DT 29268 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29268

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29268

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Good morning from South Staffs on another damp, grey morning.

Since today’s crossword is a near-pangram missing only the letter X, we may make a stab at identifying the setter as ProXimal. It took me a little time to get on to his wavelength, but after that it was a steady solve.

In the hints below, the definitions are underlined. The answers are hidden under the ANSWER buttons, so don’t click if you don’t want to see them.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a           Hot spice sick one quietly put in soup (6,6)
CHILLI POWDER – Put together another word for ‘sick’, the Roman numeral for one, and the musical symbol for ‘quietly’, then wrap a thick soup (possibly with clams) around the result.

Image result for chili powder

9a           Blunder of six deliveries location reported (9)
OVERSIGHT – A set of six deliveries in cricket followed by a homophone (reported) of a word for ‘location’.

10a         Look to secure universal thin fabric (5)
GAUZE – An abbreviation for Universal inserted into a steady look.

11a         Awkward throw returned by another (6)
BOLSHY – Reverse (returned) a three-letter word for a type of throw, then add another three-letter throw.

12a         Article about this writer and really criminal act (8)
THIEVERY – Wrap a definite article around the pronoun for ‘this writer’, then add an adverb meaning ‘really’ or ‘extremely’.

13a         Again, go over adult’s tips on two school subjects (6)
REPEAT – Put together the common abbreviations for Scripture and Gym lessons in school, then add the outside letters (tips) of AdulT.

15a         Notice for travellers at sea: boarding’s not starting (4,4)
ROAD SIGN – Anagram (at sea) of (b)OARDING’S with the first letter removed (not starting).

18a         Number in St Kitts regularly filling wharf (8)
QUANTITY – Another word for a wharf or dock wrapped around the alternate letters (regularly) of iN ST KItTs.

19a         Value eastern links to the west (6)
ESTEEM – An abbreviation for Eastern followed by the reverse (to the west) of a word for ‘links’ or ‘joins up’.

21a         Ecstasy developed in happy realisation (8)
EPIPHANY – The usual abbreviation for the drug known as Ecstasy followed by an anagram (developed) of IN HAPPY.

23a         Pitched support for monarch on the radio (6)
THROWN – A homophone (on the radio) of what the monarch sits on.

26a         It’s unacceptable either way (3,2)
NOT ON – A palindromic expression (either way) for something which is unacceptable.

27a         Seriously close to home on island (2,7)
IN EARNEST – Put together Island, ‘close to’, and a bird’s home.

28a         Lion feasting after playing with boks (4,2,6)
KING OF BEASTS – Anagram (after playing) of FEASTING and BOKS.


1d           Pry about argument with lawyers (7)
CROWBAR – Put together one of the Latin abbreviations for ‘about’ or ‘approximately’, a three-letter argument, and a collective term for barristers.

crowbar cartoon

2d           Current agreement is unsurpassed (5)
IDEAL – The scientific symbol for electric current followed by an agreement.

3d           Despair at roles he messed up (4,5)
LOSE HEART – Anagram (messed up) of AT ROLES HE.

4d           Send message to part of website (4)
PAGE – Double definition, the second being what the blog you’re reading is in relation to the Big Dave website.

5d           Who’d act barking? Guard, primarily (8)
WATCHDOG – An all-in-one clue, where the whole clue forms the definition. Anagram (barking) of WHO’D ACT, followed by the first letter (primarily) of Guard.

6d           Bird repeatedly shaking wings in heat, ugly hen (5)
EAGLE – Remove the wings, or outside letters, from hEAt, uGLy and hEn and put the rest together to get this bird.

7d           Young Jack starts to use vessel on European river (8)
JUVENILE – Put together the card symbol for a Jack, the first letters (starts) of Use Vessel, European, and the longest river in Africa.

8d           Know no uprising in African land (6)
KENYAN – A dialect word for ‘know’, as in the song about John Peel, followed by the reverse (uprising) of an old word for ‘no’.

14d         Performer in part, thespian is terrible (8)
PIANISTE – Hidden in the clue.

16d         Issue detective’s accusation (9)
DISCHARGE – The abbreviation for a senior detective, plus the ‘S, followed by the formal accusation that a suspect answers in court.

17d         Fools set up with trap good for robbing (8)
STINGING – Reverse (set up) some fools, then add a variety of animal trap and Good.

[arve url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_WxfjWnuEno” /]

18d         Cats playing cards somewhere in New York (6)
QUEENS – Triple definition, the last being one of the New York boroughs.

20d         Notes explosives around exterior of U-boat (7)
MINUTES – Some explosive devices which may be found floating in the sea, wrapped around the outside letters of U-boaT. The answer refers to the notes of a meeting.

22d         Back international language (5)
HINDI – The back part of an animal are its —- quarters. Add an abbreviation for International to get this Asian language.

24d         Award Yankee son accepts (5)
OBEYS – The sort of award you may get in the New Year’s Honours, followed by the letter represented by Yankee in the NATO alphabet and an abbreviation for Son.

25d         Personality from France, the French revolutionary (4)
SELF – Put together the IVR code for France and one of the forms of the French word for ‘the’, then reverse (revolutionary) the result.

I’m off to London this afternoon, and hope to see some of you at the Birthday Bash tomorrow. As often happens, I have another meeting tomorrow which means that I won’t arrive till late. Is anyone meeting up this evening?

The Quick Crossword pun BOOS + CREWS = BOOZE CRUISE

51 comments on “DT 29268

  1. It was a struggle to begin with but gradually found the wavelength and then all was well. Lots of nicely convoluted clues so hard to pick a Fav but liked 18d (wonder how MrK would have illustrated that!). Thank you ProXimal and DT.

  2. Don’t you just hate it when you can get all but one and have to resort to outside help? I got caught up in the NE, but after spotting the possible x-less pangram, that gave me the lead in to 7d.

    My Achilles heel was 12a, where I was convinced that ‘this writer’ = ‘me’, given I already had two e’s in the checkers. Sigh.

    I’ll give it ***/**** and my COTD is 1a.

    Many thanks to DT and ProXimal, if indeed it is he.

  3. A thoroughly enjoyable and tricky offering from the X Man this morning. 6d and 15a were my top clues, the overall standard of which were, I thought, top drawer. It was a slow burner of a crossword, but once into the flow it came together quite nicely.

    Thanks to ProXimal and DT.

  4. Famous last words but I seem to be getting on Mr X’s wavelength these days. No particular favourites

    Thanks to proXimal and DT

  5. Wonders will never cease. I finished a ProXimal crossword without help and in*** not **** time. I found the NE was the trickiest part of this puzzle and spent ages on 12a before the penny dropped. The best clues were 1a and 6d (*** for enjoyment overall). Thanks to DT and ProXimal.

  6. Having confidently put the wrong second word in 1a early on, it took me a while to sort out my last one in 5d – I know I obviously ignored the soup aspect.

    I agree with others that it took a while to get on wavelength but once there it started to fall slowly but surely and was thoroughly enjoyable. I just had a quick look back to see if I could pick a favourite, but there were too many to choose from.

    Many thanks to DT and ProXimal.

  7. Both the Quickie and The Cryptic took longer than usual today. Loved the cryptic and wish every days were like today’s and yesterday’s. thanks to all concerned

  8. Warm in the West but distinctly cold in the East. Thought 12a and 14d were pushing it somewhat. Liked 21 and 27a and 17d. Thanks to the setter and. DT.

  9. Like others the NE corner proved the most problematic but got there eventually once the penny dropped with 7d & 15a. Many good clues of which 1, 12 & 21a stood out for me. Thanks to all.
    Now for Friday’s Toughie…….

  10. I found this a fairly tame ProXimal puzzle. Three stars for yesterday and today, yet yesterday was a monster compared to this, wavelengh I suppose.
    I needed the hint to parse 15a, a very dim moment on my behalf.
    Thanks to DT and ProXimal.
    Have a good time tomorrow, when I get a bit better at this, I will join you all.

  11. Very, very tricky, got there eventually unaided except for one answer seen inadvertently.
    Thoroughly enjoyable, though, good mental workout.
    Last in 15a
    Certainly a *** and a half for difficulty for me.
    Many thanks to the setter and to DT.

  12. 3*/4*. Just right for a Friday. Nicely challenging and good fun from Mr X-less.

    I don’t think I’ve encountered 14d before and was surprised at first to find an empty square after I had filled in what I thought was the full lurker. No matter how hard I try I can’t stomach 1d as a verb; now I know how King Canute must have felt.

    1a came close to the top spot but you can’t beat a good triple definition and 18d, my favourite, was definitely that.

    Many thanks to proXimal and DT.

  13. Margaret (at comment 6) has written my opening sentence for me. The combination of 1a and 5d slowed me down completely and I finished at a canter – ****/***.
    Favourite – a toss-up between the somewhat familiar 23a and 8d – and the winner is 8d, partly for the first part of the answer.
    Thanks to proXimal and DT.

  14. Pleased to see from RD’s comment that I wasn’t the only one to get held up by the ending of 14d – thought for a moment that the X-man had suffered from a 9a!
    1a takes the top spot for me although I’ve seen a friend of mine caught out by that particular prank and he didn’t find it remotely amusing………

    Thanks to proXimal and to DT for the review.

  15. Anyone else put ‘reread’ for 13A? If you take the tips of ‘adult’ to be A & D, rather than A &T, then it fits, messing up 14D for me!

  16. Some clunky clues such as 11D, 13A and 28A, but still enjoyable. A 2/3. Some very good clues so no favourite – others have covered them above. Thanks to DT and setter.

  17. Tricky but not as bad as yesterdays absolute horror. Took some working out but no outstanding clues, all a bit of a slog really.
    One of those puzzles where when you have the answer you then have to wrack your brains to work out the wordplay which to me is all a little pointless. Little fun.
    Thx for the hints.

    1. Just noticed who the setter is, Proximal is second only to Dada in my list of setters not for me. What has happened to Fridays Giovanni, almost always the best crossword of the week?

        1. It didn’t say it was definitely his last puzzle. Whatever, he is much missed, no one else has his panache.

  18. I also put the wrong second word in 1a, completely ignoring the soup! Enjoyed this puzzle immensely once I had corrected 1a. Thank goodness the J was left to finish 7d, my last one in. Thanks to all.

    1. Me too with 1a, then the penny dropped, thought 7d relatively easy but not keen on 2d and 11a, nonetheless an enjoyable challenge.
      Thanks to all

  19. This one took my full bus ride over the Cat and Fiddle and then some more. I thought it was an excellent puzzle, with great clues providing a good challenge and much enjoyment. I’ve ticked 21a, 7d and 17d, but my favourite was the really good 15a with its full-surface misdirection and cleverly disguised anagram indicator. 3.5* / 4*

  20. Hard work! Thought 23a was throne being a “sounds like” (on the radio) for pitched and something that supports the monarch. That made 20d impossible. At that point, I gave up!

    1. On the radio comes after the thing the monarch sits on so that seat is the word that is used for the homophone to get a word meaning pitched

  21. The most difficult back page puzzle for a while, well for me anyway!
    I found the parsing difficult generally.
    Went to see the latest star wars movie last night-maybe all the noise and flashing light sabres affected the thinking process.
    Anyway got there in the end and a ****/***
    Realisation was new to me in 21a.

  22. Despite decades of crossword solving, the ‘at sea’ bit of 15a went right over my head for some reason and I took it literally. The penny finally dropped.

  23. For me that was, indeed, like knitting fog Brian. At least yesterday I was able to solve most with e-help, but not today.
    No problem, I thoroughly enjoyed your clip at 17d DT, brought back some pretty good memories.
    Oh please, come back Mr. Manley, all is forgiven.
    Thanks to proXimal, and to DT for sorting that which was too ravelled for my tiny brain.

  24. Horrible – a grind from start to finish. Feel better just from writing that. In a particularly grumpy mood today for no particular reason.
    Still getting rubbish from the technical people at the DT, reloaded the app yet again yesterday but it made no difference. I have asked for a refund for my Puzzles subscription but not even had a reply. I hate that site – having to double enter every letter is a real pain.

  25. I’m surprised that I have any brainpower left as I decided to tackle the Elgar Toughie first (enough said about that particular puzzle :cool: ), so I was very happy that today’s back-pager was easier than yesterday. With a lot of the ‘first read through’ answers containing those pesky Z, J, Q etc letters it was odds on that it was a puzzle by Mr X(less).

    I saw that ‘Ken’ also made an appearance today – a word that I remember pretty well, coming from the West of Scotland where virtually every second phrase/word in conversation was ‘ye ken’. Used by me so often when I joined the RN in the early 70’s I was called ‘Ken’ for a long time :smile:

    No particular favourite today, just an enjoyable puzzle. Thanks to proXimal for the puzzle and to DT for his review. Hope to see some of you tomorrow as I will travelling down in the AM – hopefully arriving in time for a beer (or two).

  26. A brilliant puzzle. It helped to realize quickly that it was either a pangram or a ProXimal. Had to use electronic help to complete; the fly in the ointment being 15a. Fantastically clude and a real treat in solving. 18d favourite of many contenders. Thank you ProXimal and DT.

  27. I see from the dead wood version that yesterday’s quickie pun really was “bounty hunter”. It really didn’t work. Makes me want to go on today’s quickie offering!

  28. We found this one tricky. Starting off with the wrong second word for 1a and trying to justify REREAD for 13a caused most of our problems until we had these sorted. Challenging and enjoyable.
    Thanks proXimal and DT.

  29. I found this very difficult 😳 ****/** but then I always do when it is ProXimal 😬 Favourites 1 & 5d. Thanks to DT and to the Setter

  30. I set about this puzzle with the hope of finishing in a decent time,,, uhm! Half in a good sprint, then I totally fell down.
    Thanks to proXimal for a real tester & DT for review & guidance.

  31. What is it about a Friday that seems necessitate the flat dull grind of the week?? It should be happy fun crossword day to bounce us into the weekend!! Still who cares, six nations on the horizon!

  32. I loved it but had I considered that the setter might have been proXimal I would have got off to a better start.
    I think that he is the master of deception – or am I easily deceived?
    I could go on at length but too tired and hungry to do so now and about to have supper.
    My last answer, and one that I had almost given up on, was 15a.
    Thanks to proXimal and to DT.

  33. Finished by my wife again in about xxxxx but not that easy we thought. She continues to be the big hitter. I even made a mess of mini sudoku toughie today. Definitely not my finest hour !!

    1. It is a blog convention that we don’t mention solving times – oh and I thought the Friday mini Sudoku was impossible

  34. I did the same as some others and wrote pepper instead of powder for 1a. However I was saved by the watchdog.

  35. A tricky one for me! Started last night In the bath with a glass of red, finished this morning on the bus with a coffee. Both methods equally (in)effective!
    Needed hint for 21a which was indeed a 21a moment when it came!
    Never come across a triple definition before so thanks for 18d which I needed the hint for to confirm that I had got it right after all!
    Favs were 13a, 15a and 23a.
    Can someone please explain how the pangram/knowing the setter is proXimal helps the solve? Fear I’m missing out some vital help!

    1. Hi Boatlady – do you actually live on a boat or is it just your preferred way to spend time?
      When proXimal sets a puzzle it invariably contains every letter of the alphabet apart from an ‘X’ – which can sometimes be a help to know. More recently he’s also been setting as ‘4-X man’ where there always four inclusions of ‘x’ in the grid – I think he’s been watching too many adverts for a certain brand of beer!

      1. I used to live on a boat in Battersea! I moved to dry land (well, the Fens, so dry-ish) a while ago but I’ve hung on to the moniker and the boat since then. I’ve actually just accepted an offer on the boat so I might have to change the alias when the ink is dry on the sale. 😔
        Thanks for the explanation! That’s good to know. Though I guess in order to benefit from it you have to have worked out that it is proXimal and whether he’s in a No-X or a 4-X mood?!

        1. Oh, please don’t change your pseudonym – let it stand as a permanent reminder of the days you spent afloat.
          A for working out when proXimal is in the chair – some of our ‘experts’ can recognise his style, the rest of us either get part way through a puzzle and think – this could be heading to be a pangram (all the letters of the alphabet included) or conversely – this setter’s used a lot of ‘X’s. It’s a very inexact science but I guess it adds to the fun!

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