DT 29283 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29283

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29283

Hints and tips by Mr K

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BD Rating  -  Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

Hello, everyone.  Nice solid Tuesday puzzle today.  Since this intro is going to be long, I'll move straight to the important bits. 

We're launching a survey today that allows you to have a say about the crosswords offered by the Daily Telegraph.  In the latest Puzzles Site Newsletter, puzzles editor Chris Lancaster writes:  Recent correspondence indicates that some solvers might appreciate another type of cryptic crossword: one which is easier than the normal Telegraph Crossword, and is aimed squarely at beginners.  Would an additional, simpler, cryptic crossword be something you would like to see?  Chris tells us that if such a puzzle is added it would initially appear on weekends, so he can gauge interest.  Click on the expandable spoiler box below (or click here if that doesn't work) to record your answer to Chris' question along with an optional comment.  We'll send everything to Chris, and summarize the results here next week. 

Click here to open survey


In the hints below most indicators are italicized, and precise definitions are underlined.  Clicking on the answer buttons will reveal the answers.  In some hints hyperlinks provide additional explanation or background.  Clicking on a picture will enlarge it or display a bonus feline illustration.  Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.



1a    Instructed old king and old socialist (7)
TUTORED:  Link together an old Egyptian king, the abbreviation for old, and a synonym of socialist 

5a    Left Dave struggling to contain lion? (7)
VACATED:  An anagram (struggling) of DAVE contains what lion defines by example (indicated by the ?)

9a    Unlovely boy good for church music (9)
PLAINSONG:  Concatenate unlovely or simple, what a boy must be, and the single letter abbreviation for good 

10a   Dignified knocking beer back (5)
REGAL:  The reversal (knocking back … ) of a type of beer 

11a   Arab seen in Romania (5)
OMANI:  The answer is seen hiding in the remainder of the clue

12a   Male is taken in by worthless fortune-telling (9)
PALMISTRY:  The single letter for male and IS from the clue are together contained by (taken in by) worthless or meagre 

13a   Military command: go after crippled U-boat (5-4)
ABOUT-TURN:  A go or attempt comes after an anagram (crippled) of U-BOAT 

16a   Admonish Charlie, flogged outside (5)
SCOLD:  The letter represented by Charlie in the NATO phonetic alphabet is inserted in a synonym of flogged (… flogged  outside)

17a   Ascetic's last to leave German city (5)
ESSEN:  Find a German city by deleting the last letter from an ancient Jewish ascetic (or deduce the ascetic by adding a likely letter to a German city that fits the checkers) 

18a   Cry, having cut gathering fruit (4,1,4)
SHED A TEAR:  A synonym of cut containing (gathering) the fruit of a type of palm 

20a   Case for governmental responsibility (9)
PORTFOLIO:  A straightforward double definition 

23a   Nasty bug from priest keeping company (1,4)
E COLI:  A usual priest containing (keeping) the abbreviation for company 

25a   Criticise severely when stopping nonsense (5)
ROAST:  A synonym of "when" inserted in (stopping) some nonsense 

26a   Canine, say, barking regardless (2,3,4)
IN ANY CASE:  An anagram (barking) of CANINE SAY 

27a   Opponent takes over church in ancient city (7)
ANTIOCH:  Chain together a person opposed to something, the cricket scoreboard abbreviation for over, and the map abbreviation for church 

28a   Stylish English worker holding on (7)
ELEGANT:  The single letter for English and a usual worker insect sandwiching (holding) another word for the on side of a cricket pitch 



1d    Top CIA agent initially mixed pudding (7)
TAPIOCA:  An anagram (mixed) of TOP CIA and the first letter of (… initially) of Agent 

2d    Headdress so long one wears (5)
TIARA:  The Roman one is inserted in (wears) an informal so long or goodbye 

3d    Heroic animal runs home to young Belgian adventurer (3,3,3)
RIN TIN TIN:  Stick together the cricket abbreviation for runs, the usual synonym of home, and a cartoonish young Belgian adventurer.  Read about the heroic animal of the answer here 

4d    Doctor round surgery to wilt (5)
DROOP:  Put together an abbreviation for doctor, the round letter, and an informal contraction of a surgery 

5d    One unofficially upholding law leaving it in ruins (9)
VIGILANTE:  An anagram (in ruins) of LEAVING IT 

6d    Crumbs US soldier gives dog (5)
CORGI:  Follow a synonym of crumbs (in the sense of expressing surprise) with an abbreviated US soldier

7d    Firm line taken in balancing act (9)
TIGHTROPE:  Firm or fixed with a line or cable

8d    Poem sung in act held up (7)
DELAYED:  A poem that's sung is inserted in an act or action 

14d   Domestic support for alumnus on the look-out (9)
OBSERVANT:  A domestic comes after (… support for, in a down clue) an abbreviation for a synonym of alumnus 

15d   Sun terribly mischievous or concerned for others? (9)
UNSELFISH:  An anagram (terribly) of SUN is followed by mischievous or tricky 

16d   Extra weight that's in the boot? (5,4)
SPARE TYRE:  An item often found in a car boot (or trunk, for readers on my side of the pond.  Although since you're here solving a UK English crossword, you probably knew that already)

17d   Ransacked in Roma: pie shops (7)
EMPORIA:  An anagram (ransacked) of ROMA PIE 

19d   Intend to appear in torn dress (7)
RAIMENT:  A synonym of intend inserted in (to appear in) torn or ripped

21d   Great lump taken from turf at source (5)
FATSO:  The hidden answer is found as some consecutive letters taken from the remainder of the clue

22d   Some get a rollicking over talk (5)
ORATE:  The answer is hidden in the reversal (some … over) of the remainder of the clue 

24d   City in South Africa in fine area (5)
OSAKA:  The abbreviation for South Africa is inserted in a synonym of fine followed by the abbreviation for area


Thanks to today’s setter.  I particular liked some of the clues where what appeared to be indicators weren't (26a, 4d, 8d, and 24d, where obvious answer Okaya looked at first like a plausible South African city).  Which clues did you like best?


The Quick Crossword pun:  WEAL + METRE + GAIN = WE'LL MEET AGAIN

77 comments on “DT 29283

  1. I found this a very straightforward puzzle, easily completed in * time. My LOI and therefore COTD was 18a.

    I did wonder why the word ‘in’ was used in 17d. I think it would have been smoother without it and the colon.

    Many thanks to the setter and Mr K.

  2. I thought many of the surfaces today were really smooth. I particularly liked 13a as a good example. Overall this was certainly at the easier end of the setting spectrum but that did reduce the enjoyment.

    Thanks to both Misters involved. I shall do the survey as requested, but I will also ask our editor (again) if those of us who subscribe to the iPad version could hope to see the Toughie as well as/instead of an easier cryptic.

    1. I’ve completed the survey and had a moan about not being able to submit weekend entries easily and querying why I can’t access the Toughie online. I’m not holding my breath…..

    2. At the risk of raising some ire (or getting it wrong) – as I understand it, if anyone only has a subscription to the on-line newspaper, on any platform (not just the iPad), only the back pager is included. The Toughie is only available with the separate DT puzzle subscription.

      1. Why do people keep referring to the “iPad Version” ?

        I subscribe to puzzles.telegraph and do them on my iPad.

        1. Agreed. There is A Daily Telegraph Newspaper subscription that has the full newspaper online with only four puzzles. The Cryptic The Quickie The Codeword and A Sodoffku.
          Separately There is The Daily Telegraph Puzzles Subscription which has no newspaper articles but lots of puzzles. I subscribe to The Daily Telegraph so do not get a Toughie puzzle online which is how I prefer to solve. However I also get a dead tree paper with my subscription so yes I do have access to The Toughie. The greedy so and so’s at The Daily Telegraph can whistle until Hell freezes over I am not buying a puzzles subscription as well as a newspaper subscription. As for the outdated premium rate phone line for answers. Greed Greed Greed. I’m sure they would attract far more solvers by leading them to Big Dave’s site.

          1. Hear, hear!
            I’m a simple soul. I have an online newspaper subscription. The Toughie is part of the newspaper. Therefore…..
            I appreciate that the newspaper subscription does not include the whole paper but the Toughie is clearly available electronically so why is it not included? 😤

            1. Maybe I should switch to the DT paper subscription rather than the DT puzzle subscription as I am much too stupid to do the Toughie!!

              1. When they did the changes a couple of years back Telegraph insisted I had to have a Puzzles subscription to see any of the puzzles. I don’t do the toughie (maybe I should) so seem to be paying a lot more than some of you.
                ‘iPad’ is a real desktop computer here…

  3. Fairly easy, and enjoyable. Is this a usual setter? Seems to be a slightly different mind behind the clues. Refreshing.

  4. I found this very easy but could not, for the life of me, get 19d, even with the hint so resorted to electronic means.

      1. Yes, I did get it in the end but I struggled to work out the synonyms. The cross lights helped but it’s not a word I use regularly!

        1. Torn old dress might have been better as it is not a word in current usage. I realised that the word would fit into the grid when I had the checkers. I then realised the synonym for torn would fit and the rest followed. It was my last one in but got it in the nick of time without help.

  5. Somewhere around a **/*** as per Mr K .
    Quite a few fat cat pics-went past a cattery near Macclesfield recently aptly called ‘ Puss Stop’!
    Anyway an enjoyable romp, no really outstanding clues , liked the surface of 27a and 1a.-Time for the toughie.
    Liked the quickie pun-as the complaining eskimo said.

  6. Today’s brief walk in the park was a lot of fun with plenty of witty moments. 1a/1d (yuck!) combination made for a quick kick-off. 21d colloquialism slightly spoilt the overall tone of this great puzzle. Fav was 16d with 3d running up. Thank you Messrs. Ron and K.

  7. I agree with Mr K, a good, solid (and enjoyable) Tuesday puzzle. I’d not heard of the heroic canine or the ancient city but both were sympathetically clued and obtainable from the wordplay. I wondered when solving 2d if Mr K, as an American, had heard of the expression for goodbye, which I’ve only ever come across in the North of England.
    I thought 5d was cleverly constructed and also liked the amusing 21d along with 28a.
    Many thanks to the setter and of course to Mr K for the review.

    1. It’s also used in the East and West Midlands (where it’s followed by a bit) too. This of course maybe north to you but not to me.

    2. Hi, Stephen. Before I converted to Americanism, I spent some time in places where Cilla Black appeared on TV. So the goodbye expression went straight in.

  8. Gentle but enjoyable as others have said. The ascetic was new to me, and ‘fatso’ made me laugh. Thanks to all.

  9. 1.5*/3* for a gentle but pleasant puzzle.

    I don’t think the expression for “so long” in 2d is in the BRB, and isn’t the answer to 7d what you balance on, not the act of balancing?

    24d took me the longest to parse and gets my vote as favourite.

    Many thanks to Messrs R & K.

    P.S. I can recommend today’s Silvanus Toughie, which is excellent.

    1. 2d. The answer doesn’t need to be in the BRB or any other dictionary for anyone to know that it’s a very, very common expression in the English language.

      7d. The answer is the (verbal) balancing act, not an isolated nounal reference to the line itself

      24d. Absolutely agree!

  10. At first glance, this looked quite difficult but all fell into place relatively quickly. Fatso made me laugh too. I didn’t think it was a proper word but then neither is “Tara” as a form of goodbye in my book. Slang does seem to be creeping in more and more.

  11. Rather a lot of slang I thought, eg Tara….very Scilla Black.
    24 d was iffy I thought.
    Otherwise a walk in the park.

  12. A reasonably straightforward Tuesday puzzle but I did have as few Hmms, 2d for example, completed at a gallop without any need for using the white space on my sheet of paper – **/***.
    Favourite – 1a.
    Thanks to the setter and Mr K.
    P.S. Ditto to RD on the Silvanus Toughie.

  13. A thoroughly enjoyable puzzle today, which I managed to finish without help apart from 24d, which foxed me as I could not get Omaha out of my mind even though I couldn’t parse it. Trouble is, I did get the correct answer at first but some sort of brain malfunction stopped my acceptance of it. Brain malfunction told me “That place is in Japan, you idiot!” Great diversion.

    No COTD but some there are favourites – 12a, 16a and 2d.

    Grateful thanks to the setter and to Mr. K. for the hints that were not needed today but were read and enjoyed.

    Being a Black Labrador owner of many years (on our sixth one now) I absolutely loved the picture with 26a.

  14. These clues just fell into place one after the other, although I agree with Senf there are one or two Hmm’s. Thanks to all.

  15. PS just done the quickie pun – I love that song and recently heard it played at a funeral. Cannot stop singing it now!

      1. My favourite Max Bygraves song

        There’s a tiny house (There’s a tiny house)
        By a tiny stream (By a tiny stream)
        Where a lovely lass (Where a lovely lass)
        Had a lovely dream (Had a lovely dream)
        And her dream came true (And her dream came true)
        Quite unexpectedly
        In Gilly Gilly Ossenfeffer Katzenellen Bogen By The Sea
        She was out one day (She was out one day)
        Where the tulips grow (Where the tulips grow)
        When a handsome lad (When a handsome lad)
        Stopped to say hello (Stopped to say hello)
        And before she knew (And before she knew)
        He kissed her tenderly
        In Gilly Gilly Ossenfeffer Katzenellen Bogen By The Sea
        The happy pair were married one Sunday afternoon
        They left the church and ran away to spend their honeymoon
        In a tiny house (In a tiny house)
        By a tiny stream (By a tiny stream)
        Where the lovely lass (Where the lovely lass)
        Had a lovely dream (Had a lovely dream)
        And the last I heard (And the last I heard)
        They still live happily
        In Gilly Gilly Ossenfeffer Katzenellen Bogen By The Sea
        In Gilly Gilly Ossenfeffer Katzenellen Bogen By The Sea

        1. I don’t think I’ve ever heard that one, are you taking the Michael? I’ll have to look to see if it’s there.

        2. Reminds me of Sunday lunch times in the 50s listening to Two-way Family Favourites. (Sorry, Kath!)

  16. I thought this one was very good, about average difficultly with nice, and mostly concise, clues providing an enjoyable solve. Favs of a good bunch: 11a and 24down, with its wily geographical misdirection. 2.5* / 3.5*

  17. Pretty straightforward apart from a few clues in the SW corner and quite enjoyable (**/***). There were a few hmms as I an not keen on slang. I enjoyed 9a, 20a Nd 17a(once the penny dropped with the latter). Thanks to Mr K for the hints and to the setter.

  18. An enjoyable puzzle 1/4* with some nice clues 3D, 12A,13A. 3D served in WW1 before his Hollywood fame. What a beautiful German Shepherd he was. Pleased to see 21D, proof that the DT has not gone PC, or as we now say ‘woke’ an awful replacement word for PC. I believe the correct English term for PC is an ‘intialism’ rather than an acronym – although I stand to be corrected. Thanks Mr K and setter.

  19. Would enjoy an extra crossword that is perhaps a little easier for beginners but not in place of the current cryptic crossword. Would also like to see less use of or perhaps no use of lurkers. All clues should be grammatically correct – there are times when poetic licence goes too far.

    1. Welcome to the blog, Bruce. Which clue or clues do you consider grammatically incorrect? Be good to get new insight.

      Again, welcome and hope to see you again.

    2. Welcome from me as well, Bruce.

      The puzzle editor’s proposal is that the easy crossword would be in addition to the current crosswords, not a replacement for any of them

    3. Lurkers are my favourite type of clue. I always get a huge sense of satisfaction when I spot them for some reason, especially reverse ones.

  20. Nowt wrong with a bit of slang. Some folks do get very picky. Agree with Mr K’s assessment of **/***. Favourites are 15 and 16d. Tara all.

  21. Straightforward solve in just shy of 1.5*. No particular favourites but nicely clued throughout. Thanks to all

  22. Straightforward although hadn’t heard of the ascetic in 17a. **/** for me today. Favourite clue 18a. Thanks to all.

  23. I did try to get ‘ordered’ into 1a before any checkers were in place – nope, I couldn’t parse it!
    Fortunately, the correct answer to 24d was my first thought so I didn’t fall into any of the traps that others encountered.
    Liked 20a & 16d, favourite was the Quickie pun.

    Thanks to our setter and to Mr K – nice to see your furry friends back on parade today.
    PS Do try the Toughie from Silvanus, our ‘home-grown’ master craftsman showing exactly how this setting lark should be done.

  24. I would have finished A LOT quicker if I’d spelt vigilante with an e instead of a y.
    I managed to self correct without recourse to help and then it flowed once more..

  25. **/***. Enjoyable and amusing. My favourite was 21d as I not heard that word since Billy Bunter days. Thanks to all.

  26. Fairly straightforward although I was slow to get going for some reason.
    I did wonder if 2d was fair to non-UK residents but I liked it and I’m quite happy to see some slang answers in crosswords – they’re usually the ones that make me laugh.
    I liked 9 and 12a and 2 and 21d. My favourite was 16a.
    Thanks to the setter and to Mr K.
    Elder Lamb is staying here tonight as she has a meeting in Oxford tomorrow – supper in the oven so need to try to get a look at the Toughie before she gets here and we start nattering. :smile:

    1. There was a Brit comic, Andy Capp, the wife’s (‘er indoors) name was Flo, and she always said Tara. It was pretty widely distributed, used to be in the Jamaica Gleaner and here in the Miami Herald, who knows how many papers, so a huge number of people were exposed to the adieu slang!

  27. The quicky pun reminded me of Gracie Fields singing the song at a wartime concert for the troops broadcast by the BBC. Quite an emotional experience…it had my dad in tears.
    I’d be about 11/12.

  28. Nice surfaces, good clues made for an enjoyable crossword.
    I put ‘ing’ at the end of 14d which was just plain daft, and LOI was 19d which held me up for a while.
    Can’t see a problem with a Guardian like Quiptic, if it attracts new solvers to this black art then good.
    Thanks Mr.K and Mr.Ron.

  29. This was a perfect puzzle for me, no use of e-help or hints.
    I couldn’t get the “why” of 28a, natch, it was a crickety clue.
    Lots to like, this was spot on for me. I can’t pick a fave, so fave choice is for a pic at 26a – looks like my Sadie.
    Thanks to our setter, that was loads of fun, and to Mr. Kitty for the usual informative review.

  30. Although it did not take very long, the smiles stayed on our faces right through the solve.
    Thanks Mr Ron and Mr K.

  31. Pretty quick solve without needing any of the hints but did think a few of the clues didn’t quite work.

  32. I completed the crossword early this morning before leaving the house. As I recall, I enjoyed it and didn’t find it too onerous.

    18a was my favourite.

    I have completed the survey.

    Many thanks to Mr. K and the setter

  33. Call me petty but unnecessary words in crossword clues irk me. (First world problems! 😊) To me 17d should just be ‘Ransacked Roma pie shops’ but hey ho!

    1. Welcome to the blog, petty Ads, and thanks for sharing your opinion of the puzzle.

      I’d say that 17d as written is OK because it can be read as “ANSWER ransacked in Roma pie”, i.e. the answer and ROMA PIE are anagrams of each other. Whether the surface reading is better with or without “in” is probably subjective.

  34. Lovely crossword with enough head scratching, for me any road up (I had to get that one in), to make it interesting. I subscribe to the paper version so I get everything and don’t have any electronic aberrations. I had to look up lay to mean poem sung and to my surprise it was there, every day’s a school day, and so it’s my favourite. Many thanks to the setter and Mr K.

  35. Late on parade I’m sorry to say.
    A really pleasant post dinner puzzle that was a steady solve.
    2*/4* favs 12ac & 27ac.
    Thanks to setter & MrK for review.

  36. Nice enough */**
    Thanks for the survey Mr K. A chance to comment to Mr Lancaster and The D T is welcome.

  37. When solving this I was wondering who would device a cryptic to be easier than this. As has been said before it can be harder to device a harder one than an easier one. All went in very smoothly for me. Finished in SE with 19d being last one in and the only one to put up a struggle. Favourites 20a and 4 14 and 16d. I did not know the ascetic but the answer is a usual German city answer. Did not properly parse 22d although I had the answer. Kicked myself when Mr K’s hints revealed it to be a reverse lurker. Thank you setter and Mr. K. Enjoyed everyone’s comments as usual although do not necessarily agree with the criticisms.

    1. Hello, Wanda. Was your comment meant to be the other way around? I think it’s harder to compile a good easy puzzle than a good hard puzzle, because when creating an easy puzzle the compiler is more constrained by the vocabulary and the wordplay complexity that would be regarded as acceptable.

      1. Yes it was meant to be the other way round! I thought I had altered it. Also I blame the spellchecker for the error – devise and not device!

  38. I found this enjoyable and some clues raised a smile – 16d for example. I had to resort to the blog for 18a. My sort of puzzle.

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