DT 29289 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29289

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29289

Hints and tips by Mr K

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BD Rating  -  Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

Hello, everyone.  We got 500 responses to last week's survey on whether you'd like to see The Telegraph add an easier puzzle aimed at beginners – thank you to everyone who responded or contributed to the discussion on the survey blog.  The result was a very clear 73% in favour and 27% opposed.  I haven't had time yet to collate the hundreds of comments entered in the survey comment box, but rest assured that they will all be passed on to the puzzles editor. 

In the hints below most indicators are italicized and precise definitions are underlined.  Clicking on the answer will be here 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 illustration.  Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.



1a    Feverish girl with nervous twitch (7)
FRANTIC:  A female name with a nervous twitch 

5a    Boring unruly adolescent with debts? (7)
TEDIOUS:  An unruly 1950s adolescent with abbreviations signifying debts

9a    Thieves oddly set to be restrained by court orders (7)
RUSTLES:  The odd letters (oddly) of SeT contained by (restrained by) some court orders 

10a   Dubious cult trapping American quietly (7)
SUSPECT:  A synonym of cult containing (trapping) abbreviations for American and for quietly 

11a   Each person's so stiff after end of exercise (9)
EVERYBODY:  A synonym of so and what stiff is an informal word for are placed together after the final letter of (end of) exercisE 

12a   Master and student get paid (5)
LEARN:  The letter signifying a student or learner driver is followed by verb meaning get paid 

13a   Tense requests for jobs (5)
TASKS:  Follow the grammatical abbreviation for tense with a synonym of requests 

15a   Spinning Jenny, to me, is fun (9)
ENJOYMENT:  An anagram (spinning) of JENNY TO ME 

17a   Educated Conservative is livid, unfortunately, about Spain (9)
CIVILISED:  The single letter for Conservative is followed by an anagram (unfortunately) of IS LIVID that's wrapped about the IVR code for Spain 

19a   Sleazy nightclub limiting Romeo's enthusiasm (5)
DRIVE:  A sleazy nightclub containing (limiting) the letter represented in the NATO phonetic alphabet by Romeo 

22a   Call on model after six (5)
VISIT:  To model comes after the Roman six

23a   Meal turning bakers fat (9)
BREAKFAST:  An anagram (turning) of BAKERS FAT 

25a   Strips bones, eating most of another (7)
RIBBONS:  The plural of a particular bone containing all but the last letter (eating most of) of BONe 

26a   Greek god with one leg wasting away (7)
EROSION:  Link together the son of Aphrodite, the Roman one, and another name for the leg side in cricket 

27a   Daughter, rejecting most of pudding, got up (7)
DRESSED:  The genealogical abbreviation for daughter and the reversal (rejecting) of all but the last letter of (most of) a posh word for pudding 

28a   Flipping crazy golfer's after new holes (7)
TUNNELS:  Concatenate the reversal (flipping) of a crazy [person], the abbreviation for new, and a South African professional golfer (or more than one Chicago railway)



1d    Force the Queen to release fanatic (7)
FERVENT:  Chain together the physics symbol for force, the royal cipher of the first Queen Elizabeth, and a verb synonym of release (gas, perhaps)

2d    One hopes you're entering these pleas? (7)
ANSWERS:  In the first part of the clue the setter is talking to you, the solver 

3d    Reveal youngster's opening the box (5)
TELLY:  Join together reveal or announce and the first letter of Youngster (youngster's opening)

4d    Doctor cures most clients (9)
CUSTOMERS:  An anagram (doctor) of CURES MOST 

5d    Cross yard following inspection (5)
TESTY:  The single letter abbreviation for yard is following an inspection or examination

6d    Showed heads of department increasing shamelessness and messed around (9)
DISPLAYED:  The initial letters of (heads of) Department Increasing Shamelessness is followed by a synonym of messed around

7d    Aspiration to leave hospital and be worthy of work (7)
OPERATE:  A synonym of aspiration has the single letter for hospital deleted (to leave [behind] hospital) and is followed by a word meaning "be worthy of" 

8d    Partly fasten it askew, lifting material (7)
SATINET:  The answer is hiding as some of (partly …) the reversal of (lifting, in a down clue) the remainder of the answer 

14d   Results so-so until reforms (9)
SOLUTIONS:  An anagram (reforms) of SO-SO UNTIL 

16d   After day in prison, European intended to ignore a verdict (9)
JUDGEMENT:  After the single letter for day has been inserted in an informal word for prison, write the single letter for European and a word meaning "intended" with its A deleted (to ignore a) 

17d   Embarrassed after chap's plastered (7)
COVERED:  The colour associated with embarrassment comes after an old slang word for man or chap

18d   Absurd to change leader -- that's plain to see (7)
VISIBLE:  An adjective meaning absurd or ludicrous has its first letter changed to another (… to change leader

20d   Assume one quarry contains silver (7)
IMAGINE:  The Roman one with a synonym of quarry that contains the chemical symbol for silver 

21d   Makes bigger  offers (7)
EXTENDS:  A double definition.  Makes bigger in one dimension 

23d   Corrupt Democrat located (5)
BASED:  Corrupt or despicable is followed by the single letter for Democrat 

24d   Noted family heartlessly wrapping the present (5)
KNOWN:  The outer letters (heartlessly) of a three-letter word for family containing (wrapping) the time that is the present


Thanks to today’s setter for a smooth puzzle with no obscure vocabulary.  Please say hello in the comments below if you visit today.  I thought all of this crossword was good, with no standout favourite for me.  I smiled at the quickie pun.  Which clues did you like best?


The Quick Crossword pun:  KEEPERS + TEDDY = KEEP HER STEADY

75 comments on “DT 29289

  1. Another slow starter for me, but it soon gained momentum. A steady solve (*** time) until I had just a pair left in the NW. I had to resort to electronics to get 9a, (I can’t see the court) which then gave me 2d (I can’t see the pleas). I also couldn’t quite parse 28a, surely the ‘crazy’ is nuts with an ’s’? So I am grateful for the explanation of that.

    Many thanks to the setter and Mr.K.

      1. I think he is using it as an America equivalent of, what in England, is a Defence in pleadings, but of course i may be wrong.

    1. Hello Malcolm and others with similar questions. Good points, but the dictionaries do support the setter.

      9a: one of the definitions for RULE in Chambers is An order of a court

      2d: one of the definitions for PLEA given in Chambers is A prisoner’s or defendant’s answer to a charge or claim

      28a: one of the definitions for CRAZY given in Chambers is noun (informal) A crazy person

      1. 9a. I am trying to think of a situation where a court order would be called a rule in this country. Sometimes a judge will give a ruling eg when there is a dispute on a point of law, or whether a particular piece of evidence is admissible. The best I can think of is the Rules of Court eg The Family Procedure Rules. However, they are rules for the Court to follow rather than to make. 2d. That definition is right. The Court Clerk asks the defendant “How do you plead?” His answer of Guilty or Not Guilty is his plea. I am more concerned however with 16d. The prevailing spelling in this country today does not have the first letter E – certainly the preferred spelling in legal proceedings is the shorter version.

  2. There were too many stretched synonyms in today’s puzzle for my liking and this diminished the enjoyment factor considerably (** for difficulty * for enjoyment). Thanks to Mr K for the hints and to the setter. There were no favourite clues today

  3. The bottom half went in quickly, the top half less so. Of many fine clues, I liked 16d the most with 11a coming a close second.

    Thanks to both Misters.

  4. Downloaded the new Telegraph App with hopes high. Like the new format, but am sad to say the “go slow” problem with the puzzle on the IPad still exists. This spoils the enjoyment of completing the crossword as you have to come out of and return to the app to reset. I have contacted the Telegraph IT support a number of times, but despite reassurances that the problem is being addressed, there has been no fix. Just hope that having launched the new app, they will now have the resources to sort out this irritant.

    1. I reloaded, and found that the slow, jerky problem not only remains but is prevalent from the start, so overall it’s worse! It doesn’t reset when I co,e out and re-enter?

  5. Good to see the compiler spelling 16d how it should be spelt, ie including the fifth letter. It derives from the Old French that spells it like the answer without the d.

    Oi, King James Bible! Whatever.

  6. The NW took this from a very straightforward 1* to a 2* for difficulty. I had similar concerns to Malcolm R but can just about justify them but would be interested to see what others say. All in all enjoyable with 11a COTD followed by 3d.
    Many thanks to the setter and to MrK for his usual excellent blog, and in particular the clip of the sublime REM .

  7. A trip back to former decades today with ‘ted’, ‘dive’ and ‘the box’. Thanks to all. I did feel sorry for the cows in transit!

  8. 2*/3*. A pleasant puzzle. I suffered a nervous twitch when I started with 1a, but, after that, there were no hmms.

    8d was a new word for me. I got the right answer but I parsed it incorrectly as an anagram [“askew”] comprising part of “fasten” [i.e.: without the F] plus “it”, and was left wondering about the function of “lifting”. D’oh! Thanks very much for the enlightenment, Mr K.

    16d was my favourite.

    Many thanks to Mr R and to Mr K – cats and REM, what’s not to like?

      1. Most went in seamlessly. I did think some of the anagrams were rather easy eg 23a. NW was last in for me too. When I eventually got 9a I thought I was wrong because I was thinking of the noun rather than the verb. Sigh of relief when I realised it worked without the second R. I understand why some other commentators are confused by 2d but it is absolutely right in the courtroom.

  9. Somewhere around a **/**,straight forward with no obscurities as Mr K notes.
    Reluctant to put in the last clue-2d which even after Mr K,s explanation failed to convince me. Thanks for the amusing pics.
    No real favourites, lacking in sparkle.

  10. Not too bad but I would have taken a while to crack 2d – obvious when pointed out though – thanks Mr K

  11. A couple of hold ups in the NW corner – and a thought for RD over 1a! – but otherwise quite a 17a puzzle.
    No particular favourite to mention today.

    Thanks to our setter and to Mr K for the review. Like Toadson, I was decidedly worried about those cows.
    Interesting survey results – I guess we just have to ‘watch this space’ to see what happens!

  12. Another Tuesday puzzle completed. If last week’s performance is repeated then the dunce’s cap will be out tomorrow. 11a and 16d my favourites in a pleasant but not sparkling puzzle. Problem with sparkling puzzles is they bring out the dunce’s cap. Thanks to Mr K and the setter.

    Just realized I got 28a by misreading holes as notes. I had cataract surgery last Friday on the left eye and with what seems like very good vision from the new lens with both eyes being used some difficulties arise. The word I went for fitted the checkers but not the clue. Roll on surgery on my right eye.

    1. I have the same problem at the moment, Corky. Had my right eye done in December and can’t wait to have the left one done. The right eye sees everything in bright colour and white light while the left sees everything in a blurry yellowish tinge.

      1. Yes, cataract surgery is an interesting process, mainly as you don’t appreciate the ‘before and after’ until you compare one eye with another.
        Having had both eyes done 8 weeks apart last summer, it’s no longer possible to do that “ooh …white!” and “ oooh ….sepia” comparison with a hand over each eye.

        Hope the second surgeries go well for both of you.

      2. Here they don’t like you to wait too long between surgeries because of the danger of having different vision in each eye, you’re more likely to fall. I remember the sepia (only I called it nicotine) colour, contrasted with the startling white and bright colours in the other eye.

          1. Yes, be very careful, particularly up and down stairs. Your depth of vision is impaired. Hope you get it done soon.

        1. Agree Merusa, other half had his done 2 weeks apart, and could not have been more thrilled with the results, particularly seeing true colours again.

      3. I had mine done at the same time by mail order. Couldn’t read the instructions when they were returned.

  13. I too struggled with the parsing of 2d but, after seeing MK’s hint, it made total sense – what a good clue. On the whole I enjoyed today’s offering although hints and electronic help were needed here and there. Favourites today are 26a and 16d.

    Grateful thanks to the setter and to Mr. K. for the hints and cats.

    I do hope everyone is ok after Dennis.

      1. In my experience in court defendants are asked how do they ‘plead’ and Mrs 2P’s example of an alternate would when a defendant pleas for forgiveness, thus a stretch for an answer.

        Or maybe I am just being Jimmy2pedantic?

        1. J2P. As RD says, I think answers = pleas is OK. See 2b. below:

          in British English
          (pliː )
          1. an earnest entreaty or request
          a plea for help
          a. law
          something alleged or pleaded by or on behalf of a party to legal proceedings in support of his or her claim or defence
          b. criminal law
          the answer made by an accused to the charge
          a plea of guilty
          c. (in Scotland and formerly in England) a suit or action at law
          3. an excuse, justification, or pretext
          I gave the plea of a previous engagement

  14. Rattled through this today whilst accompanying my daughter to her regular treatment. Emboldened by getting first two clues straight away but hit a block in NW corner with 9a 11a and 2d. This was not helped by me being convinced 2d was another word heard in courts! My thanks to Mr K for sorting me out on these. Now in a quandary though as normally finish it off tonight in bed – may have to try the toughie .

  15. Found this straightforward, no real favourites. Agree with all the comments on 2d which was the last to go in for me today.

  16. This one went in nice and steady and was finished comfortably before the end of my bus ride over the C & F – so it must be a little below average difficulty. But the clues were good, mostly concise, and it was an enjoyable solve. So, no complaints from me. I did half raise an eyebrow at the spelling of the 16d answer, with its central E, but my BRB confirmed later that one or two Es is acceptable. No favourite today. 2* / 3*

  17. North was a bit more troublesome than the South probably as the 3d colloquialism didn’t occur to me. Haven’t previously come across 8d material but it had to be. Enjoyed sorting 11a and it was then probably Fav. Thank you Mysteron and MrK.

  18. 8 down had me stuck, I’ve never come across this spelling before. Great thing about crosswords, there’s always something that you can learn.

  19. I completed all but three of this puzzle before I had to leave the house this morning. I’ve just picked it up again and entered almost immediately the three I’d been struggling with. Really strange how that happens.

    I accept Mr. K’s defence of 2d at comment 1, but I don’t like it.

    I needed his explanation to my answer to 28a, but apart from that, I enjoyed it.

    Many thanks to Mr K and setter

  20. Definitely right up my alley for difficulty and enjoyment. Finished before bedtime in Ontario with 28 across being last in despite being a golfer. Loved the clue and illustration for 3 down. Thanks to Mr Kitty and the setter.

  21. Apart from 2d and 9a I rattled through this puzzle which other than the two aforementioned I enjoyed. I also started to think pangram after a few of the answers seemed to be leading that way. Thanks to the setter and Mr K.

  22. Oh dear. It’s my bad bung-in week. I had the first and last letters of 9a and put “robbers”. Quite clearly I was the only one who made that mistake. My favourite clue was 16d. Today’s offering was anything but 5a. Many thanks to the setter and Mr Kitty. The pic for 3d reminded me to get the bird box camera out in readiness.

  23. I didn’t put “robbers” in but kept wanting to as no other answer came to mind. I needed the picture of the poor cows before the penny dropped.

  24. Straightforward but very enjoyable.
    Last to fall were the Master in 12a as I wrote Sentient in 8d. Silly me.
    Thanks to the setter and to Mr K.

  25. Everything was going smoothly until I returned to the NW corner and found myself still bemused by 2d, for which I finally had to seek electronic help (just one letter did it), but I’m still not satisfied with the answer of ‘answers’. So be it then. Thanks to the setter and Mr K, whom I would also like to thank again for his generous help in getting my subscription working again. If I’d waited for the DT to respond, I’d still be out there waiting! Podium choices today: 8, 16, & 18d. **/***

  26. Very enjoyable, though solved with several interruptions here, I like to solve in one sitting.
    It was right at my level, but a couple of tricky ones thrown in. I never did get 28a or 2d, not bad for me.
    I needed the hints to unravel a few, 11a for instance, never thought of that “stiff”! I never knew that 16d could be spelt any other way than that, so no problem there.
    Fave is 11a, now that I understand it, with 3d as runner up, primarily for its pic.
    Thanks to our setter and to Mr. K for the usual super review, always so informative.

  27. Thanks to the setter and to Mr Kitty for the review and hints. A nice straightforward puzzle, except for 2d, for which I needed the hint. Favourite was 11a. Was 2*/3* for me.

  28. I found the top left corner tricky and screwed up the bottom right corner with a wrong answer for 21d – what was left after that lot seemed to work fine!
    I always forget the 28a golfer.
    My favourite was 19a.
    Thanks to the setter and to Mr K – didn’t care for the picture of the poor cows.

  29. I thought it was me so it is interesting to read some of the comments. I found several of the clues very obscure and although I got the answers they didn’t really make sense to me. Still not sure about 28a but life’s too short ……
    Thanks to Mr K and setter.

  30. I would have enjoyed this one today, but a few too many stretched synonyms, 2d being the worst offender. I really wanted to pen in my answer for 17d but as I’ve never heard of cove mean chap, I didn’t, until I read the hint. Thought 27a clumsy also. And I was very upset at the cows pictured at 9a, I do hope that was a picture after the thieves were apprehended and the cows safely released. And that the thieves were punished, although I suspect they got no more than a slap on the wrist.

    Thanks to the setter and to Mr K.

  31. Three-quarters of this went in a 17a manner with much 15a too. Like others, I hit a bit of a block with the NW corner. 1d 9a and 11a held me up until I read the hints so Thanks to Mr K. I am a bit unsure about the golfer too. He has cropped up a few times recently and has been filed in my memory banks but I still think he is a bit obscure to be clued as just golfer. 17a top my list today.

  32. Evening to those on UK time. Morning to those in the antipodes. A fairly straight forward offering, save the NW corner. In particular 2d and 9a, my last pair to go in. I think the trap with 9a was to think ‘verb’ rather than ‘noun’. Once 9a was in 2d fell into place. Thanks Mr K for the added insight (and photos) and to the Setter🦇

  33. Bottom came easy with no hints required but as I went east to west in the top half, I started getting 1a (as I found out when I finally got it!), and puzzle went from ** to *** with 2d being last in.
    Thanks to setter and Mr K

  34. Very enjoyable, not too tricky. Had to do most of this with a cat trying to sit on my head, anyone want a cat??
    No real hold ups, 2d was loi and if I’m honest I still don’t quite get the explanation.
    Thanks Mr.K and the Tuesday setter.

    1. Hi, Hoofit. Did putting on your thinking cat help with the solve?

      In 2d, the solution ANSWERS is defined by pleas. The wordplay is the rest of the clue, where the setter is expressing their hope that you, the solvers, are entering answers (in the grid). Does that help?

  35. Late on parade again due to time change. Quite fun apart from the slightly over-stretched synonyms in the NW. But that is the fun I suppose. **/***
    Thanks to Mr K for his services. Just. How exactly did the farmer get those cows in the boot?

      1. There are enough images of the cows in the boot scene taken from different angles out there that it’s most likely real. The 3d pic, on the other hand…

    1. The internet says it happened in Malaysia. Thieves tranquilized the cows and loaded four into a car from which the rear seats had been removed. The car soon broke down from being overloaded and the cattle rustlers fled. The cows were fine.

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