DT 29247 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29247

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29247

Hints and tips by Mr K

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BD Rating  -  Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

Hello, everyone.  Can't think of much to say about this solid puzzle, except to note that its filled grid contains only 18 of the 26 letters in the alphabet.  That's almost as far from a pangram as setters have managed to get (in the last twenty years there have been only four back-pagers using 17 letters, and none that use only 16). 

In the hints below most indicators are italicized and precise definitions are underlined.  Clicking on the answer buttons will reveal the answers.  In some hints hyperlinks provide additional explanation or background.  Clicking on a picture will usually enlarge it.  Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.  And we'd love to hear from the creator of this puzzle.



1a    Hearing perhaps about us quietly creates tension (8)
SUSPENSE:  What hearing is an example of (… perhaps) containing (about) both US from the clue and the musical abbreviation for quietly or softly 

5a    Where people study page penned by novelist (6)
CAMPUS:  The single letter abbreviation for page is contained by (penned by) a novelist.  Since there are many five-letter novelists who fit the checkers, here are some additional hints:  he lived from 1913 to 1960 in France and his first name was Albert.  If that didn't help, click here 

10a   Sculptor left advice on a Rodin bust (8,2,5)
LEONARDO DA VINCI:  The single letter for left is followed by an anagram (bust) of ADVICE ON A RODIN.  This sculptor was also well-known as an artist:

11a   Shut in linen closet with no fabric around (7)
ENCLOSE:  Remove a fabric from the exterior of LINENCLOSET (… with no fabric around) to expose the answer

12a   Shows trendy method of transport (7)
AIRSHIP:  Stick together shows or broadcasts and a usual word for trendy (that's no longer trendy) 

13a   Obsessive about following organised routine (8)
NEUROTIC:  The single-letter Latin abbreviation for about or roughly is following an anagram (organised) of ROUTINE 

15a   Duck's sign of hesitation about fish (5)
EIDER:  An interjection expressing hesitation is wrapped about a fish that is closely related to the chub 

18a   Skirts editor agrees oddly to be removed (5)
EDGES:  The abbreviation for editor with the even letters (…oddly to be removed) of AGREES 

20a   Instructing crowd leaving hospital to call (8)
ORDERING:  A crowd or multitude minus the single letter for hospital (… leaving hospital) is followed by a verb meaning to call on the phone 

23a   Watching throne -- and who sits on it? (7)
LOOKING:  Glue together informal word for what "throne" is also an informal word for, and a bloke who sits on a real throne 

25a   Pass by student, for example, and Head of English here? (7)
COLLEGE:  Concatenate a mountain pass, the usual student or learner, the Latin abbreviation for "for example", and the first letter of (head of) English.  The complete clue serves as a definition of the answer, with all but the last word being wordplay.  That construction is sometimes referred to as a semi-all in one clue

26a   Drag consultation out? No Democrat gets kudos (15)
CONGRATULATIONS:  An anagram (out) of dRAG CONSULTATION with the single letter for Democrat deleted (… no Democrat) 

27a   Tears from papa, squashed by stones (6)
SPEEDS:  The letter represented by Papa in the NATO phonetic alphabet is contained by (squashed by) what fruit stones are 

28a   Gibbons perhaps turn up tailless and sit by river (8)
COMPOSER:  Chain together "turn up" or "arrive" with its last letter deleted (tailless), sit for an artist, and the map abbreviation for river.  Gibbons defines the answer by example (perhaps



1d    You love wriggling in sister's grip (6)
SOLVER:  An anagram (wriggling) of LOVE is contained by the abbreviation for a religious sister (in sister's grip)

2d    Put an end to urge for food (6,3)
SCOTCH EGG:  Join together verb synonyms of "put an end to" and "urge" 

3d    Long head of hair raises our charm (7)
ENAMOUR:  The reversal (raises, in a down clue) of long hair on the head of an animal or a human is followed by OUR from the clue 

4d    So -- nothing's cleared off? Lazy creep! (5)
SIDLE:  Put together So from the clue minus the letter that looks like zero (… nothing's cleared off) and a synonym of lazy

6d    Unfavourable notice on poet's output (7)
ADVERSE:  Link together a notice selling something, for example, and what a poet produces 

7d    Slug  alcoholic drink (5)
PUNCH:  A double definition.  The alcoholic drink might contain fruit juice 

8d    Small fish: they're often found at sea (8)
SKIPPERS:  Fuse together the clothing abbreviation for small and some fish associated with breakfast 

9d    Moved along cave and dislodged diamonds (8)
ADVANCED:  An anagram (dislodged) of CAVE AND is followed by the playing card symbol for diamonds 

14d   Ideas, however terrible, suffice at first (8)
THOUGHTS:  Follow a synonym of however with the initial letters (at first) of Terrible and Suffice 

16d   Hairy bug found in party by American (9)
DANGEROUS:  Bug or annoy is inserted in a usual party and an abbreviation for American appended to the result 

17d   Carp and eels -- unusual substitutes (8)
REPLACES:  An anagram (unusual) of CARP EELS 

19d   Mixed cooler wine (7)
STIRRED:  Amalgamate an informal name for prison (cooler) and a generic type of wine 

21d   Gold back and large -- Liberal with first-class type of desk (4-3)
ROLL-TOP:  Reverse (back) the heraldic word for gold, and then append to it the clothing abbreviation for large, the single letter for Liberal, and first-class or best 

22d   Sermon half-abandoned following drink problem (6)
TEASER:  Half of SERMON (… half-abandoned) is following a drink that goes with biscuits 

24d   Big cat -- and what it might do? Not initially (5)
OUNCE:  Delete the first letter (not initially) from something that cats might do when hunting.  This particular big cat has come up here a few times recently 

25d   Parcel looks somewhat ... It needs a bow! (5)
CELLO:  The answer is hiding as part of (… somewhat) the remainder of the clue


Thanks to today’s setter.  Several clues appealed today because of their particularly smooth surfaces:  13a, 23a, 1d, 4d, 22d, and 25d.  Which clues did you like best?


The Quick Crossword pun:  POE + LAB + HEIRS = POLAR BEARS

64 comments on “DT 29247

  1. Quite doable after yesterdays, which included 17D which hmm’d a lot of us. An enjoyable use of time – but agree with Mr K’s comment that implied there were no real standouts- although I liked 2D. A 2*\3* for me. Thanks to Mr K – especially for the additional statistics often included. I’m a numbers person so enjoyed this byte sized piece of information.

  2. I think our blogger has slightly undersold this puzzle with his initial comments (though he has given it three stars for enjoyment), I thought it was very clever, cryptic and enjoyable. With all the checkers 28a jumped out at me, and I thought “surely not Billy Gibbons from ZZ Top!!
    My podium places go to 1, 2 and 16d.
    Many thanks to the setter (our editor?)and to Mr K for his usual excellent blog.

  3. There were a lot of solid straightforward clues to this puzzle. My only problem was finding a way into the NW corner which took me into borderline 2/3* for difficulty and 3* for enjoyment. I liked 25a and 14d. Thanks to Mr K and the setter and Happy New Year to everyone.

  4. 2*/3*. Mild and pleasant with no particular favourites, although I did enjoy the brief cluing and (mostly) smooth surfaces.

    I am not going to start another campaign but, as a one-off comment, “novelist” in 5a is bit vague for my taste (and I think Mr K’s too judging by his comments on this clue).

    Many thanks to the two Misters.

  5. I found this crossword very odd and it took me a while to get on the setters wavelength .
    Thanks to all concerned.

  6. Gentle and reasonably enjoyable but no stand out favourite. */**. Thanks to setter and Mr K.

    Speaking of “near pangrams”, and by contrast, today’s Toughie was a joy which, due to one characteristic, I guess is by ProXimal and has an interesting political and royal theme in places!

    Happy New Year to all.

  7. I had this all but beaten in *** time, but the NE corner held out. I had to use the hints to get the writer, who, I am pretty sure, never cropped up on my reading list. That was the boost that I needed to complete the rest.

    COTD for me was 10a, very neat.

    Thanks to the setter and Mr K.

  8. A New Year’s rEVEal…
    I have been lurking for a number of years and finally decided to put my head above the parapet. Many, many thanks to setters.. and solvers in helping to shorten a lengthy apprenticeship.
    HNY to all.

    1. Welcome Deeuu! I only joined myself in April of “soon to be last year” after lurking for ages. I’m glad I came out – so to speak. I have learned a great deal.

    2. Welcome, Deeuu. As Gazza says, we hope that you’ll keep commenting. Especially after delurking with a lurker :)

  9. A steady if unspectacular solve this morning. There were, however, two very good clues in 13 and 23a that raised its profile, in my opinion. I wonder if only using 18 letters was a deliberate ploy?

    Thank you to our Tuesday Misters and have a great evening everyone, however you see in the New Year.

    1. Hi, YS. I suspect that the use of just 18 letters was a coincidence, but only our setter could tell us for sure.

  10. Almost a Monday puzzle on a Tuesday with completion helped by early solving of the two long acrosses – completed at a gallop – 2*/3.5*.
    Favourite – 1d.
    Thanks to the setter and Mr K.

  11. A relatively straightforward solve with just a ‘guess and check’ needed for 5a.
    2d made me smile so gets my vote today, followed by the nicely constructed 13a.

    Thanks to our setter and to Mr K for his final blog of the year, what a pleasure it’s been to read your reviews during 2019.

  12. Pleasant start to the end of a very busy year. 1d made me chuckle and Mrs 2P got the big cat. Thanks for the help with the french author.
    HNY to all

  13. I think this was a bit better than Mr.K’s assessment, certainly more enjoyable than yesterday’s slog.
    The two long anagrams certainly helped, though I was not aware that the genius at 10a was a sculptor too.
    I enjoyed 1d, and 28a, I spent far too long thinking Gibbons = Apes.
    Happy new year to everyone, best do it now as at midnight tonight I shall be tucked up in bed.
    Thanks Misters K and Ron.

  14. Day off work today, so a chance to do the crossword earlier in the day than usual. I agree with the 2*/3* rating and was interested to learn that statistic about the number of letters. Mr Gibbons was a bit obscure I thought, as was the fish, but both very solvable from the rest of the clue. I was at least familiar with the novelist, not from his work but from his earlier appearances. Thanks to both setter and Mr K for their contributions to my enjoyment.

    When I left the office one of my colleagues remarked that he would “see me next decade” and there followed the usual debate about whether such a time period should finish on the year ending in 9 or 0. A much younger colleague overheard the conversation and seemed astonished to learn that there was no year zero in the Gregorian calendar!

  15. Really enjoyed this one esp 1d which was my COTD. The bottom right corner held me up for a while but came together eventually.
    Nice when one does get on the setters wavelength, it doesn’t happen that often to me these days.
    Thanks to all on the Blog and I wish you all a very happy and prosperous new year.

  16. I needed confirmation from you for 27a but otherwise a nice challenge. I love anagrams, they seem to jump out at me. I love the fact that you eggheads check how many letters of the alphabet are used and other arcane phenomena like Ninas! Thanks for a good year of hints and comments and a Happy Hogmanay to all. I shall be wearing my tartan sash!

  17. Nice but challenging in parts, favourite 23a appealed to my sense of humour.
    Happy New Year to you all.
    Thanks to Mr K and Mr Ron

  18. I can’t say this was plain sailing for me. I had to use some electronic help for 5a but didn’t get far until I saw the hint by Mr. K. Despite this, I did find the puzzle entertaining and managed to solve most without help. My COTD has to be 1d with 1a and 2d both hot on its heels.

    I couldn’t find the fish of 15a in the BRB. I will need to have another look.

    Grateful thanks to the setter and to Mr. K. for the hints.

    Drab day here in Shropshire but we have just returned from a wonderful lunch at The Windmill and that has lightened the day! :good:

    1. Hi, Steve. The fish is found in the BRB (Chambers Dictionary), although he’s not in the smaller online Chambers 21st Century Dictionary that I sometimes link to. The online Collins Dictionary does include him.

  19. **/*** All went in very swiftly. Luckily knew the author but not the composer. Both were easy to deduce after I dismissed big monkeys and stamp collectors. Was left briefly with two in the SW as momentarily forgot crosswordland’s big cat. Soon then got 27a as there had to be a P somewhere. My other quirk was thinking replicas (which did not suit the anagram) for 17d. Easily solved when thinking verb not noun. Only circled 20a and 2d as favourites, probably because I did not spend time sorting out and then waiting for the penny to drop. Thank you setter and Mr K.

  20. Does anybody know why I don’t get email alerts despite ticking the boxes? At least I no longer have to type in my pseudonym and email address every time.

    1. Possibly check that the email address you use to submit is identical to the mail address with which you receive mail – if you have ever made a mistake in your email when you have commented, a moderator may have amended your email address so that both would work in order to post, whilst you would only get notifications from your correct email address
      Hope that makes sense

  21. I found this more difficult than many others seem to have.Needed hints on 5 and 22 ac. With those really enjoyed the rest . Shows l still have a long way togo .Thankyou to all and hope for a happy and safe 2020 for all of us.

  22. A fairly enjoyable puzzle with a few difficulties along the way. Needed the hints from Mr K to find out how a couple of clues arrived at the answer I had entered. Camus known a long time and Gibbons in the background as an early composer with the wonderful name Orlando. 23a and 2d were my favourites today. Happy New Year to one and all and thanks to Mr K for his perceptive and interesting blogs to help us along the way.

  23. Really enjoyed this puzzle. The best for some time, with no obscure words.

    Thanks to everyone and all the best.

  24. Off to a good start as 10a went straight in. Podium places in no particular order awarded to 13a, 4d and 14d. Like Weekend Wanda I came to 28a after discounting simians and philately. No great shakes but altogether a pleasant enough exercise on which to wind up 2019 cruciverbal challenges. Thank you Messrs Ron and K. Happy New Year everyone. 🙂🍾🎉🌈

  25. This was a perfect puzzle for a tiny brain, I enjoyed it. Feeling very chuffed since I remembered the author, the fish and the Gibbons, that has to be a one-off for me. We’ve had the fish and author a few times, and it wasn’t that long ago that 10a made an appearance.
    Last one in was 27a, I had to use e-help for that. Fave was 23a, huge guffaw, runners up were 1d and 25d.
    Thanks to our Tuesday setter and to Mr. K for his review. Happy New Year all. I shall be fast asleep at midnight, hoping to keep cats and dogs calm through the racket.

  26. Found this quite tricky but clever ***/*** 😳 Favourites were 5a & 8d 😃 Thanks to Mr K and to the Setter and a Happy New Year to all 🍻

  27. Solid solvable straightforward puzzle… little to add.
    2*/3* many thanks to setter & MrK for review.
    Best wishes to all who contribute to this blog, especially our setters.

  28. I was so far off wavelength today, I must have been off into space. Didn’t find it at all straight forward or doable, so needed a lot of Mr K’s hints, big thank you. Different strokes for different folks. But hope to do better tomorrow. On the plus side, after a grey and wet day yesterday, today is cool and clear, and we are able to sit on our patio with our iced coffees, watching the ducks on the lake, we get a lot of visiting birds (those of the feathered variety) this year, who come down to shelter from the harsh winters up north. Happy New Year to one and all. 🥂

  29. Another enjoyable puzzle for me, I must be improving. One or two clues needed an explanation from the blog , even though I had the answer. I didn’t know the novelist and spent too long thinking about apes. Apart from that, very pleased with myself.
    Favourites, 1d and 23a which made me giggle.
    Happy New Year everyone, when it happens . (Apparently that’s what your supposed to say according to Ken Bruce )
    Thanks to setter and Mr K.

  30. Pretty straightforward but enjoyable too – as someone usually points out (but hasn’t yet today) they don’t have to be tough to be fun.
    My last answer was 27a – I don’t think of ‘stones’ being what they are here.
    I feared for the safety of the ‘whatever they were’ being chased by the 24d’s in the video clip – so glad that ‘whatever they were’ escaped with their lives, assuming they didn’t end up drowning!
    I liked 23a and 2d (because I really like them) and 4d. My favourite is one of that lot.
    Thanks to the setter and to Mr K and a very Happy New Year to everyone here.
    Right – off to see if I can turn the sow’s ear into a silk purse now – going to friends for the evening, but I think they probably know what I look like by now, so there’s no fooling anyone! :sad:

    1. I watched the end of that video a few times before I decided to use it, to be sure that the antelope-like creature was safely swimming away at the end. It’s the only clip I could find of snow leopards that wasn’t filmed in a zoo.

  31. I must admit I have enjoyed the crosswords published over the festive period. I confess the enjoyment was occasionally muted by the IOS problem which feels like it has been with us for ever, but for most of the time it has been good fun.
    Today’s was fairly straightforward but still pleasant to do
    No real favourites.
    Thanks to Mr Ron, and of course to Mr K.
    Happy New Year all.

  32. I enjoyed this crossword; **/*** for me despite needing the hint for 27a. A someone who uses the phonetic alphabet rather regularly, I shouldn’t have need the hint. A thrashing with fresh nettles required. Favourite was 23a – I am such a child…

    As someone who is normally a moaner here when a crossword isn’t to my liking, I wanted to take this opportunity to thank all the setters. You are all very much appreciated. Ignore the moaners, you are still respected and talented individuals!

    I would also like to thank all those who provide the hints and tips – this amazing website saved my sanity when I discovered it many years ago. Finding just the answer the next day, without knowing how or why it was the answer, drove me round the bend!

    Finally a big thank you to Big Dave to starting this website – you are a star.

    Here’s to a Happy New Year and great new decade to cruciverbalists everywhere!

  33. I don’t often comment on this forum, but firstly Happy New Year to all.
    Not sure about the rest of you, but I’ve found this Xmas’s selection of crosswords lacking in much seasonal cheer. Dull and turgid in mine and better half’s opinion…so much so I thought I needed to make this comment
    No disguised “Happy New Year clue” etc etc. Nothing in in today’s reflecting on the New Year. Compilers go hang your heads in shame!
    Can’t speak for the toughie as currently out of my pay grade.

  34. Happy New Year when it comes to everyone!

    I was so far off the wavelength with this puzzle that the knob fell off.

    Gibbons, ide, Camus….really ? Give us a chance, squire.

    Thanks to Mr Kitty and to all the other setters and bloggers.
    Special thanks to Big Dave for setting this whole thing up and running it so well.

  35. Thanks to everyone who commented today. It’s almost midnight, so I will take this opportunity to wish the BD community all the best for a happy and rewarding 2020.

  36. Great enjoyment today – the 5a novelist was an answer in a recent quiz evening, and I remembered! Thanks to all! HNY! COTD has to be 2d.

  37. Managed to do this all without help except for 1d which I needed the hint for. Never heard of the big cat but I’m reading l’Étranger in the original french at the moment so I should have got 5a quicker than I did.

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