DT 29277 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29277

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29277

Hints and tips by Mr K

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BD Rating  -  Difficulty ** Enjoyment **

Hello, everyone.  In the hints below most indicators are italicized and definitions are underlined.  Clicking on the answer buttons will reveal the answers. Clicking on a picture will enlarge it.  Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.



1a    Beetle -- small one in a tent? (7)
SCAMPER:  The clothing abbreviation for small is followed by a person who might sleep in a tent 

5a    Urges bullies to leave work (7)
PRESSES:  A verb synonym of bullies has the usual abbreviation for a musical work deleted (… to leave work) 

9a    Loud instrument that's in the woodwind? (5)
FLUTE:  Follow the musical abbreviation for loud with an old stringed instrument to get one found in the woodwind section of an orchestra

10a   Jobseeker? Frank scoffed (9)
CANDIDATE:  Put together frank or direct and scoffed or devoured

11a   Rewarding son with any gift is wrong (10)
SATISFYING:  The genealogical abbreviation for son with an anagram (wrong) of ANY GIFT IS 

12a   Charlie left in bed (4)
CLOT:  The single letter for left inserted in a small bed 

14a   Orders in street preceding commotions (12)
INSTRUCTIONS:  Concatenate IN from the clue, the map abbreviation for street, and some commotions or disturbances 

18a   Eventual bible changes, omitting middle of Leviticus? Out of the question! (12)
UNBELIEVABLE:  An anagram (changes) of EVEN[t]UAL BIBLE minus (omitting) the middle letter of LeviTicus 

21a   Mistake, whichever way one looks at it (4)
BOOB:  A palindrome (…, whichever way one looks at it) that is a synonym of mistake 

22a   Demanding  individual (10)
PARTICULAR:  A straightforward double definition 

25a   A goddess intended to be heartless for fun (9)
AMUSEMENT:  Link together A from the clue, one of the nine Greek goddesses of the liberal arts, and a synonym of “intended” with its middle letter deleted (to be heartless

26a   Thin -- not large? That makes sense (5)
SIGHT:  A synonym of thin with the clothing abbreviation for large deleted (not large) 

27a   Stressed out with no time for clothes (7)
DRESSES:  A minor rearrangement (out) of S[t]RESSED with the physics symbol for time deleted (with no time)

28a   Loads of weekend lessons? Only some (7)
ENDLESS:  The answer is hidden as some of (… only some) the remainder of the clue 



1d    A party after shop's opening -- most sensible (6)
SAFEST:  A from the clue and a party or gathering together go after the first letter of Shop (shop’s opening

2d    A sexy guy turns up, impressing 50 ladies, perhaps (6)
ADULTS:  A from the clue with the reversal (turns up, in a down clue) of what the BRB defines as a sexually potent or active man, or one who thinks he is, containing (impressing) the Roman 50 

3d    Gratifyingly polite remark king exchanged with student (10)
PLEASANTLY:  In a polite and agreeable remark exchange the Latin abbreviation for king with the usual single letter for a student or learner 

4d    Iffy  film from the 1970s (5)
ROCKY:  An adjective meaning iffy or uncertain is also the name of a 1970s US blockbuster movie

5d    Nun is pale, shaking head (9)
PENINSULA:  An anagram (shaking) of NUN IS PALE 

6d    Be up for wickedness (4)
EVIL:  The reversal (up, in a down clue) of be or exist 

7d    Horse -- stop one then proceed! (8)
STALLION:  Glue together stop or delay, the Roman one, and an interjection meaning proceed!

8d    Best to consult about wicket before cricket match (8)
SWEETEST:  Consult or ask is wrapped about the cricket scoring abbreviation for wicket, and followed by a five-day international cricket match

13d   Inclined to be idealistic when deciphered (10)
ITALICISED:  An anagram (when deciphered) of IDEALISTIC 

15d   Youngsters eat greens irregularly (9)
TEENAGERS:  An anagram (irregularly) of EAT GREENS 

16d   Committee supporting trophy for store (8)
CUPBOARD:  A synonym of committee comes after (supporting, in a down clue) a type of sports trophy 

17d   Certain sailor's old instrument (8)
ABSOLUTE:  Join together a usual sailor with his ‘S from the clue, the abbreviation for old, and a familiar old stringed instrument 

19d   Place fit for deadly epidemic (6)
PLAGUE:  The map abbreviation for place is followed by a usual fit or fever 

20d   Beginning to trust biblical book's facts (6)
TRUTHS:  Follow the beginning letter to Trust with a book of the Old Testament, including her ‘S from the clue 

23d   Name bird over meadow with no tail (5)
TITLE:  A three-letter bird precedes (over, in a down clue) all but the last letter (… with no tail) of a poetic word for a meadow 

24d   Announcement from all directions (4)
NEWS:  The answer comes from arranging the abbreviations for the four main points of the compass 


Thanks to our setter.  I couldn’t identify a favourite today.  Could you?


The Quick Crossword pun:  BAR + LEA + WHINE = BARLEY WINE

56 comments on “DT 29277

  1. I almost had this complete in ** time, but got stuck in the NW. I didn’t know the beetle and without the first letter, I wasn’t going to get a 1970s movie. I suspect some might moan about the number of anagrams, but it doesn’t bother me.

    COTD is 21a, for purely juvenile reasons.

    Many thanks to the setter and Mr. K.

      1. Ah, I see now. I was working with ‘snapper’. Apparently there is a snapping beetle.


  2. I can’t remember doing a puzzle much quicker than this, which suggests it was on the extremely gentle side. I suspect it contains a few chestnuts too.
    Like Mr K, difficult to pick an out and out favourite but I quite liked the amusing 12a, along with 2 and 3d.
    Many thanks to the setter and to Mr K, I always enjoy Tuesday’s blog.

  3. I couldn’t find a favourite clue either but there were a few rather questionable synonyms and General knowledge based clues. My rating was also **/**. It felt like a new compiler to me. Thanks to the setter and Mr K.

  4. 1*/2*. Straightforward and lacking in sparkle. My repetition radar bleeped loudly with the use of the same instrument twice.

    Thanks to the setter and to Mr K.

  5. Pleasant but nothing too startling – completed at a gallop – **/**.
    No obvious favourites, but I did like 10a.
    Thanks to the setter and Mr K.

  6. Took a little while to get on the setters wavelength with some less obvious synonyms and needed the hints to explain 19d, never thought of ague as fit rather than fever but the BRB put me right. Liked 26a and 8d.
    Thx to all

  7. 5a. The answer was obvious, but the clue doesn’t make sense to me. Surely “work” leaves “bullies”, not the other way round?

    1. V, 5a. Yes, you have got a point there – this type of wording does cause confusion as it can read as though it’s the wrong way round (to some solvers). But the clue is telling you: think of a word that means “bullies” and then to leave (omit/delete) work (O). Does that help or make it worse?

      1. Work = Op. Think that was a typo. Just don’t want Vince to be further confused. I think Mr. K (see below) is right in that leave = abandon

        1. WW. Yes, O was a typo, it should definitely have been OP. But I don’t think the word-play/parsing was at all a problem for V (as he indicates) – it was the potentially confusing sequence of the surface grammar.

  8. Gentle and quite enjoyable. A few too many anagrams for my liking. 1a across was my last in and clue of the day.

    There’s a gentle Toighie on display today as well.

  9. Just stumped by the NW corner. Never thought of scamper as beetle and not sure that to be sensible is always to be safe. A moral dilemma!

  10. Wanted to put in a different but, I thought, rather better answer for 3d but couldn’t fit in both the king and the learner – such a pity.
    No problems with this one but I really didn’t like 8d, suppose it depends upon one’s point of view.
    1a made me smile as it took me back to my days of camping with the Girl Guides and the assorted wildlife that always found its way into everyone’s tents, particularly at night!

    Thanks to our setter and to Mr K for the review – couldn’t find a single feline today, not even one hiding in the 16d.

  11. I needed Mr. K’s hints for a couple but, otherwise, a steady solve and most enjoyable. I did have “skipper” for a while at 1a and this stopped 2d. As for 2d, I have to make this my COTD because I thought it quite clever.

    Grateful thanks, as always, to the setter and to Mr. K. for the hints and I agree with Stephen L regarding pictures!

    Shrewsbury Town playing at Anfield in the fourth round of the FA cup tonight. Fingers crossed.

  12. Very straightforward today but perhaps lacking the wit and guile needed to make it really enjoyable. Nonetheless I marvel at any setter’s ability to compile one of these puzzles; it goes to show how high the standard normally set has become that we question one that might not quite reach the mark expected. Having said that there will be tens of thousands of people out there who are genuinely pleased to b able to finish a back-pager without help, so it would be churlish to deny them their moment of success.

    Thanks to our setter and Mr K.

  13. I thought this one was OK by Tuesday standards – just about up to average difficulty for a back-pager. It was an enjoyable solve. I’ve ticked a few but will pick 14a as my favourite. 2.5* / 3*

  14. I have just realised that, in 5a, I came to the answer from a different direction. I got the answer from gangs of naval personnel looking for new crew members.

    It works in a kind of obscure way. :grin:

  15. Very interesting, quickly inserted Acts into 20 d until I realised Acts are not in the OT! I loved the illustration in 16 d as we have just altered our understairs “Furniture” and now have a hanging space and 2 pull out Drawers . Thank you to the setter and to the hints.

  16. As everyone has said, a nice, easy solve with lots of lovey anagrams! I was a bit held up in nw corner but once I got the small one in a tent (very neat)
    the other fell into place. Thanks to all.

  17. For me it was the SE that took a little longer than the other sections to answer. However, once I got 13d the rest fell into place. Ia came quickly after I decided to look for a creepie-crawlie. I did not find any particularly stretched synonyms or too many anagrams. 10a and 24d favourites. Thanks setter, and thanks Mr K. Only needed to confirm the parsing of 19d. I was not thinking of that sort of fit. My mother (who was born in 1914) often used to talk about an ague bout (pronounced aguey). This seemed to apply to anyone who was shaking violently! I too found it surprising that we had the same instrument twice.

  18. Nothing special today and for my part too many anagrams. NW last to fall into line. 2d unparsed by me. Agree with JB re safe = sensible? Thank you Messrs. Ron and K.

    1. I think when used in a certain way. For example “I’ll play it safe” or “I’ll be sensible”.

  19. I was unsure whether the “Beetle” in 1a was a noun or verb, but that became clear once I’d remembered who would be in a tent. I put “pleasable” into 3d, but changed it fairly quickly when 14a became obvious. I liked the simpleness of 12a. Many thanks Setter and Mr Kitty.

    1. But you were short of one letter. I too made a mistake by failing to fully parse. I inserted pleasingly which is a synonym for gratifyingly. I spotted the “ing” and the “l” so was on the right lines but did not stop to wonder where the remaining letters fitted in!

      1. I wasn’t one short WW, I just spelt pleasable incorrectly!!!!I had an e after the s !!! Silly me.

  20. Slightly irked at a few of these – 5A, 8D, but with the anagrams and giveaways 21A, 22A even the usually hard to get but rewarding SW Corner, first puzzle down, 16D, this line usually reaps a number of initial letters, but for me was a giveaway. So a 1/2* for me. Maybe the weather also getting me down – roll on Spring – plenty of snowdrops and daffodils out – even in this concrete jungle called Southend – surely it’s just around the corner…
    Many thanks Mr K for the usual amusing hints – I enjoyed the hints more than the puzzle!

    1. Welcome from me as well, Harold, and thanks for commenting.

      The setter will be pleased that they successfully misdirected a solver into thinking at first that beetle was a noun rather than the verb used as the definition.

  21. */**. Apart from a slight hold up in the SE corner (like Brian, I only knew ague as ill/fever rather than fit, as in a fit of shivering) this was a walk in the park. No real stand outs although if pushed perhaps 10a. Thanks to the setter and Mr K.

  22. Yes I fell into the beetle trap, spending too long trying to recall one that would fit in 1a. Can’t say I found this gentle, taking a while to get on the setter’s wavelength, but with some of Mr K’s hints, I was able to get on track. Cricket clues always stump me (ha ha). But an enjoyable puzzle, thanks to all.

  23. I found this quite benign until I got to the NW, I was stumped by four clues. I was so locked into an insect, I think I am now on first-name terms with every beetle there is. I don’t know how I remembered 4d but I did, that was so long ago.
    I liked quite a few, 12a and 21a amused. I wouldn’t say 8d was “best”, but maybe that’s a bit picky.
    Thanks to our Tuesday setter and to Mr. K for the usual fun review, however, no felines was a little remiss on your part!

  24. A slightly slow start from looking for a creepy-crawly for 1a but once that was sorted it flowed smoothly.
    Pleasant solve.
    Thanks Mr Ron and Mr K.

  25. Got the last ones in the NW after a second sitting.
    Pleasant crossword.
    Just the right level of difficulty as far as I am concerned.
    Thanks to the setter and to Mr K for the review.

  26. I agree with Mr K 😃 **/** (though I would like to say there is nothing wrong with a 2/2!) 😉 Favourites 1a & 25. Thanks to Mr K and to the Setter. I must confess to falling headlong into the wrong answer to 20d if the truth be told😬

  27. Having done the toughie first today I actually found this harder but hey ho I got there in the end and I enjoyed it. I’m going to go for 1a as my favourite as it opened up the NW corner for completion. Many thanks to the setter and Mr K.

  28. Morning from the tropics🌴🌞🌴No feline photos from Mr K today🤔I’m more of a dog person but still enjoy Mr K’s amusing cat shots. To business…I agree with the comments above. I liked the one about how Mr K used the same photo to cover 21 and 27a, purely for childish reasons too. I got stuck in the NW corner. 1a and 2d were then last to go in. Thanks to ‘Mrs Flyingfox’ for supplying stud for the penny to drop. ‘Ladies perhaps’ appeared recently and the definition was washroom (or some such) so I was on the wrong track. I think we’ve seen every anagram possibility for ‘teenager’ as well lately. Anyway a quick and enjoyable solve with a few challenges. Thanks to the setter and Mr K🦇

  29. Nice and easy for me today and completed without help and without too much head scratching. */****

  30. Pleasant solve today – I liked 14a. Thanks to Mr K, and the setter. I, too, missed the cats. 🐈

  31. Thanks to everyone who commented today. Apologies to those who missed the cat pics. At the moment work is leaving me almost no time for crosswording, including searching for quality pictures. Things should return to normal in a week or so.

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