DT 29242 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29242

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29242

Hints and tips by Mr K

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BD Rating  -  Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

Hello, everyone.  We have a solid puzzle today, with seven anagrams providing multiple entry points and a sprinkling of general knowledge for those who like such things. 

In the hints below most indicators are italicized and precise definitions are underlined.  Clicking on the Happy Holidays! buttons will reveal the answers.  In some hints hyperlinks provide additional explanation or background.  Clicking on a picture will enlarge it.  Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.



1a    It stops worker going on main line (7)
SEALANT:  The usual worker insect follows (going on, in an across clue) what main can be, especially in crosswordland, and the single letter for line 

5a    Quick  coffee? (7)
INSTANT:  An adjective meaning quick or immediate is also an informal name for a type of coffee that's quick to prepare 

9a    State in which a priest entertains a bishop (7)
ALABAMA:  A from the clue is followed by a Buddhist priest who contains (entertains) both A from the clue and the chess abbreviation for bishop 

10a   Is a name recollected? Not with this! (7)
AMNESIA:  An anagram (recollected) of IS A NAME.  That wordplay starts a clue that could serve in its entirety as a definition 

11a   Elves seen cooking snack (9)
ELEVENSES:  An anagram (cooking) of ELVES SEEN

12a   Parched, swallowing cold bitter (5)
ACRID:  Parched or dry containing (swallowing) the single letter for cold

13a   Coat American found behind recreational area (5)
PARKA:  An abbreviation for American following (found behind) a recreational area 

15a   Start talk having necked one drink (9)
ORIGINATE:  A verb synonym of talk containing (having necked, in its slang sense of having drunk) both the Roman one and an alcoholic drink

17a   Cigar that's brown put back in Spanish dish (9)
PANATELLA:  A synonym of brown is reversed and inserted in (put back in) a Spanish dish that often has a bit of everything in it

19a   Piano used in old-time musical drama? (5)
OPERA:  The single letter for piano is contained by (used in) the single letter for old and a long period of time

22a   Body part's temperature given approximately (5)
TORSO:  Follow the physics symbol for temperature with a (2,2) phrase meaning approximately 

23a   Mere agent prepared contract (9)
AGREEMENT:  An anagram (prepared) of MERE AGENT 

25a   Look  North? (7)
BEARING:  A double definition, with the second defined by example (…?)

26a   Smooth head shaved close (7)
AIRLESS:  An adjective describing a smooth head has its first letter removed (… shaved

27a   Say gold  piece (7)
ELEMENT:  Another double definition.  This time the first is a definition by example (say … )

28a   Power seized by wickedly secret Bond foe (7)
SPECTRE:  The physics symbol for power is contained by (seized by) an anagram (wickedly) of SECRET.  If you're wondering what the definition is about, click here for an explanation



1d    Fish brought in to eat for complete change (5-2)
SHAKE-UP:  A fish resembling the cod inserted in (brought in) a dated verb synonym of eat (more commonly used in these parts to mean drink)

2d    Unpaid player's tum area out of shape (7)
AMATEUR:  An anagram (out of shape) of TUM AREA 

3d    Top-class puzzle -- wow! (5)
AMAZE:  Link together a letter that could signify "top-class" and a navigation puzzle 

4d    One spotted in woods? Amphibians also seen by lake (9)
TOADSTOOL:  Concatenate some amphibians, a synonym of also, and the map abbreviation for lake 

5d    Single mothers and learned theologians (5)
IMAMS:  Link together the letter associated with single or one and the plural of an informal term for mother 

6d    Country moans -- rain all over the place! (3,6)
SAN MARINO:  An anagram (all over the place) of MOANS RAIN 

7d    American student leaves one country for another (7)
AUSTRIA:  The fusion of the single letter for American and the single letter signifying a student or learner is deleted from (leaves) one country to produce another sometimes confused with it

8d    Loveless pair become confused in senseless talk (7)
TWADDLE:  The number associated with a pair has the usual single letter for love deleted (loveless) and is followed by a verb meaning "become confused" 

14d   Approve increase after Henry invested in car (9)
AUTHORISE:  Increase or go up comes after a generic car in which the abbreviation for henry (the SI unit of electric inductance) has been inserted (invested)

16d   Revolutionary princess rises up behind (2,7)
IN ARREARS:  An oriental princess is reversed (revolutionary …) and followed by rises up or raises   

17d   Scooped-out potato on board fit to ingest (7)
POTABLE:  The outer letters (scooped-out…) of PotatO are followed by (on, in a down clue) a board one might eat off 

18d   English sailor hurried over to tell story (7)
NARRATE:  The single letter for English, a usual sailor, and a synonym of hurried are joined together and then reversed (over

20d   Severe storms enshrouding Chomolungma (7)
EVEREST:  The first two words of the clue are hiding (enshrouding) the answer

21d   Performer such as Garfunkel is brought to vacant theatre (7)
ARTISTE:  Cement together a first name which Garfunkel defines by example (such as …), IS from the clue, and the outer letters (vacant …) of TheatrE 

23d   Volatile Stan harbours good and bad feeling (5)
ANGST:  An anagram (volatile) of STAN contains (harbours) the abbreviation for good 

24d   Mysterious European republic on the up (5)
EERIE:  The single letter for European with the reversal (on the up) of an island republic that's in Europe 


Thanks to the setter for a pleasant solve.  I do hope that you will comment later.  I'm picking 1a as my favourite today.  Which clues did you like best?


The Quick Crossword pun:  SOCK + RAT + EASE = SOCRATES

51 comments on “DT 29242

  1. Light and very enjoyable for a damp Christmas Eve. I liked the evergreen 10a, 1a and 14d as a selection of many good clues.

    Thanks to our mystery setter and Mr K. Merry Christmas to all who contribute to and use this excellent site.

  2. A wonderful puzzle to start the Holiday! Managed it without needing the hints – for once, I had finished before it appeared on the blog and that is a first.

    My COTD is 1a with 20d a close second.

    A very Merry Christmas to the setters, bloggers and everyone involved.

  3. A nice early Christmas present with several anagrams and hardy ‘perennials’ (5A, 9A, 7D) to smooth the way to conclusion. A 1.5*\3.5* for me. Favourite probably 17D as although this word is used in our engineering designs almost daily, the desire to insert an ‘R’ as the 3rd letter is overwhelming, and all new students fall for this as 17D is almost always portable as well.
    Thanks to Mr K for the amusing hints.

    1. I’d never heard of this type of water until I worked at the Water Research Centre. Thanks to the setter and Mr K and Merry Christmas to all who contribute to this excellent blog. 🎄

      1. Belated Christmas wishes – today’s online version was a nice distraction. Thank you to the usual suspects and restful greetings to my fellow solvers.

  4. 2*/3*. This was a pleasant puzzle which was not too taxing. American = “A” appeared in both 13a & 7d (which are side by side in the paper so even I couldn’t miss the repetition). The brief but good 25a was my favourite with 1a in second place.

    Many thanks to Mr Ron and Mr K.

  5. A slightly disappointing puzzle today which was finished in a shade over * time & quicker than it took me to complete the quickie.
    Suppose I’ll now have to bang my head against the wall & have a go at the Toughie which is guaranteed to leave me feeling inadequate…….
    Happy Christmas to all

  6. A fairly straightforward puzzle (***/****) with some good double meaning clues. My favourite clue was 4d although I spent a long time wondering if it was frogspawn before I got the checkers. Thank you and Merry Christmas to Mr K and the setter. Have a good Christmas everybody.

  7. I thought this was a charming puzzle, pitched just right for the start of the holiday period.
    1d jumped out at me but I was reluctant to enter it as “sup” has never meant “eat” to me, only drink. That aside I thought there were a plethora of clues with great surfaces. Podium places go to 8d (such a great word), the imaginatively clued 15a plus the nice concise and smooth 26a.
    Many thanks to the setter and Mr K, and a Merry Christmas to all who contribute to this blog.

  8. A bit of a spurt once some checkers were in led to a satisfactory solve. Couldn’t see The whys and wherefores of 2d at all. Reading turn area instead of tum area gave two many letters for the anagram and wrong letters to boot. Thanks to the setter and to our overseas blogger. The Dada toughie is a breeze today.

  9. Very enjoyable without too many problems except for 20a as I thought Chomolungma was another name for Tibet but as it was a lurker I am led to suppose it is a native term for the answer.
    Thank to all.
    Seasons greetings to all.

  10. Happy Christmas to everyone who contributes to this great site. We love the comments as well as the hints (which were needed this morning!). Thank you very much to everyone.

  11. I’ve not read any comments yet, but my thoughts are along the lines of ‘what a nice gentle puzzle to begin the festivities with’. Good fun and nothing over complicated to addle the brain. No huge favourites, except that I rather liked 21d. Thanks to our setter and Mr K. Happy Christmas to all setters, bloggers and solvers worldwide – have a great 25th y’all.

  12. As others have said, a good and enjoyable puzzle with which to ease into Christmas…..thanks to all…

  13. A nice gentle puzzle, last one in (shamed face) was 7d: Nevermind ,it’s Christmas. Have a good one all.

  14. Our dear Editor must have had an eggnog or two at the weekend. This should have been yesterday’s puzzle and vice versa.

    I didn’t know that other meaning of eat in 1d, but it’s in the dictionary.

    Thanks to the setter and Mr. K. and a very Happy Christmas to one and all.

  15. A nice straightforward puzzle for a busy day.
    Torso seems to be making as many appearances in puzzles this last week or so as Gregg Wallace has on TV.
    All the best of the season to all!

  16. As well as the anagrams, a sprinkling of oldies but goodies helped completion at a fast gallop – **/****.
    Favourite – a toss-up between 9a and 20d – and the winner is 20d.
    Thanks to the setter and Mr K.

  17. Many thanks for a puzzle on the easier (for me) end of the scale as have many things to accomplish in order to keep Mrs 2P onside.
    Merry Christmas one and all

  18. Disappointed to realise “Nescafé” was not the correct answer to 5a but this was quickly put right.
    A much kinder puzzle than yesterday’s offering.
    Happy Christmas to one and all.

  19. Loved it! Translation: I was able to solve without any problems.
    I liked lots, I think 8d was fave, lovely word, 25a was close.
    Thanks to our setter and to Mr. K for the hints and pics – wot, no cats?
    Merry Christmas to all, good eats and happy families.

  20. All been said.Very enjoyable once a way found in with friendly anagrams.1a. Was my last in and accordingly best club.A very good and. Safe Christmas to all.

  21. A day disrupted by the awful TransPenine railway cancelling all the morning trains between Malton and York leaving us to ferry youngest daughter and family to York to catch their London train at midday. Still I have just finished a ** puzzle which was a very enjoyable solve. 25a my favourite. Season’s good wishes to all who appear here.

  22. Late on parade today as No.1 daughter had the day off from work and came over for lunch and a ‘mummy/daughter’ natter – rare for us to get the chance these days.
    Easy ride with this morning’s back-pager and no particular favourite so I’ll go with Merusa and opt for 8d for the sound of the word.

    Thanks to our setter and to Mr K – thank you for the festive season reminder of Mr Turner! Hope that you have a couple of days of R&R before getting back to the grindstone?

  23. Enjoying the snowflakes, sadly missing here in South Florida. Strangely I found this harder than yesterday’s, which I breezed through. Too many strange clues for me. 1d would have worked better had it said drink and not eat. Obviously been gone too long, as never heard of having necked meaning having drunk, in my day it was something completely different. And got stuck on 16d. Thanks to setter, and thanks to Mr K who I sorely needed today. Back to preparing for family coming for Boxing Day….

    1. I saw the snowflakes once and then they’ve gone for me! While we’re at it, we had snowflakes in Miami in January 1977, I do not ever, ever wish to see them again! In Jamaica we call that putting your “goat mouth on it”, or a guzu.

  24. Eased into this one quite well, 24d and 26a held out ’til I saw the hints. I too misread tum as turn.
    lots of geography and GK today but still fun. I can see sup as food rather than drink i.e. supper but potable is more associated with drinking water and ingest seems more suited to eating but I suppose it all goes down the same way.
    Thanks to the setter and Mr. K and seasons greetings to everyone else here today and blogs passim.

    1. Well that’s a first. Learnt a new word from the comments!

      Completed this without too much trouble mainly because of all I’ve learnt from this site over the last few years.

      I’ve thanked BD and his team before and I’ll probably do so again in the future.

      And today. Many thanks all. Can’t tell you enough how much I appreciate your efforts.

      1. From the Latin passim (“here and there, everywhere”) or in my case cribbed from Private Eye who use the phrase to refer to those who crop up in there time and time again.
        I have just bought the new Christmas issue of Pirvate Yee and the cyclops crossword is proving taxing.

  25. I’m with the “nice crossword, much better than yesterday’s” camp, and I’m pleased to see people are still complaining about it. 17d is a word completely familiar to me having designed many piping systems to transport the stuff. Favourite 8d. Many thanks the the setter and Mr K and seasons greetings to all, although I’ve spent all day thinking it was the 23rd, there’s no hope for me really.

  26. Thanks to the setter and Mr Kitty for the review and hints. What a super puzzle to start the holiday. Lots of smiles, with some original clues, such as 20d. Favourite was 3d. Was 2*/4* for me. Happy Xmas to all.

  27. Merry Christmas Everyone 🎄 Today’s was on the easier side when compared to Monday’s. Some ‘jump out’ anagrams helped fill the grid. I did need Mrs Flyingfox’s help with 11a. She grew up in England so she knew ‘elevenses’; not a term used in Oz or NZ to my knowledge. The wordplay helped with 26a but I’m not convinced about the definition. 16a took a while to parse as none of the UK princesses were working. My favourite, 28a as I’m a Bond fan, but only Sean. Thanks to the setter and Mr K

  28. Definitely a */**** for me today. Must be on the same wavelength! Thoroughly enjoyed it after a very nice family Christmas Eve. Best Wishes to everyone & thanks to Mr K & Setter.

  29. Completed this over breakfast before appearance of hints then a busy day ensued but before retiring just to say that I can just remember enjoying the puzzle which contained several clues with good surfaces such as 22a. Thanks Mysteron and MrK.
    🎄 Happy Christmas BD and Company 🎄

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