DT 29267 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29267

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29267

Hints and tips by Kath

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

 Hello everyone. I’m pretty sure that this is a Ray T crossword as it does have most of his trademark clues.  I found it right up at the top of his range of difficulty. Maybe I’m having a ‘just me’ day – there are only a couple of anagrams (unless I can’t count) and that always adds to the trickiness for me.

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

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


1a        Lively embraces providing calm (6)
PACIFY — lively or fast which contains (embraces) a conjunction that means providing or on condition that

4a        Area like this contains container for plant (8)
ACANTHUS — the abbreviation for A[rea] and a synonym for like this or in this way go around a container

9a        Serious doctor absorbed by wound? (6)
SOMBRE — a wound or a cut contains (absorbed by) one of the many two letter abbreviations for a doctor

10a       Spending up front, reportedly, showing generosity? (8)
LARGESSE — a homophone (reportedly) of how the first letter (up front) of ‘Spending’ could be described

11a       Docile old criminal welcomes end (8)
OBEDIENT — the abbreviation for O[ld] is followed by an adjective meaning criminal or dishonest which contains (welcomes) another word for end or finish

13a       Test gold before transaction (6)
ORDEAL — two letters that mean gold in heraldry are followed by a transaction or understanding

15a       Dismay of criminal’s time with Queen and Country (13)
CONSTERNATION — begin with the usual crosswordland criminal, with his (or her, so as to be PC!) ‘S, follow that with the abbreviation for T[ime] and the two letters for our Queen and finally, a country or state

18a       Defiant trade union’s bid curtailed undergoing restructure (13)
INSUBORDINATE — an anagram (undergoing restructure) of TRADE UNION’S with the first two letters (curtailed) of BId

22a       Outfit with flexibility (6)
SUPPLY — this is a double definition – the same word with totally different meanings and pronunciations – it took me a while!

24a       Sober? Stand almost everybody swallowing short! (8)
TEETOTAL — start off with a stand that’s used in the game of golf (to balance the ball on, I think) and two of three letters (almost) meaning everybody or everything – between those two (swallowing) you need a short or dram

26a       Detectives going back on record is nothing irregular (8)
EPISODIC — an old kind of record played at 45rpm, the ‘is’ from the clue and the letter that looks like nothing or zero are followed by (on) a reversal (going back) of a branch of the police

27a       Archaic lilac occasionally produces bush (6)
ACACIA — the odd letters (occasionally) of the first two words of the clue

28a       Field vehicle finally takes red fuel (8)
 KEROSENE — field here isn’t a green grassy area with a fence round it – it’s a range of sight or knowledge – you need that word and the last letter (finally) of vehicle going round (takes) a kind of red (colour)

29a       States concerned with welfare (6)
REALMS — the usual little word that means concerned with or about is followed by some charitable money given to the poor



1d        Sump is to necessitate purchasing engine part (6)
 PISTON — a ‘lurker’ or hidden answer with is indicated by ‘purchasing’

2d        Launches advances holding soldiers caught (9)
COMMENCES — advances or moves towards contains (holding) some soldiers and the ‘crickety’ abbreviation for C[aught]

3d        Overseas France beginning to overthrow government (7)
FOREIGN — the IVR for France and the first letter (beginning to) of O[verthrow] are followed by a synonym for government or power

5d        Start to chinwag and have aimless talk (4)
CHAT — the first letters (start to) of the third word of the clue and the last three

6d        Perfect area to climb missing old country (7)
NIGERIA — two letters used to mean perfect or first class and a synonym for an area or district without its O (missing old) and then turn the whole lot upside down (to climb)

7d        Described by Mach, a steady velocity (5)
HASTE — the second lurker indicated by the first two words of the clue

8d        Charming activity of bee? (8)
SPELLING — this ‘bee’ isn’t a stripey insect that makes honey so think again! Oh dear – I give up – I knew that I’d struggle to do a hint for this one. Go on someone – have a go at giving a good/helpful hint for it

12d      Public official never admits to being promoted (6)
NOTARY — a North American and dialect word that means never goes round (admits) a reversal (being promoted) of ‘to’

14d      Applaud using force to apprehend adult (6)
PRAISE — a verb to use force by twisting contains (to apprehend) the abbreviation for A[dult]

16d      Same turning, indicate left (9)

IDENTICAL – an anagram (turning) of INDICATE and L[eft]

17d      Say something wrong seeing girl on top (8)
 MISSPEAK— a young girl or unmarried woman is followed by (on) a synonym for top or summit

19d      Irritable seeing account not closed over debts (7)
BILIOUS — an account or an invoice without its final letter (not closed) is followed by the usual letters that mean debts

20d      Piece by piece going topless (7)
ARTICLE — a piece,a fragment or scrap of something without its first letter (going topless) gives a different sort of ‘piece’ – a review or a write-up

21d      Ships circling large swells (6)
BLOATS — some ships (small ones, I think) containing the abbreviation for L[arge]

23d      Former nosey parker, we hear (5)
PRIOR — a homophone (we hear) of someone who interferes

25d      Family sitting round large oven (4)
KILN —a family or clan contains (sitting round) the abbreviation for L[arge]

Lots of good clues here – I think my favourite has to be 22a.

The Quickie Pun:- I have BOUND and CHUNTER as my answers to 1 and 4a and so does Gazza and CS. Any ideas anyone or are we all going to spend the rest of the day walking round muttering?

86 comments on “DT 29267

  1. I didn’t find it as tricky as Kath, indeed a smidge less time was spent than is usual on a Ray T Thursday. Thanks to him and Kath

    I’ve spent literally hours muttering the quickie pun to myself – I do hope someone turns up soon to put us out of our misery

      1. That was my first thought, but it doesn’t really work, does it?
        Now if there was a term for someone seeking a children’s jumping apparatus?

      2. It is the C that’s the problem – I wondered if you could be [first word] OVER, could you be the first word and UNDER?

        1. Say ‘tyunter’ and compare with the second word – we’ve seen ‘bay con annexe’ and worse, so it’s close enough for me to be an (albeit groan-worthy) pun

  2. Like CS I found most of this quite straightforward, however 3 clues in the bottom right held me up for a while (20d, 24a and 29a). Got there in the end and enjoyed it.

    I have absolutely no idea about the quickie and join in the hope that it soon makes sense to someone.

    1. I got so sidetracked by the pun this morning that, unforgivably, I forgot my manners. Very many thanks to Kath and to Ray T

  3. As per crypticsue. Just can’t get it. Thought Bounty Hunter might be the right sort of area, but can’t make it work. HELP. Also, unless it’s me, 5 down seems unsatisfactory. Now for the toughie.

      1. It’s not a problem, but I thought email addresses were not given out. How did you know about my change of email address? It doesn’t really matter – I don’t get paranoid about these things.

        1. Richard

          Your email address is available to the handful of people who have access to the management dashboard, but not to those who only access the blog.

  4. Definity trickier than average for Ray T (***) but immensely enjoyable (****) as usual. I really liked 22a, 8d and 20d. My hint for 8d. This kind of bee is something old codgers like me did in English lessons and the adjective that goes with it is what a witch does in casting a charm. Hope that helps. Thanks to Ray T and to Kath for the hints, helpful as ever with the ones I couldn’t parse.

  5. I thought this was like a (gentle) Beam with its paucity of anagrams but a very enjoyable solve. I got held up in the NE where I needed all the checkers and electronic help to crack 4a and 8d.
    As ever on a Thursday with Mr T a very strong field from which to select a podium but I did like the amusing 17d, the lurker at 1d and the homophone at 23d.
    Many thanks to Mr T and to Kath for a cracking review.
    Ps I think the Quickie pun just about works if you say it quickly!

  6. 22a. I was just wondering, shouldn’t “with flexibility” be underlined as the second definition because a single-word definition to suit the answer would need to be “flexibly”, not “flexibility”. Flexiblity (on its own)= suppleness. Doesn’t it?

    1. Yes – I think you’re right – I should have underlined ‘with flexibility’ instead of just ‘flexibility’ – my mistake and apologies.

      1. K. Thanks for replying, but no need to apologise – I’m sure it was just a mere slip/typo. Probably caused because “with” is often used just as a link word in the clue.

  7. After a raft of straightforward puzzles this week I came to juddering halt as I began this one. I found it tougher than usual for a Thursday and it really stretched my solving abilities. Rewarding to finish, though, and as enjoyable as ever. Several clues needed parsing after completion, and one of these, 22a, was my favourite. 28a, although obvious from the checkers, was the last to be fully parsed. The Quickie pun really doesn’t work for me. Maybe it is not supposed to?

    Thanks to Ray T for the challenge and to Kath.

    1. A reasonably straightforward solve but needed Kath’s help to parse 10a and 26a. ***/****. Thanks all

  8. I have trouble with Ray T at the best of times. This for me was a stinker and yet I’ve completed it. 9a favourite because it gave me a toehold. Ta to all.

  9. 4*/4.5*. This was a very enjoyable challenge which involved copious amounts of head scratching. I too am bemused by the Quickie pun.

    Like YS, 28a was my last one to be parsed. Shouldn’t 5d begin “starts to…”?

    My podium today comprises 18a, 22a, 17d & 20d.

    Many thanks to Ray T and Kath.

  10. For me, and especially for a Ray T offering, this was the most straightforward and gentle puzzle of the week with no use of the ‘white space’ on my printed sheet and completed at a fast gallop – **/****.
    Favourite – a toss-up between 4a and 28a – and the winner is 28a for the synonym of field used in the answer.
    Ditto on the Quickie Pun – I presume tomorrow’s dead tree DT will have the answer so perhaps one of those who use that resource will be able to put us out of our misery.
    Thanks to Ray T and Kath.

  11. I’m struggling. I finished the Toughie in reasonable time but this is beating me. I’ll have to recourse to the hints to save my sanity!

  12. Lots of head scratching today too. Some, I thought, pretty obscure clues. Ken for field in 28a for one. A bit of a stretch.

  13. The second bee still alludes me , this was the last clue today and I needed the checking letters for the first charming!
    Took a while for the penny to drop for 10a too.
    Somewhere around a ****/****
    I think we are all on the right lines for the pun, just about worked/
    Anyway enjoyable and brain taxing.

    1. Have you got a BRB? If you have you could look up ‘bee’ and with a bit of luck all will become clearer. If you haven’t come back here and I’ll type in what it says.

  14. I thought this was reasonable although didn’t (and still don’t) really understand 28a. I did like 10a and smiled when I solved it.

    1. 28a. I think Kath’s hint gives a fair indication of the clue/wordplay without explaining it in full detail (and that’s the reviewer’s remit). But occasionally one or two solvers still don’t quite get it, so here’s my explanation:

      Field (KEN) + vehiclE finally takes (or consumes, swallows, engulfs) red (ROSE) = KE(ROSE)N+E.

      1. thanks, Jose, I still didn’t get it after Kath’s hint. Strangely the solution was one of the first I considered on the whole darned thing, and rejected it, as I was looking for a tractor or some such ( Field vehicle ! ), and ended up as my only non filled in answer. I have known several people called Ken, but none called Ken Field !! Beyond my ken !

        1. Yes, you won’t be the only one to get lured up the garden path into thinking about tractors and red diesel oil, etc. That’s misdirection and these setters are brilliant at it. Plus, there’s a pretty obscure synonym (Field) in the clue to trigger part (and it’s a split part, too) of the answer. 28a is a cracking clue!

  15. I’m with Kath here – a tricky little rascal and well worth the four stars but entertaining as usual.
    I too am stumped by the Quickie pun but bounty hunter will probably turn out to be right..

    Thanks to RayT and Kath.

    1. Oh good – thank you, pommers. I was beginning to think that it really was a ‘just me’ day and was wondering how long I should leave it before going up the garden to count the marbles. :unsure:

      1. Solved in the normal time by using bung ins. 4 across I easily got the right flower but had an asphodel in my head. Needed your help Kath to parse 10ac, 28ac and 5d so thanks to you for that. Thanks to RayT for a lovely puzzle.

      2. Solved in the normal time by using bung ins. 4 across I easily got the right flower but had an asphodel in my head. Needed your help Kath to parse 10ac, 28ac and 5d so thanks to you for that. Thanks to RayT for a lovely puzzle.

  16. I always find Ray T tricky to say the least 😳 ****/*** Favourites 13a & 23d 😃 Enormous thanks to Kath for her explanations and of course to Ray T 👍

  17. No difficulty with the puzzle today but that Quickie Pun had me beaten. I think Stephen L’s point about saying it quickly is probably the closest we’re going to get. Hopefully, the ‘man what wrote it’ will pop in later to put us all out of our misery!
    A very different pick of candidates for favourite here – 10&13a plus 23d.

    Devotions as usual to Mr T (especially if he lets us in on the pun!) and many thanks to Kath for her hard work on the review.

  18. That was an enjoyable exercise. NE corner held out longest. 22a and 28a were bung-ins. The piece in 20d took a while to drop. 8d was Fav but only hint I can come up with is ‘magical vocabulary competition’. Thank you RayT and Kath.

  19. I’m with the ‘found in tricky’ crowd. A slow start, but eventually got there – a 4/4 for me. Thanks to Kath and Ray T.

  20. Still haven’t finished, 4 left but determined not to look at the hints. Amazed I’ve got this far. 6, 10, 13 and 29 defeating me.

    1. FINISHED, YIPPEE! 8d suddenly popped in with that Doh moment so that corner finished. Checked the checkers of 29a and found I had spelt 21d wrong, transposed the last two letters.

      Thanks to all for a great puzzle, a welcome distraction as I have a sore back from making marmalade all day yesterday!

  21. For once I’m with the “I didn’t find this too tricky” camp. For some reason I’m usually on RayT’s wavelength, hence my early appearance apart from starting earlier than usual. Lots of favourites but 10a just takes it. Many thanks to RayT and Kath.

  22. Found this to be a pretty tough cookie. Just took ages to get into the swing of things and virtually every clue took a while to tease out the answer. Must be me having a pretty ‘duff’ day as others seemed to find it a breeze – some you get and some you don’t, I suppose. As it took me a while, I don’t really have a particular favourite today.

    Thanks to RayT for the challenge and to Kath for her review.

  23. I loved this. I like it when a bit of deep thought makes the answer pop up.
    I often don’t think clues through enough but this crossword really drew me in and slowed me down.
    Thanks to Kath and Ray

  24. I’m with the majority view that this was on the tricky end of the spectrum. Completed without recourse to Kath’s excellent hints in a shade over *** time but with a number of bung ins as per….
    The parsing of 10a reminded me of one not so long ago when the answer was dashed in reference to the chuffing hyphens featured in the clue. 28a similarly eluded me other than the plonk bit. Very enjoyable – am starting to become a Ray T fan.
    Don’t care how fast you say it / slurred speech after a few too many – Quickie pun doesn’t work……

    1. Re quickie pun. Just a thought: if the second word began with a ‘t’, you could read ‘bound t hunter’, giving ‘bounty hunter’. Unfortunately ‘thunter’ doesn’t exist!

    2. I remember the hyphens. Dashes are not hyphens and I get pretty miffed when our wonderful family name is described as ‘with a dash’

  25. I just find RayT difficult, I cannot think on his wavelength, however, even though I struggled mightily with this one, I solved most with copious help from the internet. I missed a few in the SW, so that’s not too bad. I had the correct answer for 28a but thought the English were most likely to use paraffin and I couldn’t unravel it, so left it out. I liked 24a.
    Thanks to RayT and to Kath for unravelling that lot.

  26. Took me all day and still couldn’t parse 10a but (thanks Kath) once I read the hint I thought it was brilliant. Quickie pun works if you pronounce the C as a separate letter. Thank you, Mr T, I always enjoy your Thursdays.

  27. For me an utterly pointless puzzle. I would have more success knitting fog. Absolutely dreadful!
    Thx for the hints

    1. Too hard for me too. Would have needed too many hints/help to finish, so stopping now. Hmm, knitting fog, I’ll have to remember that one 😊

  28. Took as long as today’s toughie.
    The last ones in 29a and 21d took a little cogitation.
    27a is already blooming down here. Mimosa continues to follow the season from it’s birthplace. Wherever they are in the world, they bloom at the same time.
    Thanks to Kath and to RayT.

  29. All the usual fun from this setter. Took ages for us to see how 5d worked for some reason.
    Word count checked of course.
    Thanks RayT and Kath.

  30. Not an enjoyable solve for me today. I managed it with a bit of help from Kath’s wonderful hints. 10a just did not work for me so I bunged in the only word it could be. Not even Kath’s hints helped me with this one.

    No favourites today.

    I also found the Quickie pun did not work even when spoken quickly. I have always said “Chunter” not “Tyunter”. Maybe it’s because I’m from “oop north!” :grin:

    Grateful thanks to Mr. T. (I am determined to get on your wavelength one of these days) and to Kath.

    1. Re 10a – the definition is ‘generosity’. Look at the clue in a different way. If you were a young child learning to read and write the letter at the beginning of the clue is a capital so it could be described as a big or large ‘S’.
      I can see a potential convert to Ray T crosswords in you – good luck and keep going please – good luck.
      Once you ‘get’ him he’s a truly brilliant setter.

      1. Thanks Kath – it now makes sense. I will persevere with Ray T because when I get them they are often brilliant.

  31. Evening all. My thanks to Kath for the analysis and to everybody else for your comments. Yes, it’s ‘Bounty hunter’! I rather liked it myself…


    1. Thank you for calling in, as you always do, Mr T. It’s so much appreciated by everyone.
      So sorry that we all, even the really clever chaps and chapesses, failed to appreciate your Quickie Pun, specially as you rather liked it. Are we all dim?

        1. No – we just didn’t get it. We need to remember that it’s only a crossword – a friend of mine who lives in Spain would put it an extra word before ‘crossword’.

  32. Hi not sure what happened there but I’ve finished the crossword on the day it’s published! Not sure what I’m going to do in the early hours. Thanks to Kath as I needed to check my answers and thanks to RayT. I didn’t manage the quick crossword so I’ve no idea how I managed the cryptic.

  33. I feel slightly guilty following Ray T’s post as I really didn’t enjoy this much (although a little more than Brian!!). Just can’t seem to get on his wavelength at all, some of the clues way too obscure for me eg 28a. A huge thanks to the brilliant Kath for the hints and some of the answers…I couldn’t have completed without you!

    1. Now I’m wondering how to interpret Brian’s numerous ****
      Are they meant to be levels of difficulty,levels of enjoyment or just expletives which would have been edited as one of the very few things that are banned on this site is bad language.
      Oh well – who knows? You can’t help loving Brian – there’s just nothing like someone who, to quote my lovely sister, “says it like it is”.

      1. K. I think B’s rating is 31* / -26*. That’s minus 26* for enjoyment, but his minus sign has manifested itself as an underlined blank space!

  34. For me a RayT that was doable with a lot of head scratching & out the box thinking. I did require Kaths invaluable assistance for the last 3 to go in.
    I must say irrespective of this puzzle being at the limit of my ability I really enjoyed it & the challenge.
    Too many good clues to pick any favourites.
    Grateful thanks to RayT & to Kath for review & guidance

  35. Enjoyed finishing this puzzle which was very tricky. Needed the BRB and electronic help to get there. Thanks to Kath for her help in understanding the answers I managed and to Ray T for another Thursday struggle.

  36. Finished eventually, but like Sundays, too many bung-ins.
    If you are a good solver, this level of puzzle must be good fun, if you are crap like me, they become a bit of a slog.
    Many thanks, Kath, for a great set of hints, and a very enjoyable blog.

  37. Needed Kath’s lovely hint for 28a – it was a bung in, but I didn’t quite know why. Thanks, Kath, again, and RayT!

  38. That’s about it from me for today so thanks to Ray T, for the crossword and for calling in, and to everyone for the comments.
    Night night all and sleep well.

  39. Lovely crossword today. Nice blog too though I thought those pretty sisters were very similar and not identical.
    Thanks Kath.

  40. Fairly straightforward apart from a struggle on a couple in SW. My fault too dumb to suss out 17d.
    Rescued by my wife as usual but sudoku is my saving grace.

  41. Obtained Fri am and solved Fri pm, so 2 days late on parade – but still worth a comment. An excellent puzzle from Ray T with fine clues, a decent challenge and very enjoyable. I found it generally on a par with Friday’s back-pager, so 3.5* / 4*.

  42. 4*/3*……………
    liked 10A ” spending up front, reportedly, showing generosity? (8)”

  43. 10a was my favourite clue … made me chuckle. Had to resort to your hints to explain why Kerosene was correct. Otherwise not too hard. Enjoyment ***. Thanks for your hints

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