DT 29324 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29324

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29324

Hints and tips by pommers

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Hola from the still locked down Vega Baja. It’s not been too bad so far because the weather has been cold and wet for the last three weeks so one doesn’t really feel like going out.  A trip to the local bar would be nice though.

Today’s crossword was all set to be a one star difficulty when I got all but three of the acrosses on first pass but there’s a couple near the bottom that held out for a while so I’ve gone for two stars.  I count seven clues involving anagrams so I know some of you will be pleased.  Two of them are fourteen letters so you get a lot of checkers.

As usual the ones I liked most are in blue.  The definitions are underlined in the clues and the answers are under the “click here” buttons so don’t click on them unless you really want to see the answer.  Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.

Across

7a           Youth perhaps, brewed green tea (8)
TEENAGER:  Anagram (brewed) of GREEN TEA.  I’m sure I’ve seen this more than once before.

9a           Language from American artist and writer (6)
ARABIC:  Start with A(merican) and follow with the usual two letter artist and finally a brand of ball-point pen.

10a         This helps one to see wine son overlooked (6)
RETINA:  It’s a Greek wine but without the S (S(on) overlooked).  This stuff’s a bit like wine but not as nice!

11a         Singer, elderly, confused about love (8)
YODELLER:  Anagram (confused) of ELDERLY placed around (about) an O (love in tennis).  Does this really count as singing?

12a         Parisian district needs rainstorm desperately? (14)
ARRONDISSEMENT:  Anagram (desperately) of NEEDS RAINSTORM.

15a         Old rogue beheaded in part of church (4)
NAVE:  A dated word for a rogue without its first letter (beheaded).

17a         Musical: Welsh boy mostly taking it in (5)
EVITA:  Take a Welsh boys name without its last letter (mostly) and insert the IT from the clue (taking IT in).  An excuse for my favourite version of this song.

19a         Very small part of coast in Yorkshire (4)
TINY:  A lurker hidden in the last three words.

20a         Prince happiest flying in training period (14)
APPRENTICESHIP:  Anagram (flying) of PRINCE HAPPIEST.

23a         Having nothing to do with it, a bicycle in pieces (8)
CELIBACY:  Anagram (in pieces) of A BICYCLE.  The IT is a euphemism for sex.

25a         Break in Irish game, point behind (6)
IRRUPT:  A charade of the two letter abbreviation of Irish, the two letter abbreviation of the fifteen-a-side game played by gentlemen with odd shaped balls and finally a two letter abbreviation of point.  This was one of the ones that held out for a while as I only had I for Irish, d’oh!

27a         Moral values in middle of fifteenth century recorded in this (6)
ETHICS:  The middle of fifteenth is an E.  Start with that and follow with the THIS from the clue and insert (recorded in) a C for century.  This wasn’t too hard to solve but spotting how the clue works took a bit of head scratching. I think I was just being a bit thick!

28a         Huge area young girl is touring with male (8)
LANDMASS:  A word for a young girl is placed around (touring) a word meaning with and an M(ale).

Down

1d           Ballesteros covered by press everywhere (4)
SEVE:  Another lurker. The golfer’s first name is hidden in (covered by) the last two words.

2d           A blue, international doing badly (6)
INDIGO: I(nternational) followed by an anagram (badly) of DOING.

3d           Gloomy, elegy writer, from what we hear (4)
GREY:  A word that might be used to describe gloomy weather sounds like a writer who wrote a famous elegy.  This just about sums up the last three weeks here.

4d           Workman with the French name (6)
HANDLE:  One of the usual workers, the four letter one, followed by the French definite article.

5d           First one to enter French city in film (8)
EARLIEST:  Take a city in the south of France and insert an I (one to enter) and then insert the lot into (in) a two letter Spielberg film.

6d           Titled eccentric opposed to dabblers in art (10)
DILETTANTI:  Anagram (eccentric) of TITLED followed by a prefix meaning opposed to or against.

8d           Spanish nobleman and mum’s mum on Scottish river (7)
GRANDEE:  A short term for your mother’s mother followed by the Scottish river which enters the North Sea at Aberdeen.  There’s also rivers of this name in Wales, Cumbria and Galloway, not to mention Ireland and two in Australia.

13d         Old American highwaymen travelled on horses, reportedly followed by deputies (4,6)
ROAD AGENTS:  The first word sounds like a word meaning travelled on horses, or motorbikes, and the second word can mean deputies or representatives.

14d         Wading bird in small list (5)
STILT:  S(mall) followed by a word meaning list, lean or heel.

16d         Clearly expressed by Poet Laureate I caught during leave (8)
EXPLICIT:  PL (Poet Laureate), the I from the clue and C(aught) are all inserted (during) a word meaning to leave.

18d         Case involving university where lots go (7)
AUCTION:  Take a word for a court case and insert (involving) a U(niversity).

21d         English failing to pass (6)
ELAPSE:  E(nglish) followed by a failing gives a word for to pass as time passes.

22d         Short text about Mike’s stint (6)
SCRIMP:  Take a word for text or writing and remove the last letter (short) and place it around (about) the letter represented by the word Mike in the phonetic alphabet.  That will give you a word meaning to stint or be parsimonious.  This took a while as well as I had in mind that a stint was a period of time like a section of a Grand Prix between pit stops.

24d         The old record could make one cry (4)
YELP:  An old word for the followed by one of the usual records.

26d         American writer capturing southern attitude (4)
POSE:  Take a famous American author and insert (capturing) an S(outhern).

All pleasant stuff but my favourite was 23a with 27a and


Quick crossword puns:

Top line         SIGHED     +     STEPPE     =     SIDESTEP
Bottom line   TRANCE     +     CRYPTS     =     TRANSCRIPTS

Apropos of nothing really here’s a piece that amused me. It’s called “Coronavirus Rhapsody”:-

106 comments on “DT 29324
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  1. I completely missed the lurker in 1d, but knew the golfer anyway. I have to admit to cheating for 12a. I knew what to do with the clue, but put it into an anagram solver. I’m not familiar with Parisian districts. 23a brought a much needed smile, so that’s my favourite. Many thanks to the setter and to Pommers.

  2. Be the first to comment it said on the top.
    Sure I am not going to make it 😊.
    The French town in 5d took a while as I thought the definition was Film.
    Pretty straightforward otherwise.
    Thanks to the Monday setter and to Pommers for the review.

  3. 2.5*/3*. I enjoyed this and Campbell has included a few trickier than usual clues today which took me above my 2* time. 23a was my favourite.

    Many thanks to Campbell and to pommers. Great music selection. Teenager In Love was one of the first songs I learnt to play on the guitar in the early 60s when I was a teenager in love. As for Coronavirus Rhapsody – a work of genius! 👍

    1. This Coronavirus Rhapsody should be substituted for the current TV Public Announcements . It should gain far more attention .

  4. Has the setter been listening to The BBC World Service? We had Scottish, Irish, American, French, Spanish and Welsh, not to mention Paris and Yorkshire. Not really my cup of tea and a little trickier than 2*.
    I did like 6d and the topical(with all this social distancing!) and clever 23a though.
    3/2*
    Many thanks to Pommers for his top review and to the setter.

  5. That’s better. A very quick solve but for the small place on the coast in Yorkshire (If all else fails look for a lurker) and the film at 5d. Nice misdirection Mr Setter. Thanks to all. The Borap clip is still Borapcrap.

      1. I woke at 6.30. Paper read, puzzles completed, teas made and drunk, showered and dressed by 8.00am. Let the chickens out. Can’t go to the new house, we have a tradesman in. Can’t go downstairs to the pub, we have electricians doing an electrical safety check. So damn right I’m bored. There is nothing else for it. I’m going to make No Bungee Jumping signs to put on the bridges over The River Itchen at either end of the village.

        1. *chuckles* Made me laugh Kath
          Don’t get me wrong, some of his old stuff is great and must have been even greater at the time, but he’s long past his best methinks

  6. Like Pommers, I whipped through the top half clues and got stuck on a few of the bottom half clues. The anagrams were good but some of the clues not so much. Agents synonymous with deputies …hmm. So overall I gave it ***/**. Thanks to the setter and to Pommers. It’s been sunny but chilly here, with a biting north wind. I managed to work up a sweat whilst digging my vegetable plot, however.

    1. CC, agents are equivalent to deputies in America, so, as the clue is about old American highwaymen, I think this is probably fair enough.

      1. They are here too in certain circumstances. It is used as a legal term. If a Solicitor cannot attend a court hearing they can appoint an agent to attend. This can be someone from another firm of Solicitors or there are people who act as professional stand-ins ie Agents. In day’s gone by provincial firms of Solicitors had a London Agent. That was in the good old days when documents had to be lodged over the Court counter and not on line!

  7. I really enjoyed this – it was about right for a Monday morning.
    Both the long anagrams took me far longer than they should have done so weren’t much help in providing checking letters – I was trying to get a specific district in Paris and couldn’t think of any that long.
    16d took ages – again was thinking of specific PL’s, specially the one called Andrew.
    I’m not sure that I’ve heard of 25a.
    I particularly like 4, 13 and 16d.
    My favourite by a long way was 23a – made me laugh which is what is needed by all of us at the moment.
    Thanks to the setter and to pommers.

    1. Ditto with the Paris district. I was trying to make Montparnasse fit. I thought it a good clue. Ditto 25a but built it up. Ditto 23a. I read a serious article about enforced celibacy in the current clime for long-distance lovers. It gave a number of ingenious ways to overcome the problem most of which would have been considered kinky only a few years ago. But then…you can do everything on line these days apart from your shopping.

  8. Very neat puzzle, with 23a, my last one in, my COTD. Also on the podium: 25a, 22d. The bottom half–clever, witty–pushed me into *** time. A pleasant Monday challenge. The day’s Wittie (for the wittiest commenter of the day) goes to–any doubt?–our old Monday setter, Mr Miffypops himself! *** / ***

  9. Definitely gentler than of late. Off at a gallop in the North but then the South was a different kettle of fish. Overall good fun. 25a hung fire until I presumed which game was concerned and the rest fell in. Originally tried to make an overall film solution to 5d but d’oh and it ultimately it became a Fav together with 23a and 27a. Dread to think how long the Comments section is going to be with MP social distancing two Comments apart and recommending others do likewise 😷. Thanks very much Mysteron and and MP

  10. Sorry to disagree with your difficulty rating Pommers but a few tough clues elevated this into *** territory at minimum for me. 3 held out and must confess to needing the hints to complete. Had never heard of the French city in 5d & failed to identify the clue from the wordplay despite suspecting ET was involved. 22d & 25a were the other culprits. With the former I couldn’t get sms out of my mind & wasn’t familiar with the word for the latter. 13 & 14d were also new to me but easily gettable from the wordplay. All in all a much tougher Monday workout than usual & it’s most unusual for me to find the Grauniad cryptic easier than DT back pager.
    Agree with others the standout clue was 23a though I do think it would read a little better the other way round.
    Thanks to all.

    1. I thought the Graun was trickier than this DT crossword – different to a ‘normal’ Monday when they are usually both on the friendly side

  11. I do like it when a setter uses the crenellations on this type of grid for a Nina of some sort and this one, which I actually spotted quite early on when solving this nice friendly Monday crossword, was excellent. Double puns all round.

    Thank you to the Double Punster and Pommers

    After the dire weather yesterday, the sun and blue sky are back and the birds were in overdrive, singing about how happy they are about it, making it a perfectly lovely morning for a walk

          1. I was too embarrassed to say that I still couldn’t work out what everyone was going on about but I’ve just seen it. How on earth do you spot such things…..
            I think it was Bobby Jones who once said of Nicklaus “you play a game with which I’m not familiar”

    1. They’re putting Teddies in the windows here for the kids to spot. I was tempted to put my Dad’s teddy in the window for an outing but decided not to, he’s so old he might get sunburnt, so a slightly younger sub is there!

  12. Like RD, I thought this was a little more tricky than usual for a Monday puzzle, perhaps it was the grid, completed at a gallop – **/***.
    I had not come across 13d before but with all the checkers in place it couldn’t be anything else and the BRB confirmed it.
    Favourite – a toss-up between 5d and 21d – and the winner is 21d, although, like jean-luc, I did start thinking ‘film’ rather than ‘first one.’
    Thanks to Campbell and pommers.

    1. I’ve been an American from the South for almost 82 years and have never heard of stagecoach robbers being called ‘road agents’ and certainly not ‘highwaymen’. When did this happen? I had no trouble with the answer because, as you say, What else could it be?

  13. 23a and 22d are my co-favourites today in this enjoyably quick romp through Crosswordland. A little later than usual in reporting in as Mrs YS and I ventured out to Tesco this morning (other supermarkets are available) where we were highly impressed by their social distancing measures, including having hand sanitizer and tissues available to wipe hands and trolley handles as we entered the store in batches of fifteen people at a time. Even the checkouts were policed, in the nicest sense, with markings on the floor to delineate a safe queuing distance.

    Thanks to our Double Punner and pommers.

  14. Nice Monday offering. A little tougher in the South. and quite a geography lesson too. I didn’t know the American Highwayman but worked it out. I will concur with Kath on 23a as favourite today. In the dead tree both lurkers were hidden in a line change which made them a little less obvious.

    Thanks to pommers and Campbell the double double quicky pun was a nice touch

    1. Sorry to show my ignorance but what is a crenellated grid? I know what crenellation is but I can’t “fit” it to this grid.

      1. Don’t you think the individual letters at the start of 1d, 2d, 3, and so on look like the top of a castle wall? – although in the case of this grid, a cannon ball has obviously knocked down some of the stonework :)

  15. An enjoyable start to the week even though I needed help with some. I have never heard of 13d but it could be nothing else given the directness of the clue. Like others, I became stuck on 22d because I was convinced the short message was SMS. Yes, 22a did raise a smile and is my COTD.

    Thank you to the setter and Pommers.

    We had a large delivery of groceries this morning from the Prime Minister! Potatoes, carrots, tins of soup, rice crispies, milk, three ready meals, oranges, apples, rice, biscuits, tea, coffee, bread, baked beans and corned beef. They said it was enough for a week. It will last us a month! I would add a picture of it all if I knew how.

    Stay safe, everyone.

  16. Like Pommers, I struggled with the final two – in my case it was the parsing of 27a and the answer to 5d. I hadn’t previously heard of the highwaymen so waited for checkers to get the second word.
    Have to agree with Huntsman that 23a would read better with the phrases reversed and well done to Harold for pointing out today’s extra from our double punster. The second of those topped my leader-board.

    Thanks to our Monday setter and to Pommers for the words and music.

  17. I struggled with 5d, 13d, 22d ( never heard of it ), 10a , 27aI I knew it had to be the answer but I couldn’t see why.)
    Did I like any of it ? 9a, 28a, and 24d.
    Thanks to all concerned.

  18. Cannot comment on puzzle so far taken nearly 5 hrs to download. Usually good internet speeds here. It must be self isolating.
    Will look firward to doing puzzle this evening.
    Thanks in advance to Pommers and setter

  19. Very enjoyable if def a puzzle of two halves. The top left started off almost R&W but the bottom right proved a little more challenging not helped by not having come across 25a before and the same applied to 13d. According to IMDB there are two movies with that name although both were in the 1940s! My fav clue was 9a because of the pen reference.
    Thx to all
    **/****

  20. Slightly harder than some Monday puzzles but with time no issue better for that.I had not heard of 25a and spent a long time trying to fit Lille into 5d.Veryclever repeated puns and well spotted by clevere people than me.? I wonder if lam alone in remembering a skit on the Dion song including the line Why must l be a teenager in jail.Thankyou to all.

  21. 5d took me almost as long as the rest put together in this enjoyable puzzle and so ends up being my favourite.

    I needed Pommers to explain my answer to 27a, so if he was being thick (his words I hasten to add) I was doubly thick!

    Many thanks to all.

  22. Unlike quite a few of you I had heard the term ROAD AGENT for a highwayman but I didn’t realise it was an American term. Rather threw me for a bit as I couldn’t see where the “old American” come into the stew. Collins came to the rescue. Has to be Collins at the moment as my BRB went swimming in last autumn’s flood and hasn’t been replaced yet.

  23. This was an enjoyable puzzle edged into a *** difficulty rating by a handful of awkward clues. Namely 25a, 13d and 22d. Also struggled with 27a. Answer was obvious but I couldn’t parse it, so it didn’t get penned in until I read the hint. 5d brought back pleasant memories, as we were in that lovely city for a day last July, as part of a river cruise. Thanks to setter and Pommers.

    Going to give the oldies grocery time slot a go tomorrow, 7:00-8:00am, ouch. We’re not normally early birds, and we live in a town with a high percentage of retirees, so not sure it will make much difference. Might find some stuff that has just hit the shelves though. Daughter brought us last week’s groceries, but we aren’t comfortable with her exposing herself to other shoppers on our behalf.

    Stay well everyone.

  24. I was really looking forward to this after after a challenging day at work and came away from it deflated and disappointed. thx to all

  25. */***
    Enjoyed this with a lot of smiles along the way.
    Thanks to pommels and setter
    Thanks also to MP for trying to keep us safely apart despite resistance from some.
    😊

  26. Thought the bottom half a bit tricky to say the least 😳 so ***/**** Favourites 9 & 10 I don’t believe it that no one pointed out that the answer to 3d should be “Gray” not grey Gloomy, elegy writer from what we hear! Surely a reference to Gray’s Elegy 😉 Thanks to Pommers and to the compiler

  27. Took longer than I thought it should, but there was a couple of answers that were new to me… 13d a bung in simply as it seemed to make sense .
    2.5*/3.5* but an enjoyable Monday tester from our setter.
    Thanks to setter & Pommers for review

  28. I have no idea why I’m so slow, we’re supposed to have time on our hands, but I’m getting later and later every day.
    Really enjoyable puzzle today, not easy but very solvable, just right.
    I didn’t know 13d but well clued and just a google away. I used an anagram solver for 12a, I knew what it was supposed to be but I had no chance of being able to spell it.
    I liked 5d, my aunt lived in Vence near Monaco and Arles was just a comfortable day trip away, so much history.
    I have to go with the guffaw at 23a as fave, blimey, do we all have such smutty minds?
    Thanks to Alan Campbell, a super fun puzzle, and to pommers for his equally super fun review. Off to the pool.

  29. Hmm! I’m with the “too many obscure words in this to be enjoyable” camp. Where do I start. Never heard of 12a, 25a, 26a, the city in 5d, the plural of 6d, 13d or 14d. I had to use an anagram solver for some of them, even with all the checkers how else do you get an obscure word you’d never heard? Others I had to Google. Rant over. Thanks to all concerned. I’ll go back and look at the videos now.

  30. Got it. Cryptic puzzle 29121 on August 5th last year had Bridle Sweets = Bridal suites as the quickie pun and the letters that made up the pun across the top and bottom rows of the cryptic puzzle. There was no second pun that day.

  31. Difficult and not very enjoyable, too many from the Giovanni book of obscure words.
    As for the French town, one of those that trips off the tongue if you have been doing crosswords for years, no doubt. I haven’t.
    Pan in the Guardian was far superior to this.
    Thanks all.

  32. 2*/3*….
    liked 13D ” old American highwaymen travelled on horses, reportedly followed by deputies (4,6) “…euphemistic.

  33. Struggled with this one but thankfully not as much as I struggled yesterday with Dada.
    Could not spell 12a which put me at a disadvantage and would never have thought of the French city at 5d in a month of Sundays. French just not my language I guess.
    Amazed at the Nina . How clever is that ?

    Thanks to the setter and to Pommers for his hints. Loved Coronavirus Rhapsody.

  34. Hi Pommers,

    I haven’t laughed so much for years thanks to the visualisation of your help with 25a – the sight of 30 gentlemen with odd shaped balls all playing on the pitch at the same time must really be a “sight to behold”.

    One has to wonder – who gets to pick the sides and what are the criteria? What is the referee’s job? I hope it is not “hands on”.

    I had better not go on so I will leave the rest to your imagination!

    Best wishes and sleep well . Wawa

  35. If anyone is still out there…I had a big sleep in after a bit of manual labour yesterday and no reason to get up early. I found 29324 an amusing slove and slightly harder than normal for Monday. Like Pommers, I slowed up at the bottom. My COTD, 23a. I solved it before the penny dropped. RIP Seve🦇

    1. Glad to see I’m not the only one who took two days! 5* for difficulty, and still needed pommers’ help for sw corner. Great fun tho’ so thanks also to the setter. Two times five stars from me.

  36. I laughed at 23a! Had not heard of 25a before – loved the Julie Covington clip! Many thanks to Pommers, and the setter! 🙃

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