DT 29264 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29264

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29264

Hints and tips by Harry Hewitt

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BD Rating – Difficulty *Enjoyment ***

Good morning from the misty heart of Downtown LI. Where nice things happen every day. Today’s good thing so far is confirmation than Allan Scott is indeed the name of our double punning setter.

Thank you, Allan, for the recent fun.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


7a    Sublime joke grasped by academic in charge (8)
MAJESTIC: A verb meaning to speak in an amusing way is surrounded by a university degree and the abbreviation for. In charge

9a    Drug I swallowed after operation (6)
OPIATE: The letter I from the clue is followed by a word meaning to have eaten (swallowed). They follow the abbreviated form of operation

10a    Right do well after Surrey’s opener dropped (6)
PROPER: Find a word meaning to do well financially and remove the opening letter of the word Surrey

11a    Abruptly end holiday away (5,3)
BREAK OFF: Two synonyms are needed to solve this clue. One for holiday and another for away

12a    What Open University offers article outlined — cut ad out (5,9)
ADULT EDUCATION: Begin with a single-letter article. Add an anagram (out) of OUTLINED CUT AD.

The surface reading of this clue makes very little sense

15a    Smash slate (4)
SLAM: A double definition, the second meaning to criticise severely

17a    Fool nicking small wrench (5)
TWIST: A fool or idiot has the abbreviation for small inserted

19a    Demanding firm (4)
HARD: A double definition, the second being the opposite of soft

20a    What to do when no longer having an axe to grind? (4,3,7)
BURY THE HATCHET: A cryptic definition pointing to a term meaning to make up after a quarrel.

As children we shook hands saying

Make Friends. Make friends.
Never ever break friends.
If you do you will get the flu
and that will be the end of you

23a    Uncomplimentary reviewer, a student (8)
CRITICAL: Begin with a word meaning a reviewer. Add the letter A from the clue. Add the usual abbreviation for a learner

25a    Constant companion of Irish playwright holding party (6)
SHADOW: Insert the usual party into the name of an Irish playwright George Bernard is the fellow you are looking for

27a    In hotel, immersed in a large volume (2,4)
AT HOME: Insert the phonetic alphabet letter denoted by the word hotel into the letter A from the clue and a word meaning a large heavy book

28a    Road safety features in cases yet to be resolved (4-4)
CAT’S EYES: Anagram (to be resolved) of CASES YET


1d    Beautiful food, reportedly (4)
FAIR: A homophone of a word meaning food means beautiful

2d    Page checked by very severe correspondent (3,3)
PEN PAL: The abbreviation for page sits inside a word meaning very severe or harsh (especially of taxation or interest rates)

3d    Blackleg in second taxi (4)
SCAB: The abbreviation for small is followed by a term for a taxi

4d    Person, for example, associated with a wine shop (6)
BODEGA: A noun meaning a person is followed by an abbreviation of for example. This is followed by the letter a from the clue

5d    Difficult: getting credit on top of loans is hard (8)
TICKLISH: An old fashioned term for credit is followed by the first (Top of) letter of loans, is from the clue and the abbreviation for hard

6d    Man — name sure confused hospital worker (5,5)
STAFF NURSE: A word meaning to provide workers is followed by the abbreviation for name and an anagram (confused) of SURE

8d    River round York’s centre in flood (7)
TORRENT: The third longest river in England sits outside the middle two letters of the word York

13d    Consider intentional (10)
DELIBERATE: A double definition

14d    Join squad, English (5)
UNITE: A squad or group of soldiers perhaps is followed by the abbreviation of the word English

16d    French revolutionary leader leading honourable race (8)
MARATHON: A French revolutionary leader who was assassinated in July 1793 is followed by an abbreviation of honourable

18d    Male not in to send out carriage (7)
TRANSIT: A word meaning to send or broadcast a television or radio signal has the abbreviation for Male removed

21d    Permit produced by tense wife leaving gate (6)
TICKET: Begin with the abbreviation for tense. Now find a type of gate beginning with the letter W which you can treat as the abbreviation for wife and remove

22d    Large hole in case presented by barrister at the end (6)
CRATER: begin with a case or container and add the final letter of the word barrister

24d    Easy to lose head in defeat (4)
LICK: find a word meaning easy or done or operating in an impressively smooth and efficient way and remove the first letter

26d    Sign of ladies losing weight (4)
OMEN: begin with a group of ladies, as written about by Louisa M Alcott, and remove the first letter

Quickie Puns

Top line:dinners+tease=dynasties

Bottom line:belle+wringer=bellringer


39 comments on “DT 29264

  1. Fairly straightforward but with a tendency towards General Knowledge related clues (**/****). I quite enjoyed it, particularly 20a and 16d but, as always, when General Knowledge is involved, there will be some people who will not enjoy this as much as I did. I wasn’t keen on 24d and the surface read of some clues was a bit clumsy as MP has said. Thank you for the hints and to the setter.

  2. About as straightforward as it can get & completed in a fraction over * time. No particular favourites today although I did like 16d.
    Thanks to all

  3. Straightforward as seems to be the norm for Monday – agree that there is some clunky surface reading – but some lovely ones such as 20A, 16D. A 1.5/2.5 for me, 24D was hmmish as I am sure the dictionaries show this as a synonym but I would never interchange ‘defeat’ with the answer. Enjoyable morning because of other events in the Southern Hemisphere….I promise not to use the ‘C’ word for fear of upsetting the non C-loving – or South Africans – on this friendly, family site. Thanks to all.

  4. Sorry to be 23a but this really wasn’t my cup of tea. I’m not a great fan of clues such as 15 and 19a plus 13d (especially when the synonyms are quite close.) Everybody knows what they are, so in a sense they are not cryptic, and just seem an easy option for the setter. I think three in one puzzle is excessive. As others have mentioned some of the surfaces were very weak too.
    On the upside I thought 27a was clever and also quite liked 20 and 25a.
    Many thanks to the setter and to MP for his usual excellent review.

  5. No complaints from me as I enjoyed this relatively straightforward and enjoyable Monday offering. 20a and 16d seem to be emerging as early favourites and I won’t disagree with previous choices.

    Many thanks to the outed setter, and the inimitable MP.

  6. A pain-free way to kick off Blue Monday but not really my scene. Some dodgy surfaces and synonyms e.g. 24d. As for others 20a and 16d are Favs. Thank you to Allan Scott (according to today’s hinter) and indeed to MP himself.

  7. Slightly trickier that I’d expect on a Monday – my last two held up me more than they should have done

    Thanks to Mr Scott and the man with the slightly cheeky alias given the current circumstances ;)

    1. Well-spotted! The only person of that name I could think of was a resident of Coronation Street in the 1960s.

  8. A reasonably straightforward Monday offering. Just beaten by 24d. The 4 letter offerings are usually the hardest and I’m not sure this one really ticks the box.
    COTD another 4 letter!

  9. A fairly straightforward Monday back-pager with only 15a & 16d holding me up for a second or two – not too keen on 4-letter double definitions. No particular favourite today.

    Ta muchly to our ‘double pun’ setter for the puzzle and to the ex – Royal chap living in Downtown LI for his review (Has Vancouver been relocated?) :wink:

  10. Took a while to get going on this one. Not as easy for me as some of the above found it. However with some checking letters in it started to flow and I finished in just over ** time. My sort of crossword really. Enjoyed most of the clues esp 18d and 16d.

  11. I filled this one in very steadily with no real problems although I do agree with Stephen above that some clues I would not regard as cryptic. 1*/3* for me.

  12. A bit trickier than most Monday puzzles. 27a was the last in. Spent far too long trying to compute a volume of measure before the penny dropped.

  13. Fairly straightforward today.
    For some reason I had a mental block over 18d, and the Irish playwright was far more obvious than I thought.
    Many thanks MP and the setter.

  14. Thanks setter and MP for entertainment. */***. Favourites 20 and 25a and 16d. Unfavourite 24d. I put in the wrong vowel. Last one in 18d. I did not feel there was too much general knowledge in it. General knowledge and obscure words are fine if you can build them up from the wordplay and the checkers.

  15. No trouble with 24d being a synonym of defeat, not for Plymouth lads anyway. Recently learned word with 4d but thought it a food store. Tis in Spain. */***. Thank you all. Ps. On reflection I guess the trouble is with easy v 24d

  16. Another great start to the week and one which I enjoyed immensely. I needed help with part of the SE corner but the rest fell into place satisfactorily. I agree that the Irish playwright was far more obvious than I thought. I liked 20a and 28a but there were no real favourites.

    I tackled the puzzle after Mrs. C. and I returned from a wonderful lunch at the West Arms in Llanarmon Dyffryn-Ceiriog, which is in the glorious Ceiriog Valley. Today it was glorious because the sun was bright and the skies were blue.

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

  17. **/****. Liked this puzzle. 25&27a were my favourites although I thought too many two word clues for synonyms. Thanks to the setter and the cheeky HH 😇

  18. 16d had me beat because my school started history with the Greeks and finished about George Second. But thanks to MP, who might be interested that in about 1956, as an apprentice in lodgings in Coventry I was intrigued by Peter Sellers at the local theatre describing his efforts at learning the Long Itchington Stick Dance. I was surprised to find later that there actually was such a place. I look forward to further historical education from this setter.

    1. I’ve heard stories about The Goons mentioning The Long Itchington Stick Dance. Monty Chater who used to run The Buck and Bell played in showbands on the variety circuit and new many of the stars of the day. Many who played The Coventry Theatre made a visit to Monty. I remember Peter Sellers telling Michael Parkinson that the hardest audience to win over was at The Coventry Theatre

  19. Obviously me but i found this hard. Didn’t help that i have never heard of the French revolutionary and that many of the clues needed the solver to find an answer then remove a letter, niggerdly clues.
    Needed electronic help to finish this one. Very little fun.
    Thx for the hints

  20. I was a bit flocculent (lovely Churchillian word) headed today. So many interruptions and difficulty getting back on track, plus I did the quickie as well, something I never do.
    I liked a lot, The Frenchman murdered, the axe to grind, Irish playwright and Spanish wineshop made for quite a miscellany.
    Thanks to Mr. Scott for his offering and to Mr. Hewitt for his usual fun review.

  21. I am room guide at a National Trust property here in N Norfolk. We gave a genuine slipper bath in one of the rooms and on the wall a drawing of Marat in his slipper bath which he spent a long time sitting in due to a skin complaint. I love relating the gruesome story of his murder much to the enjoyment of any kids present. So thanks to the setter for including him today, and a great puzzle overall.

  22. Gosh once again I find myself agreeing with Brian 😳 (it must be an age thing) I found this hard work ***/*** Favourites 8 & 13d Thanks to “arry” and to Allan Scott 😃 A beautiful sunny Winter’s day here in Cambs 🌞

  23. floccinaucinihilipilification
    the action or habit of estimating something as worthless.

    thank your lucky stars that that has too many letters for a 15×15 crossword.

    oops just realized at 29 letters I have given Elgar something to work on for his next double toughie!
    I have estimated my skills as worthless as I needed quite a few hints today.
    Thanks to HH and setter.

  24. Well I liked 9a best, very 24d-with-the-s, but did not find it nearly as easy as some. Does Mr Scott have an alias, or just use his name á là Mr Lancaster?

  25. I thought this one hard to get into, but then not too bad. Stuck for a while on last two in, 15a and 24d, which I thought a tad tenuous. 20a brilliant, and 18d and 25a also worth a mention. Thanks to setter and HH.

  26. Another off wavelength trial to complete without help. Gave up and resorted to Big Dave to get the answers. Absolutely no pleasure. 20 across raised a smile at least.

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