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DT 29298

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29298

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Good morning from South Staffs on another chilly, wet, day.

Nothing unduly difficult for me in today’s crossword, with a couple of interesting clue constructions. I appreciate that others may have a different view, but I can only relate my own experience.

In the hints below, the definitions are underlined. The answers are hidden under the ANSWER buttons, so don’t click if you don’t want to see them.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a           Token clue (4)
SIGN – Double definition. not much else to say.

3a           Mad character in following chapter originally goes rabbiting (10)
CHATTERING – Put together an abbreviation for Chapter, a character from Alice in Wonderland always described as mad, IN (from the clue), and the first letter (originally) of Goes.

9a           Upper-class idlers, retiring, occasionally exercised (4)
USED – The letter signifying ‘upper-class’ followed by alternate letters (occasionally) of iDlErS read in reverse (retiring).

10a         Compile ‘ten’ roughly like this clu (10)
INCOMPLETE – Anagram (roughly) of COMPILE TEN.

11a         Small building suffers, having no entry places for pets (7)
HUTCHES – A small building followed by another word for ‘suffers’ with its first letter removed (having no entry).

Image result for hutches

13a         ‘Waiter and cook’ advert’s about right (7)
STEWARD – A way to cook food, followed by the short form of ‘advert’ wrapped around Right.

14a         We usually leave them pounds heavier and pounds lighter (11)
RESTAURANTS – Cryptic definition of places where you may eat too much, at a price.

18a         Euphoric bore (11)
TRANSPORTED – Double definition, the second being a verb in the past tense.

21a         Polished section of gate-leg antique (7)
ELEGANT – Hidden in the clue.

22a         Country tune backing American gets into at first (7)
AUSTRIA – AT (from the clue) wrapped around one of the usual abbreviations for ‘American’, followed by the reverse (backing) of another word for a tune.

Image result for austria flag

23a         Ignore bush that’s aggravated local residents (10)
NEIGHBOURS – Anagram (aggravated) of IGNORE BUSH.

24a         Metal hip with variable carbon coating (4)
ZINC – An algebraic variable and the chemical symbol for carbon, placed either side of a word for ‘hip’ or ‘trendy’.

25a         Remarkable Parisian on piano, soaring (10)
SURPRISING – Put together the French for ‘on’, the abbreviation for the musical term ‘piano’, and another word for ‘soaring’.

26a         Getting on in prison having got caught out (4)
AGED – Remove the cricket abbreviation for ‘caught’ from a word meaning ‘in prison’.


1d           Bitter about the north? You may be this! (8)
SOUTHERN – A word for ‘bitter’ or ‘acid’ wrapped around THE (from the clue), followed by North.

2d           Golf setter played when putting in America, most impressive (8)
GREATEST – The letter represented by Golf in the NATO alphabet, followed by an anagram (played) of SETTER with America inserted,

4d           Tracks made by pile-up with top fully down (5)
HUNTS – Another word for a road traffic collision, with its first letter moved to the end.

5d           Many desert, led by you in the past (9)
THOUSANDS – An old or dialect from of ‘you’, followed by the material that a desert is often made of.

6d           Power lies in sexiness or refined looks (11)
EXPRESSIONS – Anagram (refined) of SEXINESS OR, wrapped around Power.

7d           International tempo raised to support cold part of planet (6)
ICECAP – Put together International, Cold, and the reverse (raised) of a word for ‘tempo’ or ‘speed’.

8d           Gobbling venison up, guy that’s heartless and …? (6)
GREEDY – Remove the middle letter (heartless) from G(u)Y, and wrap the result around the reverse (up) of what venison is while it is still alive.

Image result for mr greedy

12d         Principal problem is to crush rise of alien resistance (4,7)
HEAD TEACHER – To get this school principal, take an 8-letter informal word for a problem, wrap it round the reverse (rise of) of the usual film alien, and add Resistance to the end.

15d         Answer included in new collection of corniest answers (9)
REACTIONS – Anagram (new collection) of CORNIEST wrapped around Answer.

16d         Chant, ingesting acid and turning on (8)
STARTING – Another verb for ‘chant’ wrapped around a word for ‘acid’ or ‘sharp’.

17d         Forward on loan? (8)
ADVANCED – Double definition: the second refers particularly to loans of money.

19d         Wrong goal overturned — that’s sport (6)
TENNIS – Put together a word for a moral wrong, and another term for a football goal, then reverse (overturned) the result to get a sport which may be real.

20d         Oldster entering northbound metro in Essen (6)
SENIOR – Hidden in reverse (northbound) in the clue.

22d         Article’s enclosed for protective cover (5)
APRON – The two-letter form of the indefinite article, wrapped around the Latin word for ‘for’.

Image result for apron french maid

The Quick Crossword pun SILLY + AISLES = SCILLY ISLES

68 comments on “DT 29298

  1. I do not understand how but I managed to finish this puzzle in *** time despite not being able to completely parse 9 of the clues. I can’t really say I particularly enjoyed it but it was definitely a challenge. There were no favourite clues. Thanks to DT for enlightening my darkness on the parsing front and to Proximal for an interesting experience.

  2. I really enjoyed this, felt on the wavelength from the off, to me it was a nice blend of the concise and elegant (24a, 19and 22d) plus the slightly outrageous (3a and 8d). My only problems were the parsing of the slightly clunky 22a and initially having “hint” for 1a, which I soon sorted out. Joint favourites the aforementioned 3a and 8d
    Many thanks to the setter (Proximal?) and to DT for cheering up another wet and dreary day.

      1. You’ve changed from an alias to, I presume, your real name. Both options should work from now on.

        If you read the other comments, you’ll see that your question has been both asked and explained.

      2. Bore here is the past tense of the verb “to bear” which is a synonym of to carry or transport.

  3. I can only describe my feelings as “immense satisfaction’ to have finished this. With only eight answers after the first pass, I thought I was in Toughie territory, but the clues gave up their secrets slowly but surely.

    All over in **** time, the last in was 14a. I’m not a fan of these clues with no real word play, more like a riddle.

    Many thanks to the setter (can’t be Proximal, there’s an X & no Q) and to DT.

  4. I cannot make up my mind about this one. Some good clues, some elegant, and one or two plain ugly ones. Like Malcolm at #4, I think my sense of satisfaction at completing it outweighed the negative feelings I had towards it, so the overall experience was positive. 24a was just my favourite.

    Thanks to our setter for the challenge and to DT.

  5. 2*/3*. It was nice to find a light and pleasant puzzle after yesterday’s offering, and it’s always nice to see a couple of rabbit references.

    I did have two hmms relating to definitions. In 1d doesn’t the answer need to have “ER” on the end to satisfy “you may be this”? Also, I can’t quite equate “on loan” with the answer to 17d.

    I’ve got a crowded podium today comprising 3a, 14a, 24a, 25a & 19d.

    Many thanks to Mr Ron and to DT.

    1. RD – I think that 1d only requires the -er if the clue had said ‘one of these’, but it says ‘like this’- ie adjective rather than noun?

        1. Bah, clearly I can’t write HTML today. Anyone who can’t remember last month’s discussion on agent nouns, just search for DT29270, while I quietly slink off …

    2. 1d was my favourite clue!

      As it is, it’s an adjective — it’s correct to say: “Smylers is northern.”

      With ‘-er’ on the end it becomes an agent noun (remember them?), so you could say: “Smylers is a northerner.” But I think that would need cluing along the lines of “this is something you may be one of”.

  6. This definitely presented more of a challenge than yesterday’s offering but my inability to parse several reduced satisfaction at completing. NW corner resisted longest however it did include my Fav 3a. Thank you to whomever the setter may be and to DT.

  7. Quite relieved to complete this one having made a very slow start. Struggled to get onto the setter’s wavelength and some of the surface reads gave rise to a few ‘hmms’.
    Pleased to see that others didn’t have the same issues and found it enjoyable – strange how that can happen.

    Thanks to Mr Ron and to DT for the review.

  8. Overall, a Friday puzzle that, for its difficulty, could have ‘appeared’ earlier in the week, completed at a gallop – **/***.
    I am somewhat puzzled by the second definition of 18a.
    Candidates for favourite – 14a, 1d, and 22d – and the winner is 14a.
    Thanks to the setter and DT.

      1. Thanks, I was having difficulty grasping the sense of bore. But, now I get it, the dwell time of the Hmm has increased significantly.

  9. This one took a while and I needed the hints for a few. I felt I was not entirely on the same wavelength as the setter and the crossword did not quite connect with me. I can’t think of how else to describe my feelings about this puzzle. However, there were some clever clues and I particularly liked 10a with 14a deserving a mention.

    Grateful thanks to the setter and to DT for the much needed hints.

    Storm Jorge is about to hit with yet more rain. Please stay safe everyone.

  10. A fairly straightforward solve – took me half the time of yesterday’s. I’m finding this ‘guess the setter’ a bit annoying as I’m constantly thinking there might not be an X but where’s the Q and so on (rather than concentrating on solving the clue), in order to decide whether it might be proXimal or someone else – .I’ve no idea today as it isn’t Mr X and I don’t think it is the setter that makes me grumpy. At least you knew where you were on Mr Manley Fridays

    Thanks to whoever it was and to DT

    1. I concur with Mr. Manley Fridays, I quite liked his puzzles. Having been churched and chapeled throughout my schooldays, the religious bits didn’t worry me at all.

  11. I enjoyed the intellectual exercise offered by this puzzle after a pleasant walk by the sea in Tenerife. Warm and sunny here. Feel very sorry for the poor souls imprisoned in their hotel rooms.

  12. Definitely needed hints so thank you DT. Not fully tuned in to the wavelength for the whole puzzle. 1d my favourite but can we have a reverse clue with the reverse message please. Thanks to the setter for an enjoyable post coffee puzzle.

  13. Not on the right wavelength today.I would not have solved wi thout your help on too many clues.Sincere thanks to D.T.

  14. Not remotely connected today. Having arrived at the answers, I spent ages trying to work out why they were the answers. Still do not understand 1d. 11a is seriously obscure to me. A sign as a token is a bit too Shakespearian for my liking!

  15. I found this really difficult and it’s taken me a very long time – not that it matters.
    Having convinced myself that proXimal would be the setter I assumed that 6d couldn’t be an anagram – mistake number 1. :oops:
    Mistake number 2 was thinking that ‘compile’ was the anagram indicator in 10a.
    Apart from those two I was just a bit on the slow and dim side today.
    I haven’t quite made up my mind what I felt about the whole crossword – I’ll carry on thinking.
    I liked 11 and 14a. My favourite was 12d.
    Thanks to the setter and to DT.
    Off to hunt out the mask, snorkel and flippers . . .

      1. No – I don’t think it was set by proXimal – I’d convinced myself that it was which was why I didn’t think that 6d could be an anagram (which it was) because it would have had an ‘X’ in it which his crosswords never do.
        . . . I give up!

  16. Best one for some while. Just about the right difficulty to make it satisfying to complete.
    Very enjoyable. Thanks to the setter and DT.

  17. This was about as esoteric as the Rosetta Stone for me! I had serious problems, if I solved the clue, I couldn’t unravel it. I had to resort to DT’s hints at the end for the last few, my head was swimming.
    My fave was 3a, far ahead of the rest, 12d and 19d deserve honourable mention.
    Thanks to whomsoever set this mind-boggler and to DT for helping me to the end.
    Please keep dry all, and well!

  18. Finished it, but unlike most folk commenting, I couldn’t gwt into my stride today and found very “bitty” and ultimately unsatisfying.

  19. I’m in the Tough camp with the SW corner the most problematic. 1d held out for a long time with 11 & 14a not far behind.
    Sorry to hear the weather back home is so dire – at least we only got soaked with warm rain on the golf course in the Drakensberg today.
    Thanks to all

  20. A good level of difficulty for a Friday and a lot of fun to solve. Hope the setter pops in so we know who to be grateful to.
    Thanks Mr Ron and DT.

    1. Yes. It is very funny.

      We managed to complete the crossword without aids or need to check hints on the blog. But as ever it was a delight reading the blog and comments.

      Thanks to setter (whoever he/she is) and DT

  21. I had a really slow start with this one until I had a few checking letters in. 1d and 10a were my favourites. Thank you setter, please drop in to see us, and thank you too DT

  22. I found this to be very exacting and a bit of a struggle. With 9 unanswered clues, I took a long coffee break and started looking for a dark room. Back at it, though, I suddenly realised what the Parisian was doing there (years of college French and many villas rented in Provence over the years) in 25a. Voila! My COTD. Favourites (with apologies to Kath, who appears to be out snorkeling): 1d, 24a, 25a. Last one in was 4d: I’m not familiar with the UK term, apparently, for a ‘pile-up’ or ‘collision’. Can someone help me? Can’t find it googling. Thanks to Deep Threat and the setter. ***1/2 / ***

    1. A shunt is another name for a rear end collision where one vehicle crashes into the back of another

      1. . . . usually caused by people driving too closely behind someone else and not looking far enough ahead – quite often the drivers of ‘tanks’ and, at the risk of sounding sexist which I’m not, men!

          1. Women over here–I’m in Charleston, SC, a Southern octogenarian, who’s not bitter about the North–are by far the better drivers, as unTrumpian statistics show. For once, he can’t lie about something!! How’s the weather in Oxford? Been snorkeling lately? Thanks for your replies. (I had to give up driving last year because of glaucoma, but I have a great chauffeur.)

            1. I had to give up due to glaucoma too – I’m now a Uber-ite. I thought I was going to be devastated when I sold my car but Uber does quite well, and it prevents me shunting anyone!

              1. How’s the weather in Miami, Merusa? Chilly up here. And guess who’s coming to town tonight? He couldn’t stand the idea of our having a Democratic Primary tomorrow without his bloviating garbage beforehand. Heard his ‘genius’ wisdom on the coronavirus? Or how he spelled it?

                Glad you have Uber; I have a younger partner. Bless us both.

                1. Too cold for my taste, tropical hot-house flower that I am. At night in the 40s, in the low 70s during the day. I have the heaters on and stay indoors. Too late in my life to pretend hardiness.

                  You’re lucky to have a chauffeur! I had a close neighbour who helped me all the time, but she upped and went to live in N. Carolina. Serve her right, having to put up with snow and such.

                  I think we are in serious trouble with the Coronavirus, I think the mistakes have already been made. The Czar is a laugh, I think he’s just a scapegoat. The blind leading the blind. God help us all.

            2. Weather in Oxford is wet – as it is everywhere in the UK – given up looking for snorkel (too cold anyway) – so now looking for the instructions to build an Ark.

      2. Thanks, crypticsue. How did I go 82 years as an Anglophile without knowing that? At least once, every week, my hubris suffers a big SHUNT!

        1. It was James Hunt’s nickname. He crashed so many times in his early days they called him Hunt the *****.

  23. What a tedious puzzle. Over wordy and difficult to understand even when you have the right answer.
    Again i disagreed with the difficulty rating, at least a 4* for me and Mrs B. We finished in **** time understanding less than half of the clues.
    Not been a great week for crosswords in the DT as far as I am concerned.
    Thx for the hints

  24. Some very original clues leading to *** rating for difficulty 1d my favourite thank you setter and DT!

  25. In and out of wavelength, found it came together slowly with a slog.
    Thanks to setter & DT for review

  26. I started my solve with 3a and ended with 9a, working clockwise round the puzzle. Nothing parlicularly difficult and most flowed pretty much like the Severn’s doing here in Shropshire. Overall an enjoyable solve, with 3a, 4d, 24a & 25a marked as among my favourites. Thanks to our Friday setter and to DT. Now, just for a laugh I’m going to look at today’s Elgar Toughie, but sadly a look is my norm and probably about as far as I’ll get with it today.

  27. I seemed to find this easier and more enjoyable than most. A few clues required a bit of head scratching and I couldn’t parse 11a without the hints. But apart from that I didn’t need any electronic help and my husband filled in the last clue for me which was 7d which of course was then immediately obvious. 14a was my favourite.

  28. A good puzzle for a busy Friday with lots of other things going on. No real head scratchers, but some took a little teasing to reveal themselves.
    Favourites 3a, 14a, 5d & 17d
    Thanks to setter and DT

  29. My favourite today is 14a, but several others were smile – inducing! Thanks to DT, and the setter for a somewhat testing puzzle.

  30. On this chilly Friday in South Florida, where it is unusually cold with a high today of 67F, and in the 40s last night, and again tomorrow, I didn’t get to this puzzle until tea time. I started out thinking it was a stinker, but then got determined to try and figure it out. Ended up enjoying the challenge, getting all but three before giving up. But I do confess I got several from the checkers, not the rather strange clues. Picture clues (my first port of call when stumped) didn’t help at all as I already had those filled. Thanks to setter for stretching my brain, and to Deep Threat for the hints.
    My orchids are all happily ensconced in the bathroom, brought in from the patio to try to ensure they don’t sulk and drop their buds. Life in the sub tropics…
    Good luck everyone with Storm Jorge, the UK is surely having a tough time of it this winter.

  31. Crossword of the month for me. I had a quick look at this whilst having my dinner and didn’t make too many inroads. I then went to bed at a ridiculously early (for me anyway) time of the evening, not alcohol induced, and so consequently woke up at a ridiculously early time of the morning. I was on the wavelength immediately and completed it in next to no time. Lots of brilliant clues and hard to pick a favourite but I’m going to go with 25a as I got the French “on” without having to look it up. Many many thanks to the setter and DT.

  32. Favourites 3 and 14a and 5 and 12d. All can be parsed even if (for some of them) after the event. I just wish some people (and they must know who they are) would not unfairly criticise. Our brains work differently which is nothing the setter can remedy. If each setter pandered to every pet hate, blind-spot, lack of understanding and inability to think outside the box of all solvers what a boring time we would have.

  33. As possibly the last one to comment, I can only repeat the words of the first commenter.
    Indeed, this has been another case of ‘Find the answer and then work out the clue’.
    A good challenge.

  34. I looked at this yesterday and couldn’t do one clue. I completed it in 40 minutes today whilst watching rugby on tv. Funny how the brain works.

  35. 4*/2*…..
    quite liked 21A ” polished section of gate-leg antique (7) “

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