DT 29255 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29255

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29255

Hints and tips by Kath

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating — Difficulty **/***Enjoyment ****

Hello everyone. The first Ray T crossword of 2020, at least I’m almost certain that it’s one of his even though a few of his trademarks are missing. I thought it was about average for difficulty for him and, as usual, very enjoyable.

In the hints the definitions are underlined and the answers are hidden under ANSWER so only do that if you need to see one.

Please leave a comment telling us how you got on today.


1a        Break in using force showing daring (12)
ENTERPRISING — this one is in two bits – you need another word for break in followed by a synonym for using force like twisting or wrenching

8a        On reflection, rushed argument’s sound? (7)
NARROWS — this ‘sound’ isn’t a noise. A reversal (on reflection) of a word meaning rushed or moved fast followed by an argument or a quarrel, with the ‘S

9a        More skilful narrative’s opening in Racine novel (7)
CANNIER — an anagram (novel) of RACINE which contains (in) the first letter (opening) of N[arrative]

11a       Routine is back including drag returning (7)
REGULAR — another word for ‘back’ or behind around (including) a reversal (returning) of a verb to drag or pull

12a       Delay stench suppressing endless wind (7)
PROLONG —  a stench or bad smell contains (suppressing) a synonym of a verb to wind or reel without its final letter (endless)

13a       Boy rejected education and advanced slowly (5)
NOSED — a reversal (rejected) of a boy or a male offspring is followed by the abbreviation for education

14a       Exposes tips holding needle (9)
ENDANGERS — some tips or extremities containing (holding) a verb to needle or annoy

16a       Popular friends welcoming occasionally staid friends (9)
INTIMATES — the usual little crosswordland word for popular followed by some friends or pals which go around the alternate letters (occasionally) of sTaId

19a       Chorus having origins in religion initially (5)
CHOIR — the first letters (initially) of the remaining words of the clue

21a       Wanders around with shopping (7)
ERRANDS — wanders or strays containing (around) another word for with or also

23a       Consider regarding faction taking power (7)
RESPECT — the abbreviation for regarding or about is followed by a faction or cult which contains the abbreviation for P[ower]

24a       Idiot theory oddly seen in social network (7)
TWITTER — an idiot or a fool is followed by the odd letters of ThEoR

25a       Swagger from supporter with trouble after victory (7)
BRAVADO — the usual crosswordland ‘supporter’ – a piece of underwear worn by women – is followed by a synonym for trouble or fuss and bother which is preceded by the abbreviation for V[ictory]

26a       Give a false account of new premier’s broadcast (12)
 MISREPRESENT — an anagram (new) of PREMIER’S followed by another word for broadcast or posted


1d        Unusually as green as nettles (7)
ENRAGES — an anagram (unusually) of AS GREEN

2d        Struck about Republican being insulted online (7)
TROLLED — a synonym of struck, as a clock might, containing (about) R[epublican]

3d        Begrudge suppressing desire briefly on the rise (9)
RESURGENT — begrudge, or object to, around (suppressing) three of a four letter word (briefly) which means desire or impulse

4d        Speed runs up getting run over (5)
RECAP — speed or rate with the ‘crickety’ abbreviation for R[uns] and then reverse the whole thing (up)

5d        Small heartless woman consuming free evening (7)
SUNDOWN — the abbreviation for S[mall] is followed by the first and last letters (heartless) of W[oma]N – in between you need a verb to free or untie. This is the kind of clue that I always find difficult to give a hint for – somehow all the components seem to get themselves in the wrong order.


6d        Disagreeable sound ringing gong (7)
NOISOME — a sound or racket contains (ringing) a two letter abbreviation for a gong or medal

7d        Stubborn bloke supports strain in exercising (12)
INTRANSIGENT — a bloke or a chap follows (supports) an anagram (exercising) of STRAIN IN

10d      In arrest I got criminal record (12)
REGISTRATION — an anagram (criminal) of IN ARREST I GOT

15d      Aid rebels at sea? That’s sensible (9)
DESIRABLE — an anagram (at sea) of AID REBELS – has anyone else noticed how often Ray T’s anagrams seem to ‘hunt in packs’?

17d      Limits of bluster minister suppresses (7)
TERMINI — a lurker or hidden answer indicated by the last word of the clue

18d      Assembly incorporates Northern Ireland province (7)
MUNSTER — an assembly or gathering containing N[orthern]. This one caused more trouble for me than the whole of the rest of the crossword – oh dear!

19d      Fall of villain in lawsuit (7)
CASCADE — a lawsuit or legal action contains (in) a villain or scoundrel

20d      Extravagantly perform part of lover, actually (7)
OVERACT — the second lurker indicated by ‘part of’

22d      Drinks up causing bad temper (5)
STROP — a reversal (up) of some drinks – some fairly powerful fortified wine

I liked 24 and 25a.

The Quickie Pun:- BAR + GUT + HELL = BAGATELLE

90 comments on “DT 29255

  1. Very early hints today – our electricity is about to be switched off.
    Surrounded by noise, mess and muddle (and the idiots who are making it!) :sad:
    Hope I haven’t made a mess of the hints but concentration is tricky at the moment because of the above – back later, probably.

  2. I don’t know why a Ray T without the trademarks should be easier but this one was. Nice to have the crossword on the back page too

    Thanks to Ray and to Kath – hopefully the new bathroom will be worth all the disruption

  3. Steady solve for me today with NW corner holding out the longest . Spotted the Province easily due to rugby knowledge .
    No one clue stood out so no COTD .
    Thanks Kath and , if you are right , Ray T .

  4. Struggled to get started as brain not functioning after a disturbing nightmare of being an ageing member of the Royal family. My fault for watching the excellent Crown mini series, followed by late news of Harry. Once head had cleared the clues became easier especially in the lower half. Perhaps a 2.5/3.5.
    Thanks to Ray and Kath and good luck to Harry…

    1. What a horrible nightmare. I dont envy the members of the Royal Family at all. It must be like livung in a goldfish bowl!

  5. 2.5*/4*. Nice to find Ray T in the chair again on a Thursday even though Her Majesty has been given the day off, presumably to deal with her errant family.

    I suspected a couple of overstretched definitions in 21a but a visit to the BRB confirmed that “wanders” is an archaic meaning of “errs” and that the answer is a dialect word for “shopping”. In my book (and in Collins on-line), 5d is an American term even though it is not indicated as such in the BRB.

    My crowded podium comprises 24a, 26a, 17d & 19d, with a snigger for 12a.

    Many thanks to Ray T and to Kath.

    1. 5d is also Australian, we can’t be blamed for everything! I think we’ve had this discussion before, re movie The Sundowners, probably before your time.

    2. Sorry, but I need to ask why it matters if it’s an American term when we all know what it means, we could use it in a conversation in Britain and it appears in English dictionaries.

        1. Well said, it really doesn’t matter! And neither does it matter that short male or female Christian names aren’t given further transparent/belt-and-braces indicators, other than boy/girl or man/woman.

    3. 21a means shopping over here, people are always running errands, never going shopping.

      1. Interesting — thanks, Lizzie.

        Searching the GloWbE corpus indeed shows that the phrase “running errands” is used more than “going shopping” in American English, and t’other way round in British English.

        What it doesn’t show is whether they convey the same meaning. To me (Yorkshire, UK), “errands” is vaguer: it may include shopping, but also, say, posting a parcel, returning a library book, or making an appointment. And if would have to be the quick, functional, kind of purchasing: buying some milk or a birthday card is an errand.

        Would you (or anybody else still reading this), use “running errands” for spending an hour or so wandering around multiple shops, browsing for items (books, music clothes, whatever you’re into)?

  6. I thoroughly enjoyed this Ray T puzzle (**/****). As CS has said, it was all the better for being on the back page. My favourites were 1a, 7d and 18d. Thanks to Kath (bad luck to have workmen in when doing the hints but you did a great job anyway). Thanks to Ray T too.

  7. Very enjoyable as ever. 18d gave trouble because Northern Ireland is normally NI. Nice misdirection from RayT. Thanks to RayT for the puzzle and to Kath for the review.

    1. Ditto problem for me with NI. I thought the (right) answer was too obvious and expected NI to be there somewhere. It was my last in and I twigged when I found the word wrapped around N.

  8. This one was right up my street, not overly difficult but very clever and enjoyable. I had to check the synonym for 16a but it’s there and I’m sure 6d has come up very recently.
    I’m sure the 2Ks will confirm the word count but definitely a Ray T in my book.
    In a very strong field podium places go to 25a (contains the setter’s favourite supporter!), along with the clever 4 and 19d.
    Many thanks to Mr T and to Kath for their excellent works.

    1. Didn’t read the review before posting but I see Kath has already mentioned the “supporter”. Doh!

  9. Kath
    Will put you on the right path,
    If your answers are minimal
    In puzzles by Ray T or proXimal.

    (Following yesterday’s 19a, and having written one for 2Kiwis.)

  10. I also enjoyed this, but unlike CS, I found it slightly more difficult than recent RayT offerings. Thought I was never going to get a proper foothold, but then I found I had the whole bottom half in and then had to tackle the top. Got there eventually with 3D being my last one in.

    Many thanks to Kath for her dedication under such difficult circumstances and to RayT for the tussle.

  11. Ray T on top form this morning despite the easier nature of the puzzle. My schoolboyish sense of humour wanted to pick 12a as my favourite but the adult in me decided to go for 17d. ER certainly has enough on her plate at the moment to be allowed time off from crossword duties.

    Many thanks to Ray for the enjoyable challenge and to Kath.

  12. Quite a relief to see Ray T back again today – so much coming and going of DT setters over the past few months that any absence rings alarm bells.
    Took a little while to get into this one but once there I was on a roll.
    Definite favourite in 24a with a mention for the giggle-worthy 12a.

    Devotions and a very happy New Year to Mr T and many thanks to Kath for soldiering on through the bathroom mayhem – it will all be worth it in the end!

  13. **-***/****. I needed to reverse engineer a couple of the answers to understand the parsing. But my bungins were right. My favourite was 25a. Thanks to Ray T and Kath.

  14. As CS said, a Ray T without some of the trademarks makes for an easier puzzle, completed at a gallop – **/****.
    Candidates for favourite – 1a, 12a, and 3d – and the winner is 12a.
    Thanks to Ray T and Kath.

  15. This took some application but eventually got there with 21a/22d holding out the longest. As for others 12a was titter-worthy but no other real Fav(s). Thank you RayT and Kath. Made life difficult for myself with the Quickie pun as initially bunged in wrong words for 1a and 3a but in any case find the pun questionable.

    1. I didn’t mind the pun, as it just required a few dry runs to select the right choices among 5 or 6 options. Having said that, these were about the only answers I got in the top half of the quickie, Ray T’s one word clues often presenting me with a headache that I tend to abandon quite quickly.

      Less of a ‘warm-up’, more a ‘throw into boiling water’.

  16. How does one whose subscription to the DT puzzles has expired because the expiration date on his credit card has expired? I have been lurking for over five years and too timorous to join in the wonderful commentariats’ world. But I’ve been unable to access the puzzles because of the problems I have had trying to get reinstated. One problem is that no one at WorldPay will help me! Can anyone advise me what to do?

    Many thanks from Bereft in Charleston, SC

    1. Welcome to the blog – please don’t be timorous in future – come and join in the fun

      There is an email address you could try – I expect that a telephone call would cost you a fortune – and the DT subscription people should be able to add your new card

      Contact Us
      If you have any enquiries regarding Telegraph Puzzles, please contact our Customer Services team by:

      Telegraph Enquiries
      Victory House
      Meeting House Lane
      ME4 4TT

      0800 316 6050 (+44 (0) 1634 88 7509 if calling from overseas)
      Please note that phone lines are open Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm. (All incoming and outgoing calls are recorded for training, quality control and for confirming orders and information.)

      1. Thank you, crypticsue! I have always relied on your posts for survival; as an octogenarian, I have shed decades because of your wit and wisdom. Sadly, I’ve tried every outlet known to science, but no one at telegraphenquiries will even answer me, and it’s been six weeks of trying since my credit card expired. I’ve been a paid subscriber for almost six years, but no one seems mindful of that. I’ve even had a Scottish friend ringing them from Dunfermline with my details, but so far…nothing. And trying to change the details on my credit card through World Pay, which is where DT does its financial business, has been equally unavailing. This cyber-madness! Maybe some kind soul will take up the baton for me?

        1. I have been having trouble, too. I’ve sent an email every week since the beginning of December, but not had a reply. I’ve rung them twice but was still listening to their ‘hold’ music after 20 minutes, so gave up. I begin to think there’s no one there.

          1. Yes, something is up with the DT customer service. I always used to get a prompt response, but the last one I sent asking for help in early December has never received a response. I emailed back after the initial form response which advised me they were very busy, but would get back to me as soon as possible. They must be very, very busy. To date, never had a reply from them. Very disappointing as we pay a lot for these subscriptions.

            1. You need to log into your worldpay account and update your details, i.e credit card.
              Alternative is to open a new account with a different e-mail address and start afresh.

              1. My problem wasn’t with paying, they had my money ok. It was with reading the on line. Erosion of the DT, I had to keep logging in every few days. It is fixed now thank goodness, they just didn’t reply to my email.

                1. Many thanks, BusyLizzie. I hope things are working for you now, but WHY won’t those rascals respond to us? Happy New Year from Charleston!

              2. Thank you, Nigel Pringle! Alas, I’ve been unable to log into my worldpay account; I think, like Merusa, that I must open a new account and proceed ab ovo…. Vlery kind of you to help, and Happy 2020 to you.


          1. Thank you, Mr K, and Happy 2020 from Charleston. Tomorrow morning, I’ll try your suggestion. So far, I’ve been unable to access World Pay. I’ll let you know how I fare.

            1. And a Happy 2020 to you, from Knoxville TN (although my earlier post was from Salt Lake City). I haven’t been to Charleston, but I did visit Spartanburg a few years ago..

        2. As a fellow octogenarian in Miami, I solved this problem by opening a new email account and subscribing as a new member, the last time just reversing my pseudonym. I’m sure there are several techie reasons why this method is not desirable, but it certainly saves me much aggro (horrid word but it has appeared in the crossword) and only happens every five years or so.

          1. Thank you, Merusa. I’ve enjoyed following your comments from Miami over the years, I’ll be 82 before long, have enjoyed many trips to Miami over the years (my PhD is from FSU), and hope you are doing well as a fellow octogenarian. I too abhor the word ‘aggro’ but after exchange-lecturing at The U of Nottingham, I rather got used to it. Happy 2020 to you!

    2. Hello Robert , I had to renew my subscription very recently for the very same reason and like you found it difficult to do online but a very nice helpful lady did it for me on the telephone.

      1. Thank you, Annidrum. My Scottish friend has also been kindly received over the ‘phone, but the poor lady hadn’t a clue–so says my Scotsman–about how to help a Bereft Charlestonian. She just said “Re-subscribe!” (Just try.) Happy 2020 to you.

  17. Thanks to Kath and I agree with the rating. The hints for 6d and 21a came in useful after successful bung-ins.

    I did get 18d OK and I like to think of Ray T chuckling as he imagined us tussling with the mischievous dis-articulation of the words in this ultra elegant clue.

  18. Very enjoyable puzzle from the master of the not so straightforward. Took me ages to work out the definition in 8a until the penny dropped that the sound was a natural feature, very clever. Not too keen on the use of wanders for Errs in 21a but the definitions worked ok.
    Thx to all

    1. Very enjoyable, but I don’t feel that it is a Ray T. As well as not having the trademarks I thought it was rather too modern. Clearly I am in a minority. Favourites 25 and 16a and 1, 4 and 6d. Good luck with the electrics Kath and thanks Ray T if it’s you.

  19. Thoroughly enjoyable and for the fourth day in succession none too challenging. Completed at a gallop in 1.5* and not requiring the review to parse some of my answers – a rarity for me. I also managed to complete all the across clues before looking at the downs which is something I’ve not attempted before but may start doing going forward. Enjoyed 1a as a starter.

  20. Took me a while to get 14a for some reason.
    The rest fell in quite smoothly.
    Favourite 19a.
    Thanks to RayT and to Kath.

  21. Nothing to add to all the other comments except thank you as always for your hard work (bathroom not withstanding!)

  22. Superb RayT to start the year,,, took a while to get going & on wavelength but steadily came together.
    3*/4* favs 16ac &7d
    Many thanks to RayT for the enjoyment & Kath for review,,, hope the chaos subsides ASAP for you!

  23. I’d dearly love to comment how much I enjoyed this puzzle but instead I’m sitting here fuming.

    Several months ago it became impossible to fill in the crossword on the Telegraph Editions app on my iPad. I was told this was due to a software update, it was a common problem, and it would be rectified in due course.

    As I was getting fed up waiting for “due course” to materialise, I took out a subscription to the Telegraph Puzzles app. Cumbersome as it was, it could be used.

    Yesterday I updated my iPad software to version 13.3 and now the Puzzles app isn’t useable either.

    Has anyone else had this problem?

    I know this isn’t the fault of anyone on this blog but I simply had to have a rant!!

    1. Many of my friends have a multitude of problems with IOS. Though not much help for now, get yourself an Android device.
      I have used the DT app on a Samung S5 for years with no problems.

    2. Don’t know if this is relevant but this morning when using puzzles site I got a bad gateway again and again eventually sorted by clearing cookies and re logging in. (Windows – google Chrome browser)

  24. Too tricky for me today. So what?? It’s only a crossword.
    Thanks for the hints, Kath.

  25. This was a bit trickier to me than of late, but Kath’s hints put me back on the right path and Thank her and Ray T for the test.
    12a and 25a tickled my fancy today and my inner child will give the top step to 12a, but my inner Geordie did enjoy 9a.

  26. I did quite well on the East side, then struggled in the NW, finally sank to the bottom in the SW. We’ve had a string of pure delight this week, so this is not a complaint, just thankful I got this far.
    I did have to use some e-help to get me going again, but just ran out of steam.
    Thanks to RayT for what I could solve, and to Kath for her help in finishing.

  27. Thursday is always the most difficult puzzle for me,but I do enjoy reading comments from those who are much more skilled than I.Needed your hint at 7d. largely because I had put mirrors at 8a.Thankyou to all.

  28. Sorry my general comment appears as a reply to Brian (about which I had second thoughts). Not intended as a reply!

  29. Initially, I didn’t think this was a Ray T production because of some of the missing trademarks. It was more straightforward than many but just as good (**/****). I liked 8a, 24a and 25a, particularly. It was completed this a.m. before I set off for my weekly healthy backs pilates class. Fortunately, I felt a little queasy before the class started and gave my apologies – a fine result as it usually takes about 3 days for my back to recover after the class!

  30. Apologies, forgetting my manners. Many thanks to Ray T and to Kath for her mid-chaos blog!

  31. Yes we did check the clue word count and can report that all is in order.
    Plenty to enjoy as ever and the biggest snigger earned by 12a.
    Thanks RayT and Kath.

  32. Evening all. Many thanks to the beleaguered Kath for the decryption and to everybody else for your comments.


    1. Many thanks. I expect to see “beleaguered” as an answer in one of your crosswords very soon!

    2. Good evening, Mr T. All the very best for the New Year and many thanks for all the great puzzles of 2019.

  33. Solve disrupted by trip to IKEA. 18d last one in due to stubbornly insisting on NI being in the answer. 1a favourite. Ta to all.

  34. Sorry, I could not get into the groove today. I had to give up about halfway through. Maybe a meeting with my boss affected my concentration!

    Thanks to RayT and to Kath.

  35. Ray’s crossword’s barks to me always seem worse than their bites. First pass is terrifying and then it seems that one by one they yield. I remember a time when I could only solve one or two but a full grid today without hints was very satisfying. Thank you Ray and to Kath (I don’t know how you got the crossword, hints and pics done with all that going on).

  36. Love my ‘RayT Thursdays’. The SW corner was last to go in for me. Took a while to get 18d, some good misdirection there. 24a also a favourite. I agree that you can run errands without necessarily shopping, but the parsing makes sense. I’m looking forward to a ‘sundowner’ 🍻 especially as it’s a Friday. Thanks Ray and Kath🦇

  37. When it is a Ray T Thursday, I know I am in for a struggle, and today was no exception. On other crosswords the only help I allow myself is a look at the picture hints, but for today I needed Kath’s hints for a lot of the across clues. Thank you Kath, how you do this I don’t know. Then I was able to fill in the missing down clues. Thanks to Mr T for making my exercise my aging brain cells.

    1. Hi BusyLissie, there’s some excellent books books out there about cryptic crosswords. An old friend (as in I’ve known him a long time) bought me How to Crack Cryptic Crosswords by Tim Moorey. Half the trick is being able to recognise the type of clue. Tim has twelve types. RayT’s are still challenging but my success rate has improved dramatically since reading Tim Moorey’s book. Hope this helps for next Thursday. Cheers 🦇

  38. I forgot earlier to thank Kath and RayT for today’s blog and puzzles and for all the years of enlightenment and enjoyment I have had from both of them. The responses to my pleas for help in trying to get my online subscription renewed have been overwhelming, generous, kind and even helpful (I hope). Many thanks to Mr T, Merusa, Nigel Principle, Annidrum, and BusyLizzie (twice), and of course crypticsue, and the comments keep pouring in….For those who suggest World Pay: have you tried using their website lately? I have tried for six weeks, and nothing. Finally, now that I’m here after years of lurking, I do intend to stay if I can ever get a puzzle to work again. Hard to get a hard copy of that (ahem, right-wing) DT in liberal Charleston.

    1. Liberal Charleston? Are you kidding me? Graham is liberal? I need to get someone to scoop me off the floor!

      1. No, I didn’t say that our benighted state is liberal, but we do have two (adjacent, District) Congressmen who are Democrats (James Clyburn and Joe Cunningham), who are moderate to liberal. Graham is from Walhalla, in the upper NW of the state where the evangelicals rule, and of course our sad other senator is just there as a token black Republican who does nothing but, like Graham, worship the heels of DJT. The City of Charleston, where I was born in 1938 and returned after professorships in NYS and U of N’ham, has always been liberal, and Spoleto USA has even widened and deepened that proud heritage. Come see. Come visit us. (I know: Graham, who once hated DJT, and who privately called him an “abomination”, has become just that.) Goodnight to Miami.

        1. I would have chosen a different part of the anatomy that he worships.

          Before we get any further, politics is barred here, so before BD intervenes and tells us so, we’d better cool it!

  39. RayT my favourite compiler. I struggled more than I should have done due to suffering from a heavy cold/flu, I’m not sure which but hey ho I got there. I too am not sure about 21a. I’ve never considered 5d as anything other than an English word but I could be wrong. Lots of favourites but 7d gets it. Many thanks to RayT and Kath.

  40. I found this really, really difficult and I usually do OK with Ray T puzzles. I ground to a halt in the bottom left-hand corner, although I did eventually get there with the help of various dictionaries. Last one in was 21a. Thanks to Ray T and Kath and happy new(ish) year to everyone.

  41. Hello from me again, in Sheffield this time. You can all call me mean if you like but I’ve escaped to spend a couple of days in peace with my sister – everything is relative, both my sister and the peace!
    Thanks to Ray T for the crossword and to everyone for their comments (and sympathy for the chaos at home in Oxford at the moment).
    Night night all and sleep well – I will, I’m sure, apart from the No 7 bus that trundles up past the bedroom window . . .

  42. Thanks to Ray T and to Kath for the review and hints. A nice puzzle from Ray T, my biggest hold up was 18d great misdirection without NI. There was a penny drop moment when I realised that 17d was a lurker, initially thought it was starting with “br” limits of bluster. Favourite was 4d, so clever. Was 3*/4* for me.

    1. I agree about the great misdirection in 18d. I saw NI and “province” and really wanted the answer to be MANITOBA. Alas, too many letters. Maybe next time.

  43. Obtained Fri am and solved Fri aft, this well worth a short belated comment. I thought it was excellent, as you’d expect from Ray T. Many good clues that needed some deep(ish) cogitation, so a decent challenge and very enjoyable to solve. Best of the week for me. 3.5* / 4*

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