DT 29261 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29261

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29261

Hints and tips by pommers

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Hola from the Vega Baja where it’s a bit chilly but bright and sunny but with rain forecast for the weekend. I’m a bit twitchy about rain at the moment so I hope it’s not of biblical proportions!
I don’t know who today’s setter is apart from I’d venture it isn’t proXimal.  It certainly didn’t frighten the horses and I was going to go for just * difficulty after I got seven acrosses and then fourteen downs on first pass. However a couple of the rest held out a bit so ** it is for me.  There are five reasonably lengthy anagrams to give a lot of checkers so I don’t expect many of you will have had much trouble.

As usual the ones I liked most are in blue.  The definitions are underlined in the clues and the answers are under the “click here” buttons so don’t click on them unless you really want to see the answer.  Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a           Tempting woman with dresses cut outrageously (10)
SEDUCTRESS:  Anagram (outrageously) of DRESSES CUT.  Here’s Liz Hurley in that outrageously cut dress . . .

6a           What is soothing in herbal mixture (4)
BALM:  A lurker hiding in (in) the last two words.

10a         Some dismal sins recalled in religion (5)
ISLAM:  Another lurker hiding in (some) DISMAL SINS but it’s backwards (recalled).

11a         Bird got by sailor — mighty not half! — in vessel (9)
PTARMIGAN:  Start with the usual three letter sailor and MIG (MIG(hty) not half) and insert them (in) into a vessel or container you would find in the kitchen.

12a         Dress has fixture at the front (8)
PINAFORE:  Start with a type of fixture that often has the word safety before it and follow with an archaic word for at the front or before.

13a         Piece of isolated territory is rented out (5)
ISLET:  The IS from the clue and then a word meaning rented out or leased.

15a         A new game in shed where folk meet (4-3)
HANG OUT:  A from the clue, N(ew) and a Japanese board game (2) inserted into another word for a shed and then split (4-3).

17a         Bad person  that can bring great destruction (7)
TWISTER:  Double definition.  This bad person is a conman and he’s also a slang term for a type of weather phenomena which can indeed bring great destruction.

19a         Top music group given external support (7)
PREMIER:  Start with an American rock band from the 1980’s and around them put a type of support (getting external . . .).   What would crossword setters do without this very useful band?

21a         More than one flashy guy passes away — and must get buried (7)
DANDIES:  Take a word for which passes away is a euphemism and insert AND (and must get buried).

22a         Lily is superior, hugged by many people? (5)
LOTUS:  The single letter for superior or upper class inserted into (hugged by) a word meaning many, people or anything else.

24a         Mum unhappy about article that is printed in big type (8)
MASTHEAD:  The usual two letter mum and a word meaning unhappy are placed around (about) a definite article to get something in big type on the front page of a newspaper.

27a         Equivocate as casual worker with zero extra money (9)
TEMPORISE: a casual office worker followed by the letter which looks like zero and finally a word for some extra money as in an increase in salary.

28a         Drink husband imbibed brings complaint (5)
WHINE:  A drink made from grapes with H(usband) inserted (imbibed). 

29a         European worker treated badly meeting premature end (4)
SLAV:  This type of worker is treated badly because he doesn’t get paid.  Take the last letter off (meeting premature end) and you’re left with an Eastern European.  How many thought prematurE end was the E?

30a         Repeats Easter rite in new arrangement (10)
REITERATES:  Anagram (in new arrangement) of EASTER RITE.


1d           Step to get rid of a commotion (4)
STIR:  Take another word for a step, unless you live in a bungalow you’ll have a flight of them in your house, and remove (to get rid of) the A.

2d           Playful behaviour brings end of old association (9)
DALLIANCE:  This playful behaviour often involves someone of the opposite sex. Start with a D (end of olD) and follow with an association or union.

3d           Mark is male in very deep sleep (5)
COMMA:  This punctuation mark is M(ale) inserted into (in) a word for a very deep sleep or unconsciousness.

4d           Music and drink bringing resonance (7)
RAPPORT:  A type of music (?) performed by Snoop Dogg among many others is followed by a drink that originates in Portugal.  You’ll probably be pleased to see I’ve resisted the temptation to inflict some of this stuff on you.

5d           Least fresh beer served in street twice (7)
STALEST:  You need two of the abbreviation of street (street twice) and between them (served in) you need to put the usual three letter beer.

7d           Girl not wanting a financial backer (5)
ANGEL:  A girl’s name but without the final A (wanting A).  I couldn’t resist this one . . .

8d           I’m a monster for putting out economic theory (10)
MONETARISM:  Anagram (for putting out) of IM A MONSTER.  I did wonder if this clue is a dig at Margaret Thatcher

9d           Cherished desire? A doctor has it, one needing to get on (8)
AMBITIONListen very carefully . . .  It’s a charade of the A from the clue followed by one of the two letter doctors. Then the IT from the clue, the letter that looks like the number one and finally the ON from the clue.  Phew!

14d         Sausages with palish coat getting cooked (10)
CHIPOLATAS:  Anagram (getting cooked) of PALISH COAT.

16d         Little old colonial outpost making mistake? (8)
OMISSION:  Start with the abbreviation of Old (little Old) and follow with a type of colonial outpost which often preached Christianity to the natives.

18d         A-List Brit sadly narrow in outlook (9)
TRIBALIST:  Anagram (sadly) of A LIST BRIT.

20d         Lettuce and fish eggs — most important for inclusion (7)
ROMAINE:  Start with some fish eggs and insert (for inclusion) a word for most important and you’ll get another name for a cos lettuce.

21d         Journey down is fair with hint of sun breaking in (7)
DESCENT:  A word for fair or proper with an S (hint of Sun) inserted (breaking in).

23d         Cap on the old man in American city (5)
TAMPA:  A type of Scottish cap and the usual father gives a city in Florida.

25d         Hard container for one chopping wood? (5)
HEWER:  H(ard) and then an old-fashioned word for a container or large jug.

26d         Hardy girl in the empty ship (4)
TESS:  The eponymous girl in a Thomas Hardy novel is TE (T(h)E empty) followed by the usual two letters for a Steam Ship.  Here’s another girl with the same name . . .

I rather liked 17a and 21a but top step on the podium has to go to 8d.

Quick crossword pun:     DISC     +     WYATT     =     DISQUIET

60 comments on “DT 29261

  1. Fast start , slow finish for me today with no clue standing out as a favourite .
    More rain in South Wales and still no sign of the white stuff .
    DT has informed me that I have been deselected to test the new App ! I wonder why .
    Thanks Pommers and the Setter .

    1. So was I. Perhaps they automatically exclude anyone who grapples with the Cryptic Crossword – and then complains 😂

      1. On the other hand, I got an email response yesterday, i.e. January 15, to my email of December 3 with a problem I was having with my subscription. They said they had been very busy… To be fair, my problem did disappear quite quickly after I contacted them originally, they just didn’t actually respond to me.

  2. I took a little longer than Pommers to sort this one out – I could blame both writing a solution in the wrong place and the interruptions from Mr CS who hasn’t yet quite grasped that crossword solving is a serious business that shouldn’t be interrupted with idle chat :(

    No idea as to the setter – but I did enjoy the solve – thanks to the Thursday Mysteron and Pommers. We’ve had rain and wind of almost Biblical proportions – let’s hope both Kent and Spain have a break from it for a while

  3. 1a was my COTD although in truth there were several contenders, many of which our blogger has already highlighted. This was a thoroughly enjoyable and reasonably straightforward puzzle which was a delight to complete.

    Many thanks to our setter and to pommers. Thanks also to pommers for not inflicting any of the supposed music form alluded to in 4d. Stick a ‘c’ in front and you have my opinion of it.

      1. And me! I always think that when its used in clues, it has me shouting at the newspaper.

  4. I found this a nicely challenging but satisfying solve. Luckily, all the anagrams “jumped out at me” and the lurkers were obvious giving me a decent foothold. My only problem was parsing 15a, my last one in.
    In a very strong field podium places go to 3 and 8d with top spot to 19a, the wordplay featuring one of my all time favourite bands.
    Many thanks to the setter and to Pommers for his well illustrated (just the ticket to brighten up a dreary morning in S Devon) review.

  5. A steady solve after a somewhat slowish start and completed bang on *** time. The 18d anagram took me a while for some reason and 25d & 28a were my last two in & caused some head scratching. An enjoyable offering today with 11a the COTD for me. Thanks to Pommers & to the setter. Now for the Toughie where I’ll need it to be as benevolent as the last 2 days for a hat-trick of completions.

  6. This was relatively straight forward (definitely not ProXimal) and ** for difficulty **** for enjoyment. The bottom half was a bit trickier than the top. I liked 12a and 24a. Thanks to Pommers for the hints. I can only suggest laying in the buckets and sand bags just in case. It inly ever rains when I forget my brolly! Thanks to the mystery compiler.

  7. Like KFB, a fast start with a slow finish completed at a fast canter – 2.5*/3.5*.
    Favourite – 24a.
    As to the setter, with Mr Manley’s retirement form regular Friday duty, there seems to be some ‘re-arrangement’ in progress at the end of the work week.
    Today is obviously not Ray T as he was on duty last week and not proXimal as there is no X-less pangram. So, is CL on duty today ‘filling-in’?
    And, does that mean we will get proXXXXimal tomorrow? Or, as could quite easily be the case, am I completely wrong?
    In any event, thanks to the setter and pommers.

    1. It wont be proXimal tomorrow as he will be in the Toughie seat. It’s Beam today so this can’t be a RayT – I don’t think the back page and Toughie have ever been set by the same person on the same day.

      1. I believe a couple of years ago (?) we did have a Ray T back pager on the same day as a Beam Toughie but I don’t think the doubling up has happened since then.

      2. Ah, I hadn’t checked the Toughie setters. I will, perhaps mistakenly, hang on to the thought that CL is today’s setter.

  8. I had the top half filled in very quickly, with the remainder taking a little longer to sort out.

    Thanks to the Mysteron (I have no idea who set this) for this enjoyable puzzle, and to pommers for the write-up.

    Anyone know if Shamus is still setting for the DT ?

    1. We’ve not seen a Shamus Toughie in the Telegraph for some considerable time, but he still sets very occasionally for the Independent using the pseudonym Hypnos. In fact he was last seen in this guise on Sunday this week, and a very good puzzle it was too.

        1. As far as I can see Sleuth’s last offering in the FT was June 25 last year so perhaps he’s retired.

          1. He’s ‘busy with other things’ including being Senior Question Master on Only Connect

  9. Same for me as with some others – a racing start, only to be slowed down by later clues. Last in 21A as the 5 word description of the solution (when it’s normally one or two words) tripped me. Nevertheless a pleasing 2/4 for me. Thanks to Pommers for the clues and the lovely picture of Liz Hurley.

  10. 2*/4*. This was a very enjoyable Thursday puzzle and one which I am certain was not set by either proXimal or RayT.

    Three minor hmms from me, which didn’t spoil my enjoyment. Isn’t “Piece of” padding in 13a? I don’t much like the use of 15a as a noun but it is in the BRB [incidentally enumerated as (7), not (4-3)] ; and the less said about 7d the better.

    I found it quite difficult to pick a favourite from the rest of a fine selection of clues. So I’ll just include this, which I’m sure at least Stephen L. will like:

    Many thanks to today’s Mysteron and to pommers.

    1. The only issue I had with 7d was that Pommer’s clip of Angela Rippon is copyright barred in the UK.

      1. Thanks RD…I appreciate the thought 😉…and I do love that track, along with many others of theirs. I often comment without reading the review too!

  11. I found this much easier than yesterday, but that could be because today my digestive system is running at a country lane pace rather than an autobahn.

    As other have said, 1a is my COTD as well.

    And the Quickie is a pangram, too!

    Thanks to all.

  12. Today the North beat the South to it. 19a was a bung-in because I have never heard of the music group. I suppose 7d is resonance? My Fav was 26d once I had realised hardy was not an adjective. Overall not really my cup of tea. The Quickie was as challenging as the Cryptic. Thank you Mysteron and pommers

    1. The Quickie was an impossible solve if you misread 4&9a as plural instead of singular. I gave up & pressed reveal then realised I should have gone to Specsavers.
      Henry Fonda was the best Earp in my opinion

  13. Improbably, it’s now day 9 of clerihew week:

    When bafflement is upon us,
    Provides hints and tips most handy
    All the way from Alicante.

    Hopefully if the word crops up again, everybody will now know what it is …

  14. Nice and straightforward, obviously none of the usual suspects 😬 **/*** Favourites were 12a & 4d 😃 The only one that I could not fathom was 1d 😬 Thanks to Pommers and to the Setter

  15. Well – I wonder who set this one? An enjoyable solve with no stand-out favourite although 1a made me smile and I thought the setter was brave to set about giving a clue for 11a!

    Thanks to Mr Ron and to Pommers for the review. Quite a few flooded roads here but, touch wood, nothing like the epic proportions that came your way. I can certainly understand why you are twitchy about the forecast.

  16. It is always the pesky 4 letter words that beat you! My nemesis was 1d which I couldn’t solve. Stupid!

    Hope the rain in Spain is nothing like last time.

  17. Pleasant enough. Too many anagrams which gave the game away on too many other clues. I’m sure it’s a wrong thought, but it always strikes me as they are an easy way out for the setter. No obvious favourite for me today. I shall now go and come a cropper on the Toughie, I suspect.

  18. It is a pleasure to complete a Thursday puzzle ,a truly rare event.Only trap l fell into was 22a. but sorted that via 16d.Thanyou for the Angela clip,happy memories of a great comedy pairing.

  19. Another Thursday crossword needing me to uncover one of the clues. Liked 12 and 27a. Thanks to Pommers and the setter..

  20. I sat in the OPO and tried to do the Quickie – 1a, 4a, and 9a – in the paper for the pun………..hmmm…no!
    Anyone else got stuck on that?

  21. Does anyone know why, on the puzzles site, I have to hit each letter twice before it goes into the grid. I have subscribed at £36 or so for a year so I can try the GK and Toughys for a year, but not impressed so far! Please help.

    1. I too joined up for the free trial as I am fed up of having to go in and out of the crosswords and sudoku all the time. The puzzle site is even worse! I cancelled it the same day.

    2. Hello there,
      I pay the same £36 or so every year.
      No problem on my home computer although I prefer to print the crossword.
      On my Samsung tablet when I press the A. two of them always appear. Must be a keyboard thing.

    3. I have used the site for about 10 years and it mostly works on both my Windows PC and an Android tablet.

    4. I’m the same when completing on the iPad and it’s extremely irritating – I only took up the subscription to have a bash at the Toughie. The free Guardian site is a breeze.

  22. I did not find it as easy as everyone else, but got there in the end.
    I agree that North was easier than the South.
    16d took an age to sort out for some reason.
    Thanks Pommers and the Thursday setter.

  23. I’m totally lost, I thought it was Thursday and was fretting it would be an esoteric puzzle beyond my ken! Oh wait, I just looked and it is Thursday! Miracle.
    Loved this, nothing obscure, just a steady solve. My last solve was 17a, but why, it was perfectly straightforward.
    I needed e-help for the anagram at 8d, I’m not into anything to do with money!
    I have two standouts: 11a and 14d. I’ll have to google to find out how 11a got it’s name.
    Thanks to our setter, oh puh-leeese come back, and to pommers for his review, particularly unravelling 1d.

  24. It all slotted together smoothly for us with a good supply of chuckles along the way.
    Thanks Mr Ron and pommers.

  25. Lagged behind on the solve time , a few pushed me into 3* . Enjoyable puzzle that caught me out again.
    3*/4* favs 2d & 11ac
    Thanks to setter & Pommers for review.

  26. Far too tough for me. Managed the top half but the bottom totally defeated me. Thought the recent puzzle trend was too good to be true!
    Thx for the hints

  27. Got held up in the SE. 25d and 28a were my last ones in.
    Thought about ELO for the band in 19a which slowed me down also.
    Sounds like a bit of a struggle.
    Well, it was really.
    I like a fight.
    Thanks to the setter and to Pommers for the review.

  28. I too was trying to fit ELO in 19a until the penny dropped with a loud clang (music and bands bring one of my specialist subjects). Splendid crossword, my last in was 29a mainly because I forgot about it lurking in the sw corner. Favourite was 11a, although I’ve never seen one, but second has to be 1a mainly due to Pommers’ picture of Liz Hurley who I will stress I’ve never met, in fact I don’t know many actresses, well none actually. Many thanks the the setter and Pommers.

  29. Thanks, Brian. I’m glad someone else had the same trouble. Some of your recent comments led me to believe you had left me on the “slow” step, but now perhaps we are not so far apart !! Depends on getting on the right wavelength, of course. Are you over the 70s (age)? (I was an evacuee in S.A.). Thanks to all. I read more than type (here).

  30. I too found this easy to start and hard to finish, with some tricky ones in the bottom half. No particular CoTD but several contenders. Failed on 19a so thank you for the hint; also had to consult the Mrs on 20d, cos it wasn’t the obvious lettuce … (sorry!)

  31. Favourite was 26d because it’s my favourite book. I guessed there would be murmurings about the first part of 5d and I wasn’t disappointed. Thanks to mystery setter for making this fun. LOI 29a for which I needed DT’s hint and thank you to him also.

  32. Enjoyable crossword. Some very nice clues. Yes, I know it is March 4th, but this was one in my folder that I had not got round to looking at until now.

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