DT 29276 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29276

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29276

Hints and tips by Jerry Jerningham

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BD Rating – Difficulty *Enjoyment ***

Ecstatic. Brexit and the furore surrounding it is done. Coventry Rugby Football Club beat Cornish Pirates. […and Spurs beat Man City! BD]

Morose. France v England. Dearie dearie me.

The puzzle. More anagrams than I like. Mondayish with a sting in the tail.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Small private room near end of unit (6)
CLOSET: A synonym of the word near sits comfortably next to the final letter of the word unit

4a    Area in good order round university’s central hall (6)
ATRIUM: Begin with the abbreviation for area. Add a word meaning ship shape or in good order. Insert the abbreviation for university

8a    Model soldier, like leader of mission (8)
PARADIGM: A soldier who leaps willingly from aeroplanes is followed by a hippyish word meaning to like something which is in turn followed by the leading letter of the word mission.

10a    Property in European country (6)
ESTATE: The abbreviation for European is followed by another term for a country The United Countries of America perhaps

11a    Sketch of Saint Christopher (4)
SKIT: If the letter S is a fair abbreviation for Saint then begin with an abbreviation of the word Saint. Add a shortened form of the name Christopher. This sketch is a short comedy or parody

12a    Diplomat dancing samba, pathetic otherwise (10)
AMBASSADOR: An anagram (dancing) of SAMBA is followed by a word meaning pathetic and another word for otherwise

13a    Diarist cross with Juliet wearing shades (7,5)
BRIDGET JONES: This went straight in from the definition and I assumed it was an anagram of JULIET and SHADES. Not so. We need a verb meaning to cross. Then the IVA code letter for Juliet inside a synonym of shades

16a    Railway buff that’s wizard on coaches (12)
TRAINSPOTTER: The wizard created by J K Rowling follows a word meaning coaches as a sportsperson might do to improve the skills of those being coached

20a    Method of teaching singing, complicated solo in fact (5,3-2)
TONIC SOL-FA: Anagram (complicated) of SOLO IN FACT

21a    Run second leg (4)
SPIN: The abbreviation for small is followed by a synonym of the word leg

22a    Progressive kind joining Royal Navy (6)
MODERN: A synonym for the word kind as in a fashion or style in clothes, art, literature, etc is followed by the initial letters of the senior service mentioned in the clue

23a    Article appears after group rehearsed play (3,5)
SET PIECE: An article object or item follows a group of people or things to give a sporting term for such things as scrums and line outs in Rugby Football or Free Kicks in association football

24a    See literary review? (6)
NOTICE: A double definition. Both obvious. If not for you then the checkers will let you in

25a    Nonsense written about Laurel originally having three parts (6)
TRIPLE: A word meaning nonsense or drivel sits around the initial letter of the word Laurel


1d    Biscuits and nuts off one’s trolley (8)
CRACKERS: A rare triple definition following on nicely from the last across clue.

2d    Love some, but not all, abstract paintings (2,3)
OP ART: The letter that looks like the love score in tennis is followed by a word meaning some but not all of something.

3d    Abu Dhabi, for example, angry after Middle East uprising (7)
EMIRATE: A word meaning angry sits after the reversed initials of Middle East

5d    Traitor’s initial motive for his crime? (7)
TREASON: Chestnut time! The initial letter of traitor precedes a motive or cause

6d    Inn artist condemned on the way (2,7)
IN TRANSIT: Anagram (condemned) of INN ARTIST

7d    Moving proposal (6)
MOTION: A double definition, the second being a proposal put before a formal meeting

9d    Noel G’s jam surprisingly includes R&B song (2,9)
MR BOJANGLES: A clumsy (or very clever) anagram (surprisingly) of NOEL G’S JAM which also includes the letters R and B. Thank you setter for the opportunity to illustrate with The Nitty gritty Dirt band’s cover of Jerry Jeff Walker’s famous song

14d    Loss of red mitten processed (9)
DETRIMENT: Anagram (processed) of RED MITTEN

15d    Ordinary French wine I imported, rouge lacking body (8)
MEDIOCRE: Begin with the most famous of French red wine regions. Insert the letter I. Add the outer letters (lacking body) of the word rouge

17d    Poison scare broadcast across Northern Ireland (7)
ARSENIC: Yet another anagram (broadcast) of SCARE which covers the abbreviation for Northern Ireland

18d    Detailed decorative design around large dish (7)
PLATTER: A decorative design has its last letter removed (de-tailed) and sits comfortably around the abbreviation for large

19d    Belittle act, blue (2,4)
DO DOWN: Two synonyms required. One for act and one for blue or sad

21d    Getting married in spring, so tighten one’s belt (5)
SKIMP: A word meaning to spring or move along lightly, stepping from one foot to the other with a hop or bounce surrounds the abbreviation for marriage

Quickie Puns

Top line: Barre+Belle=Barbel – a large European freshwater fish of the carp family, which has barbels hanging from the mouth.

Bottom line: Thyme+Piece=Timepiece


50 comments on “DT 29276

  1. For me this was a very gentle start to the week, largely completed whilst in the car wash on the way home from the newsagents. I wasn’t entirely familiar with 20a so did check the definition. Favourite clue today was 13a. Thanks to JJ and setter.

  2. Apart from the rather obscure 20a, for which I used electronic help I rather enjoyed this (I needed to in order to compensate for the 25% increase in the cover price) and found it straight forward without it being a write in.
    Nicely clued throughout, I’m going for 8a as COTD simply because it’s a great word.
    Many thanks to the setter and to MP for his usual top notch review.

  3. 20A was a bit of a tough one for me – coming off a depressed sporting weekend. A couple of others slowed me down but nothing too serious for this 2/3 puzzle. 17D supposedly gave RLS inspiration for Mr Hyde as the Victorians mostly used this as an upper, rather than a poison. 8A was a favourite- quite an enjoyable solve for Monday . Thanks to JJ and setter.

  4. I rather liked what I suspect is a bit of a chestnut at 1d, but a triple definition that makes me laugh will invariably get the nod. Overall this was a straightforward but enjoyable puzzle to solve, just right for a Monday morning.

    Thanks to the Double Punner and MP.

  5. I did have to check that I hadn’t invented a new phrase for 20a answer. Entirely possible as I’d never heard of it. Other than that, a gentle start to the week. Also a bit stunned that the Telegraph has increased by 50p. Didn’t see that coming!

    1. I don’t know how long it will last but the place to buy the DT today is Morrison’s where their bar code reader still thinks the price is £2

        1. Only if you’ve spent £10 though! Not difficult in Waitrose – I think it costs that much to breathe in their air 😂

      1. Apparently (according to my local newsagent) he received a letter from the DT saying the increase is a way to try and persuade more people to take out a subscription…

    2. I read somewhere that the price of newsprint paper has sky rocketed, mainly from Canada. Our newspaper increased as well and they gave that as the reason why. I suppose I could google to find out the reason for the increase.

  6. Perhaps my brain wasn’t correctly in gear as I found this a tad trickier than recent Monday offerings. Needless to say I’d never heard of 20a but the checkers left room for only one answer & Mr Google confirmed. For some reason I was held up by second word in 23a & once that penny dropped 15d, my last in, was obvious.
    I really enjoyed this one – 8a my COTD.
    Thanks to MP & to the setter

  7. today seems to be the day for straightforward crosswords – well I suppose it is Monday

    Thanks to the Double Punner and the man with more than double the aliases of the rest of us

  8. This was decidedly less challenging than Cryptics of late. Failed to fully parse 12a and 18d. Not heard of 20a teaching method or 9d and 13a was not helped by use of US word “shades” hence NW corner was last to give in. Thank you Mysteron for gentle start to week and to MP for hints.

  9. A little bit too much GK for me, 13a, 20a & 9d, and I wasn’t to happy about 21d. To me that answer means to do a job cheaply, whereas scrimp would be to tighten one’s belt.

    Still, it took my mind off the dentist’s chair.

    Thanks to all.

  10. A wonderful puzzle to get the week off to a good start.I will admit to have to use the hints for 22a – I had the first word but could not fathom the second. I also needed the hint for 15d because “merlot” was stuck in my grey cells. I did know 20a so that was the first in.

    A favourite was 8a because I am seeing the word a lot at the moment while marking essays. My COTD is 13a.

    Not a good start for England! As for the DT price, the paper does have a habit of raising it without warning. I take it my vouchers are now worth £2.50?

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

  11. Despite thinking it came from “Cats” I was able to solve 9d

    Incidentally why if the BD site says this blog was posted 2 hours ago is it only just now available?

    I’m glad I’m a DT subscriber as I still prefer the dead wood version.

    1. I was late submitting it today JB. Possibly something to do with an early start on the beer before the Rugby yesterday

      1. I should think you wanted even more beer after that awful result!
        Thank you for your posts. I always enjoy them and wonder what the next pseudonym will be.

  12. A few tricky ones to give a bit of a challenge and some very enjoyable clues (**/****). My late father learned to play the piano using the 20a method so I had heard of that. I liked 8a, 16a and 15d. Thanks to MP and the setter.

  13. Thanks to the setter etc. Good start to the week but never heard of 20a like many others I guess.
    Listened to the Nitty Gritty Dirt band’s version of Mr Bojangles – very good but sorry not a patch on Sammy Davis Jnr’s rendition!

      1. Hope it works.

          1. Ps:
            Liked The Police song the other day.
            Sting sung in a French song recently with Maitre Gims…with this kind of lyrics:
            Just like the moon, the night time appears in my life … Just like the rain, she plants a flower in the desert of my heart.
            I think I prefer the de do do do de da da da.

        1. So it seems.
          Found his version on Spotify.
          Quite different. A lot of honky tonks as usual.
          Mind you, this clue was my last one in and guessed it from the checkers. When I listened to it on YouTube, I only had the Nina Simone version which is also completely different.

  14. Nice Monday fare as usual. Entertaining blog as usual too.
    21a caused most brain ache as I had to dig around for the right synonym.
    The biggest question still puzzling me is the 16a pic. Is it a stock photo or perhaps a pic from Jerry Jerningham’s youth?
    The evidence of my own trainspotting youth has been lost in the sands of time (thank God)

    1. It is from Google images John. I don’t like the picture that has been used before.

  15. 1.5/3. Enjoyable while it lasted. Favourites were 8&16a and 15d. Thanks to our benevolent setter and MP.

  16. Always like Monday .I think they must be aimed at my current level.Despite that l had convinced myself that 8a. was a funny spelling of a model in a dress shop and took a while to sort that out.Any version of. Bojangles suits me fine.Thankyou ,if it is hard being an England R. U. fan think what it is like supporting Stoke City.

    1. I wish I did support Stoke City I have to put up with the hopeless shenanigans at Coventry City.

  17. Much more enjoyable than recent puzzles. Liked 13a although I was thinking of far more learned diarists- still gave the answer to 9d. Couldn’t really be anything else with those letters| Thanks to setter and JJ.

  18. Enjoyable…20a was obviously an anagram, I tried various combinations via google, and gave up.
    Some clever clues, I had to dig 8a out from somewhere, helped by the wordplay.
    I finished the Guardian today, which is a first, it must have been an easy monday there too.
    Thanks MP and Mr.Ron.

  19. Not on my wavelength today, slow old job with hints for the last 4 in. Hey no pain no gain!
    Ta for the challenge and the hints

  20. Found this distinctly tricky in places with clues such as 8a making life difficult.
    Thx for the hints

  21. It took me ages to get 21a and 21d. No idea why. It’s not as if they were difficult. I felt that we only needed the “biscuits and nuts” in 1d. The rest of the sentence seemed superfluous. All in all, good fun. Thanks Monday setter and Miffypops.

  22. A nice start to the week 😉 **/**** Favourites were 13 & 16a 😃 Thanks to MP and to the Setter and to the kind folk that alerted me to the increase in price ☹️ Saved a few nasty moments when confronted by my paper bill, crikey I can remember the days when you could get a 🍺 for that money 😳

  23. Nice puzzle, 2/4 for me. There aren’t many items one can buy where a 25% increase could be attempted. Outrageous it may be, but no doubt I’ll still buy it.
    More frequent trips to Waitrose maybe. That’s a way round it.

    Thanks to all.

  24. Oh dear, my comment disappeared, don’t know if it was my side or yours!
    I said how much I enjoyed this, perfectly suited to a tiny brain, I didn’t have to use any e-help today.
    I knew 20a as I did music in school, aeons ago, some of the theory part must have stuck despite me being tone deaf. I found 19d very iffy, but it had to be, must be Britspeak.
    Fave was 13a with 8a fast on its heels, but lots more were on my radar as well.
    Thanks to our Monday setter and to Jerry for his usual fun review, one of the best parts of Monday crosswording.

  25. Hmm. Obviously the later contributors are more my standard but I’m with the clever clogs nearer the start of the blog and didn’t find this too hard. Knowing musical theory, despite being musically illiterate, 20a posed no problem to me. My favourite has to be 8a as I couldn’t get man akin out of my head and caused a palm on the forehead when I finally twigged. Many thanks to the setter and JJ.

  26. I enjoyed today’s, but it was a puzzle of two halves – the first half went in rapidly, then I had a break, and the rest followed. Thanks to the setter, and to JJ (my initials too)!

  27. 3*/4*………..
    liked 15D ” ordinary French wine I imported, rouge lacking body (8) ”
    alternative top line quickie pun in the dead tree version “barbell”, ie a weight lifting apparatus.

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