DT 29317 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29317

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29317

A full review by crypticsue

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This puzzle was published on 21st March 2020

BD Rating – Difficulty *Enjoyment ****

A lovely, enjoyable and friendly Saturday Prize Puzzle, apart, of course, from 19d. The setter resolved our queries with that one (see below) but I do wonder whether the solutions to 6a and 8a were a message from him to the World’s Best Crossword Blog?

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


6a    Entire ancient city has time for good health (3,3,4)
ALL THE BEST – ALL (entire) THEBES (ancient city) T (time)

8a    Online piece from student in Slough (4)
BLOG – L (learner, student) in BOG (slough)

9a    European abroad sees wild flower as national symbol (9)
EDELWEISS – E (European) and an anagram (abroad) of SEES WILD

11a    Weighty book for my attention? (4)
TOME – TO ME (for my attention)

12a    Little booze where non-drinker gets round in (3)
TOT – TT (non-drinker) gets O (round letter) in

13a    Tragic royal‘s damaged pectoral area (9)
CLEOPATRA – An anagram (damaged) of PECTORAL A (area)

16a    Hothead liable to blow top in Sicily? (4)
ETNA – A cryptic definition of the Sicilian volcano – I did go to the top and the ground was hot!

17a    Rook is served with fish dish (7)
RISSOLE – R (Rook in chess notation) IS (from the clue) SOLE (fish)

18a    Release gang without charge (3,4)
SET FREE – SET (gang) FREE (without charge)

20a    Slant appears in south at botanical gardens (4)
SKEW – S (south) KEW (botanical gardens)

21a    Boxing ace, Prescott walloped onlooker (9)
SPECTATOR – An anagram (walloped) of PRESCOTT ‘boxing’ A (ace) – a very good surface reading describing something that John Prescott MP actually did.

23a    Successful song delivers beat (3)
HIT – Double definition

24a    Political opponent from Byzantium (4)
ANTI – Lurking in (from) ByzANTIum

25a    Organism spreads to consume upper-class twit (9)
IGNORAMUS – An anagram (spreads) of ORGANISM to ‘consume’ U (upper-class) – a lovely word you don’t hear much in these politically-correct times

29a    British individual hip for example (4)
BONE – B (British) ONE (individual)

30a    Barnet lies approximately 580 miles from here! (4,6)
EAST BERLIN – An anagram (approximately) of BARNET LIES


1d    Ships not completed — take flight (4)
FLEE – Incomplete FLEEt (ships)

2d    Some nasty eye inflammation (4)
STYE – Lurking in some of naSTY Eye

3d    Mike’s misery over Persian’s remark? (4)
MEOW – M (Mike in the NATO Phonetic Alphabet) and a reversal (over) of WOE (misery)

4d    Give drugs to banish cold and help settle (7)
MEDIATE – ‘Banish’ the C for Cold from MEDIcATE (give drugs)

5a    Seize public land we hear, and animals (10)
COMMANDEER – A homophone (we hear) of COMMON (public land) followed by DEER (animals)

7d    Witness mates, hammered, opening old wine (9)
TESTAMENT – An anagram (hammered) of MATES inserted into (opening) TENT (old wine)

8d    Dairy product from perfect female in club (9)
BUTTERFAT – UTTER (perfect) F (female) inserted into BAT (club)

10d    Liberal loves convenience (3)
LOO – L (liberal) O O (loves)

13d    Youngsters spotted with it cross Yellow River first (10)
CHICKENPOX – CHICKEN (yellow) and PO (Gnomey’s River) go before (first) X (cross)

14d    Former wife involved in dancing this reel (9)
ERSTWHILE – W (wife) ‘involved’ in an anagram (dancing) of THIS REEL

15d    Pasty-faced saint in eastern land (9)
PALESTINE – PALE (pasty-faced) ST (saint) IN (from the clue) E (eastern)

19d    Art expressing the ultimate in shabbiness? (7)
MEANEST – I wrote the following on Saturday morning: Thou art expressing or thou MEANEST meanest these days being a word that could be used to describe ultimate shabbiness, shabby being one definition of mean. On Saturday evening, our very nice setter (cryptically or otherwise, he’s not really an Extremely Bad Dog) confirmed that this interpretation of the wordplay was his intention all along – see http://bigdave44.com/2020/03/21/dt-29317-hints/#comment-418147

22d    Turkish commander edges away from heathen (3)
AGA- Remove the edges from pAGAn (heathen)

26d    Fortieth curry for Cockneys? (4)
RUBY – The gift for a fortieth wedding anniversary or cockney rhyming slang for a curry

27d    Sheep turned on Yankee woman (4)
MARY – A reversal (turned) of RAM (sheep) on Y (Yankee in the NATO Phonetic Alphabet)

28a    Egyptian port mentioned (4)
SAID – The name of an Egyptian port or another way of saying mentioned

5 comments on “DT 29317

  1. Still feel 19d lacked indication and belonged in a toughie whilst the rest of the crossword was fairly straightforward. Loved 13d though and 3d for misdirection.

  2. Having read CS’s comment above and EBD’s comment on last Saturday’s blog, I now understand 19d but I do award it a big Hmm. For me, definitely the sort of clue that EBD’s master (Donnybrook?) should keep for one of his Toughies.
    Thanks to both.

  3. I was surprised last Saturday at how many people still had problems with 19d even after it had been explained several times.
    On similar lines it’s worth remembering (because it will appear sooner or later) that ‘French art’ in a clue is often ES – as in ‘tu es’ (thou art).
    Thanks to Donnybrook for the puzzle and CS for the blog.

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