DT 29288 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

DT 29288

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29288

Hints and tips by Merusa’s Mate Max

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty */**Enjoyment **

Good morning from the sodden heart of Downtown L I. It’s wet out there folks but the sun is shining and the temporary lake formed by the river breaking its banks does look very pretty. Hopefully nobody has flooded and livestock are all ok.

Today’s puzzle by Allan Scott is typically Mondayish so should suit most of our puzzlers. If you solve The Quickie look out for the second pun on the bottom line.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Shakespearean actress? (4,8)
ANNE HATHAWAY: This Oscar winning actress shares her name with the bard of Warwickshire’s wife

9a    Article with advice regarding a cocktail snack (9)
ANTIPASTO: When first looking at explaining how this clue works I was flummoxed as to how to explain the last two parts of the answer. The whole thing is a charade. First off use the form of the indefinite article used before words beginning with a vowel sound. Secondly add a piece of advice or a hint. Thirdly use two two-letter words meaning regarding. I don’t know why on Earth I was flummoxed

10a    Brownie‘s photographs I initially enlarged (5)
PIXIE: Begin with a shortened word for photographs Add the letter that looks like the number one. Add the initial letter of the word enlarged

11a    Use device to track me on the way back (6)
EMPLOY: Place a device, ruse or trick after the reverse of the word me

12a    Figure of speech that’s upset mother, about father retiring (8)
METAPHOR: An anagram (upset) of MOTHER sits around the reverse of an endearing term for ones father

13a    Country club, briefly after game (6)
RUSTIC: The abbreviation for a ball game played by teams of fifteen is followed by a club or short thin piece of wood minus its last letter

15a    Fantastic article about new musical instrument (8)
CLARINET: Anagram (fantastic) of Article which sits around the abbreviation for new

18a    Unlawful occupant, stockier (8)
SQUATTER: A double definition the first of which have rights

19a    Monstrous female and two sons therefore turned back (6)
OGRESS: The abbreviation for son is doubled and followed by a word meaning therefore. Then the whole thing is reversed (turned back). All done with eight words

21a    Army unit‘s diet close to front (8)
REGIMENT: A synonym of diet is followed by the final letter (close to) of the word front

23a    Despicable person, that woman? On the contrary (6)
RATHER: A three-letter word used to describe a despicable person is followed by a feminine pronoun

26a    Power in early woodenheaded golf club (5)
SPOON: The abbreviation for power sits inside a word meaning early or not long to go

27a    Complicated tale a bore spun (9)
ELABORATE: Anagram (spun) of TALE A BORE

28a    Easy to understand addict attending pre-season game? (4-8)
USER-FRIENDLY: A word describing a (drug) addict is followed by a word used to describe a pre season practice match where the result doesn’t really matter. In reality these games are not played as described and the result certainly does matter.


1d    Friend invested in gold rings, originally a dabbler (7)
AMATEUR: A pal or chum sits between the two letters that make up the chemical symbol for gold. This is all followed by the initial letter of the word rings

2d    Don raised tennis umpire’s call? (3,2)
NOT UP: To don as in wear something is reversed to give a call given by the umpire when a player plays a ball that has already bounced twice, i.e. the ball was out of play when the player played it.

3d    Stage entertainer is tense after python uncoiled (9)
HYPNOTIST: An anagram (uncoiled) of PYTHON is followed by the word IS from the clue and the abbreviation for tense

4d    Job of Tut, primarily, when king (4)
TASK: The initial (primarily) letter of Tut is followed by a two-lettered word meaning when. This is in turn followed by the abbreviation for king

5d    A lovable rogue, especially (5,3)
ABOVE ALL: Anagram (rogue) of A LOVABLE

6d    Greek character employed by local pharmacy (5)
ALPHA: When all else fails look for a lurker. The answer lies hidden within the words of the clue. As indicated by the words employed by

7d    Brief argument in place where shares are traded? (8)
EXCHANGE: A double definition. The second is usually preceded by the word stock

8d    Hide mostly hidden (6)
SECRET: A word meaning to hide something has its last letter removed (mostly) This was my last one in and it took me some time to twig the answer.

14d    Supplier of caviar, one who operates across heart of Vietnam (8)
STURGEON: One who operates in a hospital theatre sits around the central letter of the word Vietnam

16d    Cook married a character in a long complicated procedure (9)
RIGMAROLE: Begin with an informal verb meaning to alter dishonestly. Add the abbreviation for married. Add the letter A from the clue. Add a character or part in a play.

17d    Check on reportedly pricey animal (8)
REINDEER: Begin with a word meaning to check or guide a horse. Add a homophone (reportedly) of a word meaning pricey. It’s not Christmas. Why is this animal even here?

18d    Force small lock (6)
STRESS: The abbreviation for small is followed by a lock of hair

20d    Apologetic about church suggesting witchcraft (7)
SORCERY: The word we say when we apologise sits around the abbreviation for the Church of England

22d    Below zero in America after end of snowstorm (5)
MINUS: A three-part charade. The word IN from the clue. The usual abbreviation for America. The final letter of the word snowstorm. Arrange to suit the wording of the clue and the underlined definition

24d    Difficult to carry round store (5)
HOARD: An easy synonym of the word difficult sits around (to carry) the round letter.

25d    Couple‘s piano tune (4)
PAIR: The musical abbreviation for piano is followed by a tune favoured by crossword setters

Quickie Puns

Top line marked+Wayne=Mark Twain

Bottom line suite+torque=sweet talk


78 comments on “DT 29288

  1. I really struggled to get this started today. This might have been due to the compiler’s artistry, or the fact that my new (21a briefly) required me to start the morning with a mug of decaffeinated tea served with almond milk. This tasted precisely like that beverage produced by Baldrick in the trenches for his officers.

    I however, like they, soldiered on and got it finished in ** time. The only big hold up was 13a, trying to work out where SSIA came from. Doh!

    Many thanks to the setter and MMM

    1. Happily I had no similar problem with 13 across, but 6 and 8 down held me up to the end. Contented myself with solving whilst sitting in the car in a car park down in Pagham waiting for the rain to ease. Might still get a walk by the sea, as the clouds seem to be dispersing a little. Enjoyed the puzzle . . . . a nice Monday offering. Thanks to setter and bloggist.

  2. I found this very smooth indeed. I would have made a rare foray into 1* time, but 2D and 11A put up a bit of resistance. I had not heard of 2D, but was 100% sure I had learnt a new term once I worked out the word play, therefore my COTD.

  3. This took a little longer than it should have, not because of the difficulty (which it wasn’t) but because after downloading an Apple/IOS update last night, I have to fill in the grid by typing each letter twice and also the delete button doesn’t work. So it was definitely not 28a!

    Anyone had that problem?

    The puzzle was fine so thanks to setter and MP.

      1. Thanks. Same Ipad. The Telegraph helpline told me they will call me back. I’ll let you know if they come up with a solution. If not I may just start printing them off which seems stupid in this day and age.

      2. Hi Hrothgar.

        i hope you get this.

        The telegraph guy called me a short while ago. After I explained that there wasn’t a problem using numbers (e.g. Sudoko) and it was only the crosswords, he checked with some technician who suggested i change my Settings – turn off Auto Capitalisation under the “Keyboard” heading.

        Bingo! It seems to work. I hope it does for you as well.

        Of course this means changing that setting only when doing the crossword, otherwise for example, you won’t get a capital letter at the start of a new sentence. like that!

        Hopefully this is just a temporary solution as they promised to investigate further.

        1. Very many thanks, indeed, Wahoo. Especially your doggedness in getting it put right. I shall stop cursing now😊

        2. Wahoo, Thank you very much for the tip … just changed the Auto Capitalisation setting and it works!

          I wonder how long it will take me to stop hitting each keyboard entry twice? Old habits …

  4. I enjoyed this, about right for Monday, well clued with just a couple that gave pause for thought. Favourite by a mile was the very clever 23a. I liked 11a and 16d too.
    Agree with BD’s rating but an extra * for enjoyment.
    Many thanks to the setter and to MP for his usual entertaining blog.

  5. That was a lot of fun with numerous 28a clues so difficult to select a Fav. I did however like 2d once I realised “Don” had nothing to do with an academic. We’ve had some beautiful sunshine in Horsham this morning but it has clouded over again now so who knows what’s in store for us. Thank you Mysteron (unacquainted with Allan Scott) and MP.

  6. A very straightforward and comfortable solve this morning. Nothing too taxing, with some chestnuts to help us along. I thought 12a was quite neat.

    Thank you to Mr Scott and MP.

  7. Not too difficult but certainly a lot harder than the blogger suggests. One of those rather irritating puzzles where one ends up feeling that life is too short to be bothered trying to work out the wordplay rather than just putting in the answer. Mrs B tells me that 10a refers to a Brownie pack, having been a cub it meant very little to me.
    Not my favourite, far too wordy.

    1. Mrs B is right but the name was not invented by Baden-Powell. The term Brownie was used for hundreds of years in folk-lore for helpful little people who come out at night to do chores for others. Each pack is divided into “sixes” with names such as Pixie, Elf, Gnome.

        1. I wasn’t because, even at the age of 6, I disliked the colour brown…..so what at 12, was the colour of my school uniform? You’ve guessed it!

  8. Good Monday puzzle which left me in a good mood. I was able to parse most of the clues and the few others fell out of the sky. Liked 1 and 12 across and 16 down. Thank you AS and MMM for an enjoyable Monday morning.

  9. Good fun while it lasted. I failed the 13a test like some others here. No particular favourite today.

  10. I am a new contributor .

    Re13 ac. I ended up with rustic . Having found RU then a club can be a “stick” briefly = shorten .

    BUT I defer entirely to more exoerienced others.

    Neede a bit of help to finish it

      1. Yes indeed and that’s why all we “fools” under Comment No.1 above have admitted to getting 13a wrong!

    1. You are right – others of us were wrong – but the hint by Miffypops or his alter ego put us right.

  11. A nice Mondayish puzzle, which was very straightforward but enjoyable (*/***). I liked 1a, 9a and 28a. Thanks to MMM for the hints and to the setter. For once, I didn’t fall into the geographical snare in 13a. Maybe I’m improving?

  12. I found this very 28a despite getting a soviet country which didn’t actually impact on the down clues. Am sitting sitting here in sunshine, desperately sorry for those people who are flooded.

    1. Not sure why younger solvers would have a problem with 10a unless you were thinking of the Brownie camera which, I admit, was my first thought.

  13. Very nicely Monday-ish – starting with 1a which made me smile. You don’t have to be a member of the ‘junior’ girl guides to be a Brownie, they are just small benevolent creatures secretly helping with domestic work, although I always a imagine a 10a might be less helpful.

    Thanks to the Monday setter and the Monday blogger

  14. Jolly good puzzle, smooth as silk, and clever too, especially 9d. But is 1a really a cryptic clue? Seems more like an historical ‘connection’, an intentional ‘coincidence’, by a very fine actress (remember seeing her, early on in Brokeback Mountain, before her Oscar for Les Mis?). Thanks MMM and Allan Scott. Hello Merusa in Miami! */****

  15. Thank you Mr Scott, you may come again! A long time since I’ve enjoyed a solve like this, even though in 1* time. I knew 13 couldn’t be ##SSIA, so was pleased when the penny soon dropped (without help). Too many excellent clues for a COTD. Thanks also to MMM. */*****. P. S. As soon as I saw the Q, X & Y, I played hunt the zed, all to no avail.

  16. Definitely 1* for me but I would disagree with BD and go as high as **** for enjoyment. I was pleased with definitely my quickest solve ever despite falling into the trap with 13a. I thought the wordplay was excellent. 1a went straight in so that was a good start and one of my favourites together with 28a and 5 8 22 and 24d. Thanks setter and MP

  17. Thanks to the setter and to Miffypops for the review and hints. I enjoyed this one very much, super puzzle. Loved the surfaces of 9a and 5d. Liked 1d and 11&12a, but my favourite was 7d. Fell into the trap and put in Russia for 13a. Was 2*/4* for me.

  18. Yes I fell into the trap too and spent a bit too long looking at 12a as well.
    Thanks to Miffypops for the nudge and name check in song for 22d.

  19. It was a pleasure to do, in a “ going for a walk on a sunny day” kind of way.

    Glad I popped in, though, or I would have missed that lovely performance by Mr Mark Feltham.
    Thanks for that MMM – what a lot of Ms today on a Monday Morning …

  20. The tennis term was new to me also.
    Loved the charade in 9a. I like charades.
    Thanks to the setter and to MP.

  21. I was going to say that l had done this in record time until l discovered l had 13a wrong as l see many others did.I shoul d have made sure the whole clue worked.Still plenty to learn.Enjoted both puzzle and blog.Thankyou.

  22. I laughed so hard, M ‘pops, when I saw your choice of pseudonym! I know, I do go on and on about Max, but my Dad sang his songs on long road journeys, happy memories!
    I found this a very friendly offering by Mr. Scott and loved it. I did have to google the golf club. Fave was 5d, very misleading.
    I initially put “posher” for 23a but revisited it when I got 16d, plus I didn’t think that would be acceptable in a posh publication!
    Thanks to Mr. Scott for the fun, and to our resident clown! Thanks for the acknowledgement.

  23. */***. Enjoyable while it lasted and I got 13a which seems now to be a minor miracle as had I had the wit to twig Russia I’d have bunged it in. Thanks to the setter and MP.

  24. Took a while to get into but I find that often happens when I don’t get to the puzzle until the evening. Once I broke into it, it was most enjoyable. I did need a few hints to help me along the way. I have no favourites today although I do acknowledge the neatness of 19a.

    Many thanks to the setter and to MMM for the much needed hints.

  25. A sporting theme from Mr Scott today; I wonder if that was intentional. Apart from the 13a faux pas, no real problems with this. I did like the naughty little lurker in 6d. Thanks to all.

  26. That was great fun except when I fell into the same trap as a lot of others with 13a. On first pass I missed the anagram indicator in 5d. Many thanks to the setter and Miffypops.

  27. Do you know, I liked that. A good start to our solving week, with clues that were good to parse. I managed to get 1ac immediately & that seemed to shoe me straight in.
    Many thanks to setter and MP for the review

  28. Thanks to setter and Miffypops for a pleasant puzzle today. I did have some senile moments, i.e. couldn’t think of the 1a actress for the life of me, and didn’t know the golf club term. Favourite clue was 17d.

  29. I’m with the “even though this wasn’t difficult in thoroughly enjoyed it” camp. Well clued and amusing. Favourite has to be 1a which I got straight away but didnt put in until I had most of the checkers. As to the difficulty, I barely got halfway down my bottle of wine. Many thanks to AS and MMM. I don’t have any problems entering the letters into my paper version and the delete button (eraser) works every time as I use a pencil.

  30. Comfortable monday, and enjoyable to boot.
    Just held up by 16d.
    Lots of inventive clues.
    Thanks MP and Allan Scott, who just happens to share his name with my brother in law.

  31. Too late and too tired to go on for ages now so just a quick comment.
    Unlike lots of you I didn’t get into trouble with 13a – I saved all my ‘dimness’ for the rest of the crossword.
    I was on the wrong wave-length right from the word go – don’t know why – no excuses apart from a busy weekend, very little sleep and lots of people here.
    I think my favourite was probably 1a even though I blame a visit to her cottage in Stratford with a lot of Aussie cousins when I was seventeen for catching infective hepatitis (jaundice) – ghastly! :sad:
    Thanks to the setter and to MP.

  32. Lovely, just right for me, although 2d was completely new – the wordplay gave it to me. Many thanks to all!

  33. I thought this puzzle would be a good candidate for the easy version for beginners that we were asked about.

  34. Coming at this late as I didn’t try the crossword until this morning. Found the top half harder than I expected because I really did not expect 1a to be a real person. Somehow doesn’t seem right. A. GK clue not a cryptic one.

Comments are closed.