DT 29297 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

DT 29297

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29297

Hints and tips by a short-changed Miffypops

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment **

It’s not often that I notice a grid pattern before during or after solving a puzzle. I did today as soon as it appeared. Too many black squares. Only 26 answers and only 26 clues. I feel short-changed.

At the birthday bash Silvanus told us he had a puzzle published elsewhere that he had written for The Daily Telegraph but could not submit as the grid was not one that they use. Well whatever grid it was I reckon it will have had more than twenty six solutions.

Having got that off my chest the puzzle itself was helped along by six jumpoutatcha anagrams and several gimmies that filled so many white squares the solutions to what was left could almost be written in without reference to the clue.

I like the Thursday puzzle to be the most challenging of the week and the recent RayT and proXimal alternation suited me well. ProXimal seems to have taken up the Friday slot vacated by Don Manley.

I have no idea who today’s setter is but this is most definitely not a RayT.

Anyroad up. Sir Van Morrison has been singing to me. All is now well with my world.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


5a Revise procedure for getting clean and tidy (5-2)
BRUSH-UP: A double definition to begin with. Both fairly obvious

7a Goes out with hounds in county as before (5)
HUNTS: What those who ride out with hounds in pursuit of foxes is also the abbreviation used for a former shire county

9a Nervous in a situation where cliff may collapse? (2,4)
ON EDGE: How one might feel and how one might be situated when on a clifftop

10a Looking embarrassed about vehicle having to be recovered (8)
RECOUPED: The colour of embarrassment surrounds an open top touring car

11a Opposing erstwhile bolshiness, ultimately they fall in line (10)
CONFORMERS: Begin with a word meaning against or opposing. Add a synonym of the word erstwhile. Add the final letter (ultimately) of the word bolshiness

13a Some statement issued by benefactor of art (4)
TATE: The answer lies hidden within the words of the clue as indicated by the word some

14a I paid sentries for working — people getting regular payments (13)
STIPENDIARIES: The first of many anagrams today and whilst the solution was immediately obvious to me the correct spelling needed Google’s help. The anagram indicator is for working and the fodder consists of the first three words of the clue

16a Go in Scotland in criminal group (4)
GANG: A double definition

A Red, Red Rose

By Robert Burns

O my Luve is like a red, red rose
That’s newly sprung in June;
O my Luve is like the melody
That’s sweetly played in tune.

So fair art thou, my bonnie lass,
So deep in luve am I;
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
Till a’ the seas gang dry

Till a’ the seas gang dry, my dear,
And the rocks melt wi’ the sun;
I will love thee still, my dear,
While the sands o’ life shall run

And fare thee weel, my only luve!
And fare thee weel awhile!
And I will come again, my luve,
Though it were ten thousand mile.

17a Competitor cheated dreadfully, having got let in (10)
DECATHLETE: An anagram (dreadfully) of CHEATED surrounds the word LET from the clue. This Olympic event over ten disciplines has a sister event over five events which appeared in Monday’s puzzle, also clued by an anagram

19a Unofficial instruction to tell a student what is going on (8)
INFORMAL: A verb meaning to give facts to a person is followed by the letter A from the clue and the letter that a learner driver displays

20a Time when soldiers will get involved in test (6)
MOMENT: The annual car test which our roller skate car has recently sailed through surrounds a word describing a group of soldiers

22a Poet‘s appointment around noon (5)
DANTE: A romantic appointment surrounds the abbreviation for noon

23a King wanting new attire, becoming more annoyed (7)
RATTIER: An abbreviation for King (Rex) is followed by an anagram (new) of ATTIRE


1d Money supply discovered, nothing missing (4)
FUND: A synonym of discovered has the letter that looks like zero (nothing) removed

2d Wiggle toes here — it may help footwear problem (8)
SHOETREE: Anagram (wiggle) of TOES HERE

3d Wine being smuggled aboard ship in jars (6)
SHOCKS: A dry white wine from the German Rhineland sits between the letters that denote a steamship. When was the last time you used this term to describe a ship?

4d Like a type of estate in trouble south of river (10)
INDUSTRIAL: A trouble or testing situation sits beneath one of the longest rivers in Asia

5d Writer set up one game and another (5)
BINGO: The part of a pen that puts ink to paper is reversed and followed by an abstract strategy board game. The clip here has nothing to do with the answer

6d Newly fitted up pad with recliner — in which one won’t be this! (13)
PERPENDICULAR: Another easily spotted and mentally solved anagram (newly fitted) of UP PAD RECLINER

8d More than one detective hustles around (7)
SLEUTHS: Anagram (around) of HUSTLES

12d Four daring to go wild in place of entertainment (10)
FAIRGROUND: Anagram (to go wild) of FOUR DARING

14d Dirty location near Heathrow almost changed finally (7)
STAINED: A town three miles away from Heathrow airport needs its last letter changing. I have no idea what the word almost is doing in this clue dropping (almost) and followed by the final letter of [change]D – thanks to those who ointed this out

15d Provide machinery for chum getting under car (8)
AUTOMATE: A synonym of the word chum sits beneath a type of car with self-changing gears

17d Mother comes with a loaf of bread (6)
DAMPER: If a sire is your father then you mother gives the first three letters of this clue. Add a preposition meaning for each or with. The result is a traditional Australian soda bread, historically prepared by swagmen, drovers, stockmen and other travellers. It consists of a wheat-flour-based bread, traditionally baked in the coals of a campfire or in a camp oven

18d Singer sounding note (5)
TENOR: A banknote having the value of two deep sea divers is a homophone (sounding) for a singing voice a la Roberto Alagna, Marcello Alvarez or Juan Diego Florez

21d Most significant European river (4)
MAIN: A double definition. The second being the longest river lying entirely in Germany

Quickie pun: kappa+chino=overpriced coffee, what’s wrong with Nescafé?

66 comments on “DT 29297

  1. I have no idea who today’s setter is either but I found it a difficult solve, particularly the top half and taking a lot longer to finish than the crossword on page 18 of the paper today

    Thanks to whoever it was and to MP

      1. And me. I was going to say I’m normally on RayT’s wavelength but not today. If you don’t think it’s him, nor do I.

  2. For the first time in a while, I have to declare myself a failure. I was three short when I just had to resort to electronics. It was the NE that stumped me, with 10a, 4d and 8d being the culprits. I am kicking myself for not seeing the anagram at 8d. Had I spotted that, I probably would have been finished in **** time.

    I blame my impending visit to the dentist’s chair this afternoon.

    Many thanks to the setter and MP.

    1. I’m still stuck on 4d and 10a but haven’t looked at the hints yet. Will give it another half hour.

      1. 17 D took me back to when I was about 12, when I first learned how to make these at Scout camp.
        Delicious, hot from the pan with butter and jam!

        1. I made them at scout camp too, but couldn’t remember the last 3 letters. Damned or damsel memory letting me down. I still had to check it though.

  3. A really straightforward solve for me. I agree with you MP that the anagrams leapt out at you. Perhaps the varied reactions to this puzzle are a function of whether you liked the anagrams. I cettainly liked 14a and 6d. Definitely not Ray T but thank you to the setter. I found it enjoyable (rating **/****). Thanks to MP for clearing up the parsing of 17d.

  4. My reading of 14d is that “changed” donates its last letter (finally) to the truncated (almost) name of the town.

    1. As I see it, the name of the town isn’t truncated. The last latter is merely replaced – “changed finally”. Therefore, “almost” is redundant.

      1. Hello Vince – STAINE(s) [almost] + (change)D [finally]
        I don’t think it’s acceptable in clueing to just say ‘change a letter’ without an indication of which replacement letter is required

  5. Today’s exercise had little challenge, particularly in the West, and hence for me it was not very satisfying to complete. Had to be reminded of the loaf name in 17d. Suppose 2d would help footwear problem. No Fav. Thank you Mysteron and the undisguised MP – yes indeed, come to think about it, there really is a plethora of black squares and indeed anagrams.

  6. 11a gave pause for thought, otherwise a rather underwhelming puzzle
    With respect to setter and ta to MP

  7. A fairly straightforward solve today. I had not heard of 17d so will have a serious talk to my daughter for neglecting my education. She lives in Australia! I did like 4d and 14d but no real favourites today.

    Many thanks to the setter and to MP for the hints.

  8. 17d. I thought the three-letter preposition was was a synonym for “a”, as in ” £10 a head”?

  9. By the way, I agree with Miffypops regarding the Quickie Pun. The answer is not coffee – it’s flavoured hot milk and is too expensive.

  10. I found this mildly uninspiring, and can’t really put my finger on why. Probably just me.
    I didn’t know the bread but Mr Google did, however everything else fell into place eventually.
    I did like 3 and 8 down though.
    Many thanks to MP for doubling up this week and of course to the setter.

  11. Disappointed to find this was not a Ray T.as l was hoping to say that l had one of his before the hints were posted.Even at that l would have to admit that the bread had me bamboozled especially as l was trying to put an an a after the m.Nevertheless l thoroughly enjoyed the puzzle and the blog.Surely 22 a only makes sense if 14 d ends in a d.

    1. 17d was a staple food round many a Girl Guide camp fire back in the day – I wonder if they still make it now?

      1. I shouldn’t think they’re allowed to these days – the poor little darlings might set themselves on fire or burn one of their fingers!

  12. I didn’t find this as easy as our blogger evidently did. I was held up in the NE for a while because I had an answer for 10a that used the wrong vehicle. Didn’t like the padding in 13a and 19a. I did like 17d.

    Thanks to setter and MP.

    (In 5d, I think the hint should say that the writer is reversed, and the underlining needs a tweak).

    1. I’ve mentioned the reversal. I’m open to suggestions as to the underlining. I did like this clue though.

  13. I am gobsmacked that Miffypops gave this ** for difficulty. Even C S found this a tricky solve. At least a 3* if not a 4.
    As i have remarked before i do wish the blogger would refrain from giving a difficulty rating, it is very subjective and disheartening on occasion.
    Like most people i had never heard of the bread and the wordplay was obscure (at least the 2nd part). Far too difficult for me to say I enjoyed it but did get a certain amount of satisfaction in completing before the hints came up (with a little electronic help!).
    Looking forward to the DT including some gentler puzzles for us less gifted puzzlers.
    Thx for the hints

    1. After all these years, I am surprised that you don’t know that MP never sets the stars on his blog.
      B(l)og standard ratings seem to be the norm.
      BD is the one to blame. But I leave you to have a go at him.
      Good luck.

      1. Don’t be silly, JL! :smile: to you.
        I think we should all wonder/ask BD how he and Mrs BD are coping with the floods.
        Having grown up about a mile or two from where they live I do know what it can be like there.
        How is it BD?

        1. Oh dear! As you would so rightly put it.
          Didn’t know that Worcestershire was hit by freak weather.
          Hope that everything is all right for our leader, family and friends.

          1. Yes – definitely ‘oh dear’. Ask the helpful ‘know it all’ – aka Mr Google – about Upton-on-Severn. While you’re at it ask Mr Google about Tewkesbury which is just in Gloucestershire – ie not quite in Worcestershire but very close.

  14. I’m in the tricky camp, needing to visit M’pops hints to get back on track about halfway. I never did get the bread at 17d.
    I knew half the anagram at 14a but had never seen a word with the rest of it, needed to look that up.
    Fave was 4d, we see one of crosswordland’s favourite rivers again.
    Thank you setter, I enjoyed that, and ta to M’pops for getting me to the finish line.

  15. Yes the anagrams were a great help in an otherwise rather pedestrian puzzle not helped by reading an F as an L, and knowing nothing about Australian or any other soda bread. A damper was something an aged aunt had at the back of a coal fire to eke out her allowance of coal.

    Thanks to mp and the setter.

    1. You can push the damper in, you can pull the damper out, but the smoke goes up the chimney just the same!

  16. I confess that I didn’t find this as easy as MP and some others did.
    Started off very quickly and then slowed down – it was some of the anagrams ‘what dun it’ as they didn’t all jump out at me at all.
    I did know the bread – I had an Aussie grandfather and also some friends have a cabin in the Snowy mountains and they always make it on the fire.
    I’d never heard of the German river and I had to check the old county.
    I liked 11a and my favourite was 8d because it reminded me of Shamus – loved his crosswords.
    Thanks to whoever set this one and to MP.

  17. We also found this puzzle quite a lot trickier than usual. At least 3 star time for us. We, and guess many solvers outside the UK, struggled with the GK required for 7a and 14d but we did get them with assistance from Google.
    Thanks Mr Ron and MP.

  18. I also struggled today, not enjoying this one very much. Probably not as tough as a Ray T, but for some reason just wasn’t my cup of tea. 17d was a great example of the type of clue I dislike, involving obscure GK. The clue could easily have been written cryptically with reference to a fire or chimney instead. Having said that, did like 4d and 14d. Thanks to setter and Miffypops.

  19. I managed this except the loaf of bread, at 17d. Had the first 3 letters but came here to find the answer. Found it easier than yesterday.

  20. Only had to look up Erstwhile in the dictionary to finish this straightforward crossword.
    I quite like when everything flows smoothly.
    Agree about the jumpoutatcha anagrams.
    No ink wasted on this one.
    Thanks to the setter and to MP for the overtime.

  21. A little anagram heavy for my liking but reasonably straightforward apart from the much commented on 17d. Needless to say I’d never heard of it (Aussie baking not one of my areas of knowledge) & failed to complete for want of 2 letters. Agree with Brian re the obscurity of the 2nd part of the wordplay.
    Thanks to all.

    1. Hi Huntsman,
      I feel quite chatty tonight.
      The “a” comes round regularly in crosswords.
      I always remember the first time I queried it and Gazza was very helpful in explaining.
      £1 a pound or £1 per pound was how he proved the link.
      Never forgot it ever since.
      I call it Gazza’ A and has helped me on a lot of occasions.

  22. Found this a relatively easy solve **/*** with 17d being my only cheat look up. Never heard of it personally. Not, (or wasn’t,) in my GK library.
    Favourite clues today were 7a,10a & 6d
    Thanks to setter and MP

  23. You be fair to the setter all of this was solvable from the clues. Having said that I struggled to finish it, the last 4 or 5 taking twice as long as all the rest put together, I hadn’t heard of 17d or 21d. It was harder than the toughie, but hey ho I got there in the end. I think my favourite has to be 14a as I was amazed I managed to work it out, such an obscure word. Thanks to the setter and MP.

  24. Like MP, I’m not a fan of yesterday’s (in my part of the world) grid. It reminded me of a parquet floor. I recall reading on BD’s blog that he is not a fan of the DT grids
    generally. I found this a fairly straight for solve with the SE corner the last to go in. I had a bit of trouble with 17a as I was trying to work in ‘got’ instead of ‘let’🤤. Thanks to mystery setter and MP🦇 PS, I might whip up a 17d today. Excellent Aussie traditional food. Google the recipe. It’s very easy to make. Eat it hot just with butter😋

  25. Once again I began solving late in the day. With the exception of 17d I thought this puzzle was fairly unremarkable and quite easily solved. No real smile moments, but very grateful for something not too demanding at this time of day. Thanks to the setter and Miffypops.

  26. I only did this puzzle on Friday morning having first completed the Friday crossword, which I found harder than this one. For me, this was pretty straightforward but lacking sparkle. Enjoyable while it lasted.

    Thanks setter and MP.

Comments are closed.