DT 29232 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29232

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29232

Hints and tips by pommers

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

Hola from the Vega Baja.  Well, things have moved on a bit here.  We now have new doors on the bedrooms and bathroom and a fully functional kitchen.  The master bedroom is finished so all I have to do now is redecorate the rest of the house.  Deep joy!

Anyway, on to the crossword which I’m pretty sure is a proXimal production as it’s a pangram bar an X.  I found it at the easier end of his range and I got 10 of the acrosses on first pass. A couple held me up a bit (25a for example) so we slipped into ** time.  I’ll be interested to see what you all thought of it.

As usual the ones I liked most are in blue.  The definitions are underlined in the clues and the answers are under the “click here” buttons so don’t click on them unless you really want to see the answer.  Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a           One hating Englishman‘s old pub in a new world (10)
ANGLOPHOBE:  Start with O(ld) and the two letter abbreviation of a pub and insert them (in) into a charade of the A from the clue and N(ew) followed by a word for the world. 

6a           Meat starter of mutton introduced by resort (4)
SPAM:  M (starter of Mutton) placed after (introduced by) a type of health resort.

9a           Take courage try size down from twelve (7)
HEARTEN:  Try as in try a court case followed by a size smaller than size twelve.

10a         Dunce is entangling leads (7)
INDUCES:  Anagram (entangling) of DUNCE IS.

12a         Core of students warning: stop environmental change (13)
DEFORESTATION:  The core of students is its central two letters.  Follow these with a warning  shouted by golfers and then a stop on a railway line.

14a         Abhor husband being enthralled by gloater endlessly (6)
LOATHE:  Take the first and last letters off (endlessly) the word G(loate)R and insert (enthralled by) an H(usband) into what’s left.

15a         Comparatively nauseated when one consumes rum? On the contrary (8)
QUEASIER:  Start with a word for rum or strange and insert a word meaning when (2) and the letter that looks like a number one.

17a         Phone wife or daughter in new term (4,4)
BUZZ WORD:  A slang term for to give someone a phone call followed by W(ife), the OR from the clue and finally D(aughter).

19a         Item of furniture‘s firm support (6)
SETTEE:  A word meaning firm or hard followed by a support for a golf ball.

22a         With disapproval, European interrupts cooking of phall curry (13)
REPROACHFULLY:  An anagram (cooking) of OF PHALL CURRY with E(uropean) inserted (interrupts)..

24a         Tense about a relative’s betrayal (7)
TREASON:  T(ense) followed by two letters for about, then the A from the clue and lastly a male relative.

25a         Guest in capital of Vietnam is there regularly (7)
INVITEE:  The IN from the clue followed by the capital letter of Vietnam and then the alternate letters (regularly) from Is ThErEI spent some time trying to justify VISITOR here.  Well it starts with the capital of Vietnam and then the IS from the clue but I couldn’t get the ITOR to work, d’oh!

26a         Table not totally made skilfully (4)
DESK:  A lurker hiding in (not totally) the last two words.

27a         Soldiers circle armoured vehicles around German man (5,5)
OTHER RANKS:  These private soldiers usually turn up in crosswords as their abbreviation but this time it’s the full monty.  Take an O (circle) and then some armoured vehicles placed around the German word for mister (man) and split the result (5,5).


1d           Pain in stomach eases (4)
ACHE: Another lurker hiding in (in) the last two words.

2d           Relative‘s piano, a piano that’s upright (7)
GRANDPA:  A type of piano followed by the A from the clue and P(iano) but they’re reversed (upright in a down clue).

3d           No longer at risk having sold certain golf clubs (3,2,3,5)
OUT OF THE WOODS: If you sold some of your golf clubs, not the irons but the other ones, you might be said to be this.

4d           Empty a shed in European country (6)
HUNGRY:  Take the A out of (a shed) an eastern European country and you get a word for empty because you haven’t eaten for a while.

5d           Ecstatic catching leader of fraud in fake US bills (8)
BLISSFUL:  Insert (catching . . . in) an F (leader of Fraud) into an anagram (fake) of US BILLS.

7d           Composer docked pleasant vessel from South Island (7)
PUCCINI:  Take a word for pleasant and remove the last letter (docked) and a vessel out of which I’m currently drinking tea and reverse it all (from the south in a down clue).  After that you just need an I(sland) to get an Italian composer of operas.  Here’s a bit from Turandot.

8d           I’m upset with guards making errors (10)
MISENTRIES:  The IM from the clue reversed (upset) followed by some guards or watchmen.

11d         Don’t mention mounted trophy I’ve ordered paramour (4,1,4,4)
DRAW A VEIL OVER:  Reverse a word for a trophy (mounted), follow with an anagram (ordered) of IVE and follow that with another word for a paramour and then split the lot (4,1,4,4).

13d         Worry about American work, editor added detail (10)
ELABORATED:  The usual crosswordland word for worry placed around the American spelling of a word meaning work or toil and finally the editor.

16d         Prince redesigned court for district (8)
PRECINCT:  Anagram (redesigned) of PRINCE followed by the two letter abbreviation of court.

18d         Flies, perhaps, ones that move fast (7)
ZIPPERS:  These ones that move fast are perhaps the flies in your trousers.  These are the usual flies but I do have a pair of jeans that have buttons for the fly.

20d         Act deceitfully as sea god, keeping close to enemy (3,2,2)
TRY IT ON:  The sea god is a Greek one and the son of Poseidon.  Insert (keeping) into him a Y (close to enemY).

21d         Shortened copper post (6)
OFFICE:  This is a post as in your position at work.  Take a word for a policeman (copper) and remove his last letter (shortened).

23d         Parisian’s first person on wings of this aircraft (4)
JETS:  The first person in French followed by the outer letters (wings) of ThiS.

Some nice clues here but my podium is 18d followed by 1d and 25a.

Quick crossword pun:     WART     +     HERB     +     ERRED     =     WATER BIRD

67 comments on “DT 29232

  1. I soon realised that this one was a pangram without the X. For me it was **** for difficulty and ** for enjoyment, which wasn’t surprising as I often find proXimal’s crossword puzzles baffling and they take me far longer to complete than any other compiler on the back page. It contained the usual proXimal complement of rarely used words like 8d and 25a and was not particularly enjoyable, but thanks anyway, going on previous experience, lots of other folk will enjoy it. Thank you, Pommers, for the hints. Glad to hear that things are getting back to normal after the floods.

  2. I did not find this as relatively easy as our blogger suggests. I got held up in the NW corner, with several other clues needing some post-solve parsing. It was, however, as enjoyable as ever and rewarding to complete. Of many fine clues, I had 12a as my favourite and 15a as my last entry.

    Thanks to the X Man for a great challenge and to pommers.

  3. Ha, this one has kept me quiet for quite some while on this grey, cold & wet December morning. Some superb clues and much to enjoy, especially 11 down, which was my last in. Favourite was possibly 1a, although there were many other clues that hit the spot. For me there were a couple of fairly obscure words that I’d never normally think to use, but I have no complaint whatsoever in them appearing here. Thanks to today’s setter and to Pommers for all his efforts. A very enjoyable tussle indeed.

  4. This one did not go smoothly for me not helped by a series of interruptions for household chores , incoming phone calls , voting and chauffeuring duties . Nevertheless got there eventually .
    Not read the hints or blog yet but not one of my favourite crosswords . COTD 18D .
    Thanks to the Setter and Pommers .

  5. An enjoyable puzzle .It helped to know it was a proXimal crossword when solving 15a my last one in. The classic Monty Python in the hints brought back happy memories.

  6. I had my usual problems getting on proXimal’s wavelength and Tippex was even employed in a couple of places where my initial thoughts were incorrect. On the way to 4* difficulty for me

    Thanks to him and Pommers – glad to hear that the house is returning to ‘normal’

    1. Hi CS. I read your reference to using Tippex and I wondered if this could be of any help for your “crossword filling in”. (Erasable Rollerball Pens 0.7 mm Tip – Pack of 6 Black Refillable Friction Pen – Ezigoo – 9BL000 by Ezigoo ) I prefer them to ballpoint or pencil and I buy them from Amazon

      1. … Or alternatively I use Tipp-Ex Shake’n Squeeze Correction Pens 2 +1 free currently £5.18 on Amazon with free delivery for Prime members

  7. I would agree with those who disagree with pommers on degree of difficulty. After a Ray T last week and Beam on Toughie duty today, I was mentally(?) prepared for he of the X-less pangram but it still proved to be quite tricky with completion at a fast canter – ***/****.
    Candidates for favourite – 7d, 11d, and 20d – and the winner is 11d – this was my last one in and, as I had already confirmed the X-less pangram, it needed more thought than it should have done.
    Thanks to proXimal and pommers.

  8. I found this very tricky and fiendishly cunning. It took me almost twice as long as I’d normally expect to spend on a back pager, so I was somewhat deflated, not to mention surprised when I saw Pommers had only rated it 2* for difficulty. Ah well, I guess that’s why he’s doing the hints and I’m not!
    I liked 1a ( though not really that cryptic) 6a and 18d but my favourite was 17a..
    Many thanks to Proximal and to Pommers for the entertainment.

  9. I certainly didn’t find this easy, and had to come here with about 5 unfilled answers in the SW. This wasn’t helped by having pencilled ‘TRAVELS’ into 18d.

    The synonym for ‘phone’ in 17a is never in my vocabulary. Where does it come from? Phones don’t make that noise. (Well, they didn’t until mobiles had silent mode invented).

    Many thanks to Pommers and the X man.

  10. 3*/4*. I’ve said it before and I’ll probably say it again but I really like the alternating Thursdays shared by RayT and proXimal. This one was nicely challenging and great fun.

    I got held up a bit in the SW corner having initially put in “nippers” for 18d, and 8d feels like a bit of a made-up word although it is in the BRB.

    12a was my favourite with 17a & 18d also on my podium.

    Many thanks to the two small Ps.

  11. I thought that ,unlike Pommers , that this was a difficult solve today, albeit very satisfying on completion.
    Last in was 11d , one of my favourites together with 17a and 13d when the American work clicked.
    Has to be ****/****.for me.

  12. I found today’s puzzle on the tricky side, perhaps because it featured quite a lot of complex wordplay. I also tried to make visitor work for 25a, which was probably the setter’s intention. I’ll name that clue as my favourite, with 8d in second place. Thanks to proXimal for the entertainment and to pommers for the hints and tips and the Monty Python.

  13. Always makes me feel stupid when I struggle with a **, so pleased that the experts found this tricky.

  14. 2*/4* for me. Guessing who the setter might be, and a pangram minus the X, helped me with 15a.

    Many thanks to proXimal, and to pommers.

  15. **/****. For me today as wavelengths coincided. However despite the enjoyment of finishing I needed 3 bung ins to be explained. 1a, 15a and 13d. So once again I am in debt to this great blog. Favourite 12a.

  16. Took me ages and also thought I was having an off day! Or a stupid one. The answers when the penny dropped were easier than I imagined they would be, if that makes sense. Trying too hard to make sense of it. Not my wavelength at all. For Malcolm, “give me a buzz” was South London slang for “give me a call” when I was growing up more years ago than we’ll mention. Not a phrase I would use either! I liked 12a which was one of my first in.

    1. I lived in south London for six months, in 1980, but the ‘flat’ (read sh*t-hole) didn’t have a phone. I escaped back up north to civilisation, and stayed there ever since.

  17. Struggled somewhat with this one. Found it a bit harder than the hinter as did most people it would appear. It was probably because no matter how hard I tried I just could not solve 1a so had to resort to the hint which put me on the back foot a little. Didn’t like to slang term ‘buzz’ but then I dislike any slang terms in crosswords as what is slang to some people is unknown to others. All in all not my favourite puzzle probably because I tend to dislike all of proXimal’s offerings.
    Thx for the hints

  18. Almost a Toughie!

    But I always enjoy this compiler’s puzzles … probably because of the X-Factor.

  19. Tricky indeed. I started solving this puzzle in the cold outdoors of Tennessee last night and had to come indoors due to poor progress (and mild frostbite). When I warmed up I managed to complete it but it was not solved comfortably before lights out, as Senf used to say.

    Thanks to pommers and proXimal 4*/4*

  20. ****/***. Quite difficult compared to previous puzzles this week. My favourite was 11d closely followed by 12a. Thanks to ProXimal and Pommers. Went up Grouse Mountain to get some pictures of the reindeer at Santa’s Workshop to send to the grandchildren and the snow started. Great timing.

  21. It seems most of us found this tricky except for pommers. I am no exception. A very satisfying, tricky solve. I got 17a fairly early on and that put me on pangram alert and, being a Thursday, probably minus an x, which turned out to be the case. I liked 12a and 15a amongst others.

  22. Danced across the grid a little to get this one completed – helped once I realised that our setter was talking dress rather than shoe sizes in 9a!
    Top of my pops today were the topical 12a and the humorous 18d.

    Thanks to proXimal and to Pommers – just think, you won’t have any spring-cleaning to do in 2020!

    1. Quite big feet Jane!
      By the way, do you know what the story is behind all those dead starlings on Anglesey?

      1. Given that I had a 6’5″ husband, size 12 feet didn’t seem so big!

        As far as I know, police now think they know what caused the starling deaths but are awaiting confirmation from toxicology reports.

  23. As usual, I was so way off wavelength I don’t think I solved half and got bored. That is not a complaint, after the offerings this week so far, I’m still feeling 5d. I find proXimal’s clues so convoluted, I get totally confused. Maybe my advanced age is the reason.
    Thanks anyway, proXimal and to pommers for unravelling that lot. Glad you’re beginning to get back to normal!

  24. Thanks to proXimal and to Pommers for the review and hints. Wow, that was tough, hardly had any answers on the first pass. Managed to finish eventually without the hints. I’d never heard of 8d, but the wordplay was clear. I thought 24a was very smooth, and 4d made me laugh, 18a very clever. Last in was 26a, before I had any checkers I wondered if the answer was “able”, then I noticed the lurker. Favourite was 18d. Was 4*/4 * for me. Great fun.

  25. Sorry if I misled everyone about difficulty but I really did get 10 acrosses on first pass. The ones I missed were 15,17,19 and 25. Must have just been on wavelength!

  26. Glad I’m not alone in having found this quite demanding (wonder how pommers allocates his star rating – by timing probably?). Non-golfers may probably have been challenged by three clues. 6a reminded me of childhood fare but today of course it will mean something quite different to the young. Perhaps 9a may not occur immediately to the men amongst us. 7d was a bung-in as I was too lazy to work it out. Fav was 3d . Thank you proXimal and pommers (so pleased you are making such great strides with the reparation task).

  27. Although the answer was obvious, I couldn’t parse 7d. Did like 18d.
    Glad Pommers is returning to normal. I’m impressed that he can blog for us as he repaints the house.

  28. Totally enjoyable a 2*\4.5* – done while waiting at the docs for my overpriced testosterone injections. So put some cheer into a drab weather day. Liked many, 7D 8D 20D as favourites.

    Thanks to all

    1. You should take Campbell and his band of wretches for said injections.
      While you’re at it, take Pellegrini and his motley crew with you.

  29. Glad that I am not alone in finding this very difficult.Needed lots of help to get there but with that got there in the end.Some great clues and even better hints.Thankyou.

  30. I found this the trickiest of the week by some margin. A good cerebral workout. My gratitude to both the Setter and to the Reviewer.

  31. What a struggle !
    Had to use the hint for 1a and took forever to get the rest.
    Not my cup of tea at all, I’m afraid.

    Thanks to Pommers for the hints.

  32. Had I realised earlier that it was a Proximal puzzle I would have completed sooner as 15a was my last one in, and I needed the extra hint too. 4*_4* from me. Thanks all.

  33. We got excited when we saw NZ’s largest island in the clue for 7d so that has to be our favourite. Thoroughly enjoyable solve that kept us amused all the way through. It seems to have taken us longer to complete than pommers spent on it but no problem with that.
    Thanks proXimal and pommers.

  34. Great sense of achievement to finally finish this unaided, only thanks to the foul weather keeping me indoors all day.
    This was more like a light Toughie than a backpager, perhaps that’s what Thursday’s are supposed to be.
    Thanks Proximal and Pommers, the stars are very subjective, the Times crossword champion would probably given this 1 star!

  35. I am tempted to agree that this was a little harder than the rating suggests but it was only 7 and 11d that really needed a nudge from the hints. I was also tempted to “settle” on a northern piece of furniture until I couldn’t find the “support”. Knowing it was an Xless pangram helped too.
    Thanks to Pommers and ProXimal.
    I liked Jepi’s comment too and although I wouldn’t presume to ask anyones voting intentions I do wonder how ProXimal made his mark.

  36. Solved looking out at the sea in Lynmouth. Golly Bongs. That was a stinker. I needed to write out the anagram at 22 even with four checkers. Thanks to ProXimal for the fight and to Pommers for the first word of 17 across. And the rest of his blog. Now for the Beam Toughie while I wait for the sainted one

  37. Quite a tricky one as most on the blog seem to think. I did resort to the hints on a number of occasions to help me finish it. However, there were some delightful clues that lightened the mood such as 11d and 23d.

    Thanks to the setter and to Pommers for the great hints.

  38. This took me ages to complete! Was I deflated? Nah, it was a great crossword, I didn’t mind how long it took.
    18d was my favourite.
    Thanks to the X-man, and to pommers for the review. Well done on the refurb by the way.

  39. Enjoyed that, though I I thought more of a *** than a **. 18d made me smile and I liked 20d too. Came within a hair’s breadth of falling for the clever misdirection in 26d

  40. Thanks to pommers for the review and to commenters for comments. I did write an X in a box today, for once — but I wasn’t going under the name proXimal for that one.

  41. Well that was a struggle, a lot of help needed today. I never recognise when it’s a pangram or the different compilers, and not sure it would help me anyway. Oh well, I’ll plod on and hope I improve with time.
    Thanks to the setter and the pommers.

  42. I am agreeing with fellow bloggers and not quite as experienced as Pommers,,, always find I am running up and down the wavelength tuner to get what proXimal is after. A few clues just stopped me in my tracks, with 15ac & 25ac really holding me dead stop.
    Thanks to proXimal for a real tester & Pommers for review & guidance

  43. Having done well with the last ProXimal offering, thought I had got on his wavelength. However today disproved that theory, and for me was high on difficulty on low on enjoyment. I too fell into the visitor trap, trying to make it work. And I have never run across 8d as a word, so something learnt today.

    Glad to hear the Pommers household is getting back to normal after the flood. Hopefully better than ever when finished.

    Wondering what is happening at the polls today, and anxious to see who gets the keys to number 10 next.

      1. Your scared, Merusa?? Imagine what it’s like having to be governed by the choice we have been offered today? It’s like having to choose between supporting West Ham or Crystal Palace.

  44. I have to admit defeat, ProXimal got me. So hats off. I had a bit of trouble in the SE corner. 11a threw me too. Not sure about the alternative word for trophy🧐Thanks Pommers for setting me straight. 🦇

  45. Only a few days late in commenting on this one . . .
    I found it very difficult, verging on impossible, and never did get the first word of 11d which was just plain dim – jolly glad that I wasn’t the ‘hinty person’ – it would have done nothing for the street cred!
    Lots of good clues and very enjoyable – just very difficult.
    Thanks to proXimal and thanks and well done to pommers.

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