DT-29246 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29246

Hints and tips by Heathcliff

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

The Quickie and The Cryptic puzzles are both works of pure joy today. Teasingly tortuous but well worth the effort in pushing to completion. A bit like Exeter’s win over Saracens yesterday. I enjoyed the two long intersecting anagrams, both tantalising me with their refusal to reveal themselves versus my refusal to use pen and ink. Well tough tit fishface! I won in the end. Who needs pens?

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


5a    Consume small roll (7)
SWALLOW: The abbreviation for small is followed by a word meaning roll. Not a bread roll in this case which is what your setter is misdirecting you towards (nothing wrong with a little bit of food at 1 across) but the sort of roll that involves mud, mud, glorious mud

7a    By oneself in plant pinching indefinite number (5)
ALONE: The letter used in mathematical terms to denote an indefinite number sits comfortably within a plant. Not a factory or mill but an evergreen plant that grows in the ground. So which plant are we looking for? The one that goes with Vera will do nicely thank you

9a    Tell during class (6)
INFORM: The answer here needs to be split 2,4 in order to match the wordplay

10a    Plot clandestine love affair (8)
INTRIGUE: A double definition, the second being the most fun

11a    Intend to own hollow iron object (4,2,4)
HAVE IN MIND: begin with a verb meaning to possess, own or hold. Add the outer letters (hollow) of iron. Add a verb meaning to be concerned about. If you found this clue difficult join the club

13a    A street apart (4)
AWAY: Use the letter A from the clue. Add another name for a street, road, avenue, lane, drive, highway or boulevard

14a    The cartoonist sacked with little warning (2,5,6)
AT SHORT NOTICE: Anagram (sacked) of THE CARTOONIST This did not jump out at me. The pesky little blighter hid away for far too long

16a    Almost round fruit (4)
PLUM: An adjective meaning to have a full round shape needs to have its last letter removed

This Is Just To Say

By William Carlos Williams

I have eaten
the plums
that were in
the icebox
and which
you were probably
for breakfast
Forgive me
they were delicious
so sweet
and so cold

17a    Good science, science of good eating (10)
GASTRONOMY: The abbreviation for good is followed by one of the sciences. One of those studied by the greatest Englishman ever. Don’t argue. Isaac is the man.

19a    Product of a man with oils? (4,4)
MONA LISA: Anagram (product of) of A MAN with OILS.

20a    Left in order to find fortress (6)
CASTLE: The order here is a division of society. One such systems is practised by Hindus. Insert the abbreviation for left into one such system and be thankful you are not involved and be more thankful that you are not at the bottom

22a    Slightly eccentric little girl (5)
DOTTY: A word which means slightly eccentric is also a shortened (little) girls name. Which little girl. Dorothy.

23a    Peer over there soon after the start (5,2)
EARLY ON: A peer of the realm is followed by a word meaning over there


1d    Staple food in Sumer, originally, back in time (4)
SAGO: The initial letter of summer is followed by an adverb meaning previously

2d    Bird: ruddy duck (8)
FLAMINGO: A synonym of ruddy is followed by the letter that looks like the zero (duck) score in cricket

3d    Stuff about worker? Such may be classified (4,2)
WANT AD: A verb meaning to stuff surrounds a regular crosswordland insect worker. When split to suit the enumeration of the clue we have something found in the classified section of a newspaper.

4d    Leave ahead of popular new movie (7,3)
HOLIDAY INN: A paid leave of absence from work is followed by a word meaning popular and the abbreviation for new. This will provide the name of a film released in 1942

5d    Children’s favourite appearing in Stuyvesant adverts (5)
SANTA: The answer lies hidden within the words of the clue. The word in tells us so. I think this word has appeared in every crossword this week I’m not geeky enough to check and I certainly hope the geezer in the red suit doesn’t doesn’t appear in adverts for awful cigarettes

6d    Ready for action, his own epitaph prepared (4,4,5)
WHIP INTO SHAPE: Anagram (prepared) of HIS OWN EPITAPH see hint for 14 across

8d    Old coin found in East European train (7)
EDUCATE: The abbreviations for East and European are separated by an old gold coin

12d    Purgative quietly swallowed by some poorly sailors (5,5)
EPSOM SALTS: The musical notation for quietly sits within an anagram (poorly) of SOME. This is followed by a plural term for sailors

14d    There’s nothing more to be said, taking everything into account (3,4)
ALL TOLD: A slick double definition

15d    Coroner out of order — deed, at last, documented (2,6)
ON RECORD: Anagram (out of order) of CORONER which is followed by the last letter of the word deed

17d    Grandmaster tackling shrewd Welshman (6)
GWILYM: The two-letter abbreviation for grandmaster sits around a synonym of shrewd, an adjective meaning skilled at gaining an advantage, especially deceitfully.

18d    Fruit in espagnole Maxim’s served up (5)
MELON: The answer lies hidden within the words of the clue. Once again the word in tells us so. It is reversed as indicated by the words served up

21d    Extremely stark, the old Hebridean island (4)
SKYE: The outer letters of StarK are followed by an archaic way of saying the. The answer is a Hebridean Island which needs to restrict the number of motor homes visiting. About three would be a suitable number

Quickie Puns:

Top line: pull+Pitt+ear=pulpiteer (yes there is such a word) – but isn’t it more likely to be puppeteer? BD

Bottom Line: sir+tiff+eyed=certified


53 comments on “DT-29246

  1. Unfriendly layout and hard to get going, plus several clues I was hmmish about (16A, 17D) made this less than enjoyable for me. No real ‘wow’ clues so a 4*\1.5*. Thanks to Heathcliff.

    1. I too found 17D frustrating as never heard of the name. I like clues that teach me new words that I can deduce from the parsing, but all this rascal did was convince me I had the wrong answer for 22A (which I didn’t).

      1. Those of us who live in Wales,as I do,(even though I am a Scot)will have found 17D fairly simple.If you aren’t familiar with the name then I agree that it would be difficult.

  2. Like Chris Rich, I had quite a few ‘hmms’ withe the clues in this crossword, although 8d and 12d were good. It took me a long time to get going, particularly on the top half of the puzzle, so it’s 3* for difficulty. As for enjoyment, that was reduced to 2* by all the ‘hmms’. Thanks to the man on the wild and windy moors for the hints and to the compiler also.

  3. Enjoyable with a few interesting challenges, like 5a and 19a for which I needed all the checkers before the penny dropped. **/***.

    Favourite, by a short head, 12d for the construction and the image it created of ratings having had too much rum at Christmas maybe.

    Thanks to setter and MP who I am sure never has the rage of Heathcliff.

  4. I also found 17d tricky but then realised the answer would be a variation of the surname of my old headmaster, who used to be a Welsh rugby international in the 1950s. So maybe a clue for only Old Birkonians or older rugby fanatics.

  5. Solved after returning from ordeal by Sainsbury’s on a lovely sunny morning here in East Kent

    A typical cryptic from our Monday double-pun provider – it took a smidge longer to solve than some Monday setters puzzles but I did enjoy the solve

    1. Apologies to the setter and Alias Man – I forgot to thank you earlier for your parts in today’s cruciverbal entertainment

  6. Well I really enjoyed this one, a romp home in 1.5* for difficulty & 4.5* for enjoyment. Too many great clues, including laugh out loud ones (2d, 22a, among others). Quickie 1d was a new one on me with an interesting derivation, if google is to be believed. Thanks to compiler & explainer (if that’s a word).

  7. Well, I am pleased that so many have enjoyed this, because I didn’t.

    I have gone well into ***** time and I’m not half way there yet. I’ve got 6 in the SE and another handful scattered across the grid.

    I’d rather go to Sainsbury’s, CS.

    Thanks to all.

  8. 19a, 2d and 12d are on my podium this morning although in no particular order. I found this a touch trickier than we are used to on a Monday but no less enjoyable as a result. Challenging but fairly so.

    Thanks to the double-punner and MP.

  9. Nothing to write home about today but it was a largely hassle free solve. Yuck to memories of school fare with 1d. Sacked for 14a? Favs 19a and 14d. Thank you Mysteron and MP.

    1. Guess I must eat humble pie as I just noticed Mr. Collins accepts ‘sack’ in the 14a context. 🤭

  10. This was one of those pick up, put down, go for a walk type of crossword. It surrendered in the end although I needed hints for 17d.
    Thanks to setter and to Miffypops.

  11. I did not get on with this at all. I set off at quite a pace but came to a grinding halt and absolutely nothing would get be back on track. I had to resort to hints quite early. Summer being written as “Sumer” in 1d completely threw me. My enjoyment level was low with this one. I did like 2d but only because I could exchange the duck for “crossword”.

    Many thanks to the setter – I need to get on your wavelength! Also, thanks to Heathcliffe for the helpful hints.

    I did think the puns were good.

    1. I assumed that the setter was referring to Sumer, a region of Ancient Babylon, although I did briefly toy with the idea that it could have been a typo

      1. Ah, yes – Mesopotamia with its Tigris and Euphrates rivers! This was the first history lesson when I went to grammar school at the age of eleven.

        Wonder what is taught during the first lesson today? :good:

  12. I had the wrong train in my mind for 8d, and was thrown by the Welsh name in 17d. Fairly plain sailing otherwise. Many thanks setter and Miffypops. I’ve missed my usual fix of the DT crossword. Just got back this morning from spending Christmas in the Middle East. I now have suitcases to empty as well as a trip to my local supermarket for food.

  13. Thinking of the dodgy top pun in the Quickie, might it refer to someone preaching a sermon?

    Just a thought……

    1. That’s what I took into mean eventually – I did spend a lot of time trying to make it a person working with marionettes!

    2. The solution printed in Tuesday’s paper confirms that ‘pulpiteer’ was the intended pun meaning

  14. Having returned from a few days away, I’m going into battle with Thursday’s to today’s puzzles found on the hall floor on our return. You can get out of practice so quickly!
    This was a 3* for me, fair – but taking a bit longer.
    I thought 3D was simple but clever all the same. And the anagram at 12d had a fabulous surface.

  15. Not very enjoyable but a few clues are worth a mention – 11a, 20a, and 2d. The long anagrams were a great help.

  16. With some relief, I find I wasn’t alone in finding this a bit tricky. 17d was new to me. I had no idea this was a Welsh name. Couldn’t get my brain past Dai on that score. Couldn’t work out 22a either but this was my own fault because I had “all done” for 14d. Post Christmas, it’s amazing the mind is functioning at all!

  17. Bit of a curates egg, apart from the obscure Welshman the bottom was pleasant but the top fought hard. Enjoyable though.
    Thx to all

  18. I quite enjoyed this but found it pretty tricky to begin with, and to end with too.
    The 14a anagram fell into place without too much trouble but the 6d one caused grief.
    Unsurprisingly I’d never heard of the 4d film.
    I decided that 17d was ‘crickety’ – well if there’s a Chinaman why not a Welshman – oh dear – but got there eventually.
    I liked 19 and 22a and my favourite was 2d.
    Thanks to the setter and to MP.

    1. I found 6d tricky. I had all the checking letters, had the letters all written out in circles, as one does, and gradually slotted them in! Took ages.

  19. However poor anyone may find this puzzle, it pales in comparison with the worst clue in history in the Quickie
    Quarrel= Part Brass Rags!!!!!

      1. Checking on line, it would appear to be a very popular search today as you only have to put ‘part br’ and the full term appears in the list of options. Interesting to read about its naval origins

        1. This always makes me enjoy a puzzle more, when I can google something and learn old folk lore or a bit of history. I found that so interesting about the naval origins.

  20. Rather tricky and needed electronic help in quite a few places. I worked out the Welsh name as, like RichardH, I am also an Old Birkonian (1963 to 1970) and well remember Syph, a hard taskmaster.

    Ta to Heathcliff for much needed help.

  21. I found this quite tricky but very enjoyable. Last in was 17d, I’d like to say I’d never heard of it, but that’s not true. There’s a shop in Lampeter I used to go to that sold Portmeirion, the proprietor’s name was 17d – so, sorry 17d, I do remember you!
    It took forever to get 11a, eventually I bunged in what fit; blow me, it’s right! Thanks Heathcliff for unravelling that.
    I liked lots, 19a, 2d, 8d amongst others, but I’m choosing 5a for fave because of the Flanders & Swann clip.
    Thanks to our Monday setter and Heathcliff for his review!

  22. What on earth is part brass rags in the quick crossword?
    I googled it and it said something that happens AFTER a quarrel.
    Bit of a slog, this one. Didn’t enjoy it much.
    Thanks to Robin Hood, William Tell and Captain Pugwash fo the hints.
    Thanks to the setter.
    Happy New Year to everyone.
    Feliz año Nuevo a todos

  23. Great puzzle but hard going to complete. No chance of getting the anagrams without P&P for me. 19a came up in the Guardian xword last week. 4*/4*. Thank you all.

  24. Just cannot see the point of 17d. The setter obviously had spaces to fill and this is the result. Poor show!

  25. Whilst I agree that this was a wee bit tougher than recent Monday offerings it was nevertheless a fairly straightforward solve. I completed in a shade under *** time due to 3D & 10a holding out for a while. COTD for me was 4d & like Miffypops tackled the anagrams without recourse to quill & parchment though it was touch & go with 6d.
    Loved the Quickie pun & there 1d was certainly new to me.

  26. Well what can I say, it took ages for me to complete, but I did it ! I even got 17d , so proud of myself 😊
    My favs 2d and 12d .
    Thanks to setter and Heathcliff (although I didn’t really need you today )

  27. Umm ,,, this one was quite a struggle with some clues coming steadily, others well let’s say didn’t.
    However some clues were very humorous & others doh.
    Thanks to setter & MP for well needed guidance & review.

  28. Hmm! A perfectly decent and doable crossword spoiled by 17d. It smacks of desperation having painted oneself into a corner. Having said that I did work it out from the clue but had to Google it to find out if it is indeed a Welsh name, to my surprise it is. In pre-Google days it would have been unsolvable if one hadn’t heard of it. Any road up I got there. Favourite 14a thanks to setter and Heathcliff.

  29. Just watched the Kate Bush video, both versions. Yet again, despite rumours at the time, I find myself having to deny romantic involvement with the aforementioned lady. I hope this clears the matter up once and for all.

  30. That was tricky, MP, not sure about your star rating today!!
    A few contrived clues rather spoilt the puzzle.
    Thanks all.

  31. Enjoyed the crossword as a whole but are my OM and I the only ones to query 4d? It took us ages, although we’d got the five out of the six letters, simply because we’d never heard of a WANT ad. WantED, yes. We were trying to use PAD as the ‘stuff’, but that didn’t work either!

  32. 4*/4*….
    liked 12D ” purgative quietly swallowed by some poorly sailors (5,5) “

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