DT 29330 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29330

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29330

Hints and tips by Falcon

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BD Rating – Difficulty *Enjoyment ***

My apologies for the late release of the review today. For some reason unbeknownst to me, the review did not publish automatically as scheduled this morning and I had to go in and give it a nudge to wake it up.

Greetings from Ottawa, where the screws on the lockdown are tightening weekly, if not daily. Medical supplies are running desperately low and the esteemed President south of the border has just confiscated all masks and other medical supplies destined for Canada. Ironic given that the masks are manufactured from pulp imported from Canada. Furthermore, Canadian medical workers are vital to the operation of hospitals in major US border cities like Detroit. A very short-sighted move on his part, methinks. But then again, why worry. This will all be over in less than a week and Americans will be celebrating Easter in church. Rant over.

Today’s offering will be appreciated by those who like to ease gently into the new week. It was over quickly but was a pleasant, if untaxing, exercise. I thought the puzzle was charactized by smooth surface readings and several clues brought a gentle smile to my lips.

In the hints below, underlining identifies precise definitions and cryptic definitions, and indicators are italicized. The answers will be revealed by clicking on the ANSWER buttons.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought of the puzzle.


1a   Shop, strangely quiet after endless spree (8)
BOUTIQUE — anagram of (strangely) QUIET following a drinking spree with its final letter removed (endless)

6a   Salad ingredient in a bowl right at the front (6)
RADISH — in this charade, start with (at the front) R(ight), followed by the A from the clue and a generic term for a bowl or other piece of dinnerware

(Likely not the type to be found dressed in a salad)

9a   Wicked trait shown by a daughter’s counsel (6)
ADVICE — a wicked trait or habit following the A from the clue and D(aughter)

10a   Second team’s kit carrier (8)
BACKPACK — to second or support (a motion, perhaps) followed by a synonym for team (?); however (and rugby fans feel free to correct me) if the latter term is intended to refer to a rugby team, I think it falls a few backs short of a team

11a   A delicacy for ages, I suspect (4,4)
FOIE GRAS — anagram of (suspect) FOR AGES I

12a   Page on wonderful bungalow, perhaps (6)
PREFAB — string together P(age), a short word meaning on or concerning, and dated slang for wonderful or excellent

13a   Method of carrying out home improvements? Study loo fire damaged (2-2-8)
DO-IT-YOURSELF — anagram of (damaged) STUDY LOO FIRE

16a   Put up other half, maybe, for one who’s not the breadwinner? (5-7)
HOUSE-HUSBAND — another term for put up or provide accommodation for and one of the partners in a traditional marriage (or both of the partners in some modern marriages)

19a   Mighty clear (6)
STRONG — double definition, both adjectives, the second denotiing well-supported by evidence

21a   Mock regulation restricting DI back in charge (8)
RIDICULE — start by linking together a reversal of (back) DI and the abbreviation for in charge; then place a regulation around (restricting) this combination

23a   Total published correctly (8)
OUTRIGHT — an adjective indicating that something is now public knowledge followed by an adverb denoting correctly or in the proper manner

24a   Too old? Absolutely, about 50 (6)
OVERLY — O(ld) followed by an adverb meaning to a high degree or extent wrapped around the Roman numeral for 50

25a   Wretched sailor caught boarding fast plane (6)
ABJECT — one of our usual sailors precedes the cricket abbreviation for caught placed aboard a fast plane

26a   Good-looking cards dealt thus, by me (8)
HANDSOME — join together a term for the cards dealt to a player in a card game, a synonym for thus, and ME from the clue


2d   Curious boy, very likely to succeed (4-2)
ODDS-ON — curious or strange and a male offspring

3d   Food that may provide energy after excursion (5)
TRIPE — a physicists symbol for energy following an excursion or journey produces what passes for food in some people’s books

4d   Eccentric open to suspicion before search (5,4)
QUEER FISH — an adjective denoting suspiciously unusual and a verb meaning to search or probe with no clear objective in mind (often characterized as embarking on a type of  expedition)

5d   English singer inside my diplomatic residence (7)
EMBASSY — E(nglish) followed by a singer with a low voice inside the MY from the clue

6d   Queen standing up — better go over (5)
RECAP — a reversal of (standing up in a down clue) Her Majesty’s regnal cipher followed by a verb meaning to better or outdo

7d   Blue act entertaining crowd (9)
DEPRESSED — an act or feat containing (entertaining) a dense crowd

8d   Friendly Society, one having what it takes (8)
SOCIABLE — a charade of the abbreviation for society, the Roman numeral for one, and an adjective denoting clever or skilled

13d   Democrat is vulgar, reportedly, in speech (9)
DISCOURSE — line up D(emocrat), the IS from the clue, and a word that sounds like (reportedly) a term meaning vulgar or crude

14d   Fluctuating throughout (2-3-4)
UP-AND-DOWN — double definition, the second denoting everywhere as in “I searched throughout (the entire house) but failed to find my keys

15d   Little person having to hitchhike, covering miles (3,5)
TOM THUMB — piece together TO from the clue and a colloquial term for hitchhike (based on the digit used in that practice) containing (covering) M(iles) to get a character from English folklore or a 19th century American circus performer who legitimized “freak shows” as a form of entertainment in the US

17d   Cash — shilling — Scrooge’s clerk hasn’t got it (7)
SCRATCH — the abbreviation for shilling and the surname of Scrooge’s clerk with the final two letters removed (hasn’t got IT)

18d   All so relaxed before start of major ski race (6)
SLALOM — anagram of (relaxed) ALL SO preceding the initial letter (start) of Major

20d   Leg of mutton American soldier acquired (5)
GIGOT — the usual American private soldier and a word meaning acquired or obtained

22d   She’s desperately after clubs in game (5)
CHESS — anagram of (desperately) SHES following C(lubs)

Occupying my closely-contested podium today are 24a, 8d, and 13d. And the laurels go to 7d for the smile it elicited.


After having missed the second pun two weeks ago, I looked carefully for another one today. Perhaps I am seeing one where none exists, but I offer the following for your consideration:

Quickie Pun #2: END + TENSE + GAS = INTENSE GAS

… or perhaps I’m just in need of a good dose of Pepto-Bismal.

Note: In the comments below, today’s setter, Allan Scott, confirms that no second pun was intended.

82 comments on “DT 29330

  1. A pleasurable and steady solve today with no help needed. The only hold up for some obscure reason was 23a. I could not see the connection to “clear” in 19a. I suppose it could mean clear but I haven’t checked the BRB. I liked the double definition at 10a but there were no real favourites today. Still, a great start to the week.

    Grateful thanks to the setter and Falcon. Continue to keep well and safe, all.

    PS. I thought the bottom Quickie pun was a bit of a stretch.

  2. I thought this was the best Monday puzzle for a while, just enough about it to make me think a little, with a couple of clues having some nice misdirection. I particularly liked 23 and 24a plus 6d.
    Many thanks to the setter and to Falcon (I think you’re stretching artistic licence to breaking point re the second Quickie Pun!)

    Ps Lovely gentle Vulcan puzzle in today’s Guardian.

    1. I’m a bit new to the Quickie pun so I don’t know what to expect. As I said above, in desperation I may be trying to find a pun where none exists.

      1. I always buy the newspaper and the clues to the Quickie Pun are written in italics.

        1. If you read Falcon’s introduction, you’ll see why that option won’t work for him

        2. The clues for the bottom pun, if there is one, in the Monday Quickie are not in italics.

    2. Thanks for the tip Stephen,
      In both crosswords, the Cash references were the last to fall.
      New synonym for me in the DT and great penny drop moment in the Graun.
      While I am at it, thanks to Allan Campbell and to Falcon.

      1. Seconded. Worked late and turned to the Graun cryptic to wind down. Excellent puzzle IMHO (loved 8d) so thanks for the shout Stephen L.

  3. The long answers were all straight in, so that helped with the rest of the grid. 17d was my favourite. It brought back fond memories of singing the part of Mrs C in the musical Scrooge many years ago (amateur production). Many thanks to the setter and to Senf. I’m not so sure about the second quickie pun.

  4. I found this incredibly straightforward even for a Monday. Enjoyable while it lasted, I liked the (solitary) Quickie Pun best.

    Thanks to our setter and Falcon.

  5. 1.5*/3*. A pleasant, gentle start to the crosswording week.
    Thanks to Campbell and Falcon.

    1. Thanks very much for popping in. It’s always nice to hear from our setters. Lovely puzzle.

    2. That’s the problem with the Monday Quickie. We spend ages trying to find a second pun. Different intonations, different speeds of speech and different accents until it finally dawns there isn’t a bottom line pun. :grin:

      Great cryptic today. Many thanks.

  6. A very straightforward solve for Monday,
    no help required, 1*/3*.
    Favourite for me 15d.
    Thanks to Falcon.

  7. Falcon – one of the very first times I was ever let loose to do the hints “all my own self” I set the timer thingy and went to have coffee with a friend – came back two hours later and not a sign of any comments – panic – even more panic when all the underlining, pictures, spoilers etc etc had disappeared into the ether and I had to start from scratch. I’ve never trusted the timer ever since!

  8. This was the first ‘nearly write in’ for me in a long while. A very gentle start to the week. Lovely and quiet here in NC lets hope it remains so. Greenhouse now full.
    Thanks to Falcon and setter.

  9. A very pleasant start to what used to be the work week, completed at fast gallop – 1.5*/3.5*.
    Candidates for favourite – 13d, 15d, and 17d – and the winner is 17d.
    Thanks to Mr Scott and Falcon.

  10. Enjoyable puzzle; thank you Mr Scott. Enjoyed Falcon’s wild attempt to screw another pun out of the Quickie and thanks for hints and pictures. 17d my favourite today.

  11. Your rant Falcon is entirely understandable. The mind truly boggles in my view where that blithering ignoramus is concerned – what hope of joined up global response led by the US…….
    As for today’s crossword I found it typically gentle but nonetheless enjoyable Monday fayre. The second word in both 4d & 16a were the hold up in an otherwise steady solve in 2.5*. I do agree with SC’s comment re the tenuous synonym for the second part of 19a but other than that slight criticism found the remainder well clued.
    Thanks to all.

  12. I’m in a right royal muddle with a few, all interlinking, in the Quickie. :sad:
    Now on to the cryptic which was enjoyable and went well without any major hold-ups.
    I’ve never heard of 17d meaning what it does here and had to search the brain for too long to remember the name of Scrooge’s clerk.
    I liked 13 and 16a (and the clue for 24a but not sure about the sentiment!) and 7d. My favourite was 15d.
    Thanks to the setter and to Falcon.

  13. Bright and breezy start to the day – rather like the weather here.
    I rather liked the 10a kit carrier and my favourite was the little hitchhiker.

    Thanks to Falcon ( so relieved to hear that the lateness of the review was simply down to an electronic hitch) and thanks to Mr Scott – good of you to pop in today.

    1. Congrats on the mention in dispatches for the clue writing thingy in the puzzle email today.
      Congrats to Kiwi Colin too.

  14. A pleasant start to the week, giving confidence to tackle the rest. Enough head-scratching to avoid a simple write-in. Liked 24a best. Thanks for review, Falcon.
    I can often complete cryptics but never quickies, so tend to ignore them apart from the puns.

  15. My only hold up with today’s crossword was putting the solution to 13a in the spaces designed for the solution to 16a. Thanks to Falcon the blogger and Falcon the setter

    Today’s rhea courting update: a couple of bits of booming and a lot of head and neck bobbing up and down. The male is going to have to try a lot harder as his lady still seems deeply unimpressed with his efforts so far

    1. This blog is irreplaceable, it’s snapshots like that that makes us come back and back and back! Thank you.

  16. A Mondayish start to the week. No hold ups really but the eccentric was the last one solved. As for the puns I did warn you a fortnight ago with the words ‘Tip to Pommers and Falcon, look for the second pun. It’s not always there which means that some weeks you will spend far too long repeating two words over and over again searching for a connection that doesn’t exist‘ thanks to Allan Scott for the puzzle and to Falcon for the review.

  17. I really enjoyed this gentle start to the week. I am spending my non-crossword time sewing face masks for a local hospital, they are not hospital grade but they are issuing them to visitors etc.
    It looks quite nice out here in the country and I am really hoping to get going on the garden.
    Be well everyone.

  18. Did I imagine a dream list of Toughie setters for this week. Dada, Hudson, Beam, Can’t remember?

  19. 2* for me with some lovely clues such as 15a 24a and 15d thank you setter and Falcon.

  20. Nothing new to add really (1.5*/3***) about this straightforward and moderately enjoyable puzzle.ike others, I wasn’t convonced by 19a and 17d. My favourite clues were 25a and 15d. Thank you Falcon for the blog hints and keep your chins up about the activity south of the border. What goes around comes around sometimes. Thanks to the setter keeping our spirits up in our household with 10 weeks of ‘shielding ‘ to look forward to.

  21. I think this enjoyable little outing is what you (all) call a doddle, first time I’ve ever used that wonderful little word. I broke my own speed record as I pleasantly went, almost numerically, from 1a to 26a. * / ** I liked 1a, 17d, and 11d, but my COTD is 11a because it’s the kind of anagram one has to unscramble with some savoir-faire, n’est pas? Thanks to the setter and Falcon, whose ‘rant’ I wholly and justifiably endorse.. That DoDo below your border has set an all-time low (and that’s going some)–a sociopath whose narcissism now includes the willful taking of human lives.

    1. Thank you, Mr Scott, for your enjoyable puzzle this morning. I’ve re-thought my ‘enjoyment’ quotient, and would like to upgrade to ***.

      I listened to The Queen’s uplifting speech last night and wondered how many of you, like me, started humming or even singing (I did both) “We’ll Meet Again” towards the end? Thank you, Vera Lynn, and a most heartfelt thank you to Her Majesty. We should be so lucky over here.

      1. We watched it from France, proud and happy to have such a wise and compassionate monarch, keeping her head while all around are losing theirs … 🙂

  22. I agree that this was a gentle and pleasant puzzle, not much to add to all above comments.

    Many thanks to Falcon and Mr. Scott

  23. Thanks to setter and Falcon for a very pleasant puzzle today. Hesitant to pen in 19a for a long time, as I didn’t equate it with clear. Otherwise greatly enjoyed.
    Hats off to all medical workers everywhere. They are in the front line, putting their health and the health of their families at risk. Not something they signed up for. That they don’t have the right/sufficient supplies is inexcusable. The medical profession should not be practicing “just in time” with their supplies. Surely they should have 12 months of basic protection available at all times. Let’s hope lessons have been learnt.
    Best wishes to Boris for a speedy return home.

    1. Couldn’t agree more. And they are now burning through a “normal” 12-month supply in a few weeks!

    2. They are the troops fighting the war and should be awarded medals once it is all over similar to those awarded to the armed forces for valour.

  24. Thanks to the setter and to Falcon for the review and hints. A very straightforward puzzle. Quite enjoyed it, but it was over too quickly. I didn’t know that meaning for 17d,but the wordplay was clear. No particular favourites. Was 1*/3* for me.

    1. After all the comments concerning 17d, I did a bit of sleuthing. This sense of the word is not present in either Collins English Dictionary or Chambers 21st Century Dictionary. It is found in the BRB and Lexico (Oxford Dictionary of English) — the former designating it as ‘slang’ and the latter as ‘informal’. It is found in two American dictionaries, the American Heritage Dictionary and the Random House Kennerman Webster’s College Dictionary which both list it as ‘slang’. A third US dictionary, Webster’s New World College Dictionary, specifies that this usage is ‘US slang’. Thus probably not surprising that it is unfamiliar to many on your side of the pond.

      1. I’m back for a third visit to the comments because I remember hearing, as a child, and even saying ‘Beware of Old Scratch! He’s out to get you!’ I’m surprised that it’s not cited as Anglo-Saxon in origin, though.

        1. You may be correct. After all, the Americans didn’t invent everything they think they did.

    2. I seem to recall that that meaning of 17d has come up before relatively recently. I have put in the memory bank where it will reside until about 24hrs before I need to remember it again.

    3. I agree. Worked it out but did not fill in as I still cannot see how cash equates to scratch…..

      1. And welcome to the blog from me as well.

        With respect to “I still cannot see how cash equates to scratch”, you seem to be in good company. The website The Word Detective in an interesting article on various meanings of the word ‘scratch’ states “Unfortunately, ‘scratch’ as slang for ‘money,’ which appeared in the early 20th century, is a complete mystery.” One comment on the article suggests “I believe the term ‘scratch’ used in stead of money, has a old farm background, as in a chicken must ‘scratch’ around the barn yard to find something to eat. ‘Scratch’ means money to live on.”

        This suggestion would seem to make sense as many of the uses that I have seen have been in reference to an amount of money that is just enough to get by on.

        In any event, the term is slang and most likely US slang. Since when did one expect slang to make sense?

  25. A perfect puzzle for a tiny brain, I LOVED it – alright, I’m shouting.
    I’m choosing 15d as fave, but that seems a bit unfair to the other delightful clues.
    Tiny brain was solving without help and 19a was my sticking point, I was determined not to break my ducks and refused to look it up. But, look! It’s right.
    Thank you Mr. Scott, you’re a star, and Falcon thanks for the review.

    Falcon, you are so right with your rant. Der Gropenfuhrer has gone over the top here, never knew he could get worse. We can assure everyone that our esteemed Nobel scientist extraordinaire has decreed (in words of one syllable, as is his wont) that an antimalarial drug is the Holy Grail for a cure, we should all go to church at Easter to give thanks for our infallible Leader. I despair.

  26. A fun run today. East was there before the West. Among several great surfaces my joint Favs were 24a and 17d. The clear 19a synonym was not obvious to me. Thank you Mysteron and Falcon.

  27. I have been released from isolation and returned to the coalface of contact lens delivery. Today’s puzzle was a pleasant but short distraction. The local sammich shop I usually lunch at isn’t open though so I had to survive on an imaginary 20d of lamb. I would have to be extremely hungry indeed to consume 11a or 3d. I am a little confused about the endless spree I have the answer to 1a but cannot for the life of me work out what I should truncate. Probably just me being a bit woolly-headed. This working for a living is not all it’s cracked up to be.
    Thanks to Falcon and Mr. Scott

      1. Don’t be fooled into thinking that the ‘T’ is needed; it has already been supplied by the anagram.

  28. Nice Enjoyable start to the week – 3d brought back memories of my dad poaching it in milk and onions!
    Thx setter and Falcon.

    1. My mother used to cook it the same way. I hated it and still do. I used to take a bit, hold it in my mouth and swallow it whole. I could not bear to chew it.

  29. I had an email informing me that your blog was posted at 05.54 BST this morning. I didn’t think to check though! Did not understand the definition in 17d, that’s a new one on me and needed hint for 24a. So definitely not a * for me – but the longer it takes the better. Thankyou to Mr Scott and to Falcon.

    1. The email at 5:54 this morning was because at silly o’clock my time I clicked on “Publish” without having first scheduled it. I immediately realized my error but then had to go through a fairly complicated multi-step process to unpublish the review, schedule it, and then republish it. It would seem that I either neglected to perform the final step in the process or the final step ran but did not complete and I failed to realize it.

  30. I didn’t find this as easy as some but I didn’t find it that difficult either. Obviously never heard of 17d, who has? But it had to be the answer. Hard to pick a favourite but if pressed 23a. Thanks to the setter and Falcon.

  31. Thanks to all, everything has been said, tougher challenges await no doubt.

  32. Didn’t enjoy this at all. Not difficult, just a trudge. Spent nearly as much time on 13a and 23 as the rest, and felt unsatisfied with the answers when they came. Thanks to Falcon for the digging on 17d

  33. A nice easy start to the week and a pleasant solve.
    No real troubles except 20d. Needed the hint for that one and some Google searching. Never heard of the word. Another ‘learnt something’ for the day moment.
    Favourite clues 24a, 2d & 17d

    Thanks to setter and Falcon

  34. Lovely solve today! Somehow dredged 20d from the jolly old memory banks, so that has to be favourite! Thanks to the setter, and Falcon, and everyone else for the comments – a delightful community! Brightens my somewhat solitary day. Keep well, stay safe! 🙃

  35. Well said Falcon. The US certainly get the presidents they deserve. Straight forward Monday fare. House husbands has been doing the rounds of late. Looking forward to today’s. Thanks to 🦅and the setter🦇

  36. 2*/4*……
    liked 4D ” eccentric open to suspicion before search (5,4) “…..partly for the picture in Falcon’s hints.

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