DT 29221 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29221

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29221

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Good morning from South Staffs on a rare sunny morning.

I found the top half of today’s Giovanni quite tricky, which pushed my difficulty rating well into ***.

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           Tree about to be planted by another tree outside a workplace (8)
CALABASH – The Latin abbreviation for ‘about’ or ‘approximately’ and a deciduous tree, placed either side of the short form of a scientist’s workplace, giving us a Central American tree.

Image result for calabash tree

5a           Notice wickedness — you need guidance (6)
ADVICE – A commercial notice followed by the opposite of virtue.

9a           Rabbit to look radiant outside a house (8)
BUNGALOW – Put together a three-letter informal word for a rabbit, and a verb for ‘look radiant’ (what ladies do while gentlemen perspire and horses sweat) wrapped around A (from the clue).

10a         Glasses? They can make high-pitched sounds (6)
FLUTES – Narrow glasses used for champagne share the name of a woodwind instrument in the upper register of the orchestra.

12a         Part of Greater Manchester in short religious book (6)
ECCLES – Double definition: a town in Greater Manchester with a particular variety of cake named for it; and the abbreviation for a book of the Old Testament which comes between Proverbs and the Song of Solomon. The words of this song are taken from that book:

13a         Need to be without others, showing malice (8)
WANTONLY – Another word for ‘need’ or ‘desire’ followed by ‘without others’.

15a         Garments for certain racehorses? (7)
JUMPERS – Some warm clothing or some racehorses which don’t run on the Flat.

16a         The first person coming to ship creates confusion (4)
MESS – A pronoun for the first person followed by the usual crossword steamship.

20a         Regret in audience for what is saucy (4)
ROUX – The answer is a homophone (in audience) of a word for ‘regret’, and is a mixture of butter and flour used to thicken sauces.

Image result for roux

21a         Character landed in wharf (7)
QUALITY – A verb meaning ‘landed’ (often followed by ‘upon’) is inserted into a wharf of landing-stage.

25a         Name one who is contemptuous about part of the UK (8)
MONICKER – Someone who is jeering or contemptuous wrapped around the initials of the part of the UK which is not Great Britain.

26a         Each group backs the ultimate character, one showing huge enthusiasm (6)
ZEALOT – The last letter of the alphabet followed by an abbreviation for ‘each’ and a group or collection.

28a         Some exuberant ribaldry in the clan (6)
TRIBAL – Hidden in the clue.

29a         Manufacturing establishment hard to find in Notts town (8)
WORKSHOP Hard is inserted into a town in north Nottinghamshire.

30a         Writer sitting by river to become more profound (6)
DEEPEN – The name of a Welsh or Scottish river, followed by something to write with.

31a         Lively trip with side getting sozzled (8)
SPIRITED – Anagram (getting sozzled) of TRIP and SIDE.


1d           Taxi came first, being sent urgent message (6)
CABLED – Another word for a taxi followed by ‘came first’ (in a race), giving us a way that urgent messages were first sent by electronic means.

2d           International organisation intricately decorated outside? Madness! (6)
LUNACY – An adjective for an intricately decorated piece of textile is wrapped around the initials of the international organisation based in New York which succeeded the League of Nations.

3d           Having dined in inn, revolutionary gets assaulted (6,2)
BEATEN UP – Reverse (revolutionary) another word for ‘inn’ and wrap it around ‘having dined’.

4d           Last bit of this jaunt — go on spending spree? (4)
SHOP – The final letter (last bit) of thiS, followed by a jaunt or trip.

6d           Solitude not so bad? One may get weak (6)
DILUTE – Anagram (bad) of (so)LITUDE without the SO.

7d           Meant to be at home, getting looked after (8)
INTENDED – A two-letter word for ‘at home’ followed by ‘looked after’.

8d           French art, for example, is subject ultimately for writer (8)
ESSAYIST – Put together the French for ‘art’ – as in ‘thou art’ – another word for ‘for example’, IS (from the clue), and the last letter (ultimately) of subjecT.

11d         Children’s author heard song (7)
CARROLL – The surname of the author of Alice in Wonderland which sounds like a word for a song, usually a seasonal one in modern usage.

14d         Son pushed lips out and talked excitedly (7)
SPOUTED – The abbreviation for Son, followed by ‘pushed lips out’.

17d         Put up for annual test, Megane passed finally (8)
PROMOTED – Put together a Latin word for ‘for’, the acronym for an annual test of motor vehicles , and the last letters (finally) of MeganE and passeD.

18d         US general taking team south of stream (8)
BURNSIDE – A Scottish stream and another word for a sports team, giving us the surname of a 19th-century American general who may be known across the pond, but meant nothing to me. But apparently his distinctive style of facial hair is still named after him, though the two halves of his name are interchanged.

Image result for Burnside general


19d         Treks are tricky for one proceeding in the nude (8)
STREAKER – Anagram (tricky) of TREKS ARE. I’ve used this clip before, but it probably bears repetition.

22d         Get rid of drug, creating ticklish situation (6)
SCRAPE – Another word for ‘get rid of’, particularly where something mechanical is concerned, followed by a single letter name for an illegal drug.

23d         Outmoded beret that should be thrown out? (3-3)
OLD-HAT – A beret, cap or bonnet which is past its best could be described as this.

24d         Silly dispute never ending, unfortunately (6)
STUPID – Anagram (unfortunately) of DISPUT(e) (never ending).

27d         Love being in dance band (4)
HOOP – The letter which looks like a love score at tennis is inserted into an informal word for a dance.

The Quick Crossword pun CAR + OWN + ASIAN = CORONATION

57 comments on “DT 29221

  1. I thought I was never going to get a start in the tricky top half of this crossword, However, as DT remarks, the bottom half fell into place much more easily. I had to extend into *** time also but fund it very enjoyable (****). I could nominate any one of about 8 clues as being very good but the modified anagram at 6d and the lurker at 29a were outstanding examples of this type of clue, whilst 1a was a very cunning ‘Lego’ type clue, Thanks to DT for the hints and to Giovanni for a very enjoyable puzzle.

  2. I found this puzzle quite difficult today especially the NE corner.I kept thinking that the 13a definition consisted of a synonym for only within one for need -all fell into place when I managed to parse 6d !
    Going for a ***/*** as per DT.
    liked 1a, the tree was vaguely familiar-thanks to DT for the video-brought back memories-thought we might have had a goon for 12a!

  3. This started out as pretty testing took some timevto get a foot hold, but after a little while it slowly gave in. Some brilliant clues nevertheless. I was held up and indeed last one in 1a took some time to parse. Another quality crossword from Giovanni, and thanks to DT.

  4. NE corner needed a bit of prompting but the rest could be fathomed with a bit of brain cell exercise. IMHO 5a and 6d surfaces a bit rough and surely 13a doesn’t need “to be”. My Fav was 8d but I suspect it probably wont have pleased everyone. Thank you Giovanni and DT.

  5. 2*/2*. I felt this pangram was workmanlike but lacking sparkle. 1a was a new word for me.

    Thanks to Giovanni and to DT.

  6. At the hardest end of the inside back page spectrum for me – or was it that my brain was still suffering from being mangled by doing the Toughie first??.

    I knew 1a as a vessel or dish but hadn’t ever thought before that it was a fruit of the tree in question

    Thanks to Giovanni and DT

  7. A good puzzle and it taught me how to spell 20a which i had always assumed to be spelt the same as the word for a dissolute gentleman.

  8. Excellent and challenging puzzle. Not always DG’s biggest fan, but this was a super puzzle. LOI was 6d and it took ages for the wordplay to become evident.
    Thanks DT and DG, some parsing to check.

  9. I found this to be one of the hardest backpagers for some time. A sense of satisfaction, or was it relief, upon completion. Some excellent clues of which 6d was my favourite.

    Thanks to The Don and DT.

  10. I agree with the majority above comments , an excellent challenge with satisfaction on completion and admiration of the ingenuity of many of the clues . Not many across clues revealed themselves on the first run through but there was more success with the down ones . 21A , one of a few of my favourites, is relevant today.
    Thanks ,once again , to DT & G .

  11. Wow, more like a Toughie for me. ****\**** Struggled over 1A, 9A (bun for rabbit?) not helped by putting in ‘rude’ for 20A early in the game. Also 25A (ticklish? not heard it used this way). But all’s fair in love, war and crosswords…so I did enjoy being stumped after another stressful night of dodgy cricket against the indefatigable kiwis.
    Thanks to DT.

    1. Ha, I put in rude as well. It was not until I realised that I had to find an ‘x’ that the penny fell.

  12. Marvelous xword once more. Needed hints for 20a,25a and 22d. Certainly a 21a puzzle. Loved it. Thanks to the Don and DT.

  13. This mostly got wrestled into place, except that I was too hasty on 20a and put the past participle of the synonym for regret, because I thought ‘rude’ was ‘saucy’……..and as I never knew the US General, I never went back for a re-think.

    I liked the place names in Notts and the end of the line of the Manchester Metro which I’ve been on a few times.

    Testing but fun. I’m assuming the quickie was also a pangram? But even with that hint, I still couldn’t finish it……I figured I’d warmed up enough to get on with the main puzzle.

    Thanks to G and DT.

  14. An excellent puzzle spoilt by a few poor clues, I’m afraid. I have never heard of 1a, I wouldn’t call a 4d a ‘spree’, I have never heard of that abbreviation for a rabbit in 9a and, like our esteemed blogger, never heard of 18d.

    Thanks, anyway, to the Don and DT.

    1. Well, bugger me. *** is in the BRB as an informal word for rabbit.

      Check your facts before commenting, Malcolm.

  15. An enjoyable pangram, which for once I spotted early on.
    I am another one who did not know the hirsute general at 18d, but the parsing was generous.
    A pleasant challenge. Many thanks to The Don and DT.

  16. Another excellent puzzle from G. Very good clues, a decent challenge and an enjoyable/entertaining solve. I’ve ticked quite a few, but will mention 21a, 29a, 3d and 6d. 3.5* / 4*

  17. Strangely I didn’t find it too difficult apart from the US general, I was hung up on Grant and Lee so I did need help there. I loved yesterday’s puzzle – very clever. I often do not find time for the crossword until late and it doesn’t seem worth making a comment round about midnight! I really value the crossword – thanks to all the wonderful setters!

  18. Normally I am a huge fan of Giovanni puzzles but I thought todays contained some dreadful clues. 1a to start with, a tree that is almost unknown, a US general who is so obscure as to be unknown, a two letter abbreviation for rabbit that is just plain ridiculous, who ever heard of a bun! A bunny perhaps but Bun, no just don’t buy it at all. 8d needs a knowledge of a foreign language in this case French, why the certain in 15a, and 12a was obviously put in just to annoy.
    Really disappointing as far as I was concerned, just not up to his usual high standard.
    Thx for the useful hints.

    1. B, 15a. The “certain” (meaning particular, specific, some but not all) is required because not all racehorses are the answer.

    2. B. Coincidentally, I was doing a puzzle in a DT crossword book last night and came across this clue: Homes in which there may be lots of buns (6,7). And I’ve just found another one in DT 26509: Buns in underground store (6,6).

  19. The french art has appeared before Brian worth remembering, agree about the short version of rabbit though.

  20. Still finding this tougher than other Giovanni puzzles. So much so I wondered if 12a was a clue to another setter of that ilk.

    Not ready to read the hints yet I will have a further go at it while waiting for mum to get her barnet done.

  21. I have a question to ask and I think this is the only place where someone may know the answer. I don’t see it in the FAQ’s.
    I am currently doing cryptic crossword No. 24,000 (Wed 3rd March 2003) via the Telegraph subscription service and .some clues there have two sets of digits in parentheses.
    For example: 6A is …score a boundary and shout out the score over the square (6-4,8) (5)
    Why two sets of digits? – only the second one is correct (5)
    Appreciate any help here

    1. Looks like a production error to me, Chris. (6-4,8) = 18 in total, so would have to be two solutions. Is this the only puzzle where you have seen this?

      Has anybody else got access to this service and see if they get this ‘error’ too?

      1. Yes I do, it’s odd because if you ‘reveal letters’, it puts numbers there rather than letters.
        Presumably old puzzles have been migrated onto the new website. Looks as though something went wrong in translation.
        I blame Brexit.

      2. Hi Malcolm, no I have come across it in several of the early puzzles – in the years before BD was available 2003 to 2006

        1. So on the same puzzle they have:
          7D Metathetically idle? It’s an emphatic ‘no’ (7,5) (1,5) where there are only 6 squares available so the second parentheses are correct.

          I have put the answer as O-DOING based on the fact that NOTHING DOING also happens to match the first set of parentheses I.e. (7,5)

    2. I’ve looked at this, and there’s actually nothing wrong. As you said, this was puzzle no 24000, and the first two Across answers are CROSSWORD and TWENTY-FOUR THOUSAND (6-4,8), entered in the grid as 24000. The Down clues which cross it are similarly treated, which is why you have two sets of enumeration.

  22. This had the usual Friday obscurites but in general I found it a well constructed and entertaining puzzle, which for some reason I found slightly easier than yesterday. Not sure how relevant 1d is these days, and the French word for art (which I presume is the second person singular of the verb to be?) is a step too far in a back pager. Even though I come from that neck of the woods I’d only ever associated the town in Greater Manchester with the excellent cakes, and needless to say had never heard of the tree or the US general. Other than that all fine!!
    Many thanks to G and to DT for his excellent hints (though The Byrds version of Turn Turn Turn is far superior!)

  23. Not easy, but perfectly solvable. In fact a sense of achievement when I completed! Several clues for the podium but I’ll go with 13a as my favourite.
    Thanks to Giovanni, and to DT for the review.
    PS. When oh when is the IT problem going to be sorted? Or has it already and nobody told me…..

  24. I couldn’t finish this, beyond my abilities, but I enjoyed what I could solve. Yes, south much easier than north.
    I knew 1a, we had one in our driveway in Jamaica. I also knew the Notts town, no idea why! I didn’t know the part of Greater Manchester, but I certainly remember Spike Milligan as Eccles, so in his honour I’ll choose it as fave.
    Must go and do something productive now.
    Thanks to Giovanni and to DT for his review and help in solving.

  25. Mon Dieu!

    The “French art” has been repeated so often that it has become an old chestnut … n’est-ce pas?

  26. I found this beyond me today and needed the hints to complete. Strangely enough 1a went in as soon as I had the first letter from 1d. Ta to all.

  27. Despite yesterday’s advice, still didn’t realise this was a pangram. Much easier than yesterday. 4d is a weak clue in my opinion. The s at the beginning is self evident but I don’t really associate a hop with a jaunt. Had to check there really was a general Burnside and struggled with 22d. A scrap, or indeed a scrape is a bit more than a ticklish situation. Favourite is 13a.

  28. The UK geography in 12a and 29a as well as the US general in 18d were all a bit of a problem for us but we did manage to get them all sorted. Tried all the possibilities mentioned above for 20a until the need for a letter for the pangram pointed us to the correct one.
    Thanks Giovanni and DT.

  29. Above my pay grade too – I found this tough going today. I do always battle a bit on Fridays but not usually as much as this.
    I eventually gave up and came running for help with the American general – Lee is about as far as I can get.
    I don’t mind tricky but I do need a few laughs to justify it.
    My favourite was definitely 11d.
    With thanks to Giovanni and thanks and admiration to DT.

  30. Friday puzzles usually defeat me, a day when we usually leave the house before breakfast, so little time to devote to solving. Had a bit more time today, and didn’t find that Giovanni as tough, although it did take two sittings to finish. Although overall enjoyable, I did find some of the clues a bit off, and like others, have never said nor heard bun for rabbit. Even though we are South Florida, the tropical tree was new to me. But need to get back to painting now, so thanks to Giovanni and Deep Threat for providing an excuse to soak the brush for a while…

  31. Well I know I have done a crossword, in the top half alone. 1ac new to me as I only know answer in reference to a bowl shape not to a species.
    Lower half went in steadily but 4 or 5 clues timed out in the top half.
    Many thanks to Giovanni & DT for review

  32. Hardest one of the week by a distance, struggled on the same ones as everyone else. Favourite 15a. Many thanks to DG and DT.

  33. Did not start this one until after midnight! Found the bottom left the most challenging and got stuck on 25a and 22 down, worked 24 a out but did not think the word existed !
    Enjoyed it though, only do Fridays puzzle because we get a free Telegraph when doing the weekly shop, most days it is the Mail cryptic! Thanks.

  34. A day late and a dollar short on this one. Spotting the pangram helped, but in the end 12a defeated me and I needed a hint to finish. It was a bit of a slog but with a personal bright point along the way when 29a featured my birthplace.
    4*/2* from me.
    Thanks to Giovanni for the challenge and DT for the assistance.

  35. A two dayer for me. A real challenge, needing half a dozen hints to confirm some guesses of mine. Can’t win ’em all ! ****/*.

  36. Just finished my sparring match with this and gave up on 4d (duh) and 18d so thanks for the hints for those. Spelled 20a wrong so missed the pangram. Glad to see it made a reappearance in the Quickie. Thank you Mr Manley, I enjoyed that 😙

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