DT 29336 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29336

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29336

Hints and tips by pommers

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Hola from the Vega Baja where pommers is getting a bit “stir crazy”.  We had the flood last year and now we have the plague so I fully expect we’ll have a plague of locusts later in the summer.  Biblical or what?

Today’s crossword was one I found about average for both difficulty and fun factor so ***/*** seems about right.  There’s some tricky bits and some gimmes and only three clues involving anagrams so I’ll be interested to see what you all made of it.

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.


1a           Information given by party training (4)
DOPE:  The usual two letter party followed by the usual two letter training or exercise.  One of the gimmes.

3a           Band bringing in drinks for floor show? (10)
STRIPTEASE:  Take a word for a band, of colour perhaps, and insert (bringing in) some non-alcoholic drinks, often taken in the afternoon.

9a           Genuinely not about to join forces (4)
ALLY:  You need to think of a word meaning genuinely and then remove the RE from the front (not about).

10a         Well-meaning little boy taking rodent into hospital department (10)
BENEVOLENT:  Start with a short boy’s name and the usual hospital department (3) and insert (taking . . . into) a small rodent.

11a         Pretty young woman stood up friend (7)
ROSEBUD:  A word meaning stood up or went up followed by a slightly American term for a friend.  This term is in the dictionary but does anyone ever use it?

13a         The Parisian after opera, finds how a model may be (2,5)
TO SCALE:  Start with a Puccini opera and then (after) the French (Parisian) definite article and split it all (2,5).

14a         Street performer in holiday resort’s beginning to eat rock? (11)
BREAKDANCER: Take a word for a holiday or a rest and an R (Resort’s beginning) and insert (to eat) a word which can just about mean to rock.

18a         Play, ‘R.U.R.’, Pole shot in colour (5,6)
ROYAL PURPLE:  Anagram (shot) of PLAY R.U.R. POLE.

21a         Said about piece going round (7)
ORBITAL:  A word meaning said or spoken placed around (about) a piece or small part.

22a         Glib talk by northern model (7)
PATTERN:  The glib talk of a salesman perhaps followed by N(orthern).

23a         Room with it on board flying saucers, perhaps (10)
SPACESHIPS:  A word meaning room followed by a word for with it or fashionable placed between SS (on board a steam ship)

24a         Spots knight in one (4)
ACNE:  The letter for a knight in chess notation inserted into (in) the playing card with the number one.

25a         Good-looking and in good health, more or less (6,4)
PRETTY WELL:  A word for good-looking, usually applied to a girl rather than a boy, followed by a word meaning in good health as in not ill.

26a         Briefly introduce celebrity (4)
STAR:  Take a word for to introduce or begin and remove the last letter (briefly).


1d           A race supporting Diana’s verbal onslaught (8)
DIATRIBE:  The A from the clue and a race or clan after (supporting in a down clue) the short form of Diana.

2d           Column ending in landing stage (8)
PILASTER:  A word for ending or final inserted into (in) a landing stage or jetty.

4d           After little time, study walk (5)
TREAD:  The single letter for time followed by a word meaning to study, at university perhaps.

5d           The very same Italian turned up in Iceland, shivering (9)
IDENTICAL:  Two letters for Italian (vermouth) are reversed (turned up in a down clue) and inserted into (in) an anagram (shivering) of ICELAND.

6d           Steal diamonds, maybe, and set of clothes (7,4)
TROUSER SUIT:  A word meaning to steal something by slipping it into your pocket followed by what diamonds are an example of (maybe) in a pack of cards.

7d           Difference in years, for example, between a girl’s first and a chap’s last (3,3)
AGE GAP:  Take the first A from the clue and a G (Girl’s first) and then the second A from the clue and a P (chaP’s last) and between them put the two letters for “for example” and split it all (3,3).

8d           Good opinion of eastern power heard (6)
ESTEEM:  E(astern) followed by what sounds like (heard) the sort of power used by the Flying Scotsman perhaps.

12d         Detective’s London address in song (5,6)
BAKER STREET:  The London address of Sherlock Holmes is also a song by Gerry Rafferty.  And a good excuse for some music . . .

15d         In disorder, lay on spread on Arabian craft (3,3,3)
ANY OLD HOW:  Anagram (spread) of LAY ON followed by a type of boat (craft) found in the Arabian gulf.

16d         Drug reduced — that could be a blow (8)
UPPERCUT:  A type of recreational drug followed by a word meaning reduced gives a type of punch.

17d         Check on what sounds like beloved forest dweller? (8)
REINDEER:  A word meaning check followed by a word which sounds like a word meaning beloved or expensive.  I’m not sure about the definition here.

19d         Busybody‘s energy drink, second inside (6)
GOSSIP:  Two letters for energy followed by a word meaning to drink with S(econd) inserted (inside).

20d         British trapped in a lounge on fire (6)
ABLAZE:  B(ritish) inserted into (trapped in) the A  from the clue followed by a word meaning to lounge or to idle.

22d         Student at college interrupting short nap (5)
PUPIL:  Two letter word meaning at college or university placed inside a word for the nap of a carpet but without its last letter (short).

No stand-out favourites for me today. What about you guys?

Quick crossword puns:

Top line:       REIGN     +     MAY     +     CUR     =     RAIN MAKER

Bottom line:     KEY     +     PER     +     WEIGH     =     KEEP AWAY

67 comments on “DT 29336

  1. I completed the grid in **/*** time, but the parsing took a little longer. 14a took me ages but I got there in the end, as did 22d. My last one in was 2d. I vaguely knew the word, but no way could I parse it, so I am grateful for the explanation.

    Many thanks to the setter and Pommers

  2. Very Mondayish, reasonably straightforward and very entertaining. Several fun clues, especially 3a. I loved the music clip for 12d but not the clue which was, I thought, awful. That aside, a fine puzzle.

    Thanks to our double punster, (the second one being very topical), and to pommers.

  3. Very very slow start . Down to 18A before getting anything . Slowly the momentum started to flow and the finishing line was reached all too soon . Excellent , enjoyable and refreshing today .
    Lots of favourites.
    Thanks Pommers and well done to the Setter .

  4. Fun start to the week and a**/*** for me . No obscurities and a pleasant amble.
    14a just about worked as DT hinted.
    My favourite was 12d and brought a smile .I thought we might have had a picture of a sledge for 11a!

  5. A straightforward Monday crossword – thank you to the Double Punster and the Stir Crazy One (or two if you count Pommette)

    Our previous Sunday setter is in the Graun today – but the crossword is trickier than one might have expected, although if you are in lockdown it does keep you occupied for longer

    Yesterday it was really hot here so today, in true Bank Holiday style, we have a freezing wind blowing straight from the North Pole and some clouds which look like rain clouds, in which case, could they please hurry up and rain so we don’t have to water the garden

  6. A slowish but pleasant solve .
    There were lots of amusing clues , such as 12d, 15d and 13a.
    Thanks to the setter and pommers.

  7. This was pretty straightforward but, nontheless, very enjoyable (1.5*/4*). I found 15d very amusing for some reason and that was my favourite clue. I had never encountered that meaning of 11a before, although it was attainable because of the wordplay. Was it the locusts or the rivers of blood that came after the floods and the plague, Pommers? Just saying. Seriously, keep your collective chins up and stay safe and well everyone. Thanks to Pommers for the hints and to the mystery setter.

    1. No idea about the order they come in but I could do without the rivers of blood, and the killing of the first-born.

  8. I gave myself a problem by putting a wrong answer in 9a early on and this gave me a problem with the top left corner, which was my own fault because I couldn’t fully parse it. Once I’d sorted that out I finished in rather more time than usual on a Monday.

    I needed Pommers to parse 14a for me, although the answer was obvious.

    I also couldn’t get bed for the last three letters of 11a out of my head for ages (deb as the pretty young woman, stood up). I wanted to kick myself once the penny dropped.

    Many thanks to the setter and Pommers.

    Big weather change here, too

    1. My thoughts too were around deb stood up for second half of 11a although acknowledging they weren’t all pretty!

  9. Pretty straightforward today for some reason I got hung up on a couple of clues and again referring hints some classic doh moments.
    A change in the weather the easterly wind is keeping temperatures down. I hope we are not all getting cabin fever, its going to be a long haul.
    Thanks to Pommers and setter

  10. A bit of a mixed bag for me I’m afraid. 1,3 and 11a are rather dated, and I thought the surface of 14a clumsy and only just acceptable. On the upside I really liked 24a and the partial homophone at 17d.
    My biggest problem in actually solving the puzzle was parsing 9a so thanks Pommers for the explanation and excellent review too.
    Many thanks to the setter also.

  11. A 10a start to the crossword ‘working’ week but I confess to a couple of ‘umms’ where 11&14a are concerned.
    Favourite was a toss up between 22a & 6d.

    Thanks to our Monday setter and also to Pommers. Just read that the ‘vulnerable’ are possibly to be asked to remain in isolation for the rest of the year – oh joy…………

  12. 3*/3*. I found this a mostly very enjoyable puzzle with the NW occupying most of my time.

    I had three hmms: 10a, 11a & 12d, and my podium places went to 3a, 6d & 15d.

    Many thanks to Campbell and to pommers.

  13. Like KFB it was a struggle to get started. My only spot on the first read through was 24a but then Gerry Rafferty came to the rescue (not sure what you have against that clue YS) and they began to fall for a steady completion in a shade under *** time. I’m with Pommers in that I thought this a wee bit tougher than the average Monday crosswords but thoroughly enjoyed it. Other than 14a all answers were fully parsed so progress is being made on that score. Vying for podium places were 3a, 10a & 15d with, like Chriscross, the latter my COTD. Thanks to the setter & to Pommers for the review.
    Off to the Grauniad cryptic though with a degree of trepidation if CS says it’s tricky – probably impenetrable for the likes of me…….

    1. Brendan is never fiendish but you do have to pay attention and you will be rewarded

    2. My objection is that it is not really a cryptic clue. I would have expected something a little more thought-provoking than the one in question. But as always that is a personal choice.

  14. Enjoyable enough for sure but not getting 1a right away and then putting a different column in for 2d which made little sense, left me a bit in trouble for a while until I realised my mistake! Took me longer than it should as a result. Ah well!

  15. Cabin fever might be getting to me because I did not enjoy this Campbell as much as I usually do and it took a bit of head scratching to complete it – 3.5*/2.5*.
    Candidates for favourite – 22a, 1d, and 15d – and the winner is 1d.
    Thanks to Campbell and pommers.

  16. Same hmms over 11 & 14 as others, otherwise pretty standard Monday fare
    Thanks to Campbell and chin up to Pommers & Pommette

  17. Slightly more difficult than usual for a Monday, I thought. I solved 14a but could not parse it at all. I got the holiday part but not “beginning to eat rock”. 24a was quite neat but my COTD was 13a.

    Grateful thanks to the setter for the challenge and to Pommers for the hints. I once did a 3a but more than that I will not say! :cool:

  18. Not awfully keen on this one, too many stretched synonyms for my taste. Having said that i did like 12d and 24a.
    Thx to all

  19. A very pleasant, nice and gentle puzzle this morning, with no problems at all. Favourites: 9a, 13a, and 15d, clearly for me the COTD, an expression I thought was some high-schoolish Americanism. Apparently not. Thanks to Pommers and Campbell for the pleasure. ** / ***

    Tornadoes to the north and south of us, so I must now get into my safety zone. Dear me.

  20. A nearly very good puzzle for me but I lacked the speed of thought to finish it quickly. Got there in the end with only one hint and so it’s a ***/*** for me. Thanks to Pommers and the setter for an enjoyable Easter Monday.

  21. Very quiet here today – where are you all?
    I think I enjoyed this one more than it sounds as if the rest of you did.
    My last answer was 2d – don’t know why other than that something had to be.
    I got into all kinds of trouble with 14a – it had to have busking in the answer somehow . . .
    Don’t think I’ve heard of the18a colour before but it had to be what it was.
    I liked 10 and 25a and 15d. My favourite was 12d – love him and the song – thanks pommers for the clip.
    Thanks to the setter and to pommers for the review and, again, for the clip.
    Not surprised you’re feeling cooped-up – you have been for longer than we have and I’m beginning to go a bit loopy already. I thought the restrictions in Spain were being lifted slightly. Thank goodness for crosswords!
    Very cold in Oxford and the ground is getting dry – the east wind isn’t going to help much.

    1. Some manufacturing and construction workers are back at work but it’s still lockdown for everyone else until at least 26th April, and probably longer. Yesterday was the lowest number of both new infections and deaths since 19th March.

    2. I’m still here Kath, keeping a quiet watch on you all ;) Recovered from my pre-Christmas fall with associated injuries…..just in time to not be able to go out again too often. Fortunately I can work from home and support my NHS colleagues with IT. Will resume commenting soon

  22. More difficult than some Monday offerings but with time to spare very enjoyable and rewarding.Laughed out loud at both 23a and 15d .Thankyou to setter and for the double pun but especially to Pommers for some parsing hints and Gerry Rafferty.

  23. A very enjoyable puzzle. A slow start like others and a bit of a challenge in places, but I had no problem with any of the clues.

    Something’s amiss here! Normally at this time of year the skies are teeming with migrating birds: swallows, swifts, martins and bee-eaters. But I haven’t seen any for several days. I have seen some swallows and bee-eaters but each only on one single day. And where are the Hoopoes? Very odd!

    Thanks Campbell and Pommers.

    1. I read that lots of migrating birds from Africa were dying in Greece, where they usually recharge themselves, due to unseasonable weather. I don’t know where you are but could that be a factor?

        1. Sounds plausible that similar things might have happened as the migrant birds crossed to where you are?

  24. I found this tricky in places 😳 but very enjoyable ***/**** Top of the favourites list 13a & 16d/2d 🤗 Thanks to Pommers for the excellent blog (apparently locusts make quite a healthy diet 😬) Thanks to the Setter who appears to be Brendan Campbell, whose name I don’t recognise🤔

    1. Allan Scott is the regular Monday setter since December 2019 I believe. He also sets as Campbell. Brendan used to set our Sunday prize puzzles. He has set today’s Gaurdian puzzle

  25. ***/***. Needed a lot of teasing out but got there in the end requiring two sittings. My favourite was 12d not least because it is one of my favourite pieces of music. Thanks to Pommers and the setter.

  26. Slow start but then steady progress with exception of NW where I struggled a bit. 11a and 14a jarred. Like Kath I had not heard of 18a either. My Fav was 23a. Thank you Mr. Ron or is it Mr. Campbell?

  27. Last ones in were 2d and 14a too.
    The colour in 18a was also new to me.
    So was the expression in 15d.
    All in all, quite a learning curve today.
    Favourite 17d.
    Straight to Xmas eh? Easter being cancelled.
    Thanks to Campbell and to Pommers for the review.

  28. Parsing of 14A defeated me (still think it’s a bit lame). But time to throw my hat in the ring. Really love this Blog. Sanitised greetings from deepest Devon. Linda x

  29. I had a different sort of suit in 6d. The first word was also a synonym for “steal”. Many thanks setter and Pommers.

  30. Not my cup of tea today.
    Got through it without help, but could not parse several, so thanks to Pommers.
    Thanks to the setter too. Hope I get more used to him soon.

    Keep safe stay home.

  31. Thanks to the setter and to Pommers for the review and hints. My self-confidence was restored, with this very nice puzzle. Just right for a Monday. Just needed the hints to parse 14a. 15d made me laugh, but my favourite was 7d for it’s originality. Was 2*/4* for me.

  32. I found this, by and large, to be quite friendly but was stuck in the NW for ages. I’m ashamed to say I never did solve 9a, it’s perfectly reasonable and well clued.
    I liked lots here, fave was 12d even though I’m not familiar with the song.
    There were many stand-outers, 11a, 15d and 2d, I could go on.
    Thanks Campbell, good start to the week, and pommers for his review. Sun’s out, time for the pool.

  33. I found that harder than yesterday and struggled right the way through. I think I have struggled with this setter before but was guilty of perhaps thinking this would be a stroll which it certainly wasn’t.
    I am not keen on bloggers telling me that certain clues are ‘gimmies’, I certainly had never heard of this meaning of data.
    I had not heard of 2d and had only heard of 11a in Citizen Kane and just bunged in the answer.
    All in all, not my favourite and need to double check some parsings.
    Thanks all.

  34. Definitely a trickier Monday puzzle than normal and so few anagrams too. Once I got going went pretty smoothly but still needed to use 3 hints to finish up. Favourite clues 10a, 13a, 8d & 15d
    Happy Easter Monday to all and we have bright sunshine again here on the west coast of Canada.

    Thanks to setter and Pommers

  35. Definitely not a friendly Easter Monday puzzle, in fact I found harder than a lot of Monday puzzles. Thanks to Pommers for the hints. As I needed quite a few, low on the enjoyment level. Could be because I was anxious to get started on painting our bedroom. We did buy the paint as soon as the lockdown looked possible, and extra rollers. Hoping to do better tomorrow.

  36. I am another who found this trickier than many Mondays of yore. Quite a few Hmmms too. The aforementioned 14a probably the weakest. Do 17d live in forests? and I got it in my head that 11a ended bed (deb upwards). I am sure I will improve through the week but I was delayed because I lost the printout before the lunchbreak I usually save for puzzling.
    Did anyone else look for Purple Spaceships over Yatton?

    Thanks to Pommers and Campbell

  37. I always struggle to get on this setters wavelength, not a criticism just a simple statement of fact, I don’t struggle with RayT. A number of synonyms stretched to breaking point and if anyone can explain where the forest in 17d comes in I’d be grateful. Having said that I did it, so happy days. Favourite was 10a after trying and failing to fit rat in. Thanks to Campbell and Pommers.

  38. Why did the site forget my name and email address which I just had to toe in again?

  39. tick the
    Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. box

    1. I’ve worked it out, I mistakenly clicked on Facebook, I didn’t realise it was on Facebook, I must go to Specsavers. 🤤

      1. Oh it happens to me all the time. I used to keep thinking this machine had something against me and just forgot who I was, but eventually I twigged that it always happens after I have a clearout of cookies.

        1. Curiously I was wearing my glasses that I got from Specsavers. I’ll be more careful next time so I don’t look such a numpty. 😁

        2. It never saves for me on my IPhone. I have to type in again each “sitting” but once I’ve posted this it will save if I make any more comments this time. Was the same on my IPad but seems to work at the moment. I did ask Big Dave at the bash but he didn’t know the reason

  40. It took ages for me to get on the right wavelength today, but when I finally did, it was alright. I liked 1 and 2d, and 13 and 24a. Keep well, and stay safe! Thanks to Pommers, and the setter, from far flung Nuzild! 🙃

  41. Favourites 13 and 24a 1 8 15 d. Started last night leaving four to do which I polished off this morning. Those four were 2d 9a 3a and 8 d. With each “pair” once I got one I got the other. Thanks setter and Pommers (what a year you’ve had – home trouble doesn’t come in threes like my mother used to say. Did not need the hints although I didn’t know the song. I dredged you 2d from somewhere but thinking pier fitted in helped

  42. Couldn’t get 1A as the definition of Dope as the hint of “information” seems to pass me by! First time poster here so please be gentle with me!

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