DT 29313 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29313

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29313

Hints and tips by Mr K

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

Hello, everyone.  I thought today's puzzle was rather good.  I encountered quite a few smiles during the solve, and I was left wondering who might have crafted it because the style felt fresh.  We always enjoy hearing from setters, so if our mystery compiler is reading please comment below so we know who to thank. 

Does anyone else ever experience periods when crossword solving starts to feel like a chore?  If so, how did you deal with them? 

In the hints below most indicators are italicized and precise definitions are underlined.  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    Reason for yawning in bedroom, unsound (7)
BOREDOM:  An anagram (unsound) of BEDROOM 

5a    Cancel a British language, but not initially (7)
ABOLISH:  Link together A from the clue, the single letter for British, and all but the first letter (…, but not initially) of a European language 

9a    Butterfly  mark (5)
COMMA:  A double definition, with the mark appearing in this hint

10a   Vaudeville is making a comeback, much on the periphery, everything considered (5,4)
MUSIC HALL:  The reversal (making a comeback) of IS from the clue is inserted in MUCH from the clue (… much on the periphery), all followed by a short word meaning everything

11a   Writing skill happens in novel about maiden (10)
PENMANSHIP:  An anagram (novel) of HAPPENS IN containing (about) the cricket abbreviation for maiden 

12a   But one is a monster! (4)
YETI:  A synonym of but is followed by the Roman one 

14a   Mission in embracing old gospeller ? (8,4)
QUESTION MARK:  Chain together a mission or search, IN from the clue containing (embracing) the abbreviation for old, and the author of a biblical Gospel. If you're wondering if there are other examples of clues like this, have a look at the intro to my seventh blog

18a   Where many miles are covered, eventually (2,3,4,3)
IN THE LONG RUN:  The answer read literally could describe where many miles are covered

21a   Cheese prepared on the turn? (4)
EDAM:  The reversal (on the turn) of a synonym of prepared 

22a   Control quota to include backing of winter sport (10)
REGULATION:  A quota or allocation containing (to include) the reversal (backing) of a scary winter sport 

25a   Knowing conga isn't unusual (9)
COGNISANT:  An anagram (unusual) of CONGA ISN'T 

26a   Small picture I placed beside leader in newspaper (5)
INSET:  Concatenate I from the clue, the first letter (leader) in Newspaper, and a synonym of placed 

27a   English county formerly, until, oddly, getting into foreign currency (7)
RUTLAND:  The odd letters of UnTiL inserted in (getting into) a foreign currency 

28a   In majestic style, series of tennis shots entertaining for example (7)
REGALLY:  A series of tennis shots containing (entertaining) the Latin abbreviation for "for example" 



1d    Pecs I suspect under top of big muscle (6)
BICEPS:  An anagram (suspect) of PECS I following (under, in a down clue) the first letter (top) of Big 

2d    Bloke in crimson gets place in custody (6)
REMAND:  A bloke or chap is inserted in a synonym of crimson 

3d    Short piece about a person who's overly emotional (5,5)
DRAMA QUEEN:  An alcohol-related synonym of short and a chess piece are sandwiching (about) A from the clue

4d    Parent has final word in complaint (5)
MUMPS:  One of your parents, informally, is followed by the abbreviation that introduces some final words added to a letter 

5d    While on the water, launching an attack (9)
ASSAILING:  Stick together a synonym of while and an activity taking place on the water

6d    Head scratched, contact that hurt! (4)
OUCH:  A synonym of contact has its first letter deleted (head scratched, …

7d    Easy raid, botched probably (1,4,3)
I DARE SAY:  An anagram (botched) of EASY RAID 

8d    For a bit, Rachel's in Kigali, capital city (8)
HELSINKI:  The answer is hidden as part of (for a bit, …) the remainder of the clue 

13d   Covering article, rude about it (10)
INSULATING:  A grammatical article has rude or offensive wrapped about it 

15d   Where runs are registered, twenty and ten, perhaps? (9)
SCORECARD:  Follow a synonym of twenty with something of which a ten is an example (…, perhaps?

16d   Attachment to arm when bent, reclines (8)
SILENCER:  An anagram (bent) of RECLINES 

17d   Tidy, possible deal? (8)
STRAIGHT:  A synonym of tidy is also the name of a decent hand in poker (possible deal)

19d   Listen out for something sparkling? (6)
TINSEL:  An anagram (out) of LISTEN 

20d   Tricky to negotiate -- like a reef? (6)
KNOTTY:  Whimsically, the answer could mean like a reef (or a cat's paw)

23d   State  total (5)
UTTER:  A straightforward double definition, would you say?

24d   Italian city is in middle of campaign (4)
PISA:  IS from the clue inserted in the middle letters of camPAign 


Thanks to today’s setter for a fun solve.  Top clue for me was 3d, with 14a, 2d, and 20d in the runner-up spots.  I liked the quickie pun too, once I twigged that it must have three words.  Which clues did you like best?


The Quick Crossword pun:  MIGHT + RAINS + SLATE = MY TRAIN'S LATE

85 comments on “DT 29313

  1. If it hadn’t been for word blindness at 13d, I would have had this completed in an easy ** time, as it was, it took ***.

    COTD has to be the Quickie pun.

    Many thanks to the setter and Mr.K.

  2. A sprinkling of Hmms spoiled an otherwise very enjoyable puzzle which was completed at a gallop – 2*/3.5*.
    Candidates for favourite – 10a, 18a, and 3d – and the winner is 18a.
    Thanks to the setter and Mr K.

  3. Thoroughly enjoyed this offering. Plenty of good clues of which 22a was my favourite. My completion time was massively extended by the time it took for the penny to drop with 13d which was my last in.
    Thanks to all.

    1. No, that was no problem, I got stuck at 15d! I never did solve it and feel so stupid. I had the “score” but could not get rid of “board” in my tiny brain.

  4. Thanks, Mr K and the setter. I also really liked the quickie pun (even though it wasn’t true today).

  5. A quite enjoyable puzzle with a few challenging clues (**/****). I liked 14d and 17a best. I rarely get jaded about the cryptic crossword and look forward to the newspaper coming every day. There is a bit of teeth- gnashing on the rare occasions when it’s not delivered. Thanks to the setter (I didn’t recognise the style either) and to Mr K for the hints.

  6. Loved this in my new found isolation! For no health reasons, just age. I had a struggle in S east corner with 22 a as thinking of the wrong winter sport. Thank you to Mr K and the mystery setter. I hope we find out their identity.

  7. Mr K, a “chore”…a necessary but tedious task? It’s only a puzzle so if I’m not in the mood I don’t do one. Same with cleaning the car.

    I found today’s pretty straightforward and enjoyable, say 2*/3* with the ? my favourite.

    I must have been in the mood as I then did the Silvanus Toughie which was a fun pangram.

    Thanks to setter and Mr K.

  8. Like MalcolmR, I too fumbled 13d, which pushed me into *** time in this witty and sleight-of-hand gem. Many likes today, including these podium winners: 22a, 3d, and 8d (I don’t usually cite lurkers unless they are particularly memorable and cringeworthy, and this one is!). Almost a shame not to add another few clues to a packed podium, but there you are. May I add a little personal note? In my many peregrinations in 35+ years of travel in the UK (including a year’s guest-lectureship at the University of Nottingham), one lovely autumn weekend I ‘found’ little Rutland (county it was then) and thought I’d arrived, belatedly, in Eden. That was back in the 70s, and I wonder how much things have changed. Almost 50 years later, I still have vivid images of Rutland’s many charms. Well, back to business: many thanks to the setter and always to Mr Kitty, hoping he is well and coping–as we all must over here–with a leaderless Federation that seemingly cares only about the next election. Well, I have news….! *** / ****

    1. All we get from our revered leader is his and his cohorts addressing the nation, “full of sound and fury, signifying nothing”, and I’m getting so sick and tired of it. As for blaming President Obama, I think they’ve reached the bottom of the barrel. Maybe I should not watch the news and read a book instead.

      1. Hi, Merusa. Don’t know if you’ve been reading Hilary Mantel’s Cromwell Trilogy, but I’m on page 228 of the third volume, The Mirror and the Light, and it is just brilliant, as are the first two volumes (which I re-read in preparation for the third volume, which has been out a week), just the thing to keep me from watching and cringing and nearly crying at the boob tube. As a constant reader, I’ve long managed to keep the horses from being frightened over things we can’t control. This Mantel Trilogy is just the ticket right now. Only 529 pages to go! (I just saw that our Grand Neanderthal wants to send us all checks–to be sure that we vote for him. Childish, churlish Clot!)

      2. If ever there was a time when we needed a sane and clever leader, this was it. But we don’t. God help us.

    2. Hello, Robert, and thanks for your concern. At this point I’m well. It is fortunate that states have the power, if not the budget, to implement many of the necessary measures that should be directives from the federal government.

    3. Nothing to do with the crossword, but delightful Rutland was still there in the nineties. At that time there was a wonderful brewery, Oakham, which was of course the capital city. Their beers are still as good but for some inexplicable reason Oakham Brewery have deserted their wonderful surroundings and emigrated to the metropolis of Peterborough. Some would call it progress!

    4. Coming from Nottinghamshire I enjoyed reading your memory of Rutland when I came to the crossword and blog. However there is a superfluous word in the clue. Rutland was absorbed into Leicestershire in the 1974 reforms but its County status was restored at a later date. I never new the reason for this as other historic counties were lost for ever. Perhaps friends in high places?

    5. I think you will find it is still Rutland. Many of us never accepted being integrated into another county.

  9. 2.5*/4*. I enjoyed this a lot, particularly when combined with Mr K’s blog and pictures. The hidden illustration when you click on the picture for 9a is brilliant and ample proof of the need for punctuation pedantry.

    14a was my favourite.

    Many thanks to Messrs R & K.

    P.S. Thank goodness for this blog. This brilliant community is going to be essential to keep us sane over the coming months.
    P.P.S. And today we’ve got the delight of a Silvanus Toughie to enjoy too.

    1. 4d suggests P.S. as a final word yet you have. P.P.S. And you have started a sentence with an And (As I have just done). I’m just not sure anymore.

      1. PPS is Latin for post postcriptum, meaning an additional postscript. And there’s nothing wrong with starting a sentence with “and” – it’s been dealt with on here before. What worries me more than those two “issues” is that you’ve used a capital letter A for As in the brackets – totally unforgiveable! :-)

        * I do realise that you may not be being 100% serious.

  10. One or two clues took a bit of thought. It didn’t feel like a regular setter but I’m not the best judge. 22a favourite – once I’d overcome the urge to fit “ski” backwards into the answer!

  11. My friends who live in 27a would be disgusted with our setter for robbing the area of its county status – that’s been tried before but the resulting uproar eventually forced the powers-that- be to back down. To answer the question from Robert C above – last time I went to stay with them the place had lost none of its charm- still abounding in thatched roofs and mellow stone.
    I certainly enjoyed today’s puzzle despite that blunder – 13d was the last to fall here and my top two were 9&18a.

    Thanks to our setter and to Mr K for another of his excellently illustrated reviews – I particularly liked the picture of the overly emotional one!

    A Silvanus Toughie to come – what a good day in crosswordland.

    1. Thanks, jane, for the reassuring update on Oakham and Rutland; those are just the wonderful images in my mind’s eye still: ‘thatched roofs and mellow stone’. I arrived on an autumnal Friday evening just as the sun was casting its golden glow on those roofs and stones. What peace was there!

      I’d also like to second Rabbit Dave’s praise of this ‘brilliant community’ (the blog’s commentariat). Please do continue to keep us sane–and thanks again, jane and R.D.

      1. I believe that certain residents of Oakham would return mail addressed ‘Oakham, Leicestershire’ , marked ‘ No such address’.

        1. When it was designated as a unitary authority it was rolled into Leicestershire. Personally I was pleased it regained it’s county status. I always applauded those who refused to accept it’s demise. It’s lovely.

    2. I understand Rutland was trying to block the first MacDonalds from being built in the county. The youngsters wanted it but the elder residents didn’t. Who won? I hope it wasn’t Ronald. :negative:

      1. Me too! One feather in my cap is that I bought my friends a copy of the latest Collins Bird Guide as a ‘thank you for having me to stay’ and they’ve have now changed from being the ones who just dropped me off at the visitor centre, into avid birders!

    3. Is Rutland still a county then? I’ve done some quick internet research on this, and Middlesex, and still can’t determine the true status of either?

      1. Rutland is technically a unitary authority but is to all intents and purposes a county. It was temporarily part of Leicestershire but became separate again in 1997. My brother lives just across the border in Melton Mowbray so I have driven through it many times and explored Rutland Water. Most definitely not an ‘old’ county, it IS a county.
        Struggled to work out 3d but otherwise a very pleasant solve.

  12. Yes that was an enjoyable ride with good clues all parsable and deducible. As with others above I hesitated over 13d which didn’t occur to me for covering and I had been trying to include an anagram (about) of rude – silly me! Fav was simple little 20d. Thank you Mysteron and MrK. In this enforced isolation thank goodness for cruciverbal workouts (they don’t yet feel like a chore) and particularly the friendly BD blog 🌹.

  13. I thought this was very straightforward today although did struggle to parse the ten in 15d. 4d was my favourite. Thanks to Mr K and the setter.

  14. Today’s offering was a real gem and most enjoyable. So many good clues that it is almost impossible to choose a favourite but I thought the lurker at 8d was rather good. Also, mention needs to be made of 14a, 3d and 12d.

    The Quickie Pun was excellent.

    Grateful thanks to the setter and to Mr. K. For the hints, cats and Deep Purple. How many of us who, like me, “play at” playing the guitar have tried this riff but failed to make it sound right?

    My good lady and I decided to order groceries online today from Sainsbury’s. No available delivery slots until April!

    Please stay well everyone and as Rabbit Dave said, the blog could well keep us all sane.

    1. I just managed to get one of the few remaining slots on Waitrose website on 26th March. Apparently the whole site crashed just afterwards and was still off-line this morning

    2. Steve – try playing it with two fingers (or a thumb and a finger), one on the D open and one on the G open and go up from there – changes the sound dynamics. I read somewhere once that Ritchie Blackmore didn’t / doesn’t use a pick for the intro.

    3. Try working in a music shop. The sound of the Smoke on the Water riff used to drive me mad. Fortunately Noel Gallagher played a Takemine and the riff of the day became Wonderwall. So much nicer on the ear.

  15. No need to look further than the brilliant 14a for my COTD. Overall an outstanding puzzle that was not too difficult but was high on enjoyment. Just right for the first day of what is going to be a very difficult few months for us all. Keep well and stay safe.

    Thanks to both Misters.

  16. I enjoyed this a lot despite having a bit of a 14a about 14a. So many clues to admire but I liked 27a plus 3,4 and 13d in particular.
    Thought we may have been in for a clip of the Eagles re 18a but I’ll settle for the mighty Deep Purple as our musical highlight.
    Many thanks to the setter and to Mr K (always a great review).

    1. Hi, Stephen. I’m afraid that particular Eagles track doesn’t do much for me, so I left it out.

      1. I’m with you Mr Kitty. I feel like that about the whole of The Eagles catalogue.

  17. Most enjoyable. I agree that the crossword is a bright moment in an otherwise pretty dreary outlook. I love the idea that bedroom is an anagram of boredom (just as saturnalia is an anagram of Australian) isn’t language delicious?

  18. Like everyone l thought this was brilliant.Fullof great clues and many smiles.l was too latet to comment yesterday but also enjoyed that greatly.Missed the lurker at 8d but the answer was obvious from the checkers.Apart from that lcould parse the rest so very nearly completed to Mr. K s standard but l bet l took a lot longer.Thankyou to setter and blogger.

    1. Hi, Willie. Don’t know if you took longer – I am not fast at solving these things. Speed is not a prerequisite for being a blogger. Accuracy is much more important. Well done on that count.

  19. My first comment on this wonderful blog although I’ve enjoyed the banter and conversation for some time. Really enjoyed this puzzle but was stumped by 22a and couldn’t parse the last four letters of 15d (although I bunged it in). Can anyone explain? Thanks to all.

    1. Welcome to the blog, redKlaw.
      Now you’ve de-lurked I hope we’ll get regular comments from you.

      22a is Ration (quota) containing luge reversed.
      15d ten as you might find in a hand of bridge or whist.

    2. Welcome from me as well. Glad that you’re enjoying the site.

      I do like the name you’ve adopted here. Clever.

  20. Not too difficult today, but certainly a good puzzle and an enjoyable solve. Fav: 14a. 2.5* / 3*

  21. Thanks to the setter and to Mr Kitty for the review and hints. A very nice puzzle today, with a few to make you think. I liked 14a, but my favourite was 18a, which was a real penny drop moment. Last in was 12d, preceded by 22a, both took a while. Was 3*/3* for me.

  22. Hugely enjoyable, wotta treat! I would really like to know the setter, c’mon, show yourself.
    As noted above, I didn’t solve 15d, don’t know how I missed that.
    I loved the monster, the long run, the emotional person, and so much more
    Thanks to our setter and to Mr. K for his usual fun review and pics, particularly the subpic at 9a.

  23. After struggling with the DT crossword for 20 years to get more than 3 or 4 answers on my own (mainly anagrams), discovering this help site yesterday was like switching the light on. Thank you very much Mr. K for explaining the keywords. Might buy the paper daily now, just for the crossword.

    1. Welcome to the blog, Arizonacharlie

      We’re glad that you found us and happy that you’re finding the site useful. If you’re only buying the Telegraph to get the crosswords, https://puzzles.telegraph.co.uk is a cheaper option. You can solve the puzzle online or print it out, and the site also gives you access to thousands of old crosswords.

  24. We hesitated over the second word of 15d and waited for confirmatory checking letters before putting it in. 14a had us head scratching too.
    Good fun to solve.
    Thanks Mr Ron and Mr K.

  25. A bit on the tough side, and a handful of clues that got a sad, rather smiley, face beside them. Friends took us to Belvoir Castle on a visit home a few years back. Lovely place. Off to see if the loo paper delivery arrived at the supermarket, in the hope I can get some for our younger daughter and her family. Haven’t seen any on the shelves here for a couple of weeks. Just a galling sign saying we are limited to 2 packs per customer…. Panic buying is out of control here. Even milk is selling out. It’s a people virus not a cow virus. Oh well.

    1. Update, I got to the supermarket just as the loo paper was being unboxed, hooray, for one pack for my daughter. Never imagined I would feel such an achievement at finding and buying loo paper 😊

  26. A very enjoyable Tuesday puzzle that had me smiling more than once. The top half flew in with the lower half taking more thought.
    2.5*/4* favs 11ac & 14ac
    Many thanks to setter & MrK for a thorough review.
    I only find my hobbies a chore when I overdo them & seem to go into an aversion stage where I totally abandon them for a recovery period! Seems to work for me.

  27. Definitely not a 3* … more like a 1-2*. Seemed like everything jumped out at me with a few that needed a little more thought. No hints required to finish the puzzle today though.
    Favourite clues 14a, 27a & 7d
    Like others I found 13d was a stickler and last in.
    Another sunny day on the West Coast of Canada … the only bright spot as “you know what” continues on and the daily changes in life as mandated by medical and gov’t authorities and leaders.
    Just a few hours until the next puzzle!

    Thanks to setter and Mr K

    1. Hello, Port C. Ratings are specific to each blogger. On my scale, 3* means average difficulty for a back-page crossword. I put it at that level because I thought a few clues would be tricky to parse.

  28. What an odd crossword. The top half R&W but the bottom was almost impossible at least to me.
    Not enjoyable, too difficult.
    Thx for the hints

  29. Another cracking puzzle but as always there were some real teasers in there. Lots of clues to like so no real favourites. As to crossword solving being a chore, it is nice to settle down with the Telegraph solve the word wheel hopefully, then on to the crossword.
    Part of the enjoyment is a challenge, and learning something new nearly every day. All our brains work differently, some constantly find cryptic crosswords easier, some like me really struggle, but isn’t it great when you have struggked but completed it. Take geart and keep solving.
    Thanks to Mr K and setter

  30. I’m having to rely on a friend to bring me my paper, not through self isolation but because my aging 4×4 has been in the garage for over a week now. A result of ploughing through axle deep mud for far too long. So I spent the afternoon trying to source yet another hard to find part, just to help the garage out, and succeeded! So I was glad when my paper finally arrived and what a treat. Super crossword lots to enjoy. Favourite amongst many 11a. Many thanks to the setter and Mr. K. It was tempered slightly when I fed my dogs tonight and one of my old boys didn’t look too good. I’m afraid he’s not long for this world.

      1. Thankyou. He’s not the one who’s had 2 strokes and recovered. He’s suddenly gone downhill and 2 years younger as well, only 14. The other one is bouncing about like a 2 year old.

  31. 13d was my last one in too and it took me ages to get that one. The rest not too much of a struggle but very enjoyable.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Mr. K for his usual enjoyable blog.

    Keep well everyone.

  32. An enjoyable puzzle with just a few clues giving problems. Which is how it should be I think. Thanks to Mr K and the setter for giving a pleasant break from the ongoing crisis.

  33. Late on parade today. It’s a long time since I solved this puzzle at 6.30am. I did enjoy it all the way through as did most who have commented. We do seem to have an international following on the blog. Maybe that reflects the internationality of the blogging team. Thanks to our setter today. Thanks to Mr Kitty for the blog.

  34. Late on parade today. It’s a long time since I solved this puzzle at 6.30am. I did enjoy it all the way through as did most who have commented. We do seem to have an international following on the blog. Maybe that reflects the internationality of the blogging team. Thanks to our setter today. Thanks to Mr Kitty for the blog.

  35. And even later on parade…A very enjoyable and slightly challenging offer. A crossword of two halves with the bottom requiring a bit more thought. Favourites 10, 12 and 14a and 16d. Re 16d, I needed a hint from my crossword buddy that it was an anagram.
    If your still there Mr K, when solving becomes a chore I do something else for a while. Sometimes you see the obvious with a fresh look. And a question for you? Do the bloggers ever need help from a fellow blogger? Cheers🦇

    1. Hello, FF, I’m still here. “Chore” was a poor choice of words – it’s more like solving is not as much fun as it used to be, but I worry that if I stop I may never get going again. Perhaps I need to look for puzzles elsewhere. Re your question, bloggers are both mortal and under time pressure, so you will occasionally see a blogger here thank another for explaining an elusive parse as the clock ticked down to publication time. When I want a second opinion on something I just bounce it off Kitty (and vice versa).

  36. Brilliant. Only surprised the Rutland error slipped through as everything else was spot on. I too thought of board (too long) for the second part of 15d. However, when foxed, one of the things I consider as well as cricket is a playing card or card game. No Mr K rarely do I find a puzzle a chore. Occasionally frustrated if left with a couple with four letters only especially when the checkers are vowels. Thanks Mr K and secret setter.

  37. Meant to comment on this yesterday but was overcome with chores……no cleaner until we can have social contacts again……I think she deserves more than I am paying her…..
    Anyway I found this crossword a bit mixed. A lot to enjoy but some much more difficult. I did not make it easy for myself, however, by writing in ‘made’ instead of ‘edam’ at 21a.
    I do wish Mr Meringue would stop saying ‘only 83 days left to go now’……expect he will and move on to ‘only 82 days etc ‘ now. Shades of 10 green bottles sung on car journeys…….I wonder if anyone is keeping statistics on the increase in domestic violence during periods of social distancing ?

    Thanks to the setter and to Mr K and his great pictures.

  38. Caught up with this today. Couldn’t get the anagram part of the clue for 16d, just that it was an attachment to arm. Will remember ‘bent’ as an anagram indicator. Favourite clue 5d – not so much for the clue but an excuse to watch the clip of Deep Purple! Thanks Mr K

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