DT 29226 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29226

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29226

Hints and tips by Kath

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BD Rating — Difficulty ***Enjoyment ****

Hello everyone – definitely a Ray T crossword today. I thought that it was probably somewhere in the middle of his range of difficulty and had most of his trademarks. I did notice how few anagrams there were.

In the hints the definitions are underlined and the answers are hidden under ANSWER so only do that if you need to see one.

Please leave a comment telling us how you got on today


1a        Man with libertine cavorting without end (12)
INTERMINABLE — an anagram (cavorting) of MAN and LIBERTINE

9a        Circulated around street on minor route (9)
BROADCAST — the two letter Latin abbreviation for around or about and the abbreviation for street follow (on) a minor route or not one that would be marked on a map as main highway

10a       Number understood to be about five? (5)
SEVEN — a synonym for understood or suddenly ‘got’ containing (to be about) the Roman numeral for five

11a       Hermitage made from wood and stuff (6)
ASHRAM — a kind of wood or tree is followed by stuff or pack tightly


12a       Priestly ancient using speech (8)
PASTORAL — another word for ancient or bygone and an adjective that means using speech or verbal

13a       Nudist, ill-mannered, keeping press out (6)
DISTIL — the first lurker or hidden answer indicated by ‘keeping’ – it’s hiding in the middle of the first two words of the clue –  and just when I thought I was beginning to get a bit better at spotting these little beasts . . .

15a       Thrashing without holding top of lash (8) 
FLAILING — without, or lacking, contains the first letter (top) of L[ash]

18a       Let off partner accepting rejected attention (8)
DETONATE — a partner or a person you go out with contains (accepting) a reversal (rejected) of attention or heed

19a       Film-maker possibly approached artist (6)
CAMERA — a synonym of approached or advanced is followed by the usual two letter abbreviation for an artist

21a       Continue circling sky with flight (8)
STAIRWAY — another word for continue or remain containing a synonym for sky or atmosphere and the one letter abbreviation for W[ith] – hurray, I remembered the WITH this time – I wonder if others who had trouble with it recently did

23a       Unfinished figure on motorway creates accident (6)
MISHAP — the motorway that goes ‘upwards’ from London is followed by a five letter figure or form without its final letter (unfinished)

26a       River fish potentially found in rocks (5)
REELS — the one letter abbreviation for R[iver] is followed by some long slithery fish

27a       Guardsman turned out in red gear? (9)
GRENADIER — an anagram (turned out) of IN RED GEAR

28a       Altering manner, lutist produces musical piece (12)
INSTRUMENTAL — so few anagrams today but another one of MANNER LUTIST indicated by the first word of the clue



1d        Current reportedly made hole contained by ship (7)
INBOARD — a little short two letter adjective meaning current or stylish is followed by a homophone (reportedly) of ‘made hole’ or drilled

2d        Initially tests resolve over treacherous husband’s fidelity (5)
TROTH — the first letters (initially) of the middle five words of the clue

3d        Sort of energy helping to keep support up (9)
RADIATION — a helping or a share of something contains a reversal (up) of a synonym of support or assist

4d        Country yours truly led (4)
IRAN — yours truly, or how the setter would refer to himself is followed by another word for led or managed

5d        Even American clubs score to catch United (8)
ACTUALLY — the one letter abbreviation for A[merican] and the one letter abbreviation for C[lubs] is followed by a synonym for score or count which contains the abbreviation for U[nited]

6d        Composer’s record for the audience (5)
LISZT — a homophone (for the audience) of record or catalogue – however many times we have this chap I still have to check how to spell him!

7d        Tremendous lovers I zealously embraced (8)
OVERSIZE – the second lurker or hidden answer today is indicated by the last word of the clue

8d        Open a French drink upended (6)
UNPLUG — the French word for A is followed by a reversal (unended) of another word for drink or swallow quickly

14d      Working at a diet’s getting stuffed (8)
SATIATED — an anagram (working) of AT A DIET’S

16d      Still stupid tackling one on rug (9)
INANIMATE — a word that means stupid or senseless contains (tackling) the letter that looks like ‘one’ and a rug or small carpet

17d      Unbroken channel round outskirts of Greenwich (8)
STRAIGHT — a channel or an inlet contains (round) the first and last letters (outskirts) of G[reenwhic]H

18d      Run away from heartless fool perhaps (6)
DESERT — this fool is not a twit – it’s a kind of pudding made from cream and fruit and so ‘fool’ is just an example which is indicated by ‘perhaps’ – find the seven letter word and remove its middle letter (heartless) – phew, I knew that I was going to make a complete pig’s ear of a hint for this one!

20d      Shock purchasing occasionally free clothing (7)
APPAREL — a verb to shock or horrify containing (purchasing) the even letters (occasionally) of fReE

22d      Sap is wrong supporting rise of Queen (5)
RESIN — a reversal (rise) of the two letters for our Queen is followed by (supporting) a wrong or an offence

24d      Raise army to protect island (5)
HOIST — an army or a large number of people containing (to protect) the one letter abbreviation for I[sland]



25d      List of soldiers with uniform (4)
MENU — a general word for soldiers is followed by (with) the abbreviation for U[niform]

I liked 13 and 18a and 2 and 18d. My favourite was 21a

Apologies for so few pictures to go with the hints today but there didn’t seem to be many opportunities and then about three of the ones that I tried to download told me that I couldn’t “for security reasons”!

The Quickie Pun:- CONGA + REEL = CONGER EEL

61 comments on “DT 29226

  1. An excellent and thoroughly enjoyable Ray T offering this morning. Of many top clues I liked 18d the best. The relative lack of anagrams enhanced my enjoyment, although I thought 1a was a fine example of the type.

    Many thanks to Ray and to Kath.

  2. 2*/4.5*. Brilliant stuff from the master of brevity. 18d was my favourite.

    Many thanks to RayT and to Kath for working overtime this week!

  3. My favourite of the week so far. Again seems like a plethora of anagrams. Last in was 18d which was a ‘bloody obvious’ moment. Thanks to setter and to the reviewer.

  4. Very pleasant surface reading, many good clues 7D, 18D, 12A, 19A. A 2*\4.5* for me. Thanks to Ray and especially Kath for a nice set of hints with no giveaways.

  5. Quite a tricky crossword (***) but generally enjoyable (***). I always enjoy anagrams and this puzzle’s offerings were no exception. I liked 17d and 18d. Thanks to Kath for the hints and to Ray T.

  6. The only weakness to this excellent puzzle was the quickie pun!
    Took me a while to get going but it’s amazing what a few checkers can do. RD named the setter as “the master of brevity”. I’d add “and cunning”. I loved 12a, which was well hidden and the deceptive 21a but top spot has to go to 18d.
    3.5/ 4.5*
    Many thanks to Ray T and to Kath for a great review

  7. I find it hard to believe that it is a Ray T crossword as I have completed it before dark 😃**/*** so nice and straightforward 🤗 Favourites 9a & 21a 👍 Thanks to Kath and to Ray T for making an old man very happy 😜

  8. The usual entertaining puzzle from Ray T and the usual entertaining blog from Kath – thanks to both. My ticks went to 13a and 18d.
    Does anyone know the significance of ‘potentially’ in 26a? Is it related to electricity?

    1. I just took ‘potentially’ to be some ‘padding’ along with found to indicate that the answer was a synonym of rocks.

    2. I hadn’t taken much notice of the ‘potentially’ bit but when it comes to electricity I only know two things – the first being that it’s expensive and the second that it hurts if you touch it. Oh dear!

      1. The reason I asked, Kath, is that ‘potentially’ isn’t part of the wordplay and is not required for the surface reading – Mr T doesn’t usually include superfluous words in his clues.

        1. To me, the clue doesn’t quite work. I’m probably wrong or missing something but “River fish rocks” would have been a better and far more typical Ray T style clue. Perhaps he will explain his thinking when he pops in later….or perhaps not!

          1. We do use ‘Electrical Potential’ often in engineering- its related to the ability to produce electricity (the flow of ions) from, for example, a magnetic field. So I believe this is a super clever clue as the eel also has the potential to be ‘electric’

  9. At the less difficult end of the Ray T spectrum although the first read through produced nothing until I reached 24d, completed at a gallop – 2.5*/3.5*.
    Candidates for favourite – 11a, 6d (like our intrepid blogger, I still had to check the order of the third and fourth letters), 16d, and 18d – and the winner is 16d.
    Thanks to Ray T and Kath.

  10. Another classic Ray T crossword got held up slightly with 11a for some reason tried to solve with all sorts but good old Roget helped in the end. Crosswords just seem to be getting better. Well off to Truro to brave my Christmas shopping best to do in one hit.
    Thanks to Kath and of course Ray T.

  11. Ray T, a second helping of Kath and Micawber for dessert – what a perfect way to dine on a wet, cold and windy day!
    I did remember the abbreviation for ‘with’, Kath – it’s that wretched flight that fools me every time.
    Favourite has to be 18d with the 13a lurker and 1a anagram hard on its heels.

    Devotions as always to Mr T and many thanks to Kath for doing double duty this week.

  12. I’m still not in the “We love Ray T puzzles” club, and struggle to get on the right wavelength. I’ll keep plugging away though in the hope that one day I will grow to enjoy them as much as many others do.
    Keep challenging me Ray, and thanks to Kath for the blog.

  13. As usual, a most enjoyable offering from RayT. However, I don’t understand how “even” equates to ” actually ” in 5d. Can anyone enlighten me? Many thanks to Kath for the hints, for which I was most grateful today.

    1. I got into a bit of a dither about that too but the thesaurus gives, as an example, “Did you actually (even) see him fall”.

  14. Just me then? I took a Beam time to solve this Ray T backpager – I’ve even just tested one destined for the Times which didn’t take as long as this to solve.

    I did enjoy the experience so thank you to Mr T and Kath.

    1. No, I found it harder than anything for several weeks.
      Having read the blog, I’ve just assumed it was one of those things. I think not getting 5d, 15a and 18d really held me up and then I couldn’t be bothered to finish.
      I did get 26a, but didn’t think it was much cop. I took the synonym as being something that meant “ staggers”…….
      Hey ho…. There’s always another day.

  15. Last in was 5d. Spent far too long running through the nfl etc. before the penny dropped that it was nothing to do with their leagues and score had nothing to do with etch or mark out. Favourite 15a. Thursday’s puzzle invariably takes me twice as long as any other day. Ray T’s wavelength is not my usual habitat clearly.

  16. That was a very pleasant diversion from Christmas chores. SW quadrant last to yield. Forgot 28a can be a noun so was slow in the uptake there. Liked surface of 3d but for Fav I definitely join the 18d fan club. Thank you RayT and Kath.

  17. Sadly I am also not on the Ray T wavelength, also am struggling to equate “open” to “unplug” for 8d, I can stretch it to drainage as in pipe work but not where the sink is concerned.

  18. A super Ray-T crossword today, a bit short on innuendo, but very enjoyable.
    Just needed Kath’s hint to understand 18d, I was misled by the fool (takes one to know one!), but Kath’s hint is crystal clear in spite of what she may think.
    Thanks Kath and Ray-T.

  19. Oh dear. I spent far too long racking my brains for the name of a film maker for 19a when the answer was much simpler than that. Many thanks to the setter, and to Kath for standing in twice this week.

  20. ***/****. Found this trickier than usual but still enjoyable. The two long anagrams got me off to a flying start but I slowed up once the top half was in as the SW corner was my downfall. Thanks to Ray T and Kath (I also have to check 6d for the correct spelling).

  21. I tend to find Ray T puzzles quite challenging – in a good way – and this one was no exception. Last one in and my favourite was 18d – I did feel a bit of a ‘fool’ when the penny finally dropped! Many thanks to Ray T for the brain stretch and to Kath for the hints and tips.

  22. Good fun as ever from this setter.
    Word count checked and all in order of course.
    Thanks RayT and Kath.

  23. I managed to solve all but two in the SW corner, the fool and the rocks, which is a record for me with RayT. Full disclosure: I used copious electronic help. It must have been a friendly RayT. I’m with Owdoo, not yet in the fan club.
    I always have trouble with RayT’s stretched synonyms, I have to dig so deeply to unravel his clues. Not a complaint, I hasten to say, we’ve had some good treats this week, with a superb Jay yesterday. It’s the turn of the RayT fans today.
    We haven’t seen the hermitage for a while, it’s my fave ‘cos I remembered it.
    Thanks to RayT and to Kath for the help.

  24. I clearly still have a long way to go on my learning curve.Very pleased to have got quite a lot, but could not have got there without Kath and her brilliant blog.Thankyou.

  25. Not in the Ray T fan club yet. As usual with his puzzles I am unable to find his direction of travel and find myself totally lost except for lurkers, anagrams, and stuff any fule noes.****/*

    Thanks to Kath for getting me to the final destination and one day in the future Ray T I may apply for membership.

    1. Totally agree, found this both challenging and irritating and hence unenjoyable ****/* for us

  26. Having done better than I normally do on Ray T days, I shouldn’t complain. Except for 13a that is. I have always know the word to be distill, not distil, and could not find this different spelling anywhere on Google. Perhaps it is different in the UK. So I never put it in, and per the hints I should have. Oh well. I also struggled with 12a as I have always understood that to mean countrified, rather than anything to do with the church. Probably another gap in my education. Thanks Kath, but I still needed too many of your hints to complete. Lovely and cool here today, so off outdoors to start planting a new flower bed.

    1. I disagree, it’s not “lovely” and cool here today, the doors and windows are closed and the heat is still on! Dogs love it.

  27. I’m afraid this one beat me. I could not get onto the right wavelength no matter how I tried. Even looking at one or two hints did not help. The hints helped with the clues they referred to but they did not help me get adjacent clues.

    I could see myself looking at all the hints, or the majority, in order to fill the grid so I gave up.

    A pity because once I had read all the hints and revealed answers it all made sense. However, that is not how to solve a puzzle.

    Thank you to the setter and Kath.

  28. I thought I was getting the hang of Ray Ts puzzles but these last couple have got me stumped again. He has a unique way of looking at words and definitions which are often off the wall and that never occur to me. I found this very difficult.
    Too hard to really enjoy I’m afraid.
    Thx for the hints

  29. Having read all the comments in the Blog and having managed only the top half of the puzzle, it seems obvious to me that Ray T puzzles are very Marmite and on the whole are not easily solvable by the majority of users. I suppose we should be grateful that he only appears every 2 weeks but perhaps he should be limited to the Toughie where I suspect the majority of his fans live or at least only have his more gentle and less fiendish offerings on the backpage. I have huge respect for him as a setter but I do not do crosswords for a life changing challenge but as a gentle pastime. Just my opinion!

    1. Brian, to be fair, we’ve had a lot of enjoyment this week, I think the RayT fan club is entitled to their fun as well. One day in a fortnight isn’t that bad, is it?

      1. I understand Brian’s comments but I have managed much better with Ray T puzzles before. I appreciate he has many fans on here and I respect that. It is up to the likes of Brian and I to get to know Ray T better. I certainly don’t think he should only compile the Toughie just because one or two of us aren’t on his wavelength yet. I got nowhere today but I will continue to try and get to know his mindset. That’s the fun of crosswords.

        PS – If you got the top half, Brian you did far better than I!

        1. I’m not a fan, I need to use all sorts of electronic tricks to solve his puzzles. My point was that it takes all sorts, we can let others take a turn. I really don’t like using electronics to solve, it takes away the pleasure, but sometimes I’m just bloody minded and determined to finish by whatever means.

    1. Thanks for, once again, putting your head above the parapet. Hope you are pleased to see so many complimentary comments.

  30. It has to be a wavelength thing because I never struggle with RayT like I do with some setters and others do with him, I’m not saying it was easy but I didn’t find THAT difficult. Favourite 28a for obvious reasons. Many thanks to RayT and Kath.

  31. Enjoyed that one. Did all of it bar 15d over a bacon roll and a couple of cups of tea this morning. Getting on for eight and a half hours later the elusive (and now obvious) answer has just dawned on me!

  32. I am getting better at these, I got on 75% of the clues wavelength but that final section pushed me well into 3* time,
    On solving you get to appreciate how well constructed the clues are.
    3*/4* favs 1ac &16d
    Many thanks to RayT & to Kath for her review & direction on that final section.

  33. What a joy to tease out. Thanks to RayT for the workout and to Kath for the explanations.

  34. An interesting set of comments for this crossword I must say! Me? I loved it; I love having my brain turned inside out as Mr T normally manages to do. 15a was my top clue.
    Thanks to Ray T, and to Kath for her excellent review.

  35. Obtained yesterday (Fri) morning and solved in the afternoon, this was a fine puzzle from Ray T. Good clues, a decent challenge with some welcome head-scratching and a very enjoyable solve. 3* / 4*

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