DT 29301 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

DT 29301

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29301

Hints and tips by Mr K

+ - + - + - + - + - + - + - +

BD Rating  -  Difficulty *** Enjoyment ****

Hello, everyone, and welcome to another Tuesday.  I liked today's puzzle.  It's probably a step up in complexity from recent Tuesdays, with lots of fun wordplay to disentangle.  I look forward to reading what everyone else thought of it, and of course if our setter is reading, please take a bow in the comments below. 

In the hints below most indicators are italicized, and underlining identifies precise definitions and cryptic definitions.  Clicking on the answer 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    All the same as an all-seater? (15)
NOTWITHSTANDING:  The answer split (3,4,8) could describe a venue where everyone must be seated

9a    Smart criminal hosting party in realm of emperor (7)
TSARDOM:  An anagram (criminal) of SMART containing (hosting) a usual party

10a   Sound of country music writer (7)
BRITTEN:  A homophone (sound of …) a country familiar to many of our solvers 

11a   A writer figures they're mountains (9)
APENNINES:  Link together A from the clue, a writing instrument, and the plural of a figure less than ten

12a   Shy of 135 degrees, this smells! (4)
NOSE:  135 degrees here refers to a direction on a compass dial.  Using abbreviated compass points, the answer split (1, 1', 2) could describe a direction just shy of that, such as 134 degrees 

13a   Polish European, by the sound of it? (6)
FINISH:  A homophone (by the sound of it) of a Scandinavian synonym of European (as an adjective)

15a   Old maid wrapping up nonsense project (8)
PROTRUDE:  An old maid or puritan containing (wrapping up) some nonsense 

18a   Keep scores holding a winter celebration (8)
HOGMANAY:  Keep or hoard followed by scores or lots containing (holding) A from the clue

19a   Story: epilogue on stage (6)
LEGEND:  A synonym of epilogue following (on, in an across clue) a stage of a race, for example 

22a   Cheers echoed for so long (2-2)
TA-TA:  An informal word of thanks is repeated (echoed

23a   With sovereign to invest, finding banking system (9)
TERRACING:  Finding or locating has the Latin abbreviation for Queen Elizabeth inserted (with sovereign to invest, …)

26a   Record -- I seem disturbed by it (7)
ITEMISE:  An anagram (disturbed) of I SEEM follows IT from the clue 

27a   Small group allowed on tour (7)
TRIPLET:  Allowed or permitted following (on, in an across clue) a synonym of tour

28a   With north winds, east drier? Give up! (5,2,3,5)
THROW IN THE TOWEL:  An anagram (winds, as in twists) of WITH NORTH is followed by the single letter for east and a drier, read here as something that you use to dry yourself 



1d    49%? I couldn't agree more! (3,4)
NOT HALF:  The answer taken literally would describe 49% 

2d    Job taken up by skilled artisan (5)
TRADE:  The answer is found hidden in reverse in (taken up by…, in a down clue) the remainder of the clue 

3d    Country Dane is in travelling round Odense, primarily (9)
INDONESIA:  An anagram (travelling) of DANE IS IN containing (round) the first letter (…, primarily) of Odense 

4d    Drone, an English kind (6)
HUMANE:  Put together a synonym of drone, AN from the clue, and the single letter for English 

5d    Terribly sore, but fine in the end admittedly (2,2,4)
TO BE SURE:  An anagram (terribly) of SORE BUT with the final letter (… in the end) of finE 

6d    Nothing to secure a tack (4)
NAIL:  A synonym of nothing containing (to secure) A from the clue

7d    Enter reduction in error (9)
INTRODUCE:  An anagram (in error) of REDUCTION 

8d    Italian wingers, certainly not tackled (7)
GENOESE:  Some honking wingers (i.e. creatures with wings) containing "certainly not" (…, certainly not tackled)

14d   Strangely right, a new pair of pyjamas, perhaps? (9)
NIGHTWEAR:  An anagram (strangely) of RIGHT A NEW.  The definition here is by example 

16d   Counsellor this time admitting cut up (9)
THERAPIST:  THIS from the clue and the physics symbol for time containing (admitting) the reversal (up, in a down clue) of cut or peel

17d   Page soon featuring the eminent group (8)
PANTHEON:  The single letter for page and an archaic synonym of soon containing (featuring) THE from the clue 

18d   On which every item should be erased! (3,4)
HIT LIST:  Cryptic definition of a slang term in which erased means killed

20d   Enjoy one short story about various figures? (7)
DIGITAL:  Concatenate a 60s synonym of enjoy, the Roman one, and all but the last letter (short) of a story or narrative

21d   Taking refuge initially in damp church, villain (6)
WRETCH:  The first letter (initially) of Refuge is inserted in damp or moist, and that's all followed by the map abbreviation for church

24d   Relative is not liking angora, woolly tops (2-3)
IN-LAW:  Initial letters (… tops) of the remaining words in the clue

25d   Struggle with wife in scene (4)
VIEW:  A synonym of struggle with the genealogical abbreviation for wife 


That was fun – thank you setter.  Lots of amusement in this solve, with big smiles for 12a, 2d, and 5d, and the biggest smile of all coming from 23a.  Which clues did you like best?


The Quick Crossword pun:  SIDE + OPPRESS = CIDER PRESS

81 comments on “DT 29301

  1. I agree with our blogger that this was a little bit further up the setting spectrum in terms of difficulty, but for me that equates to more enjoyment, so absolutely no complaints. 28a and 23a stood out as potential favourites, with 5d as my COTD. Great fun.

    Thanks to both Misters.

  2. A very nice puzzle that took a lot longer than the usual Tuesday offerings. The Toughie is worth a punt today. Thanks to our setter and to Mr Kitty. Is a 24d a relative?

  3. Quite tricky but it didn’t take as long to complete it as I had feared (**). On the whole there were some good clues but I have only giventhe puzzle 3.5* for enjoyment due to the awful 15a ( I ‘m sure there are many elderly spinsters who are not prudes!). 8d 16d, 17d and 18a were great clues however. Thanks to Mr K for the review and the delightful pictures of the cats. Thanks to the setter.

  4. Full enjoyment with no need for hints today so, personally, I rate it as a */** for difficulty. Maybe I’m finally getting onto the DT wavelength.

  5. What a difference a day makes. After yesterday’s rather dull offering I thought this was fresh, vibrant and great fun. I fairly rattled through it with only the NE giving pause for thought, particularly 12a which was a bung in. Ticks all over 16, 18 and 20d amongst them along with 1a and the rekrul at 2d.
    2/ 4*
    Many thanks to the setter and to Mr K for his usual entertaining blog.

  6. Despite a fast start I ground to a halt 4 clues short & feared I would need the hints but eventually got there unaided & must admit I found it hard going. 8d was my last in having bunged in 12a & things weren’t helped by the fact that I thought folk from Genoa were Genovese.
    Quite agree that this was a notch up in difficulty & all the more enjoyable for it. Particularly liked 18a & d amongst a number of good clues. Thanks to all.

    1. I was held up with 8d too, wanting to spell it with the “v”. I was so sure it had to be, so I looked it up.

  7. Like our blogger, I found this one enjoyable but perhaps rather easier than he suggested. Could be because 1a seemed rather familiar – not sure where it appeared – so I had plenty of starting points to work from.
    Wish I could say the same for the Quickie – confidently putting in ‘flatten’ for 3a didn’t exactly help matters!
    Think my top two today were 4&5d but plenty of others were in contention.

    Thanks to Mr Ron and to Mr K for the review – so pleased that you had time to include the felines today, they really made me smile.

  8. A good example of a Tuesday back pager completed at a gallop – **/****.
    Candidates for favourite – 1a, 23a, 1d, and 17d – and the winner is 1d.
    Thanks to the setter and Mr K.
    P.S. The Donnybrook Toughie is equally enjoyable.

  9. 2*/4*. I dropped onto the right wavelength straightaway today and I thought it was an inventive and very enjoyable puzzle. The cluing is admirably brief which makes me wonder if this is one of X-Type’s offerings.

    I’m not quite convinced by Mr K’s explanation for 12a as splitting the answer 1 1’2 feels a bit strange. Given Mr K’s nationality, I hesitate to offer an alternative suggestion arising from my many years of working with Americans, some of whom I have known use the expression “shy of” to mean “no” rather than my understanding of “just less than”. For example, “I am shy of 20 dollars” would mean “I haven’t got 20 dollars” not “I have just less than 20 dollars”.

    One slight hmm relates to 18d, where “item” is being used to refer a “person” which is not strictly correct. Replacing “every item” with “all” would rectify this.

    I’ve got lots of ticks but no single favourite.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Mr K.

    1. RD, 12a. I think Mr K has got it right, assuming that the setter isn’t American. Over here, “shy off” does mean “not quite” or “just less than”. And his good explanation doesn’t need any elaboration from me.

      18d. The items are names on a list and they refer to/are people nominated for the chop.

      1. Jose – I see the logic, but North of South East is simply East South East, never ‘North of’ because that isn’t specific enough to indicate the direction

        1. But the clue isn’t meant to indicate a specific/conventional/standard direction or bearing. It’s cryptic word-play or an unconventional/imaginative/foxy method of describing a direction/bearing that is (generally) “shy of” or not quite/just less than SE (represented by 135 degrees of a circle), for example 134 or 133 degrees. And another way of describing that is (a bit) “north of” (in the answer abbreviated as: NO, split 1,1′) SE. Don’t forget, this is a cryptic clue where convention isn’t obligatory.

          1. * Incidentally, I never bothered parsing this clue at all when I first solved the puzzle because the definition “this smells” = NOSE has appeared so often over the decades (not all in the DT) that it was bunged in without a second thought about any word-play.

    2. I didn’t think of X-Type for this one because in his across clues “A on B” usually means A B. If it is him, he’ll probably comment later.

  10. A bit tougher than we usually get on Tuesdays but enjoyable. Thanks to the unknown setter and Mr K.
    Top clues for me were 18a, 23a and 8d.
    I agree with RD on 12a. Mr K’s suggestion, ingenious as it is, doesn’t quite work for me.

    1. Hi, Gazza. I was forced to be ingenious with 12a because I couldn’t come up with a sentence where “no” could replace “shy of”?

  11. I thought that there were some tricky clues today, particularly in the NE and the last two solutions were 8d and 12a.
    It did not help matters that in my reference book had 8d with the letter I in the centre not an E-is this an alternative spelling?
    I’m sure that this clue with the birds has occurred previously in the distant past.
    The penny finally dropped with 12a which was my favourite for its originality.
    Going for a ***/**** , thanks to Mr K for the pics.

  12. I really enjoyed this puzzle. It had a lot of humour and a couple of misdirections . . . . well, for me at least & I’m referring to 23a in particular. 1a was my first one in and my favourite clue. 17d was close behind, as I found it to be the most difficult to solve and last in. Nice one setter & thanks to Mr K for your efforts, although I’d finished solving well before your words appeared :-)

  13. This was a bit tough for me so I used a fair number of hints. I’m not having a good week regarding the back pager so far. I hope things start to pick up. Nothing wrong with the puzzles, of course, it’s just me not finding the mindset of the setters.

    No favourite clues but I did like 1d.

    Grateful thanks to the setter and to Mr. K for the much needed hints and cats. :grin:

  14. I didn’t find this any more taxing than usual, as Jane says 1a appeared quite recently and 1d is a bit of an aged conker too. Also agree with RD re 12a.
    Thanks to setter and Mr K

  15. Weird. I found this the easiest puzzle in a long time, far more than yesterdays horror (for me).
    Some super clues in 1d and 12a and esp my favourite 1a. Love clues like this that are clever and make me smile.
    Not sure about 22a meaning ‘cheers’ and didn’t know the banking system in 23a but the wordplay made it solvable.
    Thx to all

      1. Just not something i would have associated with cheers which to me is what you say over a drink. Whatever, its a minor point that was easily solved.

  16. I too started quickly with the top half falling easily, then slowed for a short while before galloping home.

    I was “disappointed” (aka bl00dy upset) that the Toughie still isn’t included in the iPad version despite the latest update … of which I will only say that they’ve made a Horlicks of the format of the rest of the paper.

    1. I have just completed an online survey for the paper in which I said pretty much the same thing. I cannot help but think it is a prelude to bunging up the price or reducing the number of times in a week that they produce a print version.

  17. This went in at a slowish to steady pace and took all my bus ride to almost finish, with 3 left which I solved later over lunch at home. So, for me, it was a bit above average difficulty. The clues were very good, it was a reasonable challenge and certainly an enjoyable solve. 13a: hands up everyone who bunged in FRENCH on their first pass simply because the F was in the in the grid. Too many good ones to pick a favourite. 3* / 4*

    1. Hands up! I was beginning to think that I was the only one. Many thanks to the setter and to Mr K – loved the cat pictures.

    2. My hand is up regarding 13a, but then I got 14d so had to reconsider! Loved the cats – thanks MrK, and the setter, for a great workout! 🐈

  18. Certainly considered French for 13a! Didn’t work with the pyjamas though. Thought provoking today. Well done to the setter.

  19. Possibly due to my feeling below par but I found this rather troublesome and needed a few prompts e.g. 12a. 10a, 4d and 1a (chestnut) still vying for top spot. Not keen on current use of ‘cheers’ for thank you as in 22a clue. Ta to Mysteron and MrK.

  20. A nice but quite challenging for me at least, a step up from the usual tuesday fare even so very enjoyable. A couple of favourites 9a and 16d. Nice to be back commenting on crosswords after family illness.
    One has to keep the brain cells active.

    1. It’s good to see you here again, Spook, but so sorry to hear about the circumstances that kept you away.

      1. Mr K much enjoy your hints look forward to tuesdays. It was in fact the passing of Mrs Spook after a long and painful illness. Thanks for your thoughts.

        1. Spook, very sincere condolences. I hope you have strong family and friends support. It’s nice to know you have the Big Dave community to turn to for chats.

  21. This is ridiculous! Having sailed through the Toughie, I just cannot get going with this. I’m giving up and seeing how Mr K can help.

  22. Beautifully creative and most enjoyable. I breezed through the top half but had to work a bit for 18a and 23a, and like Chriscross, I too wondered about ‘prude’ for ‘old maid’–certainly not necessarily so over here. I’m glad that Brian is so happy today. Cheers, Brian! (Or, should I say, “Ta, Matey”?) Podium winners today: 1a and 18a and 8d. Thanks to the setter and Mr K. ** / **** (I actually finished today’s Toughie in a faster time than the Cryptic!)

    1. Hello, Robert. For “old maid”, Collins dictionary includes:
      1. A woman regarded as unlikely ever to marry; spinster
      2. (informal) A prim, fastidious, or excessively cautious person

      1. The BRB gives old maid as :
        old maid
        A spinster
        An extremely fussy or excessively cautious person
        A card game in which players match pairs of cards from a pack of 51, the loser being left with the unmatched card
        Nothing there about being a prude which has a totally different definition:
        prude /prood/
        A person of priggish or affected modesty
        Someone who has or pretends to have extreme propriety
        Doesn’t work for me I’m afraid.

  23. I thought this was very good and several steps up in difficulty.
    We’ve certainly seen 1a recently – must be very recently or I probably wouldn’t have got it.
    My blind spot used to be lurkers – that’s cured – missing anagram indicators has taken over.
    I can’t spell 11a.
    12a was a very late ‘bung-in’ in desperation – can’t really ‘do’ degrees.
    I agree with whoever it was who said that ‘old maids’ – ie to me, anyway, elderly spinsters – are not necessarily prudes – my Great Aunt, a spinster, was anything but.
    I also agree that the 8d ‘wingers’ are not to be tackled or messed with in any way at all!
    Too many good clues to mention any in particular apart from 24d because I’ll be a mother-in-law in two and a half weeks. It’s an anagram of WOMAN HITLER!
    I’ve been trying to come up with an anagram for SON-IN-LAW with no success – any ideas anyone?
    Thanks to the setter and to Mr K.

        1. It’s hardly my fault if swan loin isn’t a delicacy round your way!

          I reckon I could coerce them all into a sentence. (Not the same sentence, obviously — that’d be going too far.)

  24. I did enjoy this, not easy but fun. I finally needed the hints for two in the SE. Can you believe, I didn’t get 19a?
    First in was 1a, remembered from not that long ago.
    I liked 1d, but I think fave has to be 18a. I also liked the subpic at 12a, looks like a giant amaieva, my cats bring a few in each week, in fact, Phoebe brought one in today, I think it’s under my bed.
    Thanks to our setter and to Mr. K for his always informative blog.

    1. Ouch, poor cat with the lizards thing on his nose. Our cats have always loved chasing and catching them, and then bringing them in as gifts. Our yellow lab’s favourite sport was catching the enormous Bufo toads in his mouth. Must have tasted awful because he would immediately spit them out. We then had to hose his mouth out as those toads as extremely poisonous, and deadly for smaller breeds.

  25. Everything went well until I hit a brick wall in 8d and 12a.
    Needed the hints for these.
    Ticked quite a few clues also.
    Thanks to the setter and to Mr K.

  26. I needed some electronic help with this one and cannot say that I enjoyed it.

    Thanks to the setter and to Mr K…..great pictures as usual.

  27. 23a was our last in and favourite clue, just sneaking ahead of 8d. A really enjoyable solve for us.
    Thanks Mr Ron and Mr K.

  28. I have been lurking in the background for longer than I care to mention. Always enjoyed doing the crossword on my iPad unti recently when all has gone pear shaped and the Telegraph ‘help’ line has now told me that my iPad is old !!!! Has any one else had this problem and if so can you help me (other than going out to buy a new one!). Now I have stuck my head above the parapet can I say how helpful this website has been in helping me develop my crossword skills and has also givien me much pleasure in reading all your comments.

    1. My iPad starts ok then goes slow and the clues scroll. I move to the soduko page or the Codeword and wait a few seconds and tap the cryptic puzzle and it behaves for a while. Repeat where necessary. It’s a small problem and far better than writing on paper.

      1. Thank you for replying. I will give it a try once I am in there but it does take a very long time to even get onto the puzzle page. Why they changed the format when everything was working fine, I have no idea.

        1. I’m on a Telegraph subscription which differs from a Telegraph puzzles subscription. So who knows. Anyway thanks for commenting.

    2. Welcome from me too – I hope you keep commenting. I ‘lurked’ for ages before I plucked up the courage to say something – that was probably about nine/ten years ago and they haven’t shut me up since . . .

  29. All OK apart for 23 across. The sovereign I took to be king so I got befuddled. A nice challenge .Many thanks to all involved

  30. A strange one today. I got 1a across straight away, which never bodes well for me. Half a dozen more followed, and then I ground to a halt. A peek at some of the picture clues (thanks Mr K) got me off and running again. But a couple of strange clues held me up. I do not equate cheers with ta, ta. I agree with Brian that the former is said with a drink, not when leaving. Also agree that an old maid is not by definition a prude. But enjoyed the challenge, so thanks to setter.

    1. I thought that cheers can also mean thanks? So cheers=ta and cheers echoed = ta-ta = bye

      1. You are right Mr K. Ta is short for thank you which is also cheers. As in “Cheers mate” which is different from Cheers as a toast. Ta ta is “good-bye” which where I come from was said to children and one of babies’ first words.

  31. I got on wavelength immediately with this one this morning and had it completed before leaving the house. Strange how that happens sometimes.

    Needed Mr. K’s parsing for 12a, but enjoyable on the whole.

    Many thanks to all.

  32. Nice back pager today but not too taxing, I thought. I see some found it more challenging so I assume i must just have been on the right wavelength with the setter.

  33. 1a – very helpful with all the checkers … and it appeared quite recently in No 29281.

    10a Yet this is how all-seater stadiums are (15)
    NOTWITHSTANDING – NOT WITH STANDING (like an all-seater stadium)

  34. Wow, that was tricky and very, very good.
    For a Tuesday, very unexpected.
    Loi was 15a, very good misdirection.
    Thanks both.

  35. Chiming in late again but an enjoyable XW with the SE (shy of 135 degrees) corner the last to go in. We had a similar 1a clue recently, if I recall but with the addition stadium at the end of the clue. Thanks to the setter and Mr K for the amusing blog🦇

  36. Very good thank you. Solved alone with 12 and 19a and 18d holding out on me. I got 12a going through the alphabet and the exclamation mark helped. I did not understand the compass. Why the other two took so long I have no idea.

Comments are closed.