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DT 29274

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29274

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ****Enjoyment ***

Good morning from South Staffs.

I didn’t recognise the style of today’s puzzle, so this may be a new setter. I struggled with parts of the puzzle, especially 1a and 1d, which were the last pair in. The difficulty with 1d was that I was looking for some wordplay, but in the end gave up and treated it as a non-cryptic definition. Anyway, it took me long enough that, for the first time I can remember, I gave the puzzle **** for difficulty.

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           They turn up orating — flashy Uber customers? (11)
LOUDHAILERS – Split the answer (4,7) and you get another word for ‘flashy’ and a word for people calling an Uber or other variety of cab. As one word, this is something that increases the volume of a public speech.

Image result for loudhailer

7a           Fool’s hoarding high-explosive gear (7)
CLOTHES – Another word for ‘fool’ with its ‘S, wrapped around the abbreviation for High Explosive.

8a           Vocally cool one from Cats — Lloyd Webber’s work? (7)
PHANTOM – Put together a homophone (vocally) of a verb for ‘to cool’ and a male cat, to get the short title of one of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s works.

[arve url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=77umP7IRxD4″ /]

10a         Young son and cook going round arcade (5,3)
SMALL FRY – An abbreviation for Son and a method of cooking, placed either side of a shopping arcade.

11a         Singer that’s rejected Christmas — gripping news! (6)
LENNON – Reverse (rejected) another word for Christmas, and insert two abbreviations for New to get this singer and songwriter from Liverpool.

Image result for john lennon

13a         Was the creator of cheese from the East? (4)
MADE – Reverse (from the East) a Dutch cheese.

14a         My lead-free scooter managed around 150 — fast vehicle (10)
MOTORCYCLE – Anagram (managed) of MY (s)COOTER (lead-free, i.e. with the first letter removed) wrapped around the Roman numeral for 150.

16a         Pitch tent while taking in river and towers (10)
CAMPANILES – What you do when you pitch a tent, followed by another word for ‘while’ wrapped around a long river in Africa, to get some Italian bell-towers.

Image result for campaniles

18a         Tramp makes dogs etc recoil (4)
STEP – Reverse (recoil) a general term for domestic dogs, cats and the like.

21a         After eating duck, diner’s fancy decreased? (6)
IRONED – Anagram (fancy) of DINER with the letter which looks like a cricketing duck inserted. The definition in the clue could have a hyphen after the first two letters.

22a         Cool shade keeps chap cold inside (8)
INHUMANE – Another word for ‘cool’ or ‘trendy’, followed by a colour shade wrapped around another word for a chap.

24a         Personal account that gets carved up when one’s dead? (7)
EPITAPH – Cryptic definition of the message on one’s gravestone.

Image result for spike milligan epitaph

25a         Piggott on nag, evidently concealing weight (7)
TONNAGE – Hidden in the clue.

26a         Big wave — something in the sea that is ridden precariously? (6,5)
ROLLER SKATE – A big breaking wave followed by a fish.


1d           Spotted cat with snapping canines (7)
LEOPARD – I tried very hard to find something cryptic about this clue, but in the end decided it was a straight definition. Anyone got any better ideas?

Image result for leopard

2d           University philosophy student inclined to be hard going (6)
UPHILL – Put together an abbreviation for University, a four-letter abbreviation for PHILosophy, and the usual indication of a student driver.

3d           Theatrical cast sit in choir (10)
HISTRIONIC – Anagram (cast) of SIT IN CHOIR.

4d           More than one mischief-maker is ringing politician (4)
IMPS – IS (from the clue) wrapped around the usual politician.

5d           Adjacent parts of steeple vane scenically fade (8)
EVANESCE – Hidden in the clue.

6d           Like a devil or a saint gone astray, getting caught (7)
SATANIC – Anagram (gone astray) of A SAINT, followed by the cricket abbreviation for Caught.

7d           One gets ready to come out on the street? (4,7)
CASH MACHINE – Cryptic definition of something which dispenses ready money to the public.

9d           Soldier authorised to raise gun offers top covering fire (11)
MANTELPIECE – Put together a male soldier, the reverse (to raise, in a Down clue) of another word for ‘authorise’, and a slang term for a handgun.

Image result for mantelpiece

12d         Short-term policies involving sheet music? (5,5)
COVER NOTES – What insurance companies used to (or do they still?) issue as proof of insurance while the policy documents were prepared. The first word is something which could be a sheet, the second something which could describe music.

15d         Disreputable dance action Americans like to watch (8)
BASEBALL – Another word for ‘disreputable’ or ‘low’ followed by a formal dance, giving us the game of bat and ball which the Americans watch from April to October.

Image result for baseball

17d         Peter out in Ilkley, maybe more miserable (7)
MOODIER – Another word for ‘peter out’ with something for which Ilkley is known in song wrapped around it.

19d         Bear consuming almost every bun? (7)
TEACAKE – Remove the final letter (almost) from a word for ‘every single’, than wrap another word for ‘bear’ or ‘undergo’ around the result to get a type of bun often toasted.

20d         New Age gathering united in country (6)
GUINEA – Anagram (new) of AGE wrapped around an abbreviation for United and IN (from the clue), producing an African country.

23d         Note about that fellow you employed in the past (4)
THEE – One of the notes of the sol-fa scale wrapped around the pronoun for ‘that fellow’, giving us an archaic or dialect form of ‘you’.

The Quick Crossword pun MAR + MIGHT = MARMITE

107 comments on “DT 29274

  1. Well worth your four star rating. I found this very challenging. Like you, I found 1 down rather unsatisfactory. Spent some time looking for something cryptic about snapping canines. Favourite clues – 8a, 7d and 9d

  2. 1d has to be what it was but I have no idea why. I enjoyed 14a and 15d but my favourite was 7d. The puzzle took a while to come together as I struggled initially to come to terms with the setting style, but once I got into a rhythm it all came together quite nicely.

    Thanks to our setter for the challenge and to DT.

  3. For the first time in a long while I really came up against a brick wall with this puzzle – so much electronic help required in order for me to complete it. I began to wonder if Elgar had provided a back pager for once today. After reading DT’s comments I am at least reassured that I’m not losing both the plot and my marbles! Not a pleasant solve by any means and not particularly satisfying, but thanks anyway to the solver and special thanks to DT for unraveling some of the parsings for us – well for me at least :-)

  4. Completed but a tough slog today. I can’t think of anything better for 1d – a cat with spots and big teeth!

  5. Me too stumped with 1d. Took ages to find the wavelength.. and was left with 2 1/2 clues requiring assistance. As a huge fan…COTD 11a.
    Many thanks to DT.

  6. If I can borrow Senf’s word for Dada on Sundays, I found this a bit quirky. But enough gentle entry clues and a few old chestnuts helped move things along to a ***/*** for me.

    Podium places to 16a, 22a, 24a, 7d and 9d. I have no extra thought about 1d, 5d was a new word, don’t think 12d really worked and I thought that the point about Uber is that one cannot do that and have to book them instead?

    Thanks to Mysteron and DT. Heads up on the Toughie – it’s tough!!! – but has a feature that helped me complete it.

  7. Agree with comments above – complete in just under ****time. I thought 1a was a great starter but agree 1d was a bit of a puzzle. Overall I found it pretty challenging but reasonably enjoyable. Thanks to all.

  8. Not sure whether this was brilliant cluewriting or clues that were just too obscure. I too struggled with 1A and 1D (surely an almost children’s dictionary definition). But there were also some beautiful clues. Thanks to DT for helping me understand why I had some clues correct – and thanks to the setter. A 4****/??? for me as I am still a bit lost about how to grade this.

  9. I too amm glad that I’m not alone in finding this very difficult and not terribly satisfying (****/**). I managed to find all the solutions bar 1across which totally mystifies me. I thought it was Proximal, whose crosswords frequently baffle me but it could be a new compiler. I really cannot find a favourite clue but thanks to DT for reassurance concerning the clues I could not parse and to the setter.

  10. Will need many more by this setter to get on his wavelength but should enjoy them if I am successful at that. Quirky in the sense that parsing had to be explained by DT for some bung-ins, some unparseable ones, and his answers for some clues which could only be explained from the answer despite the help given.

    The few completed puzzles recently must have been very Corky friendly. Thanks to our new setter and to DT for his excellent analysis.

  11. I found this one quite tricky, but very enjoyable.
    1a was my last one in, and I spent far too long trying to parse the obvious answer to 1d.

    4*/4* Thanks to the setter, and to DT.

    1. Yep, 1a and 1d left us bemused. Like someone else above said thought we were losing our marbles. Comforting to see the professionals having similar problems!

  12. A struggle but got there and satisfied for the brain workout . My COTD 7D .
    Currently , my wife and I are in a very nice 250 room hotel in the Canary Islands but seem be the only Brits , the rest being mostly Germans . Our Brexit party will be low key !
    Thanks to the new Setter and DT .

  13. It goes to show that we can all become settled in our way with long serving setters’ styles. Yesterday and today are 2 new setters (or is it the same person?) who have knocked me out of my comfort zone with a ‘new’ style of clue construction where the definition is a tad ‘obscure’. I’m sure that after a while, I’ll get used to it.

    1a & 1d were also my last ones in as well – the definitions being……..well, you know :smile: Although the wordplay for 11a was good, I think the use of the synonym for ‘Christmas’ is spelled with a capital ‘N’ – doesn’t that breech the rule of de-capitalising a word? Or have I got that wrong? No particular favourite today for me.

    Thanks to our Mr Ron for the puzzle and DT for his stalwart work on reviewing it. Have a good weekend all.

    1. SL, I think the capitalisation rules only apply to the words in the clue itself not to any synonyms.

  14. I seldom comment, but enjoy reading other bloggers remarks. Having been fairly successful in solving these crosswords long before electronic help I was completely and utterly, stumped, depressed and just had to give up. Hope others felt the same. Nevertheless my thanks to the setter who had given others a good work out. More thanks to Deep Threat who explained the many clues with which I had great difficulty.

    1. I would not worry too much. I found the last two day’s puzzles more trouble than a couple of the “Toughies” this week. I too am a long term Telegraph crossword fan (of 35 years standing). I have seldom had as many problems as in the last couple of days.

  15. Tricky and not very enjoyable would be my summary of this puzzle.

    How on earth1d can be deemed acceptable as a clue escapes me, seems like the setter got stuck and did a bung in!

    22a foxed me a bit and was my LOI. Favourite was 16a and oddly enough the mental picture I conjured up was very similar to the picture in the hint from DT, one of my favourite places!

    Thanks to all

    1. I’m rather surprised that so many commenters seem to dislike 1d. It may not be the greatest cryptic definition ever but it seems quite reasonable to me, with the setter trying to mislead us into thinking that ‘spotted’ is a verb and ‘canines’ are dogs.

  16. 4*/3*. Like other commenters today I found this rather tough and it took me a while to get onto the right wavelength; but, a very few hmms aside (1a – you can’t hail Uber taxis, 26a & 1d), I did enjoy it. I think we can be fairly sure that it is not the work of proXimal and it would be nice if the setter popped in to reveal him/herself.

    My favourite was 24a.

    Many thanks to Mr Ron and to DT.

      1. Hmm. I’m not sure that I would describe that as hailing, but I’m a bit of a dinosaur. You’re right though, I checked the Uber website and they do refer to it as “hailing”.

        1. I suppose that the act of telephoning could pass as hailing in a pinch, as in, “I’m going to hail a Uber”.

        2. Would never have solved this one without electronic help. 15d favourite, 7d and 2d also very good. But “hmms” on 1d and 23d (isn’t that “note” usually spelled with an ‘i’?). I think it’s the tricky and sometimes borderline definitions that make it hard e.g. 8a, 22a, 1a, 26a.

  17. Having had to blog more than one of them, I think this is the setter who has appeared from time to time on Saturdays in the last year – the one where for many of the clues, you have to get the solution and then go back and work out how to solve the clue to match it. Once I realised this was the case, I was going to give up (something I never do with the back pagers) but Mr CS asked me what the problems were with it, and so while I was explaining, I ended up finishing it in a time I’d expect to solve a mid-week Toughie in so 4.5*/1* from me

    1. You’ve made my day, no guffaws in the puzzle but you’ve provided the biggest guffaw today!

  18. Hello, Jen. Also gave up! Couldn’t get the drift of this at all. 22a and 9d completely defeated me. Tramp = step is weak in my opinion. 1d is inexplicable. If there is a reason for it, one of you will tell me. It had to be what it is but have no idea why beyond the obvious. Where do the snapping canines come into it?

    1. The canines are teeth (which all cats have) Canines are also dogs. Perhaps the setter thought that this might misdirect solvers. However not many people will fail to have the word leopard in their minds after reading the first two words of the clue

  19. This took a lot longer than usual for me. 1and 22 across and 1, 9 and 12 down taking an age for me to fathom. Nice puzzle though. Six nations Rugby tomorrow and Sunday (Come on England). Two causes for celebration tonight. Brexit and the end of January. There may be champagne and fireworks here in Downtown L I.

  20. This took me a while today with very few in on 1st pass and a fail on 22a. Agree with all on 1d. Favourite clue for me was 19d. 4*/3* for me.

  21. Another very tricky one that should be left to the Toughie IMHO. However, an improvement on yesterdays horror, at least this one had a bit of fun about it. 7d and 9d were my favourites.
    Thx to all

  22. I started this while waiting for a haircut and thought it was the background noise that was stunting my progress, and once home it would all become clearer. Well it wasn’t and it didn’t. I found it very difficult and as a consequence not very enjoyable. I have questions about a number of clues, most already mentioned. Surely 7d would be more accurately clued “One gets readies (plural) to come out on the street”, though of course it would ruin the surface.
    I did like 11a (maybe because I’m a fan) 14a 21a and 26a. Thought 8a was clever but a little vague and 9d raised a smile.
    Many thanks to the setter and to DT for his unenviable task of sorting it!

    1. SL, 7d. I don’t think it has to be “readies”, plural. Ready is a colloquial short form of ready money – it’s listed in Chambers online.

  23. Apart from 1d parsing and the first word of 12d which I could not get, even though I was thinking about some form of insurance, I once again quite enjoyed this one. A bit more difficult than yesterday and not so enjoyable. I liked 1a very much and several others. Thanks for help on the hints. ***/***

  24. Tale of two halves for me, top half fairly straightforward, bottom half a stinker.
    Faves 7d and 9d.
    11a not sure is known for being a “singer” and does one “ride” a 26a?

    Hints very welcome, ta.

  25. I thought this was excellent – just up my street! The setter has a refreshingly unfamiliar style, it was a good, challenging solve and very entertaining, with a sense of achievement at the end. I thought that 1d was an OK clue, unlike some other commenters. I’ve ticked quite a few and my favourite: 14a. 4* / 4.5*

  26. 2d all the way, Dada on steroids, too many obscure words for my liking, completed at a crawl. Didn’t enjoy it at all, if you hadn’t already guessed!

  27. Very hard. Managed only about ten random solves on my own, but I really liked 17d. Thank you Mr/s Setter and Deep Threat for unravelling it for us.

  28. Deffo a ****/*** for me today, was hoping for some lighter relief from yesterday’s. However, enjoyed both.

  29. ****/***. Enjoyable but quite tough. Am I the only one that thought cheetah initially for one down? Soon dismissed when I got 1a which was one of my favourites. I also like 5d. I needed DTs help to get 11a for which much thanks and also to the setter for a robust workout.

  30. Just finished on the second sitting of the day. I haven’t taken this long to finish a crossword in a long while. I said that very sentence recently about another one but this took longer.

    Like others I was looking for more for 1d but it had to be what it was.

    My last one in was 12d but I wasn’t really convinced by it. Can’t say I can particularly choose a favourite.

    Many thanks to DT and the setter.

  31. I too found this tricky ****/** 😬 a game of two halves, the top two thirds was nice, easily solvable with some amusing answers. The bottom third was a lot more difficult especially 19d & 22a 😳 Favourites 1a and 8a. Thanks to DT and to the Setter!!

  32. The Quickie pun says it all as far as I’m concerned – don’t like that either!
    7d raised a smile but the rest of my sheet is covered in ‘umms’.

    Thanks anyway to the setter and respect to DT for making sense of it all.

  33. Well beyond me.l think l solved about 5 clues and then decided to look at the a cross hints and then solve the downs.I take my hat off to D.T. being able to solve this and write an informative and amusing blog. Thankyou.

  34. The late great Michael Mepham used the question mark if a clue was cheeky or humorous, not as an excuse for poor or lazy cluing as seems to be the norm nowadays. Two shockers in two days – i’m off to the Grauniad Monday.

    1. Welcome to the blog

      There is a setter with this pseudonym and I’m not sure you are him, so you may want to change your alias

  35. We spent some time trying to find more in 1d but eventually came to the same conclusion as Gazza did. Found the puzzle quite tricky and enjoyable.
    Thanks Mr Ron and D T

  36. Here’s another one who gave up! Yesterday I questioned the 4* rating and remarked that I would be incapable of solving 4*, and so it is. I solved three after reading the clues twice, then decided I was so far at sea I’d better just quit.
    You must have a brain that you can turn upside down and inside out, DT, so thanks for unravelling that lot, you’re a star.

  37. Having felt a bit sorry for yesterday’s setter after all the negative comments, I have to admit that this one was way beyond my pay grade and one I really think should be put in the Toughie slot. I only managed about six clues before resorting to electronic help followed by the hints and even then I couldn’t get all of them. A bit of a slog to be honest. *****/*

  38. I’m always up for a challenge. Having struggled when I first looked at it, I came here to see what others were saying and decided to persevere. I completed it in the end, without outside help, but it took me about three times as long as usual.

    I think the compiler had been partaking of a Camberwell carrot.

    Thanks to all.

        1. Per Mr. Google

          A joint made up of 12 papers that’s about 18″ long and filled with pure weed. The term comes from the cult classic film

            1. Wild side? This shrinking violet? I’m Jamaican but I’ve never, ever tried the weed. I have, however, used what is known as ganga grease or cannabis cream, and for someone with aches and pains of old age, it works a treat. I highly recommend it.

    1. Never heard of it before. Wouldn’t it be fun if we got it in a clue one day!! Any setters out there listening?

  39. This one beat me and I gave up – not often I do that. I will return to it tomorrow after a good night’s sleep and hope I get on the correct wavelength.

    I agree that 1d was a straight definition. I’m a dentist but cannot see where “snapping canines” come into the picture. Unless it is an indication that the answer is a carnivore.

    I realise it is me and that I simply did not get the mindset of the setter – I couldn’t put a puzzle together – so thanks to the setter and to DT for the hints.

  40. Thanks to the setter and Deep Threat for the review and hints. I managed about 4 answers on the first pass, and it didn’t get much better. Needed the hints for 1,7,10,18a and 1,2,12,19d. Still don’t understand 19d even though I’ve read the hint. Couldn’t seem to find most of the definitions, so found it totally baffling. Was 5*/1* for me.

  41. Did not enjoy this one. Thought some of the clues were questionable. So hope this setter doesn’t appear often.

  42. For the second day running, I seem to be going against the flow….I enjoyed this puzzle. After a quick look through this morning, I thought it might be a bit of a toughie but once I got going, it all seemed to fall into place. Favourites 7d ‘cos it made me smile and 5d as it is just a lovely poetic word. Thanks to Deep Threat for the blog and the setter for an enjoyable crossword.

  43. It’s a long time since I’ve commented as I tend to lurk and learn but I too struggled with this one.
    However I still don’t understand “E” for shade in 22A – assuming I understand the rest of the parsing.
    And just to add insult to injury the crossword was free-to-play on the DT website.

  44. I hung in there and did in fact make the grade in the end but with difficulty and thanks to a little help along the way. 7d hung fire for quite a while but finally joined 14a, 22a and 7d as a Fav. Thanks Mysteron and DT. Here’s wishing us all Peace, Prosperity, and Friendship from 11.01 p.m. today onwards.

  45. Dreadful. Managed to solve 3 clues and gave up. The compiler is trying to be far too clever and outwit us loyal back pagers. Still cannot see the logic in 1 down.

  46. 1d seems much worse than yesterday’s 11d (which I actually thought was less tenuous than some from more established setters) unless there’s some nuance to snapping canines that even the great and the good on here seem to have missed. 7d a clear stand-out today. Thanks to the setter for sparking such a lengthy debate, and for an otherwise reasonably enjoyable puzzle.

  47. Let’s be honest and stop feeling a little insecure about our difficulty with this. Please can the Telegraph tell us in advance when this compiler is indulging him/her self in such drivel again. I won’t waste my £2 buying it. Of course when the solution to a clue is known it is possible to follow the twisted and excessively convoluted ‘logic’ that produced the clue. It’s supposed to be enjoyably challenging. LOUDHAILER? Does flashy mean LOUD? CASH MACHINE? Ruined my day!!!!!!!

  48. Thought I was loosing it when this proved so hard. So glad to know that others also found it taxing. Thanks for help with a couple of clues to get over the finishing line.

  49. Evening all in the UK. My son’s UK passport was approved on the 31 Jan too, an auspicious date. His Grandparents were ‘£10 Poms’ and my wife has a UK PP so why not we thought. Good reading the comments about yesterday’s puzzle, glad I’m not alone. I think 7d is suss. Wrong part of speech for starters, readies are cash, not ready. On the plus side, 5d was an excellent lurker. Thanks to Deep threat for the explanations. Now I see them they make a bit more sense. Perhaps we’ll need to see a bit more of the mystery setter to get on his/her wavelength🦇

    1. I remember the “£10 poms”! I was almost one of them, going to live in Oz sounded so romantic. Wombats, kangaroos, platypuses, how exotic!

  50. Well that was a stinker. Been doing the cryptic for years – initially on train commute but now more leisurely in retirement. Knew I was in trouble when only clues I could get on first pass were three of the four letter clues. Mood lifted once I got 5d ( a word I had not come across) but then brick wall again! Resorted to the hints and tips for 1a and then got on a roll but at no time was I on same wavelength as setter.

    1. Welcome to the blog

      We have a number of Daves here – Big, Little, Puzzler and so on. I believe there may be another ‘Dave’ so perhaps you’d like to add another word to your alias to avoid future confusion

        1. Sorry RD – don’t know how I forgot you – can I blame Mr CS who was standing at the bottom of the stairs nagging me to stop doing ‘crossword things’ and get in the car to go to Sainsburys?

  51. I finished the puzzle but found it unsatisfactory. The clue for 1D was just poor and should not have been allowed by the Crossword Editor, IMHO.

  52. Only a day late in commenting – it has been later.
    I read DT’s introductory bit yesterday but didn’t have time to do the crossword – as I read it I thought, “This is going to be a stinker as I’ve never seen him give anything more than 3*** for difficulty”.
    I enjoyed it a lot and, although tricky in places, I didn’t think it was impossible.
    Failed completely on 22a having not managed to suss out the definition.
    I liked 1d having decided that it had to be what it was and that we were just being very effectively misdirected.
    My favourite was 8a.
    Thanks to the mystery setter and to DT.

  53. 16 across is a bit of a liberty (bell) ! As a struggling U3A Italian student I cannot condone “Campaniles”.
    One tower is Campanile, two towers would be Campanili according to Google Translate.

  54. Difficult one to complete. 1a and 12d last in. I couldn’t work out how 1d was a cryptic clue, but leopard was the only word that fitted in. Snapping canines not dogs but just it’s teeth! Not usual for DT crosswords.

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