DT 29291 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29291

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29291

Hints and tips by Kath

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BD Rating — Difficulty **/*** Enjoyment ****

Hello everyone. A Ray T crossword but not one of his more difficult ones. A few of his trademark clues are missing but there are enough of them to convince me that he is the setter today.

In the hints the definitions are underlined and the answers are hidden under ANSWER so only do that if you need to see one.

Please leave a comment telling us how you got on today.


1a        Sad and is close to tears (12)
DISCONSOLATE — an anagram (tears) of AND IS CLOSE TO – a nice long anagram across the top is always such a good start

9a        Old pal giving tie (9)
STALEMATE — a synonym of old or past its best and a pal or friend

10a       Originally nubile young maiden, pretty hot! (5)
NYMPH — the first letters (originally) of the remaining words in the clue

11a       Trial over agreement involving Republican (6)
ORDEAL — the one letter ‘crickety’ abbreviation and an agreement or a pact around (involving) the abbreviation for R[epublican]

12a       Place for women galore is fantastic! (8)
SERAGLIO — an anagram (fantastic) of GALORE IS

13a       Young male tot having rest outside (6)
LADDIE — another word for tot or total contained in (outside) a rest or a period of being horizontal – whenever tot is in a clue this is always the last synonym that I think of – a small child and booze are first.

15a       Fixing old man caught in whatsit (8)
PATCHING — an affectionate term for your ‘old man’ or Dad is followed by a synonym of ‘whatsit’ –  person or item whose name you can’t remember – this word contains (in) the ‘crickety’ abbreviation for C[aught]

18a       Religious establishment never follows House (8)
SEMINARY — a type of house, one which is neither detached nor in a terrace, is followed by (follows) a north American or dialect word for never

19a       Hammered and tried to find gold (6)
PANNED — a double definition – the first means was pretty rude about or criticised severely

21a       Underwear that is put on last (8)
LINGERIE — the two letter Latin abbreviation meaning ‘that is’ follows (put on) another word for last or remain

23a       Furs bought principally in auctions (6)
SABLES — the first letter (principally) of B[ought] goes inside (in) another word for what auctions are just examples of

26a       Misses providing massages reportedly (5)
NEEDS — a homophone (reportedly) of massages or rubs

27a       Show flamboyant skill backing restaurant (9)
TRATTORIA — a short word meaning show or broadcast, a three letter abbreviation for flamboyant or a bit too much and a synonym for skill or knack are all reversed (backing

28a       From France, how red alters from now on? (12)
HENCEFORWARD — an anagram (alters) of FRANCE HOW RED



1d        Rifle is sloped I fancy (7)
DESPOIL — an anagram (fancy) of SLOPED I

2d        Turf out of small hospital room (5)
SWARD — the abbreviation for S[mall] and a room in a hospital where there are usually about twenty or so beds

3d        Campaign speech incorporating empty prose (9)
OPERATION — a speech or an address which contains (incorporating) the first and last letters (empty) of P[ros]E

4d        Spoils wife impressed by sink (4)
SWAG — the abbreviation for W[ife] goes inside (impressed by) a verb to sink or droop

5d        Subject of fiction with grand title elevated (8)
LIEGEMAN — some fiction or a fib and the one letter abbreviation for G[rand] are followed by a reversal (elevated) of a title or form of address

6d        Sovereign state of Georgia supporting great weight (5)
TONGA — the two letter abbreviation for the American state of Georgia follows (supporting) a heavy weight – 20cwt in old money

7d        Redesign menus with oil paint (8)
EMULSION — an anagram (redesign) of MENUS and OIL

8d        Host runs wearing bikini bottom? (6)
THRONG — a very skimpy bikini bottom contains (wearing) the abbreviation for R[uns] – lots of ‘crickety’ abbreviations today

14d      Soldiers and sergeant finally in action, barking (8)
DEMENTED — barking here isn’t yapping – it’s being unable to think straight (a bit like me this morning) – an action, or an accomplishment, contains a general term for ‘soldiers’ and the last letter (finally) of [sergean]T

16d      Bond conceals a cold charm (9)
CHARACTER — a bond or a contract contains (conceals) the A from the clue and the one letter abbreviation for C[old] – this one caused a spot of bother – it had to be what it was but it just took me ages to ‘make’ the answer equal the definition

17d      Sensitive part is ticklish, somewhat (8)
ARTISTIC — a ‘lurker’ or an answer that is hidden in the clue, indicated by somewhat

18d      Salt from deserted sea channel (6)
SALINE — the first and last letters (deserted) of S[e]A followed by a channel or course

20d      Break up gang led by detectives (7)
DISBAND — the usual crosswordland detectives are followed by a gang or group

22d      Result of European Union’s almost fresh upset (5)
ENSUE — the abbreviation for the European Union with the ‘S’ and two of a three letter word (almost) of a synonym for fresh or novel

24d      Immature future monarch? (5)
LARVA — this ‘monarch’ is an insect rather than a human

25d      Stray with a condition (4)
WAIF — the abbreviation for W[ith], the A from the clue and a conjunction meaning a condition or in case of

I liked 19a and 8, 16 and 25d.

The Quickie Pun:- RUE + DREAM +ARC = RUDE REMARK

40 comments on “DT 29291

  1. This was a little testing for me, and the few last clues took me into ***/**** time. 5d, 9a & 15a were the culprits, but as soon as I got one, the others fell into place.

    For wonderful neatness, 25d is my COTD.

    Many thanks to Ray T and Kath.

  2. Not tremendously difficult for a Ray T puzzle but there were a few tricky ones (**/****). I agree with you, Kath, about the extended synonym in 16d. It was enjoyable and I particularly liked 15a, 17a and 5d, together with some splendid anagrams. Thank you for the hints and thanks to Ray T for another well-clued puzzle.

  3. Very friendly for a Ray T (even though there was a bit of start with the Downs about it). I’ve been trying to remember where I met a very similar clue/solution to 10a before quite recently, but I can’t track it down.

    Thanks to Mr T and Kath.

    1. “Maiden on my arm, courtship foolish, all concluding (5).” From a recent Sunday Telegraph crossword.

  4. 2*/4*. Light but fun. My podium today consists of 10a, 21a & 4d.

    Many thanks to RayT and to Kath.

  5. A really pleasant solve for a thoroughly wet and miserable Shropshire morning. As others have said, some terrific clues, of which 24d was my standout favourite. As always with a Ray T puzzle, the eight word maximum clue length pretty much guarantees neatness and accuracy.

    Thanks to the aforementioned and to Kath.

  6. Needed to check 12a as wasn’t familiar but otherwise sailed through this. I thought it was nicely clued and very enjoyable. 15a was my favourite today. 2*/4*. Thanks to Ray T and Kath.

  7. It seems that Ray T is making a habit of ‘leaving out’ one or two of his trade marks, HM for example, but with no more than 8 words in a clue here and single word clues in the Quickie he is easy to identify. For me, this was typical in terms of difficulty and enjoyment – completed at a fast canter – 2.5*/3.5*.
    Candidates for favourite – 9a, 26a, and 24d – and the winner is 24a.
    Thanks to Ray T and Kath.

  8. I found that quite a challenge in spite of assistance from several anagrams but overall it was enjoyable. West was best today. Favs 21a pursued by 25d. 15a rather obscure. Thank you Senf and Kath.

    1. Don’t know why I said Senf (must have just read your Comment) – apologies and belated thanks RayT.

  9. I started off brightly in the NW corner but slowed up after that with the SE corner being the slowest, this was not helped by putting in dissect for 20a until I solved 27a !
    Overall a ***/**** for me and as usual well clued throughout with no obscurities.
    Hard to pick a favourite liked 24d and 18d for its surface.
    Thanks to Kath for the pic.
    good quickie pun.

  10. As a few of you have remarked, quite a gentle Ray T puzzle, albeit very enjoyable. A lot to like but I’ll pick 8d as my favourite because it raised a chuckle.

  11. Friendly Ray T indeed. He may indeed be an amiable, affable person but his crosswords bring more cross words out of me than a puzzle should. Thanks to Kath I managed to finish. Thanks to Ray T the air in the living room is blue unlike the sky.

  12. I am doing my best to get to grips with Ray T because I love the way the clues are constructed. Today’s was most enjoyable and, for once, I managed most of it unaided. I loved 24d for its diversion. I spent ages trying to think what a future king or queen were. However, COTD is one I could not solve and that is 15a. I parsed it correctly but simply could not get an answer. The hint soon made it clear that I was trying to put the elements of the clue in the wrong order.

    Thank you, Ray T, I’m getting the hang of you after all this time, which means next week’s will be a stinker! :smile:

    Also, thanks to Kath for the hints.

  13. I always feel very good when I complete a Ray T puzzle, and today’s put me back into a winning mode after two ‘off’ days. I especially liked 5 & 14d and 21a. Many thanks to Ray T and Kath.

  14. Really enjoyable puzzle from my old nemesis. I’m a little unsure of 26a, does Misses really mean the answer? Also 18a, the answer is surely Salty rather than Salt. However, minor issues, my favs were 21a, 23a and esp 8d.
    After the last couple of days offering I found this quite refreshing.
    Thx to all

  15. 2.5/4. The top half went in quickly but I slowed up significantly for the lower half. I liked 8d&21a for the innuendo and 24d&9a for their brevity. Thanks to Ray T and Kath for the review.

  16. I finished a RayT without the hints,,, a hurdle truly overcome,,, don’t tell me it’s one of the easy ones🥴
    A good fun puzzle to solve that was enjoyable.
    Thanks to RayT & to Kath for the review

  17. Definitely RayT on soft pedal today. I nearly finished this, all solved except for the two pesky four-letter answers. I even solved the anagrams without help. Yes, Steve Cowling, next week will be a doozie!
    There was a lot to like, fave was 24d, but I also rather liked 12a.
    Thanks to RayT and to Kath for her review and unravelling.

  18. Great fun once again from RayT. Slight delay with 1a until we had a few checkers in place but when that sorted it all flowed smoothly.
    Thanks RayT and Kath.

  19. Kath, BD. I’ve just noticed that there is a typo in the index number for the puzzle at the top of the page where it is showing as DT 26291. The number in the review header correctly shows 29291.

  20. Solved this over breakfast before going to meet up for lunch with an ex-neighbour who now lives in Llandudno. Fortunately, the A55 was clear of flood water!
    Ray T is such a master of ‘mucking about’ with words and in that respect – 1&27a stood out for me this morning.
    So many others that I enjoyed and I’d like to add the Quickie pun to the list of potential favourites already mentioned by others.

    Devotions as always to Mr T and many thanks to Kath for the excellent blog.

  21. Not so easy for me, and I metaphorically kicked myself for not getting the insect reference in 24d nor the two more obscure words in 5d and 12a. But it’s always good to learn new words and the remainder was very enjoyable as usual 😊. Thanks Mr T and Kath.

  22. Unusual for me to finish a Ray T and l needed your help for16d and a m still not fully sure lunderstand.Nevertheless great fun and satisfaction in getting so close.Thankyou.

    1. To be entirely honest I’m not sure that I fully understand 16d either, not that that’s much help, I know.
      The answer is made up from a ‘charter’ (bond or contract) and it contains (conceals) the ‘A’ from the clue and the one letter abbreviation for C[old]. I think that the definition (charm) is an attribute of character – at least I hope it is and I also hope that that helps a little tiny bit.

  23. Evening all. My thanks to Kath for the review and to everybody else for your comments. Much appreciated, as always.


    1. Good of you to pop in as usual, Mr T. I am really in awe of your ability to manipulate words – trust that your students are equally impressed!

  24. Finished a Jay puzzle yesterday and Ray T today…must have been the walk along a breezy Lancashire coast this afternoon that blew the cobwebs away! Enjoyed the puzzle, thanks. One of my favourite clues ever (many moons ago) was the answer to 1a…something along the lines of ‘unhappy that record still playing at midnight’ but Mr T’s anagram was pretty good. Thanks to Kath for the blog and Ray T for the workout.

  25. Truly a gentle Ray T, as I got all done, bar 6 answers, which is way better than I usually fare with his puzzles. Not a Mozart fan, so of course 12a was the first to stump me. Agree with MalcomR with 25d as COTD. Thanks to Ray T and especially to Kath.
    As a side note, when I get stuck I eventually let myself look at the picture hints, and this made me laugh today – I had already answered everyone of Kath’s picture hints… Fingers crossed I am getting the hang of the Ray T challenges, but suspect I will not do as well with his next one.

    1. Trying to find picture hints to answers in Ray T crosswords is always a bit of a mission! It’s the only thing that I don’t like about them.

  26. I didn’t find this as easy as some and not as difficult as others. Only half a dozen solved on first pass but knowing it was a RayT and all the answers would be there if one looked at them in the right way I stuck at it and got there with many palm on forehead moments on the way. Not a stretched synonym in sight, unlike yesterday’s. Favourite amongst many had to be 24d, when my palm hit my forehead harder than on the others. Many many thanks to RayT and Kath.

  27. A really enjoyable struggle for me and I was very pleased with myself, even though I had two wrong answers to 8 and 20 down! As usual I learnt a lot from Kath’s explanations and a new word from 12 across. Many thanks to Mr T and Kath.

  28. Felt really silly about the anagram in 28a. So sure 26d was “dissect” I insisted 28a ended in “t” . It took me far too to realise my mistake.

  29. What a corker! It was a bit like Fry’s Five Boys for me, total desperation to start with, and then every clue was a good guess followed by a lot of work to see why that guess was right. Each corner was slowly cracked, top left, top right, lower right and finally lower left. All clues were perfectly fair but took a lot of work.

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