DT 29258 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

DT 29258

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29258

Hints and tips by Jess Oakroyd

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty *Enjoyment ***

Good morning from a very wet downtown LI. Where nothing has happened to disturb the peace. The river rose up and burst its banks but politely went back down again quite quickly. Your reviewer binged out on the weekend’s rugby matches while Saint Sharon fed 37 members of The Napton Golf Society a three-course dinner. Best keep out of the way I thought. So I did.

Today we have a gentle puzzle that perfectly fills the Monday brief. Nothing too obscure. Do as it says in the clue and all should be well.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Section of gulag has them overcome with horror (6)
AGHAST: The answer here lies within the words of the clue. Indicated by the words section of.

4a    Explain Pinter’s opening in ‘Betrayal’ (5,3)
SPELL OUT: A betrayal of the kind Bob Dylan was accused of when he ‘went electric’ contains the initial letter of the surname Pinter

9a    English bishop with task to perform (6)
ERRAND: A three-part charade. 1. The abbreviation for English. 2. The abbreviation of a title given to a bishop, especially in the Anglican Church. 3. A conjunction meaning with.

10a    What may be ridden round by one, briefly? (8)
UNICYCLE: A round or rotation preceded by most of (briefly) a four-letter word meaning one

11a    An ingredient of gunpowder later step developed (9)
SALTPETRE: Anagram (developed) of LATER STEP

13a    Starts to round up ruminants at large in the countryside (5)
RURAL: The initial letters (starts to) of five consecutive words in the clue

14a    Sick to benefit more? None too soon (3,6,4)

17a    Financing it is silly, meaningless (13)

21a    House of retired US soldier — look round (5)
IGLOO: Reverse (retired) our regular American soldier. Add a short word meaning look. Add the roundest of round letters

23a    Send signals from beach about European plot (9)
SEMAPHORE: Place the abbreviation for European together with a verb meaning to plot or make a chart inside another word for a beach

24a    International finished as planned (8)
INTENDED: The abbreviation for International is followed by a word meaning finished, over, done with or completed

25a    Calling attendant about one, finally (6)
CAREER: This vocation can be found by placing a nurse or attendant around the final letter of the word one

26a    House: Philip entering to look at gardening aid (8)
HOSEPIPE: There are three parts and a jiggle to this charade. 1 The shortened form of the word house. 2. A shortened form of the name Phillip as used in Great Expectations 3 A word meaning to look at. Once you have the three parts, jiggle away until you have a word matching the underlined definition

27a    Guard small passage (6)
SENTRY: Begin with the abbreviation for small. Add a dialect word for a passageway between two buildings. As a child growing up in Coventry these passageways formed our shortcuts to everywhere

Buckingham Palace AA MILNE

They’re changing guard at Buckingham Palace –
Christopher Robin went down with Alice.
Alice is marrying one of the guard.
“A soldier’s life is terrible hard,”
                                     Says Alice.

They’re changing guard at Buckingham Palace –
Christopher Robin went down with Alice.
We saw a guard in a sentry-box.
“One of the sergeants looks after their socks,”
                                     Says Alice.

They’re changing guard at Buckingham Palace –
Christopher Robin went down with Alice.
We looked for the King, but he never came.
“Well, God take care of him, all the same,”
                                     Says Alice.

They’re changing guard at Buckingham Palace –
Christopher Robin went down with Alice.
They’ve great big parties inside the grounds.
“I wouldn’t be King for a hundred pounds,”
                                     Says Alice.

They’re changing guard at Buckingham Palace –
Christopher Robin went down with Alice.
A face looked out, but it wasn’t the King’s.
“He’s much too busy a-signing things,”
                                     Says Alice.

They’re changing guard at Buckingham Palace –
Christopher Robin went down with Alice.
“Do you think the King knows all about me?”
“Sure to, dear, but it’s time for tea,”
                                     Says Alice.


1d    Not favouring American poetry (6)
AVERSE: The abbreviation for American is followed by what poetry might also be known as

2d    Bad luck if player gets these? (4,5)
HARD LINES: A term meaning bad luck might also describe a difficult piece for an actor to learn and remember

3d    Some courts and pitches where children may play (7)
SANDPIT: As with 1 across the answer lies hidden within the words of the clue. The word some advises us so

5d    Turmoil in opium den man sorted out (11)
PANDEMONIUM: Anagram (sorted out) of OPIUM DEN MAN

6d    Uncle swimming across English river and lake (7)
LUCERNE: An anagram (swimming) of UNCLE surrounds the abbreviations of English and river

7d    Take place of us outside Cricket Club (5)
OCCUR: A determiner (of us) meaning belonging to surrounds the abbreviation of cricket club

8d    The man’s inside playing subtle form of music (3,5)
THE BLUES: An anagram (playing) of SUBTLE surrounds a pronoun meaning that man

12d    Story one may mistakenly associate with ‘Rip Van Winkle’? (3,3,5)
THE BIG SLEEP: Our cluemaster is trying to hint at the title of one novel by Raymond Chandler by referring to another novel by Washington Irving. If the clue and this hint leave you baffled you will need to resort to solving by filling in from the checking letters

15d    Shy type, mostly ever so tense, after opening (9)
INTROVERT: The word ever minus its opening letter is followed by the abbreviation for the word tense. Together these follow the opening of a musical piece perhaps

16d    Drop off short skirt to be collected by stunner (8)
DIMINISH: A very short skirt sits within a word that might be used to describe a pretty female

18d    Adult‘s complaint reportedly raised (5-2)
GROWN UP: A homophone based upon a complaint is used here to clue an adult

19d    Satisfy with a couple of pages on moderate (7)
APPEASE: Start with the letter A gifted by the setter. Add two abbreviations for pages. Add a word meaning to moderate or lessen the impact of.

20d    Enthusiastic male group heading off (6)
HEARTY: Begin with the singular male pronoun. Add a group of people but minus the first letter

22d    Patch of ground by American plant (5)
LOTUS: Begin with a patch of ground. This word often follows parking as a description of a car park. Add the abbreviation for United States

Quickie Puns

Top line taw+meant+awe=tormentor

Bottom line why+dough+pun=wide open


54 comments on “DT 29258

  1. No problems to today…Time for Pan in the Guardian….
    Thanks for the clip of Kenneth Branagh…not a patch on the original…
    btw a couple of the answers are not blanked out…
    Thanks MP and the Monday setter.

  2. A very straightforward crossword and I would agree with MP’s rating of */***. There were some fine lurkers and a bit of a challenge in spelling 11a, which always foxes me. I rather liked 6d and 12d. Thanks to the setter and to MP for the hints,

  3. Miffypops
    Gives us hints that are tops.
    He surely would be famous,
    If only he could remember what his name is.

  4. I thought this was as easy as they get for a back-pager. Almost too straightforward, but retaining an element of enjoyment nonetheless. 8d was my favourite.

    Thanks to the Double-Punner and MP.

  5. Totally agree with the BD’s rating and MP’s comment on this one. My only slight problem was the parsing of 15d.
    I liked the anagram 5d (such a great word) but podium places go to 4a, and 6d with top spot being claimed by 10a.
    Many thanks to MP for his usual excellent blog and to the setter.
    Ps…isn’t it about time the synonym that goes around mini in 16d was consigned to the dustbin, it’s about 50 years out of date!

    1. I agree with the dated reference. As old as the clip I was going to use for 15d. The Intro and the Outro by The Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band

      1. Actually I still use that word in its intended sense but maybe that doesn’t stop it being dated. Your idea for the clip would have been spot on with Neil Innes dying recently, Vivian Stanshall going some years ago tragically in a house fire.

  6. An extremely benevolent offering finished in a canter in a shade over * time. I don’t know what other contributors think but I’m finding the absence of any degree of difficulty in some of the recent back pagers a tad unsatisfactory. I’m by no means an accomplished solver (hopelessly inadequate when it comes to the Toughie) but look forward to bit of a mental workout with the DT Cryptic. If I barely have to pause to think I suspect our experts must feel they’re in remedial class.

    1. It’s a tricky one isn’t it.
      On the one hand, yes, it was straightforward and I probably broke my solving record, on the other hand, there are probably a multitude of less experienced solvers who have loved this.
      I have been battling through Pan in the Guardian, which is much tougher, and, more importantly, free!! So I suppose the moral of the story is, if needed, there are tougher challenges out there.

      1. Thanks for the Grauniad tip Hoofit – toiled to 1 shy of completion & thoroughly enjoyed it.

      2. Please give a thought to the rookie solvers, most of whom never post on here. This must have been a delightful puzzle for them today, as indeed it was for me, a veteran solver. Sometimes it’s nice to be able to quickly fill in the boxes, especially on days when I don’t have much time to spare. And what one find easy another finds hard.

    2. Oh give over, Huntsman, didn’t you have a good workout yesterday? Or are you saying that was a walkover too?

  7. A very gentle start to the week which offered no challenge at all hence was over all too soon. No Fav or fun. Thank you Mysteron and MP.

  8. Regarding the question whether the puzzle was too easy, it was a delight to me to finish a DT cryptic crossword without digital help or reference to this website, AND be able to parse all the clues. I think this may be the first time. So the occasional easier one is a real encouragement to those of us who are learning the ropes. I have regularly used this website for several years and have learned so much from it. Thank you to those who make it happen.

  9. Possibly Monday’s puzzles are on the gentle side to ease us into the week? Enjoyable all the same.

  10. */***. Monday’s are such a pleasant start to the week. Thanks to MP and our setter for a gentle but fun puzzle.

    1. Quick solve. Most straight in without any assistance. I may have been slightly over 1* due to the length of time it took me to get 20d. I think I was looking to start with an M. Once I got over this handicap all was well. I thought the anagrams were rather obvious especially 5d. Favourite 2d.

  11. I don’t mind straightforward Monday crosswords particularly on a day when I have lots of other things to do, including solving other crosswords.

    Thanks to our double-punning setter and our multi-named blogger

  12. Very enjoyable. There were only two where I had to consult the hints and they were 8d and 20a.In 8d I got the “the man” part but not “subtle form”. It was ages before the penny dropped even after consulting the hint.

    I liked the anagram at 17a but my COTD is 23a.

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

  13. Quick solve. Most straight in without any assistance. I may have been slightly over 1* due to the length of time it took me to get 20d. I think I was looking to start with an M. Once I got over this handicap all was well. I thought the anagrams were rather obvious especially 5d. Favourite 2d.

  14. Last one in was also 20d. Shortly preceded by 25a.
    2d was a bit of a bung in as I didn’t know that expression for bad luck.
    Liked the anagram in 17a but favourite is 23a.
    Thanks to the setter and to MP for the review.

  15. Wizzed through this until I got to 20d. Decided to leave it and go off and see the new 1917 movie. Just got back and managed to fill in 20d from the checking letters. Many thanks to the setter and to J.B. Priestley

  16. I really enjoyed this, notwithstanding I spelt 11a incorrectly which caused solving to be much longer.
    Lots to like here, maybe 5d is fave because I love the word; I often choose words by the sound of them.
    I did need help unravelling 23a, so thanks for that, and also thanks for Christopher Robin, always welcome.
    Thanks to our Monday setter and Jess Oakroyd for his hints and tips.

  17. Similar to many others, a galloping 1* for the sprint finish, but 3 or 4* for enjoyment – especially after yesterday’s (for me) horrendous workout. Thanks setter & MP.

  18. Would agree with the rating if it were not for 12d and 25a which pushed it into the ** for difficulty.
    The top was R&R though.
    Thx to all

  19. A nice start to the week 😃 ( I needed the hint for 20d 😳) so **/*** Favourites 6 & 16d Thanks to MP and to the Setter 🤗

  20. Whizzed through until 20d.
    Put me into **plus time for difficulty
    Ashamed of myself.
    Many thanks to the setter and to Miffypops for the review.

  21. Loved it, thanks to setter and to Miffypops. Like others, I spelt 11a wrongly until I realized 5d was an anagram with no r… still not a gallop for me, but a steady canter nonetheless.

  22. What else can I say that hasn’t already eloquently been put apart from 25a and 20 down took me longer than the rest of the crossword put together to solve, mainly because I couldn’t get the attendant being page out of my head. Enjoyable and favourite being 11a mainly because I can spell it. Many thanks to the setter and MF.

  23. I have never commented before, but felt brave today! I only regularly do Monday’s and thought this quite straightforward. However, as with many things in life, they are only easy if you can see the answer. I often struggle with the DT on the rare occasion I tackle other days, but I (usually!) enjoy the challenge. Many thanks to the setter, and all at Big Dave’s for enhancing the experience.

  24. After 3 passes, I’ve got 13 answers so far (slightly under half). At this point I’d normally resort to electronic assistance or some hints here, presuming that getting further would be beyond me.

    But so many comments suggesting this crossword is easier than most has given me the encouragement to persevere longer by myself. I’ll see how it looks in the morning …

    1. 13 answers is nearly a half filled grid as you rightly say. That should give enough checkers to enable a guess at an answer or two which will give more checkers. Ho Hum. A filled grid is a filled grid. Howsoever one gets there

  25. A red letter day today. Completed today’s crossword with my very own brain and no help at all. Since everyone else found it so easy it tells me nothing about my brain. But it is my own and as long it keeps working I will keep oiling it.

  26. I thought this one was slightly harder than the Monday fare we’ve received lately, but enjoyable nonetheless. I thought 12d was an anagram initially, but as the across clues went in it had to be that fantastic book and movie. So that’s my favourite. Bring on the six nations MP. Thanks to the setter🦇

  27. Delightful. A couple which took some time, and proper unconvoluted clues to test memory rather than logic skills. There are lots of us who will never solve the Toughie. I did once but found the back page puzzle incomprehensible so concluded they had been transposed! I have been doing the DT Crossword for nearly 30 years and of late have found little enjoyment in the newer setters offerings as they compete with each other in their desire to confound rather than entertain.

  28. Commenting on this one from 24 hours in the future so no one will read it which will save me a telling off from some.
    It’s probably the first time I have become bored with a cryptic puzzle and left it unfinished. I understand how people new to the art form would welcome it and enjoy though.

    I do hope that age-old standards in the DT back-page can be maintained into the future.

Comments are closed.