DT 29229 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

DT 29229

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29229

Hints and tips by Gepetto

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Thanks to Kath for standing in for me last week when I was very busy. We have blue skies here in Downtown L I where the highlight of the weekend was watching the sale of a customer’s late uncle’s Aston martin DB5 at Bonhams Auction House in London. The hammer fell at £2,100,000. That is a lot of money to spend on a car.

Today’s puzzler has generously given us the letter A four times and set seven anagrams. There didn’t seem to be any level of difficulty in this puzzle. 12 across did make me laugh though

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Of a very high standard, ‘boron’ clued cryptically (6,4)
CORDON BLEU: Anagram (cryptically) of BORON CLUED. The answer refers to cooking to a very high standard. As I have said before, cooking is only warming things up

6a    Female friend returned in a panic (4)
FLAP: The abbreviation for female is followed by the reverse of a three-letter chum

9a    Garden pest a Greek character named, ultimately (5)
APHID: The letter A from the clue is followed by the twenty-first letter of the Greek alphabet. The last (ultimate) letter of the word named finishes things off

10a    Cooking in ‘lite’ was something a model needed to watch, perhaps (9)
WAISTLINE: Anagram (cooking) of IN LITE WAS

12a    One in a tub, or one in a crate? (7)
AVIATOR: Begin with the Letter A from the clue. End with the word OR from the clue. In between these place a large tank or tub used to hold liquid in real life but which holds the letter that looks like the number one for the purposes of this clue. The crate is an aeroplane

13a    Religious people spending hour in Asian river (5)
INDUS: A group of religious people need to shed (spending) their initial letter H (hour) to reveal an Asian river

15a    Pray there’s melted cheese on first of burgers (7)
BESEECH: An anagram (melted) of CHEESE follows the first letter of the word burgers

16a    A curse, male having girl’s name (7)
MALISON: A girl’s name follows the abbreviation for Male. Which girls name? There are a lot to choose from so narrow your choice to those beginning with a vowel

18a    One ignited inside target, recalled troops (7)
MILITIA: The letter that looks like the number one together with a synonym of ignited sit inside the reversal (recalled) of an intention

20a    Basket orphan girl found after parking next to river (7)
PANNIER: Begin with the abbreviation for parking. Add the little orphan girl from a musical. Add the abbreviation for river

21a    Writer retired by a lake in Asian republic (5)
NEPAL: Reverse (retired) a writing implement. Add the letter A from the clue and the abbreviation for lake. This is third letter A from the clue that the setter has given us.

23a    Very strong colour applied round rear of prison (7)
VIOLENT: A bluish purple colour sits comfortably around the last letter of the word prison

25a    Restaurant using money I put in before (9)
BRASSERIE: A slang term for money is followed by the poetic term for before which contains the letter I

26a    In particular, alpha male in ‘Lord of the Flies’ (5)
RALPH: The answer lies hidden within the words of the clue as indicated by the word in.

27a    Happening briefly in flat (4)
EVEN: A happening or occurrence needs its final letter removing

28a    Partner improved, to an extent (6,4)
BETTER HALF: A synonym of the word improved is followed by a measurement to reveal a term used to refer to one’s wife or husband


1d    Talk about lid (4)
CHAT: A Greek abbreviation for about is followed by a lid one wears on one’s head

2d    Tries to disrupt genuine trial (9)
REHEARSAL: A word meaning tries as a judge might do in a court of law is surrounded by a word meaning genuine

3d    Mature views broadcast about hackneyed folk tales stories [edited] (3,5,5)
OLD WIVES’ TALES: Begin with a word meaning mature or aged. Now find a word meaning hackneyed. Surround the word meaning hackneyed with an anagram (broadcast) of VIEWS.

4d    Charm of extremely bizarre sorceress (7)
BEWITCH: Use the first and last letters of the word bizarre. Add a sorceress. One from a coven will do very nicely thank you

5d    Witty remark, gem, pair in convulsions (7)
EPIGRAM: Anagram (in convulsions) of GEM PAIR

7d    Landowner in place of seclusion with daughter (5)
LAIRD: Begin with a secret or private place in which a person seeks concealment or seclusion. Add the abbreviation for daughter

8d    Friendly comment with variety of ales found in larder (10)
PLEASANTRY: Place an anagram (variety) of ALES inside another word for a larder

11d    Experimentation may bring fear across Rhode Island (American state) (5,3,5)
TRIAL AND ERROR: A synonym of fear sits around the Initials of Rhode Island. The abbreviation for America and what a state is a mass of. I entered this answer without reading the clue as the checkers made the solution obvious. I’m not sure I have the parsing correct. Please enlighten me if you see it differently

14d    Very bad, a mobile ban all over the place (10)
ABOMINABLE: Anagram (all over the place) of A MOBILE BAN

17d    Trace calls in it, improperly (9)
SCINTILLA: Anagram (improperly) of CALLS IN IT

19d    Hostile, a rhyme about Germany (7)
ADVERSE: Begin with the letter A from the clue. Add the IVA letter for Germany. Add a piece of poetry.

20d    Backing international dissent (7)
PROTEST: Begin with a prefix meaning in favour of or supporting. Add an international contest between two sports teams

22d    Tree in plot on base (5)
PLANE: Start with an idea or strategy. Add the letter E indicated by the word base. Using Base to clue the letter E is a recent ploy. Maybe this will explain. The natural logarithm of a number is its logarithm to the base of the mathematical constant e, where e is an irrational and transcendental number approximately equal to 2.718281828459

24d    Professional in kitchen given revolutionary fine (4)
CHEF: The person who does the warming up in the kitchen can be found by placing the abbreviation for fine after Crosswordland’s overworked revolutionary.

Quickie Puns

Top line: Homer+loan=Home Alone

Bottom: knew+ditty=nudity


83 comments on “DT 29229

  1. I found this to be a very straightforward Monday morning offering. All completed in */** time.

    I didn’t know the word at 16a and I really can’t work out what the setter was trying to do with 3d, where part of the answer seems to be in the clue. Perhaps the online version has a different clue.

    Many thanks to all.

    1. That was the only thing that annoyed me about this puzzle – 3d. A cardinal rule is that a word from the answer shouldn’t appear in the clue, at least not directly. A small slip from the compiler and editor, I suppose. Thanks to the setter and Gepetto.

      1. It has been a while since you commented and back then you had the alias Piglet

        Welcome back

        1. Ah, thanks, both.

          For the benefit of anybody else wondering what’s going on, the crossword on the website now has ‘stories’ as the final word of 3d.

          Earlier today, it had a different word there — specifically a word that appears in the answer.

          1. Finished this about half an hour ago. I’m very glad to see I wasn’t the only one to notice the setter’s lapse in 3d.

  2. A pretty straightforward start to the solving week with no real hold ups. I’m not sure about 3d, having part of the solution quoted in the clue, but I suppose it works although perhaps an alternative might have been sought? I liked 20d for its brevity.

    Thanks to the double punner and MP.

  3. This was a gentle start to the week 16a being a new word for me. Thanks to the Setter and for the review.

  4. It’s always nice to rattle off a puzzle completely unaided, but having said that, this one was very solver friendly indeed.
    I was slightly surprised that the third word of 3d appears in the definition of the clue??. Also, I don’t think that 2d quite works, it may be me but the setter has clued a noun using a verb? Other than these a pleasant but unremarkable Monday morning puzzle.
    Thanks to the setter and to MP (who will not have endeared himself to the “cooks” with his hint for 24d!) for his usual witty review.

      1. Sorry it is me, brainstorm as I was thinking that “tries” (as in rehearses) was the definition but obviously on further looking at it the wordplay wouldn’t work. Evidently neither my comment nor my thinking wasn’t “of a very high standard”. Apologies to the setter too.

  5. Nice Monday morning stroll through with the exception of 3d (The online clue is the same) I held off putting it in because having part of the answer in the clue didn’t seem right. 16a new to me also. Thanks Miffypops I now see why 22d is what it is but you lost me half way through what e actually is!!!!

    1. Ditto on 16a and 3d — it seemed like it should be that, but I presumed I was falling for a trap, so left it.

      I also didn’t know 13a (but, as with 16a, worked it out from the wordplay and checkers, so no complaints there).

      26a felt too much like general knowledge to me — either too easy (if you’ve read the book, or (as in my case) when you look it up), or too hard if you haven’t (and don’t). But I really liked Chris Lancaster’s Peter(sand)lee clue that so many others complained about a few months ago, so I don’t feel like I’m in a great position to object about general knowledge …

      I nearly completely by myself, but needed Gepetto’s hint for 1a (I was trying to fit in ‘bred’ as the second word, as in ‘well bred’ or ‘thoroughbred’).

      So thank you to the puppeteer, and the setter. After a period of life getting in the way (the general election hustings I’d agreed to chair ending up rather too soon after the charity quiz I’d agreed to set!), this is the first crossword I’ve done in a few weeks, and it was at a lovely level to get back into solving.

      1. I don’t think you actually need the general knowledge to get 26a. Once you have worked out from the wordplay that it’s a lurker you just need to look for the hidden name. For what it’s worth I can’t remember offhand the names of the characters in the book but spotted it easily.

        1. Fair point, Wanda. I need to be better at spotting lurkers!

          Though the converse still applies: if you have the general knowledge, the clue is immediately obvious and not at all cryptic.

    2. A simple way to think of e (after the great mathematician Euler), is that is the rate at which things grow in nature, or any continuous growth such as bank interest). If you put a £100 into Lloyds bank you don’t want them to pay you interest at the end of that year. At 10% you will only get £110. But if you ask for the interest at the end of each month – then you will get more after 12 consecutive months. If you ask for interest to be paid daily then you will get even more. Interest calculated at every second even more. Where does all this end? If interest is paid continuously then the maximum is e or 2.71828… times your original investment. So it represents continuous growth rather that growth in steps – which is why we use it every day in physics and engineering. Not sure that helps much!

  6. Not too much trouble here a 1*\3* for me. I agree with the parsing of 11D, which irritated at first, but then I realised that this was quite a clever clue so takes the top spot today. Thanks to MP and the setter for a gentle start to the week.

  7. Not too much trouble experienced here either. Variations on 27a seem to be appearing once or twice a day in the crosswords but then if you are stuck in a corner with those checking letters, there can’t be that many words you can use and the easiest way to clue this one is …

    I’d be interested to know whether we have the same setter every Monday or whether there is more than one, all using the double quick pun option

    Thanks to whoever set it and to the man with multiple personalities

    1. Hi CS – how did you do on Saturday? The reason that our reviewer has a new alias today is probably because he can’t spell Pinoakio – I mean, Pinnoakeo – sorry, Pinnokeyo – dammit, the puppet whose nose grows when he tells a lie.

      1. I came 45th out of 90 in my heat and then was 52nd out of 80 in the semi-final, which definitely wasn’t my best performance ever It also means that I have to pay to enter next year. I always said that if I had to pay again, I’d stop entering, but I don’t think I can miss the 50th Anniversary Championships

  8. An easy start to the week. Can anybody explain the connection between Malison and a curse? Worked out the answer the M and Alison being obvious enough but still don’t understand the answer.

  9. A fairly gentle stroll in Crosswordland apart from 3d. As has been said before – it just doesn’t work for me, but maybe there’s a subtlety about it that my brain can’t comprehend (or maybe it’s just a mistake) :cool: No particular stand out favourite today.

    Thanks to our Mr Ron and to the Downtown LI landlord for their input.

  10. This was the fastest I have ever completed a DT cryptic. Agree with everyone about 3d – maybe we will get an explanation?

  11. I agree with other correspondents about the GK content in 26a and the wording of 3d. However, I quite liked 28a. My rating was **/** for this typically Mondayish puzzle. Thanks to the setter and to the puppet-maker

  12. Today’s walk in the park was carefree but all too short-lived. Non-geek that I am meant 12a was solved ignoring “one in a crate”. I’m with all those casting aspersions on the reoccurrence of tales in 3d. The dodgy “synonym” for larder as per 8d seems to have made several recent appearances. Thank you Mysteron and MP.

    1. Why you call ‘pantry’ and ‘larder’ a dodgy synonym? Suspect it might be something to do with whether or not one has a butler – really not sure otherwise!!

      1. Perhaps the two terms have over the years become almost synonymous but, to me, larder was a cool room in which food was stored whereas the pantry was in the main used for storing crockery (dreadful word!), silverware and glassware and where beverages were dispensed particularly by butlers, as you say!

        1. T’other way round, claims the OED: ‘pantry’ comes from the French word for bread, and was originally for storing provisions; then it was extended to be used for storing china, the latter also as ‘Butler’s pantry’.

          In 1980s Yorkshire both my parents’ and grandma’s kitchens had a pantry — a tiny side-room, with shelves of food on it. So ‘larder’ = ‘pantry’ seems fine to me.

      2. Sorry Kath just read your comment after I had made an almost identical one. Great minds.. or something.

    2. Why is pantry a dodgy synonym for larder? Where I come from they are interchangeable but larder is posher!

  13. Along with everyone else I enjoyed sailing through this one , unlike both Saturday and Sunday which were stinkers. However I did manage to finish them both on my own, though far too late in the day to put in a comment. Sometimes I sleep on the problem and the following morning the answer springs to mind! Thanks to all as usual.

    1. It’s never too late to add a comment! I often don’t complete a crossword till the following day; it’d be lovely to see more comments from other stragglers.

      And even some speedy solvers get email notifications of new comments, whenever they’re made.

  14. A good puzzle to start the week but I agree with comments regarding 3d. I appreciate the “mature views” but feel the final word of the clue should have been “stories”. My COTD is 11d, which took me a while to figure out but made eminent sense once I had done so.

    Grateful thanks to the setter and to Gepetto for the excellent hints.

  15. I also thought that there was an editorial oversight in the clueing of 3d.

    Ps. Sorry to be pedantic but … there’s a misplaced apostrophe in the hidden solution.

    Thanks to today’s setter and the Puppet Master.

  16. */**. This was the easiest puzzle of the year. 12a was my favourite as per Pinocchio’s dad. I had the same reservations as most re 3d. Thanks to the setter and MP.

  17. 3d is definitely an error. I happened to know 26a as it was one of the few books I have read and studied at school – still not keen on the reference
    Many thanks to the Double-punmeister and to the puller of strings and pints

  18. Not a lot to add here, 16a had to be and an investigoogle confirmed it. I did tut at 3d, a rookie here would have been pulled up for using a word in the answer in the clue. The revolutionary in 24d comes around too often. Overall I did enjoy it though.
    20a 25a and 4d get on my podium today. Thanks to Gepetto and setter.

  19. A couple of new words in 16a and 17d which is good, but they were not a problem to work out from the wordplay followed by a trip to the BRB.
    Nice easy one today after three tough ones Friday to Sunday, so a pleasant relief with some nice clues…fav 26a as I loved the book as a nipper.
    Thanks MP and Mr.Ron

      1. Most common tree found on the streets of London which many people are allergic to. Loved the explanation for the Base in the clue, absolute gobblegook!

        1. Comment @#5 from Chris Rich is a good explanation (thanks Chris)
          *edit* Oh, that didn’t help then, sorry

  20. I loved this. I felt it was different from usual.
    It went in very quickly but I had a few chances to think on the way.
    No help needed but thanks to MF and setter.
    I’m about to ditch my telegraph subscription as the stuttering puzzles have spoilt my enjoyment in the main.
    I’ve emailed the, twice but no reply.
    I might try the puzzle club and see if it’s any better or I might teach myself to do the one in the i

    1. The ‘stuttering’ puzzles are doing nothing for my enjoyment either. Every day I start with the hope that the problem will be sorted… but no. I just wish CL or somebody from the DT would give us a clue as to what’s happening!

  21. Good fun today and very friendly.
    16a was a new word but I had all the checkers so what else could it be?
    I needed the hints to get why 13a was right, I should have got that.
    Lots to like, hard to choose a fave, but 12a and 8d were aaahs while solving.
    Thanks to our setter and to Gepetto for his review.

    1. OMG!! Just seen to volcano in NZ. I hope there is no more loss of life, nor anywhere close to our two EnZedders. Please check in and let us know you’re all right.

      1. Yes, Merusa – I’ve been thinking about them too, and, of course, everyone involved. I’m sure they will check in – the volcano is quite a long way north of them on North Island.
        I’m sure that I can speak for all of us on this blog when I say we’re thinking of them over there.

        1. For some reason I thought they were around Wellington area. So glad to know they’re not on north island.

          1. They are around Wellington – about a couple of hours ‘upwards’ from there ie North for those less directionally challenged than I am. Wellington is at the bottom of North Island. I will email them – it really is a long way from where they live and they’re probably busy with ‘aval’/pre-Christmas stuff.

          2. I’ve just had an email from the Kiwis – they and their family are fine – I’m sure we’ll hear more from them on Wednesday when it’s their day for doing the hints.

            1. Phew … Ta muchly! That is called “service”. Of course, NZ isn’t THAT small, but it seemed such a huge catastrophe I imagined there would be volcanic ash swirling around for quite a distance. Even though “our” people are safe, I feel so sorry for those affected.

  22. Thanks to the setter and Miffypops for the review and hints. A very gentle and fun start to the week. Had never heard of 16a, but the wordplay was straightforward. As for 3d I had the newspaper version, so I thought it was an error, so went for “tales” as the last word, even though it was in the clue. Needed the hints to parse it though. Favourite was 12a. Was 1*/3* for me.

  23. No great problems today apart from 16a which was new to me although is in the BRB. However the odds on me remembering it are very low! One of those where by and large you could ignore the wordplay once you had found the definition.
    Thx to all

  24. My thoughts today very much as all of those above. Thanks to the setter and the puppeteer.
    On another note, I’ve not commented in a while as I’ve switched from the digital version of the paper to the puzzles site. I’m finding it very frustrating on my iPad. Does anybody else use that format and if so any hints as to how to make it more user friendly? The grid is huge, i can only see a couple of clues at a time and have to collapse the keyboard in order to see them. I threw in the towel at the weekend as went back to resume the puzzle only to find it doesn’t save. Any help much appreciated it 😊

  25. I still can’t see the reasoning behind 28a. Might work for half better but not the other way round. Or maybe better by half. A bit lost here.
    Noticed the slip up in 3d too.
    Thanks to the Monday setter and to Gepetto for the review.
    My auto correct tried to write Gazette.

    1. Hello JLC
      This is something that is a common expression in English – it means your partner, husband, wife, or to be completely PC, (which, as you know, I’m not) ‘significant other’!

  26. What a nice start to the week with a very enjoyable puzzle, especially after the few stinkers we’ve had recently. I too had never heard of 16a or 17d, and didn’t understand 12a until I checked the hints. I tried and tried to fit ‘born’ or ‘bred’ as the second word of 1a.
    Hey ho got there in the end.
    Thanks to Gepetto and setter.

  27. Another nice easy start to the week 😃 **/*** Favourites 21a & 8d and a new word (archaic I am told) at 16a 😳 I thought 28a quite clever j-lc just one of the myriad of phrase that Brits have for their partners ergo: Old Dutch, Her indoors, She who must be obeyed 😬 etc, etc……..

  28. A gentle start to the week with nothing to scare the horses. 16a was one I had to dredge up but that was it. 28a was probably my favourite.
    Thanks to the setter, and to the man with many faces for the review.

  29. I rarely claim an easy puzzle in the DT, but this one certainly fell into that category. I thought something was up with 3d, the third word of the answer being in the clue. I see MP edited this word in his hint.
    * (first time ever) /***. Thanks to setter and to MP.

  30. It seems it has all been said,,, but it’s still an enjoyable way to fill in time with a coffee!
    Thanks to setter & MP

  31. Phew, that was certainly easier than Saturday’s stinker. I need gentle puzzles at this time of year to keep the stress levels down. I’m not in the least bit worried about my 10a. I’ll save that for the New Year. Many thanks setter and Miffypops.

  32. I agree with everyone else.
    But whenever I want to say that it was really simple I think about how someone who had just managed to complete their first ever cryptic crossword and then come here would feel. It would put them off, I think. We should encourage newer solvers and commenters. Rant over . . .
    Yes – straightforward and yes, enjoyable.
    I don’t think I’ve met 16a before or I’ve forgotten it, which is probably more likely.
    Quite a few anagrams today – I don’t mind – I like them.
    I liked 20a (how could I not) and 4d.
    Thanks to Mr Two Pun Monday and to MP with his friend Gepetto.

  33. Very pleasant. For once everyone seems to be in the same mage so far as comments go. My last one it was 1a even with all the checkers. I was also trying to find a word to go with bred. Always the case when the answer is a foreign word even when you know the word very well. Only other issue was 3d as, apart from what we now know to be an error, I could not parse. Reason being that wives is an anagram if views and I never thought of using the S at the end of the answer. Therefore I was left with tales to parse rather than stale. Thanks setter and MP for letting me know where the “hackneyed” fits in.

  34. Just me then that found this difficult. Most of it went in ok but the hard ones were hard, perhaps my late start and a surfeit of beer and port during my skittles team Christmas dinner didn’t help. I got there in the end though, many thanks to all concerned.

  35. Done this one late. Only missed out on 12a as didn’t know a crate was a plane🤷‍♂️

Comments are closed.