DT 29307 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29307

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29307

Hints and tips by Mr K

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BD Rating  -  Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

Hello, everyone, and welcome to Tuesday.  Today's entertaining puzzle felt to me a little below Tuesday's average level of difficulty.  I look forward to hearing what you thought of it.

The other day Kitty and I were discussing what it means to solve a puzzle.  She feels, and I agree with her, that the puzzle is not solved until the grid is filled and every clue is satisfactorily parsed.  But occasionally comments appear on the blog which suggest that some readers consider the puzzle solved as soon as the grid is filled.  What does the commentariat think constitutes solving?

The discussion reminded me of an anecdote about actor Sir John Geilgud, which I will quote here for readers who haven't heard it before.  There are a few versions circulating - this one comes from The Guardian.  "Many years ago I played Ariel in the Tempest at the Old Vic with John Gielgud playing Prospero. Every day in the rehearsal room during tea breaks and idle moments Sir John would sit quietly doing the Times crossword. Sometimes he would complete it and put it aside within 20 minutes or so. Everyone was terribly impressed. The Times crossword was, in those days, the toughest nut in the bowl. One afternoon after this had been going on for some weeks, one of the cast idly picked up the great man’s paper – he had finished for the day and had gone off to the Garrick Club or somewhere to meet Sir Ralph or someone. Suddenly the actor who had been looking at the paper gasped and showed us the crossword. It was indeed all filled in, but apart from one or two correct answers the rest were just words that happened to fit the spaces and had no bearing on the clues. Needless to say none of us confronted Sir John with the discovery and he continued to complete the Time crossword every day with consummate ease. I offer this not as a luvvie dropping names and theatrical anecdotes, but as a frustrated Guardian crossword-doer.  Michael Feast".  Another description of Geilgud's crossword solving can be found here.

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    Animal returned to Arthur's place? (7)
CAMELOT:  Follow a humpy animal with the reversal (returned) of TO from the clue 

5a    Whistle-blower concerned with liberal swallowing ecstasy (7)
REFEREE:  A usual word meaning concerned with or concerning is followed by liberal or unrestricted containing (swallowing) the single letter for the drug Ecstasy

9a    Artist upset by competitor's appearance (7)
ARRIVAL:  A usual artist is reversed (upset) and followed by a synonym of competitor 

10a   Man comes from taverns, smashed (7)
SERVANT:  An anagram ( …, smashed) of TAVERNS

11a   Field in which one studies the earth (9)
GEOGRAPHY:  A barely cryptic definition of a field of study concerned with the surface of the Earth 

12a   Vegetable I put between two legs (5)
ONION:  I from the clue is put between two copies of a cricket synonym of leg 

13a   Flowers came up with spades (5)
ROSES:  Put together a synonym of "came up" and the playing card abbreviation for spades 

15a   Groan, consumed by obvious lapse (9)
OVERSIGHT:  A groan inserted in (consumed by) obvious or public

17a   Plots in Greene's novel (9)
ENGINEERS:  An anagram (novel) of IN GREENE’S.  There was a typo in the original version of this clue, which had "Greene's" appearing as "Green's".  The clue's been fixed on the Puzzles Site.  Which version appears in the newspaper and in the various apps?   

19a   Back in saddle I yearn to climb down (5)
YIELD:  The answer is hidden reversed in (back in …) the remainder of the clue 

22a   Finish third in race and be defeated (5)
CLOSE:  Stick together the third letter in raCe and a word meaning “be defeated” 

23a   Bribe American with cheap second homes (9)
BUNGALOWS:  Concatenate an informal word for bribe, the single letter for American, a synonym of cheap, and the single letter for second 

25a   Preparing cocoa but heartlessly leaves (7)
TOBACCO:  An anagram (preparing … [is]) of COCOA BuT without its central letter (heartlessly

26a   Strength in golf decreasing? (7)
IRONING:  Link together an element symbolising strength, IN from the clue, and the letter represented in the NATO Phonetic Alphabet by golf.  The definition here is cryptic (and classic) and the cat is happy 

27a   Regularly tenses head after doctor put a bandage on (7)
DRESSED:  After an abbreviation for doctor come alternate letters (regularly) of TENSES HEAD 

28a   Celebrities, for example, restricted by loans (7)
LEGENDS:  The Latin abbreviation for “for example” contained by (restricted by) a synonym of loans 



1d    Golfer with clubs first to make mistake (7)
CLANGER:  A German golfer preceded by the playing card abbreviation for clubs 

2d    Reddish colour on small leaves on an island (7)
MAROONS:  A reddish colour followed by (on, in a down clue) the clothing abbreviation for small 

3d    One finishing school perhaps not a crank (5)
LEVER:  A person finishing school, with their A deleted (not A) 

4d    Call doctor then elope (9)
TELEPHONE:  An anagram (doctor) of THEN ELOPE 

5d    Copper dependable? Not at first (5)
RUSTY:  A synonym of dependable loses its first letter (… not at first

6d    Your flu is developing in a violent manner (9)
FURIOUSLY:  An anagram (developing) of YOUR FLU IS


7d    Wading through  town (7)
READING:  Wading through something written is also a town in Berkshire 

8d    Dead drunk, texting endlessly about Charlie (7)
EXTINCT:  An anagram (drunk) of TEXTIN[g] without its last letter (endlessly) is wrapped about the letter represented in the NATO Phonetic Alphabet by Charlie

14d   Nick spells strings of words? (9)
SENTENCES:  Periods spent in prison are also strings of words that usually mean something

16d   German city starts to treat immigrants as legally required (9)
ESSENTIAL:  An industrial city in the Ruhr valley is followed by the first letters of (starts to) the remaining words in the clue 

17d   Impassioned former lover advanced (7)
EXCITED:  Join together a usual former lover and advanced or quoted

18d   Excellent run produces cheers (7)
GOODBYE:  Follow an understated synonym of excellent by a type of run in cricket 

20d   Joy, maybe, from Beethoven's second movement (7)
EMOTION:  A charade of the second letter in BEethoven and a synonym of movement.  The definition here is by example (… , maybe

21d   Wise men after party getting quantities of medicine (7)
DOSAGES:  Some wise men come after a usual party 

23d   Wide thoroughfare south of Belgium (5)
BROAD:  A thoroughfare following (south of, in a down clue) the IVR code for Belgium 

24d   By the side of a pine (5)
ALONG:  A from the clue is followed by pine or ache 


Thanks to today’s setter for a fun solve.  My favourite clue today by some distance was the excellent 8d.  Which clues did you like best?


The Quick Crossword pun:  GORILLA + WAUGH = GUERRILLA WAR

112 comments on “DT 29307

  1. All over in just ** time today, and it would have been less if I had started with the down clues. I’m not too sure about the synonym in 5d, and I agree with Mr K., there is a letter missing in the fodder for 17a, in the dead tree version.

    Many thanks to the setter and Mr K.

        1. Indeed. It took a little while to work up the courage to email the editor with “I think there’s an error in one of your clues”

    1. A trusty is not a copper, but maybe I am getting rusty
      I had a really early print edition today 4am and the missing e drove me insane

    2. Hi, Malcolm. 5d worked for me after thinking of the two words in question as reddish-brown colours.

  2. Nothing to write home about. NW last to go mainly due to hitch over 1a. “Green’s” appears for 17a in newspaper version. Not sure whether word used for groan in 15a is really a synonym. My Fav was 14d. Thank you Mysteron and MrK.

    1. The way I squared it with myself, Angelov, was that a “normal” 15a would not be voiced, but a “heavy” one would be voiced and therefore sound like a groan……
      Try it out……as long as no one else is in earshot. :)

  3. As a user of the dead tree version, I puzzled for a while over 17a until I remembered that Graham Greene had 3 e’s. It would have been 1* for difficulty without that. As it is I agree with **/*** from Mr K. Personally, don’t consider the puzzle completed unless I can parse all the answers, although I often bung in words where I can parse part of the answer and it fits the punch line of the clue. Thanks to Mr K. It’s always great to have a thought-provoking discussion and the kittens were really cute. Thanks to the setter too.

  4. Not quite a typical Tuesday puzzle but still completed at a gallop – **/***.
    A number of Hmms – the 1d golfer (even though I am a ‘golf nut’) and the 5d synonym among them. I also thought that 7d might have deserved a ? at the end of the clue, just saying town is like RD’s least favourite clues!
    Thanks to Mr K for the information on the missing ‘E’ in 17a – obviously an editorial Oops.
    Favourite 15a.
    Thanks to the setter and Mr K.

  5. iPad missing an e in 17A .
    Over too quickly as the journey through the clues was very enjoyable . Hard to single out a COTD but will pick 25A for being clever & misleading .1D may cause a problem to some .
    Thanks Mr K and the Setter .

  6. Enjoyable puzzle today in ** time. Annoyed with myself that I didn’t see the logic of my answer to 26a and last in was 18d which held me up a little which it shouldn’t have done in a clue with a cricketing term. Best clue for me was 1a, not difficult but fun containing one of my favourite animals which always amuses and puzzles Mrs B.
    Thx to all

  7. 2*/3*. I agree with Chriscross. The missing “E” took my time from 1* to 2* while I investigated novel titles from a selection of rather obscure writers called Green.

    Apart from that and the weak CD in 11a, this was good fun with 12a raising a smile and getting my vote as favourite. 8d was in second place.

    Many thanks to Messrs R & K.

    1. PS. I meant to add that for me completion means all answers fully parsed. However, it’s a personal thing and some solvers may just want a grid full of correct answers.

      1. I absolutely agree and when I do a bung in because it just HAS to be that word, I worry at it until I have worked it out. But that is where Big Dave and his cohorts are so wonderful!

  8. Certainly easier than some Tuesday puzzles but good fun.I agree that 17d should have another e but could be solved without anagram.I have to admit that there are times that have the answer without being able to fully parse it.15a would be an example of that today.This is part of the learning curve for me and why this site is such a joy and benefit.Thankyou.

  9. I am never happy until I can parse the answer correctly – e.g. today 14d annoyed me until I figured out it was a double definition. 17a was one of last ones in because of the missing “e”, otherwise an easy solve.

  10. I thought this very enjoyable, with some imaginative cluing. As Mr K mentioned The Times, I found it quite similar to The Quick Cryptic puzzle in that paper. I couldn’t parse 17a but now I know why and 11a reminded me of the “green belt” clue from yesterday..both barely cryptic. I did like 22a plus 20 and 24d.
    Many thanks to the setter and to Mr K for his anecdotal blog!
    Ps..I only consider a puzzle truly finished if I feel I could confidently do the blog for it on here!

      1. I could guarantee lots of good music clips MP but not necessarily the correct answers!

  11. I could not choose between 12a and 8d as my COTD. They were the highlights in an otherwise very simple yet still entertaining puzzle. The ease with which I filled in the grid meant I completely overlooked the missing ‘e’ in 17a which is most unlike me, as I like to fully parse the clues before I consider the grid complete.

    Many thanks to both Misters.

  12. Completed alone and unaided…and got all the parsing except for 17a…..I think I am excused this as I have the dead tree version which is missing an E.

    I do agree with Kitty and Mr K about puzzle completion, but, being far from the best solver, I get carried away when I complete the grid and give myself a hurrah for completion without parsing.
    Perhaps I will change this and give myself a hurrah only if I truly complete the grid and a well done if some of the parsings escape me.
    So, a hurrah today, I think, as 17a doesn’t count !

    Thanks to the setter and to Mr K……loved the ironing picture, even if it was a bit disturbing.

    1. Hi, Ora. There’s a longer version of the cat ironing clip which makes it clear that the cat is quite enjoying being massaged with a cold iron. I must try it when I get another cat.

  13. Fairly rushed through this one, in between checking fences etc in high winds. Again got slightly stuck with 8d.
    Thanks to MrK and setter,

  14. Yes, Mr K, I agree with you and Kitty that the puzzle isn’t really finished until the grid is filled and each clue is fully parsed/solved. But I am just as passionate about semantics as I am about cryptic crosswords and I often get the answer just from the definition, the number of letters and any checkers. I would estimate I get 40%+ of answers this way and I must admit that I quite often don’t bother to fully work out the word-play (mainly because the answer is so obvious without it). But that is a bad habit, I have to confess.

      1. Hi, Jose. Kitty is blogging occasional weekend Indy and EV puzzles on fifteensquared, and every fifth Times Jumbo over on Times for The Times. I hope to see her back here when circumstances permit.

  15. The missing e in 17a also held me up in so far as it cast doubt on whether or not the writer had anything to do with the answer. Last one in. I can usually work out the reasons for the answers and am not happy until I can. This blog is great as a check. No real favourite today but I impressed myself by remembering the German golfer without assistance!

  16. A very enjoyable puzzle today. All went in unaided part from 17a (I get the newspaper so the author’s name was wrong) and 18d (to my shame because the answer was staring me in the face). I agree with both K and Kitty that the puzzle is not finished until the grid is filled. However, I look at the completion of the grid from the point of view of satisfaction. If I have finished without any help at all, satisfaction is high. If loads of help is needed satisfaction is low. In both cases the puzzles are completed but I do not feel I have finished the grid in the latter case. As I needed help for only two clues today, satisfaction and enjoyment are high.

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

    The winds are fairly strong here in Shropshire. As far as I am aware nobody has named a storm so why is it windy? :grin:

  17. Easier than a lot of recent puzzles but still very enjoyable.

    Never heard of the golfer in 1d but from the wordplay it had to be him and pleased to find he is a real golfer when I looked him up.

    Fortunately the online version on Telegraph Puzzles had 17a in the correct form.

    I liked 20d, would have been easy to go off on the wrong tack!

    Thanks Mr K and setter

  18. Was going along at at a cracking pace until I hit the buffers with 2 to go – 17a & 18d. Both took me as long to solve as the rest of the crossword. I’m ashamed to say I failed to clock the typo despite being well aware of the how GG’s surname is spelt & for some reason 18d took an age for the penny to drop pushing completion to beyond **time. An otherwise pretty straightforward affair with no particular favourites.
    As regards the question posed by Mr K I still consider an unaided correct completion of the puzzle the goal and am not too concerned with failing to parse the wordplay fully. Whilst I think I’m getting better (& tackling the Toughies helps) I still reckon a fair percentage of my answers come from identifying the clue, solving like a non cryptic & then seeing if the wordplay fits rather the other way around.
    Thanks to all & loved the Geilgud anecdote.
    Ps is anyone else having an issue with the new day edition failing to appear on the iPad app because the previous day refuses to archive ? For the fourth day out of the last week I’ve had to delete & then reinstall the app which is very irritating.

    1. Re your PS Yes, I have had the same problem. Hubby does the paper version and sometimes we have almost finished his together before the iPad version sorts itself. Very annoying, especially as it has worked perfectly for ever until just recently. What is happening?!

  19. The blogs are vital to finishing the puzzle if there are some clues solved but not clear about why. A **/** today.

  20. Technically, a crossword is solved, I reckon, when all the grid spaces are filled with the correct letters. After all, in a prize puzzle sent off in the post or online, that would be the criterion. As far as I know, no one is going to come round your house and check you know all the reasons why……… unless of course, it was a puzzle set by the intelligence services to select you for decrypting duties. Identifying words and phrases from visual patterns is why we design crosswords the way we do.

    I agree, though, that complete personal satisfaction is only gained once the parsing is all done. I regard that as a bit like being judged in a music exam – you have to play all the right notes ( and, necessarily, in the right order) and you have to observe the marks of expression, but you can get discretionary extra points for how you play. In some fields it would be ‘technical’ plus ‘artistic expression’. In academic degrees, there may be vivas.

    So, parsing is “extra discretionary points”.
    If someone comes round your house, that would be a viva……… ;)

  21. Personally, I will not commit pen to paper until the clue is parsed, even if there’s only one word that fits
    Occasionally, I have an idea of the parsing but think ‘Surely not…?’ = a clue I don’t like, and it is subsequently relegated to the round file
    Finished as far as I’m concerned and that’s all that matters frankly

    Thanks for the blog Mr K and please say hello to Kitty from me
    PS The Times is still the most consistent challenge in my opinion

  22. Pleasant enough but over too quickly. I don’t consider the puzzle solved unless I can parse all the answers. But it is a matter of personal choice, of course. Whatever brings one enjoyment.

  23. Due to a bus delay, I wasn’t able to get to Macclesfield this morning to obtain the last 3 DT back-pagers. So I’ve had to be content with reading the comments above and solving a few clues in order to make any observations in “real time”. I must admit, I can’t for the life of me see any problems with the synonyms in 15a and 5d, nor the very famous golfer in 1d. We all think/judge so differently…

  24. I thought one or two of the synonyms were a bit far fetched and didn’t have a clue about the cricket and golfer (that is where my husband gets in on the act) but still fun. Blowing a nameless gale here in Cambridge (nothing between us and the Urals) but lovely sunshine.
    Thanks for the hints ant the parrot sketch. My two girls had that off by heart, irritatingly.

  25. This felt more like a Monday puzzle than a Tuesday. Mr Kitty, I do on occasion have bung-ins, but I still like to know how a clue is fully parsed. I would never say that I was content just to see the grid filled. I like to see how everything is solved. That’s all part of the learning curve. Some days I do well and complete the grid without help, others I use every electronic gizmo going. Either way, I still enjoy the solve. The DT cryptic thoroughly frustrated my father-in-law, who, I’m afraid, had the same mindset as Sir JG. We use to have a good laugh at the answers. My mother-in-law at 94 is still very competent at doing the cryptic. I, on the other hand, have a long way to go. Many thanks to the setter, and to Mr Kitty. I noted that yesterday’s top solver was “Catlover”. Any relation?

    1. Hi, Florence. Thanks for that. Re Catlover, I don’t know who that is (but I do like their handle). I’m nowhere near fast enough to be top of the Puzzles Site Leaderboard, and any points I might accumulate aren’t visible there.

  26. Thank you for your splendid blog, Mr K.

    One question:

    Could you, or someone else, give me an example where the first syllable of 18d can replace ‘excellent’ in a sentence?

    You have said that it is an understated version but I can’t see where it would work as the order is usually…

    **** (first syllable)
    Very ****

      1. I thought Physicist was saying that I make a good point, ie he’s agreeing.

        I don’t think he’s using that as an example as an excellent point is nowhere near a good point.

        Very good is in the middle, for starters.

        I just can’t see how they can mean the same.

        I don’t think the compiler was thinking like you were. If so, it’s terribly lame.

        Nope. I’m not buying it.

        1. Is there really much difference between “You make a good point” and “You make an excellent point”? I’d probably use them interchangeably

            1. Obviously in a sentence where both are used, ‘good’ indicates appreciation but inferiority to the ‘excellent’ point.

              But if you just use one of them, without any kind of scale or other context for comparison, then they effectively convey the same thing: the point is relevant or persuasive or whatever.

              If the context is either accepting the point or rejecting it, then both ‘good’ and ‘excellent’ are clearly on the same side, and which word is used makes no practical difference. That the words can have different meanings doesn’t mean that they always do.

              1. Sorry Smylers. I can’t agree at all.

                Jose has summed it up:

                Excellent = Passable

                You can carry on but I’m done on this one.

            2. G273. There isn’t a huge difference according to the word experts; good = excellent is listed all over the place. For example, in the Chambers Thesaurus (both book and online):

              good adj, n, interj

              1 have a good day; do good work
              enjoyable, cheerful, pleasing, pleasurable, satisfying, commendable, excellent, first-class, first-rate, superior, fine, wonderful, marvellous, fantastic, terrific, superb, exceptional, acceptable, satisfactory, pleasant, agreeable, nice, adequate, passable, reasonable, tolerable, desirable colloq. great, super

              But, I have to concede, if I wanted to praise something very highly I would use excellent rather than good every time. But the difference is largely ostensible/specious.

              1. * Rather surprisingly, in addition to “excellent”, “adequate”, “passable” and “tolerable” are also listed under “good”. However, I would definitely baulk at trying to convince you that excellent = passable!

                1. Yes, I think that is G’s point in a nutshell and I agree

                  Rate this sentence: ‘Thesauri are notoriously ambiguous as they give a list of associated words, not necessarily synonyms’
                  1* unacceptable
                  2** poor
                  3*** fair
                  4**** good
                  5***** excellent

                  1. Yes, your sequence list seems reasonable and you are right about thesauri – I have written on here previously about what I coined in the mid 80s as category 1 and 2 synonyms, and closely associated words. But some words are very flexible/adaptable and their use can vary according to the context/situation and intention of the writer/speaker.

                2. A few years ago, when I was just getting started with cryptics, I was annoyed by a clue that equated warm with hot. I eventually decided that it was OK because, for example, whether I describe a day as warm or hot has more to do with how it makes me feel at that time than with a reading on a thermometer.

                  Dictionaries were no help either. The BRB says warm=hot and hot=very warm, which isn’t even self-consistent.

    1. Thanks, Gordon. I was going to offer something like Lionel Messi is quite good at football, but Physicist’s example is much better.

  27. I found this quite gentle, which good because I am no where near finishing Monday’s puzzle. I particularly enjoyed 26a, both the clue and the adorable image here thanks Mr. K!

    In answer to the question posed, I too don’t really think i have properly finished a puzzle until I understand the reasoning behind the clues. It is onee of the very many reasons I come here even if I have completed the puzzle.
    Love the Sir John Gielgud story.

  28. Pleasant challenge while the three grandchildren overdose on Peppa Pig.
    Like many others struggled with The missing ‘edge on 17a and not a fan of the in out, out in game so failed on 18d.

    Personally I would consider a puzzle fully solved if I can understand every answer with regard to the clue, sadly this is not often for me as there are often words, species or names which are new to me and this is fine as part of a learning curve

    Thanks for the hints

  29. Not too taxing today and finished in quicker than normal time. As others have said, the iPad version (subscriber to the paper) had the wrong spelling of Greene. I noticed but carried on as I saw the anagram immediately.

    With regard to Mr. K’s question, for me it depends very much on how much time I can spend. If I’m short of time, I just accept that I’ve got the answer and wait until the blog comes up. If I have plenty of time I worry away at it until I “see” it. Can’t see that it matters too much either way.

    Very many thanks to Mr. K for his usual interesting blog and to the setter for the fun

  30. No problems today until I reached the SW corner, missed three there, of course 18d was one, crickety clue got me again.
    Fave was 14d, 25a was runnerup. Lots of hmmm clues today.
    The subpic at 6d was the hands down winner, natch; the Monty Python was a guffaw; loved the Gielgud tale.
    Thanks to our Tuesday setter and to Mr. K for the hints and cat pics.

    1. Hi, Merusa. I pondered putting the brilliant 6d cartoon on top, but I wasn’t sure how many UK readers would get it.

  31. A very pretty girl got into a first class compartment full of men on a train. She got out The Times, opened it
    at the crossword, and quickly filled in the whole grid. Said compartment of men even more impressed. She
    got out at the next station, and after she had gone, one of the men looked over the crossword……………..
    Similar story!

  32. Late to the party having been out for much of the day but had solved this one quite quickly over breakfast. No particular favourite but I did rather like 23a plus 20&24d.
    Thanks to our setter and to Mr K for the blog and the felines – glad my girls never thought of ironing the cats!

    Yes, I agree with the Kitties when it comes to what constitutes a ‘proper’ solve – wish that I could always achieve it, particularly where some of the Toughies are concerned. I hate leaving clues partially parsed so, if all else fails, I turn to my ‘phone-a-friend’ – everybody should have one!

  33. Felt like an easy Monday, I was one of the solvers who starts with the downs, this was a big shoe-in for me.
    1.5*/3.5* but still a very enjoyable puzzle.
    Fav 11ac & 15ac
    Many thanks to setter and MrK

  34. Embarrassed to say that I could not solve 18d! But it seems to me that ‘excellent’ is much better than ‘good’ and my failure to expand my ever-growing cricket knowledge with ‘bye’ just added to my dilemma. Until then, I had breezed through this most enjoyable puzzle, the enjoyment further enhanced by Mr Kitty’s blog and all of his felicities. Podium winners: 14d, 1d, 15a. (My ‘Greene’s’ had all the ‘e’s, by the way.) *** /*** Thanks to Mr Kitty and the setter.

    Sadly and unsettlingly, we seniors over here (in South Carolina and I guess elsewhere in the States) are being told to stay home these days, especially those of us in our 80s. Six more cases of the virus overnight, though only one here in Charleston. Anyway, not to worry: more time for puzzles and Hilary Mantel’s final Cromwell novel, which arrives today–the day of its release over here.

    Stay well, everybody.

    1. I stay home anyway, not a bad thing as I have lots to entertain here. In any case, per Der Gropenfuhrer it’s all a hoax anyway.
      Did you click on the subpic at 6d?

  35. An enjoyable solve for us. A slowish start in the NW and picked up speed as we worked through the grid and got onto the right wavelength.
    Thanks Mr Ron and Mr K.

  36. An enjoyable crossword, thanks to the setter and Mr K.

    I remember Reginald Iolanthe Perrin filling in the crossword a la Gielgud on his daily commute (it might just have been in one episode, it was a long time ago!?).

  37. I just don’t see 5d. Copper doesn’t rust, it’s not a rusty colour particularly.

    “Old iron“ would work better.

  38. Thanks to everyone who has replied so far with their thoughts on what constitutes “solving”. I won’t reply to all of them individually, but their authors can rest assured that they are being read and appreciated by thousands of blog visitors. I did smile muchly at the image inspired by Bluebird’s post of The Telegraph sending examiners round to the winner’s house to verify that they can parse everything.

    Thanks also for the amusing anecdotes about other followers of the Geilgud approach to solving crosswords.

    1. With what seems to be the consensus view of ‘solving’, I’m now questioning if I’ve ever solved a crossword.

      Personally, given the effort the bloggers put in here, it seems rather rude to work out every single parsing detail myself and shun your wonderful service!

  39. I won’t repeat all the comments made regarding so many of the clues and wording, word usage in the clues etc. as it has all been said.
    No issue with the 17a clue electronically, but I can see for the newspaper version it would be frustrating missing a letter.
    Only two real issues. First was 1d. How on earth one is supposed to realise that the golfer is German to get the answer is beyond me. Had to use the peek cheat there. Am I missing something???
    Then 23a gave me problems as I had a different word for 20d for the longest time and needed to change the 2nd and 3rd letters of the word so 23a would work … but I still liked my original answer better!
    15a, 17a & 21d favourite clues.

    Thanks to setter and Mr K

  40. I don’t mind leaving a last clue when I complete a crossword. A bit like leaving a bit of food on your plate to tell your host that there was plenty.
    Well, that’s my excuse when I get stuck on that last pesky clue.
    5d almost came in that category.
    Didn’t like it. I mean, look at the statue of liberty. Is it copper? yes. Is it rusty? no.
    Thanks to the setter and to Mr K for the review.

  41. Evening. Agree with all the previous comments regarding today’s puzzle. I was missing an ‘e’ too regarding Greene on the iPad.
    I can’t rest until all clues parsed; very often popping in to this excellent site for our trusty bloggers explanation. I also love to read all the comments although I don’t often break cover to comment myself.
    I’d like to echo Robert Clarke’s sentiments about everyone keeping safe at the moment. My hands are raw from washing and sanitising!

  42. Another very enjoyable puzzle, needing only 3 hints to finish. 1d being one because of course I didn’t know the golfer (and I think we’ve seen him before, but I’d forgotten). Thanks to setter, on whose wavelength I very happily landed, and Mr K for the hints and pictures.

    No, a puzzle is not finished until all the boxes are full, with answers that fit the clues. I’m OK with doing an occasional bung in when I am sure the word is right, but then I will have a look at the hint to see how the parsing works. The frustration comes when I can follow the clue and the parsing but still not be able to equate the answer with the definition. None like that today. But to fill in words that are irrelevant to clues makes zero sense to me.

  43. Re when a crossword is solved … that’s why we read this blog! We can generally fill in most or all of the answers but it would be much less fun if we could not then turn to the blog for explanations for the clue or clues we couldn’t fully parse. Thank you!
    On the virus front, glad to hear people taking precautions, it’s hard to get anyone in our part of France to take it seriously as yet. General astonishment when we won’t shake hands … sigh. They’ll learn, unfortunately.

  44. Cannot reconcile the ‘advanced’ bit of 17d therefore in my book I have failed to complete today’s crossword. Nevertheless I did enjoy trying. Gratitude to all.

  45. How can I obtain an electronic version of the D T cryptic crossword and where can I obtain a copy of the cat being ironed in 26 a

    1. Hello, Colin. A straightforward way to get the puzzles electronically is to subscribe at puzzles.telegraph.co.uk

      On a computer you should be able to right click on the cat ironing pic and save it as a picture (it’s an animated GIF). On an Android device a long press on it brings up a download prompt. There must be an analogous action on Apple devices.

      1. You can also Google “cat ironing gif”. There’s a longer version that WordPress wouldn’t allow me to upload because it’s too big.

        1. Mr K, Many thanks for the information I have forwarded the cat stuff to my daughter and her mother … both are cat crazy

  46. Mr K, thank you so much for the felines – absolutely made my day, as did the setter! Not often I’m on the correct wavelength immediately, but today I was! I’m in the “not complete until parsed” camp. Thanks to all! 🙃

  47. I haven’t read most of the comments but most of this was straightforward except for 17a unsolvable in the paper version and 5d a little tenuous I might suggest. End of rant. End of comment!

  48. Hi Mr K, I agree that the crossword is not over until the word is in and the parsing understood. Occasionally I’ll get answer right but I’m not exactly sure why, aside from the fact that it fits and works with the other interlocking clues. Usually it will be something idiosyncratic about UK life. The extra insight provided by the bloggers always helps to provide the ‘ah ha’ moment. Cheers🦇

  49. Late again…
    Comfy solve, Greene was correct online otherwise I too would have been baffled. No problem with the golfer, unless you have had the misfortune, as I have, to follow him round Royal St.George’s one year in the Open Championship. He brought a new dimension to slow play.
    Thanks Mr.K, much of the fun in the crossword is sorting out the parsing, and the setter.

  50. Crossword is solved when all the answers in BUT for satisfaction it is necessary to parse. People do not improve unless they parse which helps remembering a similar clue or method next time eg 18d. Various synonyms are used for goodbye including ta ta a day or two ago. Also for my own satisfaction I do not consider solving with hints or electronic aids a satisfactory completion. We could all solve in 1* time if we did. Personally I consider use of a dictionary legit and often google to check my answer. I originally put in 20d without parsing as Elation assuming it to be name of a symphony but realised mistake when I solved 23a. Still needed hint to parse after the event. I do not have a problem with 5d. Due to the colour of my hair when young I was called various nicknames including Cobbernob and Rusty. Favourites 1a (straight in) although strangely did not spot the animal immediately, 15a and 8 and 18d. Thanks setter for an excellent solve and to Mr K.

  51. I never write my last answer in. It is a waste of time and ink. It also allows others to ‘finish’ my crossword for me.

    1. When I cannot finish I pass to a friend with the words “I have left one or two easy ones for you to do”

  52. I couldn’t initially agree with the 5d answer but think reddish = copper coloured is the way to look at it. I don’t think excellent is the same as good and anyway ‘good’ has been devalued rather like ‘nice’. 11a was barely cryptic but I felt there were some good clues, even if not excellent.
    I consider a crossword finished when all the answers are filled in without the hints, even if I can’t parse some of them, although as Weekend Wanda says satisfaction comes from parsing.
    Thanks to Mr K and setter

  53. I was completely thrown by the incorrect anagram in 17a, and thought the use of ‘excellent’ (which I see as superlative) to mean something else (which I see as mediocre) was unfair. Perhaps I’m too literal. Old age?

  54. I’ve been painting cat pictures for my wife’s cat charity auction, so I’m five days behind on the crossword. I agree with the iffy definition for RUSTY and also that the unusual typo for 17d made me clean my glasses before realising it was indeed a typo.

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