DT 29224 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29224

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29224

Hints and tips by Mr K

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BD Rating  -  Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

Hello, everyone, and welcome to a bright and sunny Tuesday that’s brought us another enjoyable cryptic crossword.  I thought that this puzzle was particularly tightly clued, with no parses requiring any pondering about grammatical correctness.  No obscurities either, although I did learn one or two new abbreviations along the way.  All of that combined with some amusing surface readings made for a great start to the day.  If our setter is reading, we’d love to see a comment from you below.

In the hints below most indicators are italicized and definitions are underlined.  Clicking on the answer 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    Criticism for each returned fish (8)
REPROACH:  Follow the reversal (returned) of a short word meaning “for each” with a silvery freshwater fish

5a    Charm from a drug smuggler ending in airport (6)
AMULET:  Link together A from the clue, a person smuggling drugs for a dealer, and the last letter of (ending in) airporT 

10a   Meandering bus trip gets near city (5,10)
SAINT PETERSBURG:  An anagram (meandering) of BUS TRIP GETS NEAR 

11a   Marine mammals, perhaps captured -- one hopefully has them on board (3,4)
SEA LEGS:  Some marine mammals with a Latin abbreviation that could mean “perhaps” inserted (captured

12a   Put information into code in French vault (7)
ENCRYPT:  Stick together the French word for “in” and a vault or underground chamber 

13a   Cooked our moist chicken (8)
TIMOROUS:  An anagram (cooked) of OUR MOIST 

15a   John's energy unrestricted (5)
LOOSE:  Translate john from informal American to informal British and attach its ‘S from the clue and the physics symbol for energy 

18a   Carry out desire for senior member (5)
DOYEN:  Join together synonyms of carry out and of desire

20a   Ambition to swallow stout grew (8)
ENLARGED:  Ambition or goal containing (to swallow) another word for stout 

23a   Make smooth, milky coffee after following note (7)
FLATTEN:  Put a milky coffee drink after the single-letter abbreviation for following, and then append the single-letter abbreviation for note

25a   Wise man following dad's route (7)
PASSAGE:  A wise man coming after (following) a synonym of dad’s 

26a   Government interference affected investment in Rio (15)

27a   Mix up clothing, porter possibly going topless (6)
GARBLE:  Dress or clothing followed by all but the first letter (… going topless) of what porter is an example of (porter possibly

28a   Borrowers usually pay this  attention (8)
INTEREST:  A fairly straightforward double definition 



1d    Block is in place (6)
RESIST:  IS from the clue inserted in a verb synonym of place 

2d    First and foremost, one student is behind most of school year (9)
PRIMARILY:  The fusion of the Roman one and the usual student or learner follow (is behind) all but the last letter (most of) a type of school, with the single letter for year then appended to that lot 

3d    Busy during month, e.g. October (2,3,2)
ON THE GO:  The answer is hidden as part of (during) the remainder of the clue 

4d    Mate finishes this chapter -- he's succeeded (5)
CHESS:  Assemble the abbreviation for chapter, HE’S from the clue, and the genealogical abbreviation for succeeded 

6d    Doctor is calm about uranium? Pleasing to hear (7)
MUSICAL:  An anagram (doctor …) of IS CALM containing (about) the chemical symbol for uranium 

7d    Pants initially large -- one usually selects Y-fronts (5)
LOUSY:  The first letters of (initially ..) the remaining words of the clue.  Pants is used here in its informal British sense 

8d    Turn over and seize the woman at the same time (8)
TOGETHER:  Concatenate the abbreviation for turn over, a synonym of seize, and a pronoun for “the woman” 

9d    Show welcoming resistance with Boris's last U-turn (8)
REVERSAL:  Show or divulge containing (welcoming) both the physics symbol for resistance and the final letter (…’s last) of BoriS 

14d   Alder -- one exotic shrub (8)
OLEANDER:  An anagram (exotic) of ALDER ONE 

16d   I have to support Aida, say -- tense worker (9)
OPERATIVE:  The contracted form of “I have” comes after (to support, in a down clue) what Aida is an example of (Aida, say) and the grammatical abbreviation for tense 

17d   Improving English and longing to ring one female (8)
EDIFYING:  Follow the single letter for English with longing or keen containing (to ring) both the Roman one and the abbreviation for female 

19d   Sun to rise on river? That's normal (7)
NATURAL:  The reversal (to rise, in a down clue) of a verb synonym of sun comes before (on, in a down clue) a river in central Russia 

21d   Royal Engineers with shop to repair (7)
RESTORE:  The abbreviation for Royal Engineers with a noun synonym of shop 

22d   Acknowledge what one could do to hair (6)
PERMIT:  The answer split (4,2) describes what one could do to hair to introduce curls or waves 

24d   Change voice briefly in front of the Queen (5)
ALTER:  All but the last letter (… briefly) of a type of musical voice comes before (in front of) the Latin abbreviation for Queen Elizabeth 

25d   Physical training outside university feasible for don (3,2)
PUT ON:  The abbreviation for physical training containing (outside) the single letter for university, followed by an informal word for feasible 


Thanks to our setter for a fun solve.  Ticks today for 10a, 23a, 3d, 14d, and 25d.  Which clues did you like best?


The Quick Crossword pun:  DUE + YEW + MINED = DO YOU MIND

83 comments on “DT 29224

  1. Enjoyable but nothing that sticks in the mind clue-wise. Thanks to reviewer and setter of course.

  2. Rain stop play here in the Gargano (just like NZ you could say) so I had a chance for an early solve in bed. For the first time in weeks silence reigns in our valley as the olive harvesters take a well-earned break. Our cricketers probably need one too!

    A comfortable solve although 7dn and 27ac held out for a while but both fair and good. I liked 4dn but wonder how many will jump to the wrong conclusion and bung in an answer?

    Having finished I keep returning to 23ac. I cannot fathom where the last letter comes from or why ‘after following’ is needed – surely one or the other? Oh well all will no doubt be revealed.

    … Ah thanks I am also learning new abbreviations!

    Thanks to setter and Mr K

    1. I assumed the F was an abbreviation for following and N an abbreviation for Note. Agree it’s a bit of a stretch 😊

    2. Hello, SW. Not sure if your penultimate paragraph means you figured out 23a. If not, the answer is given by F[ollowing] + LATTE + N[ote]. The abbreviations are found in Chambers I’ve now added hyperlinks for them to the hint.

      1. Yes, I had the answer and with your help I then figured out the parsing. Thanks again.

  3. Nice puzzle on this bright and sunny day in Southend-on-Sea, a **\**** for me. Liked 15A, 27A, 8D, 11A, 25D. Very enjoyable – thanks Mr K and setter for a good puzzle and amusing hints.

  4. When I’ve done a puzzle I always ask myself “could I have blogged this”…ie solved it AND explained every clue clearly and accurately. The honest answer is usually no but in this case I could have, and I found it very enjoyable too. I particularly liked 13 and 18a as they’re just great words, plus 4and 7d amused me but my favourite was probably the very clever 8a.
    Many thanks to the setter for a great puzzle and to one of the “master bloggers” Mr K.

  5. I wouldn’t even dream of trying to blog any puzzle. Even this one, which I finished without assistance, but it took a steady *** time.

    Thanks to the setter and Mr K.

  6. Mostly straightforward, with some great long anagrams and a smashing lurker (3d). I enjoyed this one (**/****). Thanks to Mr K for help with parsing 19d. My only criticism is for the synonym used for acknowledge in 22d. Thanks to the setter too.

  7. On the whole I thought that this was a very pleasant puzzle – thanks to the setter and Mr K. My top clues were 3d and 25d.
    My one, major, reservation is the use of ‘hopefully’ in 11a which I found really jarring. ‘Hopefully’ does not mean “it is to be hoped” which is what the setter is trying to suggest in the clue.

    1. Quite right, Gazza, as Robert Louis Stevenson knew: “To travel hopefully is a better thing than to arrive’

    2. Hi, Gazza. The setter might claim that Collins justifies 11a. That dictionary says about “hopefully”: The use of hopefully to mean it is hoped used to be considered incorrect by some people but has now become acceptable in informal contexts.

      1. Yes, I know that the ‘modern’ (i.e. lazy) use of hopefully has proliferated – It doesn’t mean that I have to accept it. Adverbs as a whole are being misused or disappearing at a rate of knots – nobody lifts an eyebrow when people say “he ran quick”, for example.

        I read today that the Apostrophe Protection Society is shutting down. Its founder writes “We, and our many supporters worldwide, have done our best but the ignorance and laziness present in modern times have won!”. How sad is that!

        1. Don’t worry, you’re not alone Gazza. My eyebrows are frequently lifted, usually accompanied by a sigh of exasperation. Several of the snooker commentators on tv are frequent offenders, and Paul di Resta on Sky’s Formula 1 coverage often can’t even get the tense of his verbs correct, let alone adverbs.

          1. I tend to get too many apostrophes while marking essays. The number of times I see “It’s coat was green” is incredible. The APS may have shut down but there are still many of us who revere it.

        2. Very sad indeed. Exchanges like: “How are you feeling today?” “I’m good” make me wince.

          In today’s Telegraph on p18 there is an article by Laura Freeman asking who will join her in her pedants’ revolt. I am a revolting pedant so I, for one, will support her.

          1. One of the phrases that makes me cringe is the increasing use of doing something “going forward” rather than “in the future”.

          2. I am also a ‘revolting pedant’! Does anyone know whether or not
            the famed Bristol ‘Apostrophiser’ is still conducting his/her brave crusade?

          3. One of my hates frequently seen even by DT journalists is “Prince Harry the youngest son of the Prince of Wales..”. How many has he got?

        3. Apostrophes are sometimes even omitted by those commenting on this blog. There are 2 examples so far today.

        4. Another is people who when at a counter start with ‘Can I get..?’
          I always think ‘Are you asking whether you are capable of purchasing something; ie is there a possibility you are such an imbecile that you might not be able?’

          Almost as niggling as trying to buy a sandwich in Essex made with, (advertised as an option), bran bread. You will get brown bread

        5. I find the lack of correct spelling irritating, if you don’t know the how to spell it, look it up!
          Someone sent me a pic of the menu to a very posh, expensive do, and the top entry was “artesian cheese”!

        6. Yes the loss of adverbs is very annoying. I find myself even correctly tv newsreaders, adding the “ly” for them. And forget about not ending a sentence with a preposition, do they even teach that any more?

      2. Mr K (and G), in the latest Chambers Thesaurus one of the phrasal synonyms listed under hopefully is: “it is to be hoped that”. And that’s clear enough for me!

    3. I could rant for ever on this thread but I think that the most I can contribute is pinched from my French brother-in-law. He’s a teacher in Paris and when he has asked someone how they are and their reply is, “I’m good” his reply to them is, “I’m not asking about your morals, I’m asking about your health and general mood”.

  8. I’m rather enjoying my relaxing week off work and a chance to do the crossword earlier in the day than usual.
    A pleasant and fairly straightforward puzzle today with some good long anagrams. I always admire a well hidden lurker so my favourite clue was 3d.
    Distant memories of a cryptography module in my last year at university, when the lecturer started off by telling us that Morse code is not technically a code at all, reminds me that the picture used to illustrate 12a shows a cipher rather than a code, but it still works for the answer of course.
    Thanks to both setter and Mr K.

  9. A fairly straightforward solve between our pub and my daughters house. Thanks to the setter and thanks to Mister Kitty. The Chalicea Toughie is worth a go if you fancy having a pop at it.

    1. It is to be hoped that you weren’t actually behind the wheel? Car or cycle……or lawnmower, even?
      Unless you were walking, perhaps?
      Although I believe you are capable of completing the puzzle without looking at the grid……..

      1. Saint Sharon drove. She usually does. She is not happy about my refusal to give signals any more (I’ve signalled for forty years and feel I have earned the right not to) My view that speed limits are advisory doesn’t help either. As for puzzle quirks, when solving on paper I rarely write the last answer in as it is a waste of ink. Tuesday Toughies are always solved writing left handed.

        1. Oh you would fit right in here in South Florida Miffypops. 90% of drivers never, ever signal. I don’t believe anyone has ever got a ticket for it. But then 50% drive without insurance. Which means the rest of us have to carry extra insurance, to cover being hit by the uninsured…

  10. 1.5*/3*. I agree this was light but it was certainly enjoyable. (A similar comment applies to today’s Chalicea Toughie)

    I was going to protest about 8d that it is not fair game to use part of an abbreviation – in this case TO, which is part of PTO, for Turn Over, but I checked my BRB and found the impolite version there (as per Mr K’s link). The chess pedant in me would prefer 4d to have been worded “mate often finishes …” I’m sure the beautiful cat in the picture would agree with me.

    Many thanks to Messrs R & K.

    1. I thought the accounting term Turnover could be abreviated to TO; as in “He made £5,000 profit on a TO of £55,000”

      1. I’ve never come across that abbreviation for turnover, Malcolm. In any event, “turnover” would ruin the surface of the clue as it is means something rather different from “turn over”.

        1. Another nice crossword 😃 **/*** Favourites 3d & 22d. Thanks to Mr K and to the Setter👍

    2. Have a look at the beautiful cat in my gravatar and see if you can spot someting else😎

        1. Well spotted! It was some time ago, but yes I think he caught the pen! He’s always there after lunch when I have a stab at the crossword.

  11. By Tuesday standards, I found this trickier than usual but as much fun as ever for completion at a gallop (just) – 2.5*/3.5*.
    Candidates for favourite – 25a, 3d, and 9d – and the winner is 3d.
    Thanks to the setter and Mr K.
    P.S. The Chalicea Toughie could earn a ‘fluffy’ tag.

  12. Took me a while to sort out 27a – kept thinking of Cole Porter – but everything else went smoothly, even the coffee – the varieties of which never cease to amaze me. Try asking for a straightforward cup of coffee with cold milk these days – most restaurant staff are totally flummoxed by the request!
    Favourite, despite the impolite instruction pointed out by RD, was 8d – the surface read amused me.

    Thanks to our setter and to Mr K for the pictorial review – loved your laughing marine mammal!

    1. My coffee tipple of choice is “black, no sugar” which usually elicits a look of amazement from the improbably titled “baristas” especially when I insist that I don’t want a pint of it.

      1. According to a piece in the DT today, a 595ml size “ bucket” of gingerbread latte with whipped cream made from oat milk contains a mere 523 calories, and the same amount of sugar as 17 custard creams……..
        I’m surprised they don’t stick candles in the top or a sprig of holly and see what happens.

    2. I’m not sure I would have got that porter one, Jane. Except that yesterday I was buying some of that dark Belgian beer online for my son in law.
      They have beer made by Monks which is triple fermented and more than 10% ABV and extraordinarily good for your microbiome …… I’ve never met a Belgian monk, but I suppose they’re quite happy in their work.

  13. Really enjoyed this one especially after my abject failure with yesterdays puzzle. Just needed the excellent hints to explain the sun in 19d. My only gripe is one that seems common to many setters as in 23a where one is expected to use abbreviations without any indication in the clue. Just seems sloppy.
    Thx to all

    1. B. Common abbreviations, which are listed in the major dictionaries, don’t require indicators in cryptic clues. That’s been the convention for many years.

  14. Light and enjoyable seems to sum up this puzzle. Straightforward yes, but still a rewarding solve. Unusually I picked out an anagram, 10a, as my particular favourite for the brilliant surface.

    Thanks to both Misters.

  15. An enjoyable offering today although I did need to look at a couple of Mr. K’s hints. Nevertheless, it was most enjoyable and made a welcome diversion from trying to get sense from my bank!

    Favourites are 10a, 23a, 4d and 22d.

    Grateful thanks, as ever, to the setter and Mr. K for the excellent hints.

  16. A fun-time today with just enough bite to it. South was more compliant than the North. Took a while to realise 23a, 4d and 8d involved abbreviations. Can’t single out an overall Fav from amongst 15a (appreciated USA vocabulary),18a and 7d. Thank you Mysteron and MrK.

  17. This one took about 3 quarters of my bus ride, so about average difficulty. The clues were mostly very good and I found it an enjoyable solve. Fav: 10a – a really well-thought-out anagram clue. I’m rather surprised, though, that someone hasn’t commented to nitpickingly claim that it’s an unindicated Russianism. 2.5* / 3*

  18. A “read & write” for me today, and a new record time (modesty, plus Big Dave convention, forbids). I usually glance at my watch when starting. Sprinted to the finish line, no less enjoyable for that. Enjoyed 10a because I went there in May. Thanks as ever to the setter & blogger.

  19. **/***. Enjoyable while it lasted. No standout clues for me. Thanks to the setter and Mr K. Interesting dialogue from our community. I can’t get too wound up (or whatever your favourite word is) about the use of our language or it’s grammar. The BRB would be half it’s size if it didn’t change over time and be enriched by each new generation. Recently, even the cryptic referenced “pants” as in “rubbish” – not something my parents would have understood.

  20. I’m so incredibly stupid, the only clue that floored me was 27a, I could not see the “Porter”. I knew it referred to what’s made with hops, I’ve now tumbled to it but it’s taken long enough. Grrr
    I thought 10a was pretty smooth, my first one in.
    I still don’t like “pants” to mean rubbish – I know, I know, it’s in the BRB, but I still don’t like it.
    I think we had 5a fairly recently.
    I liked it all, hard to choose a particular fave.
    Thanks to our setter and to Mr. K for his review, always a treat.

    1. I think they should have a separate slang section in dictionaries ,as these words fall out of favour after a few years.

  21. Today’s puzzle provided me with pleasant moments of sanity, if brief, during a full day with 4 grandchildren under 5 and it beats Paw Patrol hands down.
    Many thanks

  22. Good mental workout, tight clueing.
    Certainly **** for enjoyment and satisfaction.
    Many thanks to the setter and to Mr. K for the catty illustrated review.

  23. Yes, an enjoyable solve indeed. I was looking for more than just anagrams (!) in the two long ones, but once I realised my stoopidity I sailed through the rest. 3d was my favourite.
    Thanks to the setter, and to Mr K for the review.
    Tell me somebody please; is the two month old IT problem just affecting those of us who subscribe to the DT and get the web version as a freebie? Just curious….

    1. I subscribe to the DT site and have no problems. I don’t subscribe or look at the DT puzzles site.

  24. Not over much to cause alarm in this pleasant Tuesday offering solved in front of the fire with a coffee.
    The two long clues stood out even though they were anagrams, but most were well worded.
    Thanks to setter & MrK

  25. Batting 2 for 2 today on not needing the hints. The Chalicea toughie is recommended too. I have noted the namecheck in 15a but a lifetime of toilet jokes at my expense has worn a bit thin. 5a is a recent repeat but a great puzzle and a great blog too.
    Thanks to Mr. K and the setter.

  26. I could not get on wavelength today. Never heard of pants meaning lousy. Should have got 14a oleander, duh, they are in every other garden here. (Major peeve – authors who wax lyrically “the scent of the oleander was in the air”, they don’t have a scent.). Couldn’t understand the porter connection. Did like 15a. Otherwise, I think I get the dunce’s cap today.

  27. I made a right meal of this one – don’t know why but I just did – out of routine etc – can’t think of another viable excuse . . .
    I was hoping that the setter was X-Type because I always find him tricky but he ‘pops in’ so I can’t even use that as an excuse. Oh dear! :sad:
    I think everything to do with this crossword has already been said so I’ll just add that I loved all the blah blah pedantic grammar stuff much earlier on. Three cheers to all who contributed to it and particularly Gazza, the king of ‘master bloggers’ for starting it all off.
    Thanks to our setter and to Mr K

  28. Aargh just finished! Took me forever. Struggled with parsing 19d but having never heard of the Russian river, no surprise there. Coming in on the back of the contemporary use of English language debate, “fictitious” seems to have been obliterated by “fictional” these days, grrr. Much appreciation to esteemed setter and blogger.

  29. Interesting comments on our ever-changing language. Personally, I can put up with some mis-use, but mis-pronunciation is quite another matter. For example, certain traffic reporters on the radio refer to “Ree-yowndabout” or “See-yowthbound”. After complaining, the BBC offered me mere weasel words.

    1. What I object to from traffic reporters is the increasingly used phrase “The M5 is queuing”. Whereas vehicles on the M5 may be queuing the motorway itself is unable to queue.

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