DT 29340 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29340

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29340

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Good morning from sunny, locked-down South Staffs. As I sit at home getting shaggier by the day, I wonder how the Government spokesmen appearing at the daily briefings still seem to have neat hair. Do they all live with their hairdresser?

I filled in today’s grid in ** time, but have added another star for the time it took to work out the parsing of a couple of clues. It helped that 5d is an answer I have blogged before, at 8d in DT 27377.

In the hints below, the definitions are underlined. The answers are hidden under the ANSWER buttons, so don’t click if you don’t want to see them.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.

Across

7a           Reportedly warm and sunny? It’s brief! (7)
SUMMARY – A brief recap of a longer document, setting out the conclusions, sounds like (reportedly) a description of seasonal warm sunny weather.

8a           Green leader prepared to admit source of money (7)
EMERALD – Anagram (prepared) of LEADER with the first letter (source) of Money inserted.

10a         Ethnic grouping comprising half of Greece’s constituents? (9)
EUROPEANS – The word ‘Greece’ is made up of six letters, half of them the same. Those letters, individually, are an abbreviation for an ethnic or political group. There are three of them, so the answer is plural.

11a         City detectives could be seeking them, we hear (5)
LEEDS – This city in the North of England sounds like (we hear) the ways into an investigation which detectives may be seeking.

12a         Drank to excess back in warehouse (5)
DEPOT – Reverse (back) a word for ‘drank to excess’.

13a         Title of private vessel the Queen goes aboard (9)
OWNERSHIP – Two words (3,4) which might describe one’s private vessel, with the regnal cipher of our Queen inserted,

15a         In haughty manner, is it an indication toilet needs cleaning? (7)
ALOOFLY – Split this (1,3,3) and it could indicate insect life in the smallest room.

17a         Power failure crossing river creates shock (7)
OUTRAGE River inserted into a word for a power failure.

18a         Score with ace in card game (6-3)
TWENTY-ONE – Add together the numbers represented by a score and an ace, to get a card game.

20a         Head of council, stable occupant it’s said (5)
MAYOR – This council officer may sound like a female horse.

21a         Avoid opening press release put out (5)
ELUDE – Remove the initials of Press Release from a musical opening piece.

[arve url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vcC4Thug-h8″ /]

23a         Swiss location’s extremely tolerable home for composer (9)
BERNSTEIN – Put together a city in Switzerland, plus the ‘S, the outside letters (extremely) of TolerablE, and ‘at home’, to get the composer of West Side Story and this:

[arve url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zEBfay9FUgE” /]

24a         Striking entails getting beaten up (7)
SALIENT _ Anagram (beaten up) of ENTAILS.

25a         Inclined to defend footballers being vulgar (7)
PROFANE – A word for ‘inclined to’ wrapped around the initials of the governing body of football in England.

Down

1d           Hear MP’s not changed communication device (10)
SMARTPHONE – Anagram (changed) of HEAR MP’S NOT.

2d           Reprimand Cairo poet appearing regularly in court (6)
CARPET– An abbreviation for ‘court’ wrapped round alternate letters of CAiRo PoEt.

3d           Traffic system upset club visiting outskirts of Grimsby (8)
GYRATORY – Reverse (upset) the name of an international club described as ‘an international service organization whose stated purpose is to bring together business and professional leaders in order to provide humanitarian service and to advance goodwill and peace around the world’, then wrap the outside letters (outskirts) of GrimsbY around the result.

Hanger Lane gyratory - Alchetron, The Free Social Encyclopedia

4d           Compose a sonata piece that’s mellow (6)
SEASON – Hidden in the clue.

5d           English student fills up Bordeaux in wine cabinet (8)
CELLARET English and the letter usually used to indicate someone learning something, with the generic name for red Bordeaux wines wrapped round them, giving us a name for a cabinet used for storing wine.

Antique Mahogany cellaret - Catawiki

6d           Flimsy fabric (4)
LAME – Double definition, though the second one (a shiny fabric) ought to be spelt with an acute accent on the final letter.

7d           Resolute quality of head chasing dates around hurriedly (13)
STEADFASTNESS – Put together an anagram (around) of DATES, another word for ‘hurriedly’, and a head(land) or promontory.

9d           Flight of criminal pair and escape (13)
DISAPPEARANCE – Anagram (criminal) of PAIR AND ESCAPE.

14d         Hard rock yielding lead, maybe (5,5)
HEAVY METAL – Double definition, the first being a variety of music (not one to my taste, though).

16d         Was originator of one-time TV sitcom? (8)
FATHERED – A TV sitcom (6,3) set on a small island off the coast of Ireland, with one of the two abbreviations for Time in its name removed.

Why do so many Irish Catholics love being mocked by Father Ted?

17d         Left by pier, bananas past sell-by date? (8)
OVERRIPE – A four-letter word for ‘left’ or ‘remaining’ followed by an anagram (bananas) of PIER.

19d         Courses of some interest I brought up (6)
ORBITS – The courses of some heavenly bodies are hidden in reverse in the clue.

20d         Male attending annual Royal occasion displays charm (6)
MASCOT Male followed by a horse-race meeting with Royal patronage, normally held in June each year.

22d         Fruit crop each year from Puglia (4)
UGLI – Remove the abbreviation for ‘each year’ or ‘per annum’ from (P)ugli(A) to get a type of fruit.

Ugli, the Fruit | InsideJourneys


The Quick Crossword pun SIRENS + ESTHER = CIRENCESTER

101 comments on “DT 29340
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  1. Not particularly difficult for a Friday and about average for enjoyment. Thanks to the setter and DT

    Highlight of this morning’s walk was a mother duck and seven teeny tiny ducklings. Nice to have something to smile about in these difficult times

    1. Doesn’t matter I know but for once I agree with your difficulty rating. For me my walk was enlightened by 2 puppies arguing with each at each end of a stick! Keep well and avoid the dreaded lurgi. (My predictive text inserted Luigi, don’t know who he is but avoid him anyway)

  2. I thoroughly enjoyed this one. 10a was my clear favourite, with an honourable mention to 16d, and 21a my last one in. Not too difficult to complete, but some had-scratching needed for a couple of clues.

    I’m not sure who our setter is, but grateful thanks anyway to him or her, and to DT.

  3. Some of the wordplay to these clues was tricky to work through. Thanks to DT for helping me parse 10a, 21a, 25a, 3d and 6d, which I bunged in, some of them only partly understood. Long winded and not particularly enjoyable (***/**) is my verdict. There were no real favourites although some of the anagrams were good. Thanks to the setter. Stay safe and well everyone.

  4. Certainly a different ‘feel’ in todays puzzle , no idea who the setter is.
    Lots of fun and am going for a ***/****.
    I was slow to start with but a steady solve evolved once I tuned in.
    Plenty of amusing clues like 15a and 16d, I liked 23a and 21a.
    I took a little time to parse 3d as I assumed the outskirts GY came first!-ok once I saw the light and another fine clue.
    Failed to parse 10a thanks DT , I don’t think I was alone

  5. I found this was quite tricky in parts, mainly as DT said, in the parsing department (10 and 21a). I thought some of it was very imaginatively clued, though 15a was a bit silly and 6d was a bit, well 6d. Other than those, very enjoyable with some great clues, of which 7a and 11a plus 7d stood out for me in a strong field.
    3/4*
    Many thanks to the setter and to DT for providing clarity where needed.

      1. My understanding from Deep Threat’s comment is:- European *3 i.e. European’s though it would be interesting to see whether setter intended E,E,E or E.E.C?

  6. 3.5*/4.5*. I found this relatively tough and extremely enjoyable. Just right for a Friday. I have an inkling who the setter might be, but I’ve been wrong quite a lot recently so I’m not sticking my neck out today.

    15a was my favourite and it is joined on a crowded podium by 6d, 14d, 16d & 17d.

    I was hoping for some music to accompany 14d but DT’s excellent choice for 21a more than compensates.

    Many thanks to the setter and to DT.

  7. I thought that this was pitched just right for a Friday back-pager and I enjoyed it a lot. I ticked 7a, 15a, 18a and 23a but my favourite was the excellent 16d.
    Thanks to the setter and DT.

  8. Like DT, I was baffled by some of the parsings especially 10a which remained a ‘bung-in’ until I read his hint but I still managed to complete the puzzle at a gallop – 2.5*/3*.
    Candidates for favourite – 17a, 5d, 14d, and 17d – and the winner is 14d.
    Thanks to the setter and DT.

  9. I also found this more difficult than normal and I needed DT’s parsing of 10a and 16d.

    I initially put 12a in the wrong way round so I had to sort that out when it came to 2d.

    I groaned at 15a and I can’t say I particularly liked that clue. It took me an embarrassingly long time to sort out the first part of the 1d anagram and in the end I had to resort to pen and paper.

    I particularly liked 23a and 22d and on the whole enjoyed it all.

    Many thanks to DT and the setter.

  10. Lots to like in today’s smart puzzle, which I finished in ** time, with 3d being the LOI–a word I have maybe seen once in my long life, but when the ‘club’ (not a ‘bat’ or ‘baton’ which I kept trying) revealed itself, I was happily home-free. Thanks, D.T., for parsing 10a for me; I just bunged that one in. Standouts today: 23a, 3d, and 6d. Cheers, DT and the setter. ** / ***

  11. Many thanks to Deep Threat for unravelling all the parsings (his interpretation of 10a matches mine) and to all those who have commented thus far. I thought I’d make an early contribution before the “I wish Friday puzzles were how they used to be” usual suspects make an appearance!

    I hope the wordplay for 22d will elicit a smile or two from Stone Waller, his very “neck of the woods”.

    Stay safe everyone.

    1. Thanks for popping by Silvanus. Very enjoyable, and with all due respects to Giovanni there’s none of the “Oh for the Friday’s of old” here!

    2. Aha! My inkling was correct. I should have had the courage of my convictions. Many thanks, Silvanus.

      Fridays with puzzles like this and those from proXimal are just what the doctor ordered as far as I am concerned. As a personal observation, I found this tougher than SIlvanus’ Toughie earlier this week but both were equally enjoyable.

    3. Thanks for the puzzle Silvanus – I thoroughly enjoyed it.

      For what it’s worth, there are no complaints from me regarding “I wish Friday puzzles were how they used to be” – I stopped looking at the Friday puzzle a while ago because I found they included too much GK and obscure religious references (both of which are my bête noire in crosswords). I enjoy your fresh style – please keep it going.

    4. It did! Perhaps I will look for a plant!

      I didn’t do too well with some of this … 10ac, 15ac and TV sitcoms are not my cup of tea – no TV!

      Thanks to DT for explaining and Silvanus for the mental exercise.

  12. My sense of inadequacy is duly heightened by CS’s opening comment of not particularly difficult for a Friday. Though this was by no means as bad as yesterday’s struggle it was a very slow start until the third strong coffee kicked in and I sped to a finish in just under 3.5*. For whatever reason the first 5 letters of the 1d anagram took forever as well as spotting the lurker in 4d. My last in was 6d and I couldn’t get past lace for some time which clearly made no sense. The parsing of 10a completely eluded me & I’m not entirely sure I’m any the wiser having read the explanation. 5d was new to me but gettable from the wordplay.
    Overall I thought this was a corker with some witty clues to raise a smile. Pick of them for me – 3d, 16d & the winner 15a.
    Many thanks to the setter & to DT for the review. Off for an earlier than usual walk today before the forecast much needed rain with a J.J. Cale playlist for company.

  13. Always encouraging when first two across clues go straight in then East came first with NW causing a bit of a hiatus. 15a not too clever. Unlike DT don’t recall having come across 5d previously. 6d only works if the missing accent is overlooked. Fav 13a. Great musical accompaniments to hints. Thanks Mysteron and DT.

  14. Not started yet, but I need to vent my spleen…I live in a beautiful part of Kent and the amount of fly tipping here is a disgrace. Going to cost the rate players a fortune to clear up.
    Now for the crossword…

  15. Thanks, Deep Threat. My favourite today is 3d, for the delight in learning that it contains that other word backwards in it.

    For once the quickie pun helped with solving the thing — I was getting bored of thinking of books of The Bible only to find they didn’t fit, so I guessed at what the pun might be from its first half, and out popped the required book.

  16. I must be having a “stupid” day because I found this even harder than yesterday’s offering. Had to check the parsing of an awful lot of these clues. They didn’t make a lot of sense to me. That said, many clues were relatively straightforward but the real head scratchers to me were 3d, 6d, 5d and 21a. I resorted to the dictionary for 3d and 5d and 6d is a very lame clue! Couldn’t get my head past lace which made no sense either.

      1. Overall a very good crossword spoilt by 6d. There are situations in which an accent can be left out e.g cafe, but unfortunately this isn’t one of them. Thousands of words could have fitted in here with countless witty clues. Thanks setter and to DT

  17. This was very tricky and I needed quite a fair bit of help. It was, however, most enjoyable. I often find that a crossword I struggle with gives more enjoyment when clues are finally solved. I loved 3d but I did think that GY at the start was the town part. Wonderful lightbulb moment when it finally clicked. It was made all the better because I grew up in the town. It has to be my COTD.

    For some unfathomable reason, I convinced myself that 23a was Beethoven! Obviously not but it lodged in my brain and I couldn’t shift it.

    Grateful thanks to Sylvanus for a really great challenge and many thanks to DT for the excellent and much needed hints.

    Keep safe and well, everyone.

    1. The temptation to bung Beethoven was strong, if you’d already completed 9 and 19down….but once 14d had gone in, the answer was inevitable. Thanks to setter though, because there are a lot of composers beginning with B. You could almost imagine him thinking of the sharp intake of breath from the puzzlers and having a quiet laugh.

  18. Like others, I found this tougher than usual for a back-pager but, as RD and Gazza commented, it is a Friday so doubtless fair enough. At least, unlike the Fridays of yore, I didn’t have to arm myself with reference books to complete the solve! Having said that, I have to admit to checking 5d – I hadn’t remembered it from its previous appearance although a faint bell-ringing could be heard once I’d verified it.
    On the subject of confessions and particularly in light of our setter having popped in to claim 13a and to set us right where the parsing of 10a is concerned – I was another in the EEC camp……

    Top of my list today were 15&25a with a mention for 14d – I don’t enjoy the style of music but thought it was a clever clue.
    Many thanks to Silvanus and also to DT for the words and music. There seems to be quite an online debate about the rendition of 21a – if it was as it appears, it was certainly an excellent example of ‘tickling’ the ivories.

  19. Fairly easy today (thankfully after yesterday’s struggle).
    Got 10a but couldn’t parse it. I’d go with the ‘EEC’ explanation.

  20. Enjoyed today’s crossword, for me I will give it ***/***, my COTD is 3d, I too found parsing 10a difficult thanks DT, also for me 6d was a bit 6d too as Stephen L said.
    Thanks to the setter and DT.

  21. Excellent puzzle with one exception 16d which was very clumsy and out of character of the rest which were on the whole very clever. New words for me in 5d and 12a (the reversed word).
    Very enjoyable, shame about 16d.
    **/*** (would have been **** but for the dreaded 16d)
    Thx to all

      1. 16d brilliant. Invariably complaints emerge when solvers miss a nuance, do not properly parse or simply miss the obvious. This is a general observation not directed at anyone in particular which afflicts all of us from time to time.

    1. Completely agree this is an excellent puzzle. I feel 16d is very tricky as you first must guess the sitcom and then the need to remove one of the T, the answer is not the most obvious definition for the target. 10a is also a very clever clue, again very difficult if it were not for the checking letters and the clear definition. I’ve never heard of the cabinet in 5d but the clue Is perfect so I see this as a useful expansion of my vocabulary.

  22. I think the degree of difficulty has increased day by day this week until today’s puzzle was exactly as a Friday back pager should be. I finished in a reasonable time but came here to see what DT made of 10ac (Fair but odd) 21ac , where I was only trying to lose a single letter not PR. That would have driven me up the wall if I was blogging. 16d which I should have spotted. 22d where I missed the per annum that wasn’t there. Thanks to DT for the blog and the busy Silvanus for the puzzle. I don’t mind not having Giovanni on a Friday as long as the puzzles are suitably challenging.

  23. If I am already here, it means that I have finished the toughie. Well, one to go actually but needed a break.
    And a very pleasant one it was.
    At one point I wondered if I had 7d wrong as I struggled with 10, 15 and 21a.
    Remembered 5d, specially the picture from BD at the time.
    Thanks to Silvanus and to DT for the review.

  24. After the last two disastrous days, I’ve had my faith restored in solving crosswords. I really liked 7a and 15a. 6d I wasn’t so sure about. Like DT said, I always thought of that fabric as having an acute accent. That’s the way it is pronounced. Many thanks to the setter and to DT. My bluetit now has eight eggs in its nest, so I’m wondering if that’s the final number.

  25. Lovely puzzle. \Even better walkthrough by DT. I managed to complete it without clicking, but still can’t understand the parsing for 10a. Not being one I suppose. Gee but I wish it was further clarified, but I’m not from the subcontinent either! Thanks BD and DT

  26. After nearly 60 years of (choral) singing, I’d say that the 23a piece is the most challenging thing I’ve ever done. It’s not just the rhythmic complexity, but the fact that you’re singing in Hebrew. I’ve sung in many languages but, apart from Russian, this is the hardest.
    Not for the first time, I long for some sort of optical device that lets you look at the score and the conductor simultaneously.

    1. For me, Sibelius has been the most difficult, though helped by having two Finnish ladies in the choir at the time. Have never tried Hebrew though …

  27. Nice crossword to end the week 😃***/*** Favourites 11a & 23a new word for me at 5d (possibly because I keep my Claret in the garage 😬) Big thanks to DT, especially for the musical interludes and of course thanks to Silvanus 🤗

  28. After two days of frustration this was a friendly puzzle where the clueing was good and when read carefully would yield the correct answer. Thank you Silvanus and DT. If I am a little bewildered by a clue I have to admit I always blame myself.

  29. I forgot to thank DT for the parsings…….thanks, I needed them.

    Re your query about the personal grooming of the Government daily briefers…….
    I tend to think that they are:
    A) Robots – who have no need of grooming staff, and have spare heads, in any case.
    B) Humans – who have robots as grooming staff.
    C) Aliens – who return to the mothership each night for any relevant grooming, or who also have spare heads.

    1. Whatever they are, heaven help them. I wouldn’t have their job for all the tea in China. Speaking of which, time for the cup that cheers but does not inebriate ( or maybe a little glug of something…..).

    2. Mrs DT suggested that perhaps they all have shaven heads, and just add an official wig before appearing on TV. Which reminds me of Dolly Parton’s reply to someone who asked how long ti took to get her hair done before a show: “I don’t know, I’m never there!”

  30. A very nice puzzle. Some of the parsing was a good struggle as well. I was in the EEC camp until I saw Silvanus’s post. I failed with 6d. I wanted to put lace in but I didn’t. I knew it was wrong, but I couldn’t come up with the correct answer. My top 3 in reverse order are 21a, 16d and 15a.

  31. I did enjoy that and “finished” it all on my ownsome. As confessions seem to be the order of the day I have to admit that 10a was a bung in and neither the EEE or EEC parsings occurred to me and 6d was just plain wrong ( I was Lace). I toyed with Beethoven too.
    3d and 16d my faves and I will give the nod to 16d for kicking Bishop Brennan up the Ar*e! (_!_)

    Thanks to DT and Silvanus.
    I am quite pleased with my progress at the toughie too. It is still mostly blank but I have got a better start than most Elgars of late.

    1. Well done. I’m finding it completely impenetrable – only managed 5 answers & got fed up and switched to the Guardian which is quite tough but far more accessible

  32. Maybe I wasn’t on the right wavelength today – I finished it ‘by my own’ but with too many bung ins which is
    never satisfactory, but makes the reading of the blog essential! Thank you all for another week of lovely
    if sometimes frustrating puzzles, but it wouldn’t do at all if they were all easy peasy.. Do we assume that Domus has had the lurgi?
    If so, pleased that he/she has come through smiling.

  33. Found this tough in places, with some strange wordplay. But with the help of a few hints it is finally done and dusted. Didn’t care for 15a, never seen it used as a verb, and never heard of that name for a traffic system in 3d, so they held me up. Rest was quite enjoyable, especially for a Friday. Is it Friday? Who knows any more. Being retired you’d think we were used to this inactivity, but we miss our regular days out that gave shape to our week. Hoping we oldies are forced to self isolate for longer than others, and that we will eventually be allowed out, even if it is with social distancing and masks in supermarkets etc. Definitely need to get the younger folk back to work before there is nothing for them to go back to. Thanks to setter and Deep Threat.

  34. Super crossword today, congrats to Silvanus. Not as tough as yesterday, but still pretty challenging.
    The homophone at 20d didn’t work for me, but I thought 3d was excellent and COTD.
    In spite of the fly tipping mentioned earlier, a lovely morning spent watching Marsh Harriers and a Short Eared Owl down on the Thames estuary.
    Thanks DT for the blog.

    1. Hi Hoofit,
      There isn’t a homophone in 20d – it’s M(ale) followed by ASCOT (annual Royal occasion) giving a synonym of a ‘charm’.
      Stay safe and stay well, at least we’ve got the first four weeks of lockdown behind us!

      1. Hi Jane, sorry, I meant 20a!!! I’m so stupid!!
        Seen any good migrants yet?? No luck yet for me, bar a couple of Wheatear.
        You stay well too!!

        1. No migrants to report but I’m pretty much confined to what I can see on the Strait from my lounge window at the moment. No.1 daughter has me under quite a tight lockdown!
          I hear from others that the first few Wheatear are about and also the first of the Swallows. Reassuring to learn that nature is continuing to evolve without our interference.

          1. Hi Jane,
            There should be quite a lot of activity in the salt lakes in Hyeres but unfortunately the local paper doesn’t report on it at the moment. Just before total shut down, we had a few official lunches at Le Jardin about a new protected area petitioned by the LPO ( equivalent to the RSPB in France). I shall check what they say about the various migrations and report shortly.

  35. It was just a few clues which made this one tricky really, and they were properly tricky. I can normally solve them one I’ve got the answers in, but not this time. Strange clues they were in my view – which is good cos it’s Friday.

  36. ***/****. Really enjoyable puzzle with too many excellent clues to choose from. Although, like Brian, and marmite, I didn’t like 16d. Thanks to the setter and DT.

  37. I found this tricky and not particularly enjoyable or satisfying. No favourites but I do know I didn’t like 10a, 15a, 21a and 16d.

  38. Thanks to Silvanus and to Deep Threat for the review and hints. I enjoyed this one very much, I found it a little tricky in places. Favourite was 16a. Was 3*/3* for me.

  39. This was pretty much R&W for me, which is a very rare occurrence. Now planning to spend a much,much, longer time with the Elgar.

  40. We found this one quite tricky and very enjoyable to solve. 3d was new to us and 6d had us head-scratching for ages.
    Thanks Silvanus and DT.

  41. I cannot say that I enjoyed all of this puzzle . I did make things more difficult for myself by inserting Eurasians at 10a which scuppered 2d until I saw that my 10a must be wrong. Could not figure out why the answer was Europeans, though, so thank you, Deep Threat.
    What cannot 6d be laCe ? Are we just supposed to realise that the clue would not be cryptic enough ?

    Thanks to Deep Threat and to the setter.

  42. I’m with Deep Threat in that the answers went in first for many and think about the parsing later. 3d, was a puzzle as the Club down my away is spelt rOtAry, not rATory. So with the O in 13a I was trying to work in ‘iron’ or ‘wood’ (xw land’s favourite clubs) until I consulted Mr Google. Some good candidates for COTD; I liked 10, 13 and 15a and 19d, good reverse lurker. Thanks Gio but still not sold on 3d. Cheers🦇

              1. Thanks for the replies, if you’re still up. 18 April is well under way here. Now I’m looking at it with fresh eyes it makes sense. The two Y’s and O threw me. Cheers 🦇

  43. Just popping in to say hello, to express solidarity, and also to say :phew: that was tough!
    I haven’t read all the comments yet – I’m tired and grumpy so back tomorrow but, in the meantime, thanks to Silvanus and to DT.
    Night night

  44. This is the first time I have completed a cryptic crossword – albeit with lots of help from Big Dave.

    Thanks very much!

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