DT 29333 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29333

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29333

Hints and tips by Nicholas Nickleby

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Good morning from Green Man Towers. Life on lockdown is quite the ticket. Village life goes on at a distance. Mrs Owen has too many tomato plants. Help yourselves from the wall outside her house. If you want eggs, we will leave them on the bench at the front of the pub. It is still eerily quiet which I like. I don’t miss the aeroplanes flying into Birmingham, but I do miss the grandchildren who are doing their best but are suffering from cabin fever. Their parents are also doing their best to stay safe and to amuse and educate in difficult circumstances. Ah well. Troubled times.

Today’s puzzled had a degree of difficulty which pleased me. It contains a large number of long words which look daunting but will yield eventually. There seem to be a few charades that follow a do as it says in the order that it says and four anagrams that are none too difficult to solve. All in all just keep going. The end will always be in sight. If that end for you is 19d like it was for me. Good luck

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Gibraltar resident in pub repeatedly getting to talk with energy (7,3)
BARBARY APE: Repeat two synonyms for a pub. Add a word meaning a loud irritating talk. Add the abbreviation for energy. 

6a    Clip from the picture, a long one? (4)
EPIC: The answer lies hidden within the words of the clue. The words “clip from” tell us that it is so 

9a    Bobby is gloomy, needing courage (10)
BLUEBOTTLE: A bobby here is a term used for a policeman. The answer is also a policeman. Two synonyms are required to find the answer. A synonym of the word gloomy and a synonym for the word courage A slang definition to denote a slang answer. 

10a    Depressed academic hugging wife (4)
DOWN: A university lecturer contains the abbreviation for wife. The gloom continues (After the loud irritating talk and the overlong film I would be depressed too)

12a    Most recent development has the French facing ordeal (6)
LATEST: The French feminine word meaning the is followed by an ordeal or trial or assessment 

13a    Move in or out? I’ll take everything in! (8)
OMNIVORE: Anagram (out) of MOVE IN OR

15a    Croatian fibs? Possibly any fibs (12)
FABRICATIONS: A jumpoutatcha anagram (possibly) of CROATIAN FIBS

18a    Bury meeting said to be for mediation (12)
INTERCESSION: A word meaning to bury is followed by a homophone of a meeting of an official body, especially a legislature, council, or court of law, to conduct its business

21a    Milton Keynes etc. very warm? It may be bad news for game! (8)
BUCKSHOT: The unindicated but abbreviated county that contains Milton Keynes is followed by a simple word meaning very warm. The game here is shot at rather than played 

22a    Top individual criminal in America (6)
CAPONE: A word meaning to top, to better or to outdo is followed by a word meaning individual or less than two. The answer is no longer a criminal in America. He has been dead for longer than I have been alive. There are several words that fit the checkers. This gangster fella should vamose. I won’t miss him

24a    Archbishop‘s exclamation of annoyance you texted (4)
TUTU: An Archbishop of note from down South Africa way can have his name split 3,1 to give an exclamation used to express annoyance and the way many people shorten the word you when writing text messages 

25a    Decorative coverings in a capital city nabbed by criminals (10)
CAPARISONS: A regular word for criminals surrounds the A from the clue and the capital city of France. This also a make of guitar I had never heard of

26a    Some pans in kitchen may be in this (4)
SINK: The answer lies hidden within the words of the clue. The word some suggests that it is so

27a    Reprobate will have nothing to do with Dickensian character (5,5)
BLACK SHEEP: split 6,4 we need a word meaning refuses to handle (goods), undertake (works), or have dealings with. Then the surname of a very humble Dickensian character


1d    Champagne makes one animated (6)
BUBBLY: Another word for champagne also describes an animated or lively personality 

2d    Stirs up French author tearing out first page, then second (6)
ROUSTS: A French author (first name Marcel) needs the abbreviation for page removing. What is left needs to have the abbreviation for second added

3d    A male deep-toned with a robe suitable for diplomat (12)
AMBASSADRESS: Do as you are told and this charade will look after itself. Begin with the letter a from the clue. Add the abbreviation for Male. Add a deep toned musical voice. Add yet another letter A from the clue. Add a robe or gown or frock. Simple

4d    Creature in mountain? It may be climbing below you (4)
YETI: The abominable snowman can be found by placing the reverse of the word it after an old take on the word you

5d    What gets me involved with politics as an argumentative type (10)
POLEMICIST: Anagram (involved) of ME POLITICS

7d    List of rules in old literature carried by professional officer (8)
PROTOCOL:  A three-letter professional together with an abbreviated Officer have the abbreviation for the earlier collection of books from the bible inserted somewhere amongst their letters

8d    Study tragic female, a lady in Italy (8)
CONTESSA: A three-letter verb meaning to study is followed by the tragic female lead character from one of Thomas Hardy’s books. Finish off with the letter a from the clue 

11d    Style of speech stars found in books (12)
DICTIONARIES: A noun meaning the choice and use of words and phrases in speech is followed by the ‘stars’ that are the first sign of the zodiac

14d    Brawl with no one getting charged? (4-3-3)
FREE FOR ALL: Costing no money to any participant this is a cryptic definition of a kerfuffle or a brouhaha. 

16d    Debate is about what costs NHS billions (8)
DIABETES: Anagram (about) of DEBATE IS

17d    Farm animals not reared in Durham location (8)
STOCKTON: These farm animals are such as cattle, pigs, and sheep. They are followed by the reverse (reared) of the word not from the clue. Although the largest place with this name is in County Durham I only have to travel to the next village in Warwickshire. Google suggest that there are eleven places with this name in England

19d    After-effect of rain in Italy — letting in water maybe (6)
POROSE: Split 2,4 how we might comment about the water levels of a river in Northern Italy after (excessive) rainfall. The answer means full of pores. I kept thinking of the word with the letter U included. This was my last one in despite having all of the checkers 

20d    Organises group drink (4,2)
SETS UP: split 3,3 we have a group of people or things and a word meaning to drink by small amounts 

23d    Drug agent from US contributing to anarchy (4)
NARC: The answer lies hidden within the words of the clue. The words “contributing to” tell us so

Quickie Pun: blows+tears=below stairs


63 comments on “DT 29333


  1. Enjoyed this. 19d also my last in and also spent time with the word with a u in it. 25a was new to me but easy enough to construct. No real stand out favourite but plenty of good ones today. Thanks to all.

  2. This was quite tricky, particularly in the SE corner but quite enjoyable (***/****). I enjoyed 13a, a good anagram, 25a and 27a. 19d stumped me for a long time. Thanks to NN for the hints and to the setter ( not sure who it is ). Keep safe and well and best wishes to Boris.

  3. A very enjoyable mid-week level crossword – like others my last one in was 19d and I did laugh (for obvious crossword-blog-related reasons when I ‘saw’ the wordplay.

    Thanks to young Nick and to the setter.

  4. A very enjoyable but challenging solve. My steady progress rather ground to a halt in the SE corner. Not knowing the word for 25a and taking far too long to spot the Dickensian character in 27a didn’t help my cause. Very ‘umbling. It also took a long time to spot the Italian river in 19d and learn a sort of new word. I think however 19d was my COD.
    Thank you to Nicholas and the setter for the entertainment.

  5. Tricky little puzzle today. My last ones in also 13a and 19d (which I’d never heard of) 25a was also a new one to me. Good fun though. Still no luck solving the problem of only seeing one clue at a time, have tried everything to no avail but am at a loss that no-one else seems to have a similar problem. Grrr! Thanks to all for today’s puzzle.

    1. I get that “problem” only on my phone where there is no room to show the clues. It’s probably a clever bit if software that changes the layout when it detects that there might be a difficulty in display. Is it an old tablet with low resolution perhaps.

  6. I found this tricky for a back pager but as MP said, doable from the wordplay. I was held up in the SE by 19d for the same reason others have mentioned. 9a and 25a were guessed from the said wordplay and confirmed by Google.
    I don’t think 21a is in the best taste but that apart a very enjoyable tussle. My favourite was 13a as the obvious anagram indicator (move) was part of the fodder…very clever.
    Also liked 27a and 14d.
    Many thanks to MP for a great blog and to the setter

      1. I could have a debate about that but this blog is not the place. I do, however, respect your point of view.

  7. Well the brain certainly isn’t in gear this morning. Edging into ***** time and still short of both 19d & 25a but will persevere for a bit longer & resist the temptation to seek assistance from the clues. Despite all checkers in place I took an age to get the anagram in 13a & have found the SE corner very challenging. With the checkers in place from 14, 16 & 17d please tell me that I wasn’t the only muppet struggling to parse buckaroo as the answer to 21a & trying to fit it in with the last bit of 3d – that penny took an embarrassingly long time to drop.
    A really enjoyable crossword today with some great clues. Like yesterday 1a was a good starter & I particularly enjoyed 17d & 27a.
    Thanks to the setter & to MP in his Dickensian persona whose assistance I suspect I’m going to need.

    1. This Muppet spent some time trying to connect Milton Keynes, game (as in big game) and buffalo. Doh!

  8. Very enjoyable this morning. And I learnt two new words (19d and 25a) but it’s very unlikely I’ll ever use them in conversation.

  9. This was a curates egg for me “good in parts” I sruggled with several put it down, went gardening oicked it up but baffled by 25a so into the hints, I had to uncover the solution. it remsins quiet here but no doubt the cuckoos will be back for the weekend. How selfish. I miss the grandchildren as well, but grandson has a new guitar and grandaughter had taken up the cello. I was treated to a 5 minute concert via iphone what a tonic.
    Thanks to NN and to setter.

  10. Had never heard of 25a or indeed the spelling of 19d. Had to check here in the end to make sure I hadn’t just made them up because they fit! I could have spent all day wondering otherwise and been none the wiser. Otherwise, very enjoyable.

  11. Tricky but enjoyable today. Pleased to see that I was not the only one who had problems with 19d. I needed the hint for this one but I immediately saw it was a great clue. This and 25a were new words for the Cowling vocabulary. Loads of good clues so difficult to pick one for the top spot. Candidates are 1a, 27a and 19d.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Mr. Nickleby.

  12. Like most others 25a and 19d were new to me.l also took a long time on 17 d as l had put birdshot for 21a until Milton Keynes location suddenly dawned on me.Good puzzle,great blog.Thankyou.

  13. Certainly a ***/*** for me. Enjoyed the anagrams at 13 and 15 across. And yes 19d was the last one in for me. Thanks to the setter and to Nic Nick.

  14. Thanks to the setter and to the Dickensian for the review and hints. I found most of this quite straightforward, but was completely beaten by the last two clues. 25a, I figured out the definition, got the capital city in, which only left 3 unchecked, but still could not get it, had not heard of the word. Also had all the checkers in 19d, but had never heard of of that either. Well done to the setter. Favourite was 7d. Was 3*/3* for me.

  15. Mixed feeling about this. Three words I have not come across before. Rousts, porose and caparisons. Worked them out cryptically, and looked them up, but three such words is too many in my opinion. Liked 27a. Just had a quick look at today’s toughie. Rather fear it may be beyond my poor little brain, but we’ll see. Only good thing about self isolation or social distancing – can spend more time wrestling with the Telegraph crosswords. Stay safe everyone and don’t forget to go out and clap at 8 tonight

  16. Really enjoyed today’s crossword, a couple of new ones on me 19d and 25a.
    And as many others 19d was my last one in.
    A very good puzzle a ***/**** from me today in sunny Congleton.
    Fav 21a
    Thanks to NN and the setter.

  17. Some brilliant wordplay here, must have taken the setter ages to construct 1a let alone 9a and 19d. Really enjoyable but not too sure about 19d, seems a bit odd to me. Not sure about the game in 21a, i thought this what you loaded your shotgun with and 25a reminded me of Henry V where the author describes the French knights with their c………ed horses.
    Thx to all

    1. Re 21a, the definition isn’t “game”, it’s as underlined by MP in the hints, giving “what you loaded your shotgun with”.

      1. Yes, Brian, I knew 25a from Henry V too. I often think as I drive past huge lorries with their tarpaulins secured by rows of ties
        which flutter in the wind that the lorries are caparisoned. A bit fanciful maybe!

  18. A very enjoyable walk in the park … wish I had a dog so that I could go out more.

    1a – it’s always nice to get a gimme to start.

    Favourite: 13a – Move in or out.

    Thanks to setter & Nicholas.

      1. I think they are all closed during Covid-19. Glad I have my Lab, Hudson because I get to walk the fields with him.

          1. He might have done. He often goes off to do things I have no knowledge of. 🐶

        1. I know we’re all in lockdown, but wouldn’t this be a wonderful time to adopt, especially those who are alone. I have my wonderful Sadie, super company.

          1. That is the truth. Hudson gives me love without question. He lays at my feet while Mrs. C and I are watching TV. We love to roam the fields together. He greets me in the morning with joy and it gladdens my heart.

  19. Same as some others I conceded with 3 SE clues to go.

    To be honest, I started to feel grumpy after 3d. These sort of words should go the way of all flesh, even if they do fit into a grid.
    Bah humbug!

    On the plus side, 16d was my best clue and 1a and 8d reminded me of some lovely holiday trips in the Med. I’m putting sunscreen on my face today and the smell makes one yearn to be thereabouts. Must stop watching Rick Stein in Sicily and Greece……

  20. As others, the SE was last to yield.
    Tried to justify Polemistic for a while in 5d and thought that 1a was going to be Barbara something.
    A good challenge
    Thanks to the setter and to MP for the review.


      1. I’ve got a hot cross bun and a cup of tea waiting for me or I’d change your comment into lower case. I presume you had the shift lock on as your name is in lower case and the comments in upper case, which in the world of the internet is considered to be shouting!

        1. i was working in rio de janeiro a few years back and my boss used to send me emails in font size 14 and always upper case many of the messages were not worth getting excited about. one evening while we were downing a few caiparinias i asked him about the formatting in his emails . he told me it was because he had lost his reading specs and couldn’t read what he was writing using the standard format. he wasn’t shouting.

          P.S. cryptic sue feel free to change what ever you want — be my guest

  21. I always like it when 1a goes in straight away without hesitation. Thanks for a good brainteaser done sitting in the warm
    Cambridgeshire sunshine over lunch. What lockdown?

    Having said that, I had to accompany my husband into Addenbrookes yesterday and it was scarily quiet – eerie, it is usually so busy..
    They are waiting for all hell to break loose this weekend – stay safe everyone, and stay at home!

  22. I found that distinctly challenging and came near to throwing in the towel but a bit of lunchtime sustenance provided a vital fillip. North accomplished without too much aggro but then SE corner caused a hiatus particularly, as per others, with regard to 25a and 19d which hopefully are now added to my vocabulary although I do see little prospect of a context in which to use them (what a long sentence!). 21a not exactly to the point and 16d somewhat far-reaching. Joint Favs 1a, and 13a. Thank you Mysteron for the work-out and MP for hints to which I unexpectedly didn’t need to turn.

  23. Like others, 19d and 25a were new to me. I pencilled in the margin the two right words for 21a, but didn’t put it in for ages, as I had the wrong sort of game in my head. It’s just reminded me to take the wild boar sausages out of the freezer for tomorrow’s bbq. Many thanks to the setter and the Dickens character.

  24. I have to confess to the same failing of comprehension of 19d but ashamedly as a fledging cruciverbalist, I also struggled with 11d.
    I consulted several on-line 11d to get 19d but didn’t twig 11d itself. I had the stars down as Nova in the middle and didn’t make the connection with BRB until much later. The first letter of 27a was a mystery to me as well but the 6,4 split does make it a little clearer. Lacks = will have nothing Blacks = will have nothing to do with I suppose.
    I’ll take half a dozen eggs if you will look after some of Mrs Owen’s Toms. Our garden centre went into lockdown before I got any in the growbag.
    Thanks to Smike and setter.

    1. Tomato plants should be easy to find John. Everybody sows to many (just in case). Your local Facebook page might be a good source.

  25. I thought this a crackerjack puzzle and did very well until the SE corner hit me with a thud and finally yielded to electronic help for 25a and 19d. I knew both words but just couldn’t get there. Laughed at loud when 19d revealed itself, clearly the amusing COTD; well, that’s what rivers do! And I’m more accustomed to seeing the adjectival form of 25a (‘a caparisoned horse’, e.g.) Podium winners: 19d, 25a, and 1a, Thanks, Nicholas, and the setter. **** / ****

  26. This seemed to take me quite a long time but I don’t know why.
    I eventually gave in and had to look at the hint for 19d – good thing I wasn’t the ‘hinty person’ today. :oops:
    I was slow to get the two long anagrams at 5d and 15a.
    All good fun though.
    I think my favourite, even though I didn’t get it, was 19d and, no, let’s not mention that river and Gnomey, certainly not in the same sentence.
    Thanks to the setter and to MP.

    1. 19 d was my last one in Kath and you would have done what I did. Stared at it. Dissected it. Gone through the alphabet with it. Turned the clue inside out, upside down washed it, rinsed it and hung it out to dry until just as you were starting to email for help the whole thing lit up in garish neon shouting out that’s right Kath. That’s how I roll. Now wouldn’t you Kath?

      1. In all honesty, no – that’s not what I’d have done first – there’s nothing husband likes better than when I can’t get an answer in a cryptic crossword (he can’t do cryptics) so I’d have shown it to him – he, needless to say, gets it and then he’s smug for the rest of the day – that way we’re both happy – I haven’t lost face on the blog and he’s smug. It’s fine, honest! :roll:

  27. Tricky for me with unfamiliar words at 25a and 19d.

    Thanks to the setter and to Miffy.

  28. I did this early this morning coming to a grinding halt at 19d. Went outside to take delivery of some plants, compost etc, planted or potted up, had lunch, finished off working outside then had a read in the sun. Having just come in I picked up the puzzle again and got 19d but couldn’t work out why. Then it hit me. Not sure I like it really. Other than that a fine crossword and pleasantly enjoyable.

    Thanks to our setter and MP.

  29. Very, very tricky for me. SW and NE were quite friendly, then I tackled the NW. Luckily, 7d in yesterday’s puzzle gave it to me, I never remember “bar” for “pub”. I needed to look up that 9a meant policeman. Then I finally landed up in the SE. never knew the word in 19d, so I missed that. I finally got 25a, my reference was “Ivanhoe”, and that opened up that corner.
    Thanks to our setter and to Mr. Nickleby for the hints and tips. Guess what’s my word of the day today? Flocculent!

  30. When I was in the RAF, (sorry) in the 50s, as Ops Officer in Coastal Command, for the convenience of the teleprinter operators, we were required to complete quite lengthy Forms (Orange, I think), in BLOCK CAPITALS, which was what Upper case was called in those far off days. Any contemporaries blogging ? Re this crossword, several clues too hard for me.

  31. Like most others 19d was our last in and a real LOL moment when the penny dropped.
    Good fun.
    Thanks Mr Ron and MP.

  32. Obviously I’m in the “never heard of 25a or 19d” camp. I’m also on the “never heard of 5d and thought that 18a and 23d were a bit iffy too” camp as well. Apart from that ok! Favourite 24a just because back in the days when we could go to the pub and play darts 4 was known in our darts group as Desmond’s, two two’s. Well it amused us. Not a RayT I think but thanks to the setter anyway and NN.

  33. Along with many others, I had a problem with 19d, also thinking of the word with u in it, but laughed when I got it – has to be my COTD, along with 25a, which is a lovely word, and reminded me of a production – which I was in – of Present Laughter, by The Master, 30 years ago or thereabouts! Many thanks to all! 🙃

  34. We had the same trouble as other with the SE. I’m going to try my hand at making HCBs today for Easter as they are not readily available here in NYC. Thanks to all for a fun puzzle.

  35. 3*/4*……
    liked 19D ” after-effect of rain in Italy — letting in water maybe (6) “

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