DT 29233 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29233

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29233

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Good morning from South Staffs on a Friday 13th which started dark and damp, but is now brighter and blustery.

I solved today’s Giovanni last night while listening to the election coverage, but was not held up by the distraction, with nothing particular to hold me up, though the cryptic definition at 16a was my last one in,

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           Material collected by the old man, socialist geared up (8)
PREPARED – A two-letter word for ‘the old man’ wrapped around the corded cloth only seen in crosswords, followed by the colour associated with socialists.

6a           Chatter with teacher before start of tutorial (6)
RABBIT – A Jewish teacher followed by the first letter of Tutorial.

9a           Plunder Mars (6)
SPOILS – Double definition: a noun for ‘plunder’; or a verb for ‘mars’ (note the false capitalisation).

10a         Insect, very large, left for doctor to get hold of (8)
MOSQUITO – Put together a very large clothing size and a verb meaning ‘left’, then wrap the abbreviation for a military doctor around the result.

Image result for mosquito

11a         Illustration of batting position (8)
INSTANCE – The description of a cricket team which is batting, followed by the position taken by a batsman waiting for the bowler.

12a         Improve group of students taking Religious Education (6)
REFORM – The acronym for Religious Education followed by a group of school students.

13a         Magazine has a few words on severe punishment (4,8)
LIFE SENTENCE – An American periodical followed by a string of words containing at least a subject and a verb.

16a         Tree experts? (12)
GENEALOGISTS – Cryptic definition of the people who research family trees.

19a         British farm just one part of the business (6)
BRANCH British followed by a large cattle farm, typically in America.

21a         Deceitful person going wrong way, boss in terminal situation (8)
RAILHEAD – Reverse (going wrong way) someone who does not tell the truth, then add another word for the person at the top of an organisation.

23a         A daughter in flight for an adventure (8)
ESCAPADE – A (from the clue) and an abbreviation for Daughter inserted into another word for flight.

24a         Girl is English, superior, and pleasant (6)
EUNICE – Put together English, the letter used to indicate upper-class or superior, and another word for ‘pleasant’.

25a         Details I missed, looking back — will get criticised (6)
SLATED – Reverse (looking back) DETA(i)LS with the I missed out.

26a         One with a will to help others succeed? (8)
TESTATOR – Cryptic definition of someone who leaves his estate to his heirs.


2d           Express discontent about timber used for furniture (6)
REPINE – The Latin word for ‘about’ or ‘concerning’, followed by a softwood.

3d           Orient or East maybe? (5)
POINT – Double definition: the first is a verb; the second an example of a compass direction.

4d           Quiet about men losing head or feeling bitter? (9)
RESENTFUL – Another word for ‘quiet’ or ‘peaceable’ wrapped around (m)EN (from the clue) with the first letter removed.

5d           Girls less mad, having changed (7)
DAMSELS – Anagram (having changed) of LESS MAD.

6d           One getting up only a bit of the staircase (5)
RISER – This definition of the vertical part of a staircase is also someone getting out of bed.

7d           Deceive head, showing outspoken nature (9)
BLUFFNESS – To deceive, in a card game, for example, followed by a headland.

8d           Mingle in area around end of lane (8)
INTERACT – Put together IN (from the clue) and an area of land wrapped around the final letter (end) of lanE.

13d         Put off rising — importance said to be to plan for attack (3,2,4)
LIE IN WAIT – Two words meaning ‘put off rising (from bed)’ and a homophone (said) of a word for importance.

14d         Unpleasant quality of inn’s seats wobbling about (9)
NASTINESS – Anagram (wobbling about) of INN’S SEATS.

15d         Revenge of agent, gentleman turning up to get gangster? (8)
REPRISAL – A commercial agent, followed by the reverse of the title for a gentleman and the first name of the most famous Chicago gangster.

17d         Fellow with limb stuck in jacket? (7)
GARMENT – Another word for a fellow or chap wrapped around an upper limb.

18d         Cowboy to travel, carrying gold with companion (6)
GAUCHO – Put together the chemical symbol for gold and a Companion of Honour, then wrap another word for ‘travel’ around the result.

20d         Difficult to hide ring in secret store (5)
HOARD – A ring-shaped letter inserted into another word for ‘difficult’.

22d         Colouring agent used in kitchen, naturally (5)
HENNA – Hidden in the clue.

Image result for henna

The Quick Crossword pun PARR + TITIAN = PARTITION

42 comments on “DT 29233

  1. 1*/2.5*. Even after almost no sleep last night, this proved to be very straightforward and reasonably pleasant. The only two clues that gave me some pause for thought were 6a & 21a. Surprisingly for the former (but possibly related to lack of sleep), I couldn’t immediately think of a six letter word starting with “R” and ending with “T” meaning “chatter”. D’oh! :oops:

    3d was my favourite.

    Many thanks to Giovanni and DT.

  2. A fairly (**)
    straightforward solve apart from a few tricky ones in the NE. It was very enjoyable (****) and I particularly liked 10a and 16a. Thanks to Giovanni and to DT for the hints.

  3. After a particularly late night (like many I guess), I was pleased to get this done with little to delay. That being said, I’m not happy with the capitalisation of ‘Mars’ (9a), which I think is a naughty and unnecessary misdirection. I look forward to reading assessment from others.

      1. If it was, for example, ‘Planet Mars’, capitalisation would be fine. ‘Plunder Mars’ is a different ball game in my view and I maintain that ‘mars’ in this particular example should be completely lower case. Not going to lose sleep, however. 😂

      2. I agree. Surely crossword clues cant use false capitalisation like that. However it was obvious that the planet was not the Mars that was needed so the clue was not to tricky to solve.

        1. Hoofit – it’s acceptable to use false capitals for misdirection but setters cannot use proper nouns without the capital letter
          The capital letter is sometimes hidden by using it at the start of the clue – all fair play

    1. I take the view that misdirection, by nature, should be both naughty and unnecessary.
      Isn’t that the point?
      Otherwise, we’d just be stamping our little feet all over the place.

  4. I had this completed in * time – except for the whole NW corner! I would have finished in ** time if it wasn’t for 2d, a word which I am pretty sure I haven’t come across before.

    COTD is 9a, with a clever capitalisation.

    Thanks to The Don and DT

  5. Very gentle for a Friday back pager, and, perhaps, more enjoyable than usual – completed at a fast gallop – 1.5*/3.5*.
    Candidates for favourite – 16a. 24a, and 13d – and the winner is 16a.
    Thanks to DG and DT.

  6. Not much amusement, but maybe being up all night did not help. A straightforward 2*\2*. Liked 9A,11A. Thanks to Don and DT.

  7. I solved this in a far more relaxed frame of mind than yesterday so maybe that contributed to me quite enjoying this, even though Giovanni seems to speak an entirely different language to me. 2d is a word that one doesnt come across every day of the week, and I’ve never met or heard of a “girl” named 24a though I’m sure there are a few left!
    I particulary 9a, 25a and 4d.
    Many thanks to G and to Deep Threat for the entertainment (loved the clip of Steely Dan, what a unique and great voice Donald Fagen has).

    1. I always think of Eunice Grayson, who played James Bond’s girlfriend in, I think, From Russia with love, or perhaps Goldfinger. She was potting golf balls on the floor of Bond’s flat dressed in one of his shirts with no hair or false eyelash out of place on what might have been the morning after.
      Thank goodness all those hackneyed Fleming type icons are now a thing of the past.
      Except for the gadgets, though. I still like those.

      1. Eunice Gayson played Sylvia Trench in the first two Bond films. She was meant to be a series regular but was dropped after the second film. She passed away last year.

  8. No particular difficulty today despite a lack of sleep like most of you, it seems. 16a favourite today.

  9. A fun and straightforward puzzle for a groggy Friday morning. 16a was my LOI, mainly because I was temporarily illiterate and suffering from irritable vowel syndrome. It was also my co-favourite along with the beautifully brief 3d.

    Thanks to The Don and DT.

  10. For most parliamentary elections I watch results throughout the night but this time was a different matter as it seemed to be a foregone conclusion so I retired early hence I can’t blame lack of sleep for making the Giovanni challenge feel less friendly than usual. NW corner presented biggest problem not helped by 2d being a new one on me. 16a was definitely Fav. Thank you DG and DT.

  11. This is much more like a Giovanni than last Friday (not totally convinced that was a Giovanni). Only one weird word in 2d, all the rest on his gentle side I thought. I really liked 11a and 16a, both clever clues.
    A very enjoyable puzzle.
    Thx to all

  12. Not too bad today – suppose that could be down to my state of euphoria after last night.
    No particular favourite beyond laughing at RD’s slowness to solve 6a!

    Thanks to Giovanni and to DT for the blog. For some reason I thought the group were called ‘Steeleye Dan’ so I’ve learned something new today!

      1. Steely Dan was the name of a particular sex toy.
        Sorry to those of a sensitive nature – I’ve lost most of my inhibitions this morning.

    1. Mostly easily solved **/*** despite deep gloom over the election results. So pleased with the Scottish one. Scotland is a ray of hope

  13. Took a while to get going but once started got on nicely. COTD was16a, a nice bit of misdirection.
    Now to return to the Toughie which is proving intractable .

  14. Struggled a bit to get going; still half asleep after the election.
    Pleased to get 16a relatively straight away though!

  15. Nice crossword not too difficult ***/***😃 My favourites were: 16a & 17d 👍 Thanks to DT and to Giovanni

  16. I solved this very gentle Giovanni many hours ago before going out for a very nice lunch with old colleagues and so have had to look at the piece of paper again to remember the crossword. I’ll pick the ‘tree experts’ in 16a as my favourite

    Thanks to Giovanni and DT

  17. Like many, a bit bleary eyed this morning, and after being dragged round Rochester Christmas market, was happy for a gentle Friday. Odd that it has the same star rating as yesterday.
    Very enjoyable from Giovanni, I liked 26a, just needed the hint that it was a cryptic clue, rather than anything more complex.
    Thanks G. and DT

  18. I found this a little too easy for a Friday puzzle but not so easy I felt wise enough to tackle an Elgar Toughie. Thanks to Don and DT.

  19. For me, this was 3 quarters great, 1 quarter impossible.

    I’m not very keen on the use of rep and was not impressed that it is apparently OK to use capitalised Mars as a misdirection.

    2d is a new word for me.

    As someone who actively avoids cricket, I was never going to get 11a.

    So without the NW corner, it was */****. Including the NW corner, it was *****/*

    Still, as I frequently do a lot worse on a Friday, it was still a worthwhile crossword.

  20. Another a Friday, so another one I can’t finish without looking at too many hints, so stopped half way through. Thanks to Giovanni and Deep Threat, just me unable to get on wavelength.

  21. Just finished the Elgar toughie so trying to solve a Giovanni now will probably do my head in.
    I’ll catch you up later DT.
    A très bientôt.

  22. Finished this morning after picking up the newspaper late last night. Not as difficult as I expected for a Friday, or am I just getting better at them?! I agree it was fairly straightforward (I appreciate clues like 25a, so neat and tidy) but not many things to make me laugh out loud as usual. I did like the cryptic cleverness of 16a, 26a and 6d.
    7d was a new word for me.

  23. Just finished this as the NW corner has been blank for a few hours. Always learn something from DG, this time it was 2d and 21a. Hence ****/** for me. Thanks to all 😘

  24. I didn’t finish today’s back page prize. This was due to having to get the Christmas tree, put it up, test the lights (worked, thank goodness) and decorate it with family memories while carols from Classic FM played. I then had to go into town to order Christmas food and drink. I then had a quick lunch before gathering greenery from the garden to decorate the top of the dresser in the kitchen. All of this created mess, which I had to clear up.

    All of which left me with about half an hour for today’s puzzle but I did manage about three quarters. What I did see of it was most enjoyable.

    I will look at it again tomorrow.

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