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DT 29252

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29252

Hints and tips by Inigo Jollifant

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

My three favourite things are eating my family and not using commas.

Plus Rugby Football and the high end music of the likes of Bob Dylan, Neil Young and Tom Waits.

And mystery parcels from Jean-Luc. Thank you very much

And words.

I like this piece about language from Stephen Fry. It is well worth four and a half minutes of your time to have a listen and maybe a little think about what he is saying

As for the crossword. Very Mondayish. This setter is very consistent producing just right puzzles every week.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Problem over Japanese sport (4)
SUMO: The problem here is of a mathematical nature. It is followed by the abbreviation for over

3a    Whole game in a day seen by a Parisian (10)
UNABRIDGED: A four-part charade. A game of cards sits within the letter A from the clue and the abbreviation for day. This is preceded by the French word for a

9a    Support rear end (4)
BACK: A double definition

10a    Cut, beaver, a bit flustered (10)
ABBREVIATE: Anagram (flustered) of BEAVER A BIT

11a    Warm weather Malta enjoys (7)
THERMAL: The answer lies hidden within the words of the clue indicated by the word enjoys

13a    Siren‘s obscure wind instrument (7)
FOGHORN: This ships siren can be found by using a three-letter word meaning obscure and an instrument found in an orchestra

14a    Shopkeeper could be fresh and more vulgar, when heard (11)
GREENGROCER: Begin with a synonym of the word fresh. Add a homophone of a word meaning more vulgar or obscene

18a    To remain in force, a guy in command on the parade ground (5,2,4)
STAND AT EASE: This relaxation command can be found by using a word meaning to remain in force followed by the letter A from the clue and a word meaning to guy or make fun of

21a    Motor inside explosive missile (7)
TRIDENT: The better-known abbreviation for high explosive trinitrotoluene sits around a stretched synonym of the word motor

22a    Stick around old dock, primarily to find swimmer (7)
CODLING: A word meaning to stick around (one’s mothers apron strings) is split by abbreviations of Old and Dock

23a    Furnish new church in state capital (10)
PROVIDENCE: A word meaning to furnish or make available is followed by the abbreviations for new and the Church of England

24a    Garment reflecting earlier time (4)
TOGA: Find a word meaning at a time before now. Add the abbreviation for time. Reverse the lot.

25a    Thief pilfers hot pants (10)
SHOPLIFTER: Anagram (pants) of FILTERS HOT

26a    Touchy having failed to finish exam (4)
TEST: A word meaning irritable has its last letter removed to leave a simple exam


1d    Learned about weird boat wreck (8)
SABOTAGE: A word meaning learned or wise sits around an anagram (weird) of BOAT

2d    Fish, medium-sized — a kilo in creel, wriggling (8)
MACKEREL: Begin with the abbreviation for medium. Add the letter A from the clue. Add the abbreviation for Kilo which sits inside an anagram (wriggling) of CREEL. The surface of this clue is a tad clumsy

4d    Philanthropic scientist born during Christmas (5)
NOBEL: The abbreviation for born sits inside a term used for the Christmas period. Here is a clip of a recent Nobel Laureate

5d    Flagrant in pub, editor pinching mug (9)
BAREFACED: A term for a pub and our regular abbreviation for editor are separated by a mug. Think what a mugshot is a shot of.

6d    Fashionable Spanish city judged as ‘revitalised‘ (11)
INVIGORATED: A simple three-part charade A+B+C where A means currently fashionable B is a city in Spain and C is a synonym of the word judged

7d    Target includes week round desert, perhaps (2,4)
GO AWOL: A target or object of ambition has the abbreviation for week and the round letter inserted

8d    Chaperone expected to accompany girl over (6)
DUENNA: A word meaning expected is followed by the reverse (over) of a girl’s name

12d    Short series of episodes involving leader in thrall of a government department (11)
MINISTERIAL: a television drama shown in a small number of episodes, often on consecutive nights contains the initial letter of the word thrall

15d    Bake grouse in a meat dish (5,4)
ROAST BEEF: Two synonyms are required here. One for bake which is straightforward and one for grouse where grouse is a verb meaning to complain. It is always a joy to get a snack in a puzzle

16d    Singer in boater, dancing (8)
BARITONE: Anagram (dancing) of IN BOATER

17d    Officer dispatched to collect bent gear (8)
SERGEANT: An anagram (bent) of GEAR sits inside a word meaning despatched

19d    Finishes ringing European pioneer of birth control (6)
STOPES: A simple word meaning finishes contains the abbreviation for European to provide the surname of Marie, a true heroine

20d    Hired escort in carriage, unaccompanied, heading off (6)
GIGOLO: A light two wheeled carriage pulled by one horse is followed by a word meaning on one’s own minus its first letter

22d    100 hurt in store (5)
CACHE: The Roman numeral for one hundred is followed by a word meaning to suffer a dull pain

Quickie Puns:

Top line whether+vain=weather vane

Bottom Line week+knights=weeknights


70 comments on “DT 29252

  1. Straightforward with some nice clues 7D, 13A, 14A. Quite enjoyable as a 1.5*\3.5* puzzle. Thanks to all – and also the cameo from Stephen Fry, he certainly is our own Oscar Wilde.

  2. I’m a fan of eating, family and commas – not to mention a lover of words

    This was a nice Monday level crossword – thanks to the Double-Punning Setter and the man with many names

  3. Well, I’m a lot happier than I have been on previous Mondays recently. All very straightforward, completed in a solid ** time.

    I thought 12d was a little clumsy, but hey, I’ve never compiled a crossword in my life!

    Many thanks to the setter and MP.

  4. 13 and 25a share my top spot this morning in this very entertaining Monday puzzle. Sharing the podium would be the picture accompanying 22d. Very funny.

    Many thanks to the double-punner and MP for a fun blog.

  5. Well either my brain was especially alert this morning (a very doubtful proposition) or this offering was on the extreme end of Monday benevolence. Finished in 1.5* without really having to pause long for thought so a less than satisfactory mental workout in my humble opinion. Loved the inclusion of two of my favourite musicians in the hints

  6. Reasonably tricky and reasonably enjoyable with the couple of relative (to me) obscurities sympathetically clued. My LOI was 7d, which took ages to see and may not be to the liking of everyone on here. I noticed that “guy” in its “only in crosswordland” usage came up again but I’ve finally got wise to that!
    My favourite was 5d.
    Many thanks to MP (I share your love of words and “high end” music….though we may disagree what constitutes the latter!) and to the setter for the entertainment.

  7. Straightforward solve today after yesterday’s difficulties. My only hold-up was 7 down which took a little time to understand. Thanks to setter and he-of-many-names.
    I loved the Stephen Fry piece. But (I know, we shouldn’t start a sentence with a conjunction) I suspect, contrary to his argument, he spent a long time polishing his prose and making sure it was grammatically perfect and the alliteration spot-on – even to the “none are” / “none is” reference. I bet his text had correct spellings of “moccasin” and “broccoli”! (I looked those up to check – I have an aversion to the spelling of some words: “broccoli” is one). The sentiment I agree with but it’s easier for a master of language such as Mr Fry than for the rest of us.

    1. How are these, Spinks?

      Broccoli: The two Cs are the florets and the L is the stalk

      Moccasin: A moccasin is a slipper. The 2 Cs match the 2 Ps and the rhyme stops you thinking it’s 2 Ss.

            1. I meant, of course, “shopping list”. I wonder what I’m subconsciously thinking of!

        1. Of course.

          It’s a blend of pickle and chilli.

          So, remember that the combination ‘pickle/chilli’ contains 2 Cs, 3 Ls (split 1 L & 2 Ls) and an i at the end as does piccalilli.

      1. I have always loathed “necessary” until a friend told me it was “one collar and two sleeves”. That put an end to a lifetime of spelling misery!

        1. I was told at school that ‘c’ comes before ‘s’ …and 1 comes before 2. Never forgotten necessary.

  8. I must be on the right wavelength today as this was in my * difficulty, what am I to do at lunchtime?
    Ta to the setter, hints not required today and Mrs 2P got 19d, wonder how she knew!

    1. While staying with No 1 son and his family over Christmas, our six and a half year old grandson became interested in crosswords and what I was doing with them and why I was looking at the blog. Many questions ensured – was Big Dave big? I showed him a photo of BD and he agreed that he was definitely big! Why was Rabbit Dave called Rabbit Dave? I explained that RD had a lovely rabbit and so on. The thing that really confused him as to why you were Jimmy2pasties. Was one pasty not enough? Had you eaten two as a bet or a dare? If you could let me know the answer, I’ll put his mind at rest.

      1. Suffice to say it may simply be as literal as your own moniker the difference being mine was a single lapse, all it takes is one (extra) pasty and the nickname stays with you forever, thank god it was a pasty!!

  9. A nice Monday straightforward puzzle (*/***). I liked 1d and 12d. Many thanks to Inigo ad the setter.

  10. After Friday’s offering last week, Which I found difficult to say the least, I feared that I would struggle to complete the crossword again. This one though was very easy. Phew. Favourite 6d. 23a is also the capital of Rhode Island in the USA which may or may not help with clue.

  11. I have never heard of the verb ‘to guy’ meaning ‘to tease’ so it was a bung in, but enjoyed it solved in 1.5 * time.

  12. Having watched Mr Fry whilst I was lunching, I can’t but think he is a little two-faced. If any competitor on QI were to use ‘less’ instead of ‘fewer’ they would be mocked mercilessly.

  13. Not among my favourites but a pleasant enough challenge. Couldn’t parse my 18a bung-in as ‘guy’ in that context is a new one on me. Modern trend to use pants as in 25a appals me. Thank you Mysteron and MP.

    1. Totally agree with you regarding the use of “pants”. In the same league as “Can I get” or “I’m good” in response to a query as to wellbeing.

    2. I agree about “pants” and say so very time it appears, but it keeps coming back and coming back and coming back …

  14. Well, unlike most, I found this one a tad difficult but this could be down to spending a morning trying to change direct debits to a new account. I wish telephone “hold music” were better! As it is, my brain shut down and didn’t get going again on picking up the puzzle.

    To be fair, I really enjoyed the clues I managed especially 13a and 23a. 5d gets a mention as well. Unfortunately, other clues eluded me today. I will go and lie down and give my brain a rest!

    Grateful thanks to the setter and to IJ for the hints.

  15. Enjoyable and not too dificult to complete even while watching the Test Match which is going suspiciously well at the moment. 7d just stood out for me today.
    I am a self-confessed pedant with regard to the English language and punctuation, not to say I don’t make my own share of gaffs. Fortunately my friends find my coorrecting some of their English amusing. I am with Miffypops and dislike the overuse of commas.

    1. I think the use of commas depends a lot on ones age. We were encouraged to use commas in antediluvian schooldays, but nowadays they deplore the use of comma clutter!

      1. When first in the US, and tired of explaining why I didn’t have a US high school diploma, I went back to school and sat the GED, a high school equivalent qualification. In an English test, I was mortified to lose marks as I did not put a comma before the word “and”, having been taught at home that “and” replaces the comma. The teacher did not agree with me that the comma was not needed in that context. But now they don’t hardly use commas at all. It’s a strange world.

        1. BL, that’s interesting. Have you heard of the Oxford (or Serial) Comma? This is the final comma (before the “and”) in a list of things, as in “Please bring me a pencil, eraser, and notebook”.

  16. I found this difficult, partly because I was obsessed with the word Gobi for 7d and haddock for 22A. Alas and alack. Thanks for the tips. I’d have been stuck without them.

  17. A fairly typical Monday with 6 and 7 d causing some holdup.I had the wrong Spanish city in mind and needed your hint to solve 7.I still have not looked at last Friday and note with some trepidation comments that it is difficult.Thanks for the Fry andDylan, acombination I had never put together.Not sure Fry will ever gat the Nobel Prize.

  18. Last two in 24a and 20d. Did not know the Spanish chaperone but she was easy enough to work out. 19d came to me straightaway and the parsing came later. Favourites 13 24 and 23a and 1, 4 and 20d. Just the job. Thanks setter. Thanks MP for additional humour although did not need hints. What a relief after yesterday!

  19. Nice, pretty typical Monday puzzle. I don’t think I have seen the trusty old answer to 8d anywhere other than in a crossword!

  20. Only one problem today. Not knowing 8d. Not sure if I need to commit it to memory. Many thanks Miffypops and setter.

  21. Very pleasant Monday crossword and an equally enjoyable review from our master of disguises.
    The only play I knew from JBP was “an inspector calls” as it was at the Garrick theatre for years. Don’t think I ever saw “the companions”.
    As for Mr Fry, I do love his verbose ability but am I dreaming or did he say about pedants to “sod them to Hades”?
    That’s not very nice 😊.
    Had to check the birth control pioneer but the answer was quite obvious from the parsing.
    Thought that “enjoys” in 11a as a containment indicator was quite innovative.
    That has to be my favourite clue.
    Thanks to the setter and to MP.

  22. Was spot on the setters wavelength today with only 20d holding me up for a while.
    Nice to have a Monday that gives an encouraging start to the week.
    As for Senfs comment yesterday about Einstein’s definition of insanity, quite right I will give up even attempting DADA puzzles and take the Sunday Times instead of the ST. Not sure who their setter is but he/she is a vast improvement over Dada.
    Thx to all

      1. Crypticsue: in terms of difficulty, how do you rate the Sunday Times cryptic compared to Telegraph / Dada? I’ve recently started regularly doing the Times cryptic on a Sunday and have found it to be a couple of notches up in difficulty although I suppose this could be due to unfamiliarity with the setters’ styles?

        1. I only solve puzzles by two of the three Sunday Times setters but I’d say that Dean Mayer is almost always trickier than Dada and with Robert Price, it depends – sometimes about the same as Dada and occasionally a bit trickier

          1. Thanks CS. Interesting that there’s a distinct pattern on difficulty. I haven’t been doing them long enough to observe that though I do think they’re generally of a high-quality.

  23. A friendly offering today, very welcome as a lot to do.
    I was held up in the NE by 7d, then I had a Road to Damascus moment after struggling for a while.
    I liked lots, hard to choose a fave from that fun lot, maybe 8d stood out, or 14a for its giggle worthiness.
    Thanks to our setter and Inigo Jollifant.

    I’m no pedant and agree largely with Mr. Fry, with one exception: split infinitives can be so clumsy – headline in our paper recently “to never ever again happen”, doesn’t “never to happen ever again” sound so much smoother?

  24. That was pleasantly tricky at times .
    I liked 1d, 7d and 8d.
    Thanks for including Bob Dylan .He was very similar to my husband when they were both young , I ‘m glad to say there is very little resemblance now because one of them didn’t spend the last 50 years smoking pot etc.
    Thanks to Miffypops and the setter.

  25. Nice enjoyable and solvable on a cold and windy Monday 😰 Favourites were 12 &20 down 😃 Thanks to MP and to the Setter, I will now listen to what the Canaries Supporter has to say ⚽️

  26. Nothing too demanding to start the crossword week! I liked 15d so that’s my favourite.
    Thanks to the setter, and to the man with many, names for the review.

  27. Enjoyable and I managed it all on my own, so proud 🤗
    Last one in 7d as I was determined it was to do with Gobi . In the end I think this was my fav clue.
    Thanks to setter and Miffypops

  28. After yesterday’s problems I found this start to the week an absolute delight. Well done to all involved, a very entertaining puzzle. Thanks you.

  29. I’m afraid Dada’s puzzle yesterday was binned with only half a dozen clues filled in and one of those I looked up….so what a relief to enjoy this one. Some well put together clues and a few chuckles along the way…13a gets my clue of the day. Thanks, to, MP, for the, hints! And to the setter…crossword-land is an enjoyable place after all.

  30. As usual it’s all been said before I got here. I pulled 8d from the back of my mind, almost certainly from a previous crossword. I can’t have found it that hard, hence my early appearance. I am a fan of commas, apostrophes and exclamation marks, so there! Favourites, amongst many is 25a. Many thanks to the setter, long may you continue to do Mondays, and MP.

  31. A very pleasant solve, and would have been finished earlier if I hadn’t wasted time trying to make an anagram in 15d (out of grouse in a)… Top half went in first, and second half followed soon after. Thanks to setter and MP for the hints.

  32. A very enjoyable puzzle today which required no help of any sort. Had to go through the alphabet for 7d but finally got it with the w. Spent a week on cookhouse duties for doing just that one Saturday night when I should have been First Aid orderly. And the company sergeant had told us always to read the company orders for the day. I didn’t forget after that.

  33. I’ve just watched all three clips and enjoyed them all. Van Morrison’s version of baby blue is a must watch combining the two singer/songwriters and perhaps Stephen Fry in spirit. P.s.I do a more than passable impression of Dylan and have sung VM’s version of the aforementioned song, just to square the circle.

  34. Usual Monday warm up for the grey matter. Aside from 1a, nothing jumped out at first pass but once away…The SW corner was last to go in for me. Those with a military background should have had no trouble with 7d and 18a. My ‘pushing the envelope’ clues were 21a and 25a. The explosive 🧨 is a crosswordland favourite (favorite for the Americans, seeing we’re talking about the idiosyncrasies of language) but ride/motor🤔. I’ve seen pant used as an anagram indicator before but…My faves: 23a and 12d.

  35. Good for me! Finished with no help but tricky enough to make me feel reassured my faculties are still vaguely in place. I’d heard of the escort (a character in Cyrano de Bergerac I think) but not the fish. If only all crosswords were like this….

  36. LOI 7d, good to see others had “Gobi” fixed in mind!
    But lots of smiles – thx to all!

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