puzzle with lots of smiles.
    Thanks to Mr.Ron.

    1. Enjoyed 29a.
      Re 24a…I have given up on ‘on’ in an across clue as every setter has a different interpretation of its use.

      1. Me too – a bit of a vague instruction with over 30 definitions of what ‘on’ can mean in one sense or another

  21. I’ve got a doc’s appointment today and don’t have time to spend stewing over a puzzle, so I was very grateful for the easy ride today.
    Fave was 29a, but there were others I enjoyed.
    Thanks to our setter and Mr. K for his hints and pics, particularly the charged cat!

  22. I really liked this puzzle, and I think some comments above sadly are rather unfair. Any day when I can solve over breakfast without electronic help is a welcome respite from the days when clearly only the brighter folk are able to complete. There is the Toughie for those who need more of a challenge after all. So big thank you to the setter and of course to Mr K, I did need his help for 21d, not having heard of this liquid.

    1. Dear beloved setter, I agree with BusyLizzie, so there are some of us who appreciate your kindness to us tiny brains. You can please some of the people some of the time, etc., rest assured you’ve pleased some of the people today. I hope that’s some consolation to you. Thank you.

      1. Neither you nor BusyLizzie have tiny brains – long may you both carry on commenting on this blog – a bit of sanity and common sense adds a lot. :smile:

    2. I was going to comment myself until I saw yours ,now all I have to do is agree with you. Just kicking myself for not getting 3D doh.

  23. **/**. I enjoyed this while it lasted. 29a and 18d made me smile. Thanks to the setter and Mr K.

  24. I did not know the composer nor the liquid,which made for some delay.As a learnerI I enjoyed being able to solve the rest quite quickly.Thanks to setter and toMr K.

  25. Usual Monday warm up for the grey matter. Four favourites: 17, 29a and 2, 18d. Thanks to the setter and Mr K🦇

  26. Most impressed with the example and picture used to illustrate the 4a clue. :smile:
    It all went together smoothly, even the northern dialect word in 17a but that might have been sorted mainly from the checking letters.
    Enjoyable solve.
    Thanks Mr Ron and Mr K.

  27. I enjoyed the puzzle – although I appreciate relatively easy, it was flattering to me as a beginner. I got tied up by 21d , convinced that hash referred to the usual slang for cannabis which fitted in with 24a and 28a!

  28. I thought this was light but enjoyable, it gave me chance to complete it before going to play darts and not have to come back and finish it at silly o’clock in the morning. Favourite 18d. Many thanks to the setter and Mr K.

  29. Thanks for your remarks, as ever. BTW, I knew “tab” as slang meaning “cigarette” from all over England (in past decades, not now), and not only in the North (Londoners use it as well). As someone said: you can’t please all of them all of the time, etc, etc….but I’m glad a few smiles were generated. (I also agree with comments on difficulty; it was meant to be more like a Monday puzzle – which has been my usual slot, when allowed – so please take it up with our esteemed Editor….).

    1. Nice Puzzle, X-Type. (If you live on an estate, that could make a nice extension to your name).

      For me, not as easy as most have said, several were far from obvious, to me at least. 19a, 21d among others.


    2. Thanks X-Type – I did enjoy the challenge of your puzzle – a great brain stretch and completed the morning after, as usual for me. Thanks also to Mr K for the hints and tips – which I enjoyed reading after finishing the puzzle.

  30. I enjoyed this one and appreciated it for being fairly untaxing having nearly blown up our kitchen this afternoon leaving me with rather a lot of clearing up to do! Oh dear!! :sad:
    I came to grief quite badly (adding to the above mentioned kitchen disaster) with the long anagram at 9d.
    I’d never heard of the 17a ‘tabs’ and 2d took longer than it should have done.
    21d came out of the head so must have met it before but don’t know how or why.
    I enjoyed 1 and 22a and 22d. My favourite, my one and only favourite, was one of that lot!
    With thanks to X-Type and to Mr K.

  31. I’m pleased this wasn’t too difficult. I had to finish Monday’s first before this one. I’m not sure I’m up for three lots of solving in one day. Thanks setter and Mr Kitty

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