DT 29238 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29238

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29238

Hints and tips by pommers

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Hola from the Vega Baja where things continue to improve as we now have all three bedrooms completely fettled. Now to tackle the lounge but that will have to wait until after Christmas as we’re off to Benidorm for a few days R&R on Monday.

As to the crossword I’m pretty sure it’s a RayT and I thought it mostly at the easier end of his spectrum with some real gimmes.  However, in amongst the fairly straightforward majority of clues there are a handful of tricky little rascals, and what was for me a new word, so it has managed to avoid the shame of only getting a * rating.  I’m sure a lot of you will disagree and it will be interesting to see what you made 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           They manage change half-heartedly (6)
COPERS:  These people manage to get by.  You need a word for change as in small coins and remove one of the double letter from the middle (half-heartedly).  I needed the checkers before the penny dropped on this one.

4a           Considered well upset seeing drunk outside (8)
SUPPOSED:  Start with a two letter word which can mean well and reverse it (upset). Around it (outside) put a word meaning drunk or drank.

9a           Double short knocked back creates complaint (6)
MURMUR:  Take a short as in a spirit, not gin but the other common one, and double it.  Then reverse the lot (knocked back).

10a         Liberal low-down love god embraces you say (8)
GENEROUS:  Low-down here is information.  Take another slang term for info and follow it with the Greek god of love.  Into this you need to insert (embraces) the letter which sounds like (say) the word you.

12a         Parlour game had races, unfortunately (8)
CHARADES:  Anagram (unfortunately) of HAD RACES.

13a         Elderly beginning to adore absorbing new programme (6)
AGENDA:  A word for elderly followed by an A (beginning to Adore) placed around (absorbing) an N(ew).

15a         Humiliation as member rants drunkenly (13)
EMBARRASSMENT:  Anagram (drunkenly) of AS MEMBER RANTS.  I like the surface of this one.  For some reason it makes me think of parliament.

18a         Obstinacy namely involves terribly stern caning (13)
INTRANSIGENCE:  Two letters for namely or that is placed around (involves) an anagram (terribly) of STERN CANING.

22a         Catch he-men cavorting around top of stage (6)
ENMESH:  Anagram (cavorting) of HE MEN placed around an S (top of Stage).   Sorry girls but I couldn’t find a suitable picture of cavorting he-men.

24a         Feeling much better? (8)
ARROGANT:  This word is an adjective which describes a person who feels they are much better in every way than everyone else.  This was my last one in and took ages before the penny dropped.  You probably heard the clang!

26a         Old boy’s always purchasing ‘right’ Spectator (8)
OBSERVER:  The usual old boy, don’t forget the ‘s, followed by a word meaning always with an R(ight) inserted (purchasing).

27a         United scored wasting time (6)
ALLIED:  A word for scored or added up without its T (wasting Time).

28a         Corrupt worthy accepts promotion (8)
DECADENT:  Take a word meaning worthy or respectable (6) and insert (accepts) some promotional material (2).

29a         Empty Anglican Church following American custom (6)
USANCE:  Empty Anglican is AN (all middle letters removed).  Follow this with the usual Church of England and put it all after (following) the usual American to get an obsolete word meaning custom or usage.  Never come across this word  before but the cluing is quite clear.


1d           Clowns often making idiotic comments say, originally (6)
COMICS:  First letters (originally) of the first six words.  You can rely on RayT to include a first letters clue.

2d           Solid forward covering player with Everton’s wingers (9)
PERMANENT:  A word meaning forward or cheeky placed around (covering) a player and EN (EvertoN’s wingers).

3d           Republican centre supporter brought up nonsense (7)
RHUBARB: R(epublican) followed by a three letter word meaning centre or core and a reversal (brought up in a down clue) of the usual lady’s chest supporter.

5d           Employs American round outskirts of Seattle (4)
USES:  Two letters for American placed around SE (outskirts of SeattlE).  Told you a lot of these were pretty straightforward.

6d           Swears, parking, left on rims (7)
PLEDGES:  P(arking) and L(eft) followed by (on in a down clue) some rims or borders.

7d           Faint shortly overcoming wife (5)
SWOON:  A word meaning shortly or anon put around (overcoming) a W(ife)

8d           Horror of nudist as teacher (8)
DISTASTE:  A lurker.  It’s hidden in (of) nudist as teacher.

11d         Overpower some trespasser perhaps, getting upended (7)
REPRESS:  Another lurker but this time it’s backwards (getting upended in a down clue).  It’s hidden in (some) trespasser perhaps.

14d         Democrat winds up giving threats (7)
DANGERS:  D(emocrat) followed by a word meaning winds up as in annoys.

16d         Face of First Lady almost wreathed in joy (9)
ELEVATION:  This face is the architectural term for the face of a building.  Take the first lady, the one in the Garden of Eden, and remove her last letter (almost).  Around what’s left of her put a word meaning joy.

17d         Fuel resentment with being consumed by diet (8)
FIREWOOD:  Take a word for resentment or anger and a W(ith) and put them in (consumed by) the stuff you eat (diet).  I wasn’t sure about this but Collins thesaurus lists the synonyms both ways so fair enough.

19d         Confident fool shamefaced about United (7)
ASSURED:  The usual fool and the colour your face goes when you’re shamefaced put around (about) a U(nited).

20d         Pasta heaps with last of Parmesan topping (7)
NOODLES: A word for heaps as in very many with an N (last of parmesaN) put at the start (topping in a down clue).

21d         Dog set about heavy chow (6)
STODGE:  This heavy chow isn’t a fat dog but heavy food.  It’s also an anagram (about) of DOG SET.

23d         Melody imbues pitch occasionally (5)
MUSIC:  Alternate letters (occasionally) from IMBUES PITCH.  Apropos of nothing really here’s a bit of the answer from Dire Straits . . .

25d         Check return of Queen with popular support (4)
REIN:  The two letters for the Queen reversed (return of)  followed by (with . . . support in a down clue) a word meaning popular or hip.

As usual there’s some good stuff here but stand out favourite for me was the rather splendid 24a.  Also on the podium are 1d and 27a.

Quick crossword pun:     BOW     +     NIGH     +     DULL     =     BONE IDLE

39 comments on “DT 29238

  1. I agree with Pommers, fairly routine – a 1*\2* for me. I am more used to 29A with its ‘usury root, i.e. in banking parlance rather than ‘custom’. Bit of a hmm over 1A but it’s legit although not too splendid as a word. Enjoyed several clues, including 9A. Thanks to Pommers and Ray T

  2. Enjoyed this one very much. Held up a wee while on 8d, trying to solve an anagram that wasn’t there, until the penny dropped. Nice bit of misleading by the setter..Thank you, Setter and Pommers for the blog

  3. I was well into double figures on the first read through, which I’m pretty sure is unheard of for me with a Ray T. It then got a whole lot trickier, and frustratingly I needed a couple of hints in the SE to complete. Still, very enjoyable with lots of excellent clues. I particularly liked 3d as it’s such a great word and the clue is pure Mr T, 8d and the very clever and misleading 13a.
    Many thanks to Mr T and to Pommers for a great blog. (Your hint for 18a needs a tweek)

  4. 2*/4*. This was definitely a RayT offering with all his usual hallmarks, and very enjoyable it was too at the easier end of his spectrum. I was surprised to see American = US being used twice.

    The SE corner took a bit more thought than the other three quarters with 24a my last one in and favourite.

    Many thanks to RayT and to pommers.

  5. I’d never heard of 29a either but it had to be. I was in two minds about 6 d. I thought it could have been sledges (parking left) as in the abuse cricketers give their opposing side. However, as that didn’t fit with 4a, the answer had to be pledges which works just as well. Favourite 17d.

  6. For me, not the easiest of Ray T’s as this was completed at a fast canter – 2.5*/3.5*.
    Like RD, there was a blip on my repetition radar on the repeated use of American.
    Candidates for favourite – 28a, 3d, and 20d – and the winner is 28a.
    Thanks to Ray T and pommers.

  7. I wondered if the fact that I was solving the crossword after ‘ordeal by Lidl’ may have affected my performance but as I found the puzzle in the middle of the paper which I did after this one, easier than this inside back pager, for me it was Ray T at the trickier end of his range. Enjoyable as ever, particularly as Pommers says, the splendid 24a

    Thanks to Ray T and Pommers – seasons greetings to you both (and Pommette too)

  8. This was quite hard work for me, and I almost got there, but was left with three empty answers. It was 24a, 28a and 17d that did it for me.

    Many thanks to Ray T, and Pommers for showing the way home.

  9. A most enjoyable puzzle despite my needing a few hints, which is usual for me towards the end of the week. 3a foxed me for a while but that is my fault – I should learn to write my “M”s less like “H”s. No real favourites today but I did like 26a.

    Grateful thanks to the setter and to Pommers.

  10. 29A a new word to me and like Pommers 24A was the last in & took an eternity to solve ( and that was after looking at the hint ).
    Otherwise fairly straightforward.

  11. This was not one of my favourite Cryptics but pleasant enough. 4a needed parsing – I was trying to use ‘soused’ as unaware of that synonym for drunk. Fav was 20a with 1a and 21d following on in that order. Thank you RayT and pommers.

  12. Thank goodness for the ?mark ending 24a; best clue of the lot for me, although I did struggle with 4a too. Thanks to Rayt (I don’t really know how one distinguishes one setter from another), and Pommers. 4*_4*

    1. RayT. With The Cryptic: No clue longer than eight words. Usually a reference to the queen in one of the clues. Always single word answers. Often a bit of ribaldry or innuendo.In The Quickie always single word clues.

  13. RayT. No clue longer than eight words. Usually a reference to the queen in one of the clues. Always single word answers. In The Quickie always single word clues.. often a bit of ribaldry or innuendo.

  14. There were a lot of really straightforward clues and Iearned a new word in 29a. However I could not fathom 17d and needed the hint. So thanks to Pommers, glad you are nearly there with the flood damage clean-up. My rating would be 2.5*/4* due to 17d but 10a was a great clue. So thanks to Ray T also.

  15. Solved early this morning before dashing out to deal with pre-Christmas ‘what ifs’ – always find plenty of them no matter how well I think I’ve planned!
    Found this to be at the easier end of Mr T’s spectrum although I did hesitate to enter 24a in case it was a Ray T trick – it then became my favourite.

    Devotions as always to Mr T and many thanks to Pommers for the review and the unexpected, but much appreciated, Dire Straits interlude. Enjoy your few days of R&R – think you deserve it!

  16. I would have agreed with those who thought this was on the easier side for Ray T but then I came unstuck with my last few answers.
    It felt as if there were lots of anagrams but I think it’s just that three came together in a little clump.
    I’ve never heard of 29a and can’t spell 15a but at least I know that I can’t so always check it.
    I could see that 11a was a reversed lurker but even then it took ages to spot him. :roll:
    Three of the seven words in the clue for 2d made me fear football/rugby but I was wrong!
    I liked 3, 20 and 21d and my favourite (and last answer) was 24a.
    Thanks to Ray T and to pommers.

  17. 24a was my favourite too in this fairly straightforward puzzle today.

    Many thanks and seasons greetings to RayT and pommers. Enjoy Benidorm – we took the children to Almafrá for a few days during the summer. It was actually rather a strange experience because hardly anyone wanted to talk Spanish!

  18. Thanks to Ray T and Pommers. I didn’t find that too difficult getting through most before my second coffee break. 29a new to me too but follow the clues to the answer. Only slight stumble was with 1a where I wondered if “half-heartedly” was right when I was removing the whole heart. i.e the middle letter of 7 but I suppose my heart isn’t bang in the middle of my chest either.
    20d was the last one in and the look on my colleague’s face when I shouted out “Oh Its Noodles” as he poured hot water on his pot noodle will stay in mind for a while.
    Thanks for the music too – Dire Straits are a big fave of mine.

  19. This was beyond me today, I normally have no problem with Ray-T.
    The SE corner was my undoing, no excuses, just too tricky for me. 24a was the key, I don’t think laterally enough.
    Thanks Ray-T and Pommers.

  20. Thanks to Ray T and to Pommers for the review and hints. I enjoyed this one very much, but found it very tricky. Needed the hints for 24a&8d, thought the latter was an anagram. Also needed the hints to parse 1&4a. Had not heard of 29a, but managed to get it from the wordplay. Favourite was 21d. Was 4*/3* for me.

  21. Yes, definitely friendlier RayT. I finished all but three in the SE.
    I had heard of 29a, no idea from where. Never did get 24a and 14d, and had several bung ins in the NW.
    My fave was 3d, I think given the edge because of pommers’s clip.
    Thanks to RayT and to pommers for unravelling a few.

  22. This was going very smoothly until 24a held me up until the 1a clue moment, by which time I was into 3*s for difficulty. A typically excellent Ray T puzzle which seemed to have a USA feel – we had a Republican, a Democrat, the First Lady, two Americans and the largest city of Washington State. All we needed was a winning card in bridge and a clue for impeachment! Many thanks to Ray T and Pommers.

  23. 24a last answer to solve. Good fun all the way through. Checked the word count of course.
    Thanks RayT and pommers.

  24. Although I did need three hints to finish, I am quite pleased with that, if this is indeed a Ray T puzzle, as his usually frustrate me. I also had never heard or read 29a, I kept trying to start 16d with eve, and a couple of other silly mistakes held me up. Thanks to Ray T and Pommers, an enjoyable puzzle for a cool (21c), windy and wet day here in South Florida.

  25. Evening all. My thanks to pommers for the review and to all for your comments. I’m pleased that most of you enjoyed it.


    1. Good evening, Mr T and thank you for another great puzzle.
      All the very best of wishes to you and yours for the festive season.

  26. On the whole a pleasant puzzle APART from that very tricky SE corner. I still don’t understand 24a, this upped the difficulty level to *** and very much reduced the enjoyment quotient to *. Shame because I felt it let down an otherwise good puzzle. Sometimes I think Ray T tried to be too clever.
    Thx for the hints

  27. Late to the party today having driven back from the SE in horrendous conditions. The puzzle was a lot easier than the journey, and a damn site more enjoyable. Like others, 24a was my last entry and my favourite.

    Thanks to Ray T and pommers.

  28. Really enjoyable puzzle today with a few tricky hurdles to negotiate. Like many, 24a was my last one in. But, a little head scratching and the penny dropped.
    My favourite has to be 2d with my beloved Everton getting a mention.

  29. Good Morning from sunny Brisbane. Just watching the morning news and how hot it’s going to be down south, nudging 50 degrees in some parts. My thoughts go out to the firefighters. To business: RayT never fails to disappoint. A few ‘jump outs’ but thinking outside the box is a requirement for Ray. My ‘clanger’ was 17d (along with 24a. Glad Pommers and the 2Ks has trouble there too, so I wasn’t alone). Favs: 9, 28 and 29 across; 8 and 17 down. Thanks Ray and Pommers. 🦇

  30. A few tricky ones in there that slowed me down considerably, but I enjoyed 24a and only got 29a from the wordplay, as I hadn’t seen the word before.

  31. 1a and 1d straight in. Always a good start. Rest followed smoothly until I was left with 17d 28a 24a and 21d. After a break I had another look and got 17d straightaway. This enabled me to get 28a. Then after a night’s sleep I still failed on the last two. Started looking at the hints (thank you) and got 21d as soon as started to read. Stupid of me not to spot the anagram. So simple! Unfortunately despite going through the alphabet still failed on 24a and needed the hint (thank you again). Favourites 10a and 16 and 17d. Thank you also to RayT and for dropping in.

  32. Obtained yesterday (Fri) am and solved sporadically in the afternoon. An excellent puzzle, with great clues giving a very enjoyable solve. Best of the week by far and well worthy of some very belated praise. 3* / 4*

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