DT 29342 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29342

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29342

Hints and tips by Falcon

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Greetings from Ottawa, where the lockdown not only continues in force but has recently been extended. Although some may discern a faint glimmer of hope on the distant horizon, we are being warned by authorities to expect more of the same for the foreseeable future.

I thought today’s puzzle to be a typical Monday offering — as though I have been blogging the Monday puzzles long enough to make such a judgement. We’ll see how others feel.

The puzzle reads like a whodunnit with a murder, one or more potential weapons, and a couple of top-notch sleuths to 6d the usual suspects.

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   Murder in institution probed by one leading police department (8)
HOMICIDE — an institution for people who need care or rest is infiltrated by the Roman numeral for one and the detective branch of the police force; the word ‘leading’ tells us that the former comes before the latter

5a   Fawn seen in group of trees close to wall (6)
GROVEL — a group of trees (olive trees, perhaps) followed by the final letter of walL

10a   Policeman with precise advice, reportedly, for local governing body (8,7)
DISTRICT COUNCIL — line up a policeman from the branch in 1a, a word meaning precise or exact, and a soundalike for another term for advice

11a   Casual worker absent earlier (7)
OFFHAND — one of the usual workers (not the six-footer) preceded by a word meaning absent or away

12a   Wild about Spain and Germany banded together? (7)
FEDERAL — an adjective denoting wild (like homeless cats) encompassing the IVR codes for Spain and Germany

13a   We fuss about length and line? That’s rich! (4-2-2)
WELL-TO-DO — WE from the clue and a fuss, commotion or bustle corral L(ength) and L(ine)

15a   Writer ringing about groom (5)
PREEN — a writing implement surrounding a prepostion denoting about or concerning

18a   Hog’s back, cooler when heading off (5)
RIDGE — a kitchen appliance FRIDGE missing its first letter

20a   Family, edgier unfortunately, following gym (8)
PEDIGREE — anagram of (unfortunately) EDGIER following a school gym class

23a   Pirate’s sword, perhaps nicked by young woman (7)
CUTLASS — nicked (drawing blood) and a young Scottish woman

25a   Come to an arrangement in a wood after party (2,1,4)
DO A DEAL — A from the clue and a plank of fir or pine both following the usual party

26a   Fictional detective in mews I reportedly upset (4,5,6)

27a   Telephone about file and hand-held tool (6)
TROWEL — abbreviation for telephone wrapped around a file or line

28a   Foolish people brought before sheriff primarily, or judge (8)
ASSESSOR — string together foolish people (those behaving like donkeys, perhaps), the initial letter of Sheriff, and the OR from the clue


1d   Landlady in ‘Hound’ novel accommodating Sherlock, principally (6)
HUDSON — anagram of (novel) HOUND containing (accommodating) the initial letter of Sherlock; this is a semi-all-in-one clue as the entire clue could be considered to be the definition; the landlady in question is, in fact, Sherlock Holme’s landlady and I believe she appears in most — if not all — the Holmes books

2d   Poet, self-made I suspect (9)
MASEFIELD — anagram of (suspect) SELFMADE I

3d   Shorten story heard in support of vicious dog (7)
CURTAIL — a soundalike for a story synonym following (in support of in a down clue) a vicious dog

4d   Game of chance: diamonds cut (5)
DICED — a game of chance played with pipped cubes and the symbol for a playing card suit

6d   Gather together in circle at college (5,2)
ROUND UP — another word for circle and an adverb denoting at college

7d   Member of the clergy from Slavic area (5)
VICAR — hidden in (from) the final two words in the clue

8d   The French, all unfamiliar with film (2,2,4)
LA LA LAND — line up a French definite article, an anagram of (unfamiliar) ALL, plus a conjunction meaning with or accompanied by

9d   Lecture about a fine force’s framework (8)
SCAFFOLD — a lecture or tongue-lashing surrounding the A from the clue, the pencil symbol for fine, and a physicist’s symbol for force

14d   Facing Italian in contest (8)
OPPOSITE — the abbreviation for Italian (or some Italian vermouth) contained in a verb meaning to contest or resist

16d   Break even in other school, initially (9)
ELEVENSES — start by inserting the EVEN from clue into a word meaning other than what has already been mentioned; finish by appending the initial letter of School

17d   Couple hired band (8)
BRACELET — a pair of game birds and a word meaning hired or rented

19d   Model not including enough (7)
EXAMPLE — a commercial term designating not including or before (as in ‘price before tax’) and a word meaning enough (in fact, it usually suggests more than enough)

21d   Stone jar seen round Northern Ireland (7)
GRANITE — a verb meaning to make a harsh grinding sound envelops the abbreviation for Northern Ireland

22d   Actor in Polanski’s first film (6)
PLAYER — the first letter of Polanski and a film (of dust)

24d   Trunk and tangled roots (5)
TORSO — an anagram of (tangled) ROOTS

25d   Game belonging to old art student (5)
DARTS — hidden in (belonging to) the last three words of the clue

Today I liked 1a and 12a but thought they were far outdistanced by 1d which takes COD honours.



106 comments on “DT 29342

  1. Mostly straighrforward, although it took me a while to remember in whose house Sherlock Holmes boarded. I rated this 1.5*/3.5*. There were some good anagrams (26a and 2d) but it did require quite a bit of General Knowledge. Thanks to the setter and to Falcon for the hints. Nothing lasts forever, not even a lockdown. Keep safe and well everyone.

  2. A very Mondayish puzzle. Thanks to Falcon for explaining the role of Mrs Hudson. Thanks to Mr Scott for the workout

  3. I found this on the whole to be an enjoyable and a typical start to the week puzzle. If I have a quibble it’s over clues like 1d and 26a, which are basically quizword clues, with an obvious bit of wordplay thrown in to give them a cryptic element. I liked a lot of the rest though with podium places going to 15 and 28a plus 19d.
    Many thanks to the setter and to Falcon for a top review.

  4. A very pleasant confection of a cryptic this morning, which I galloped through on one of Senf’s horses. Enjoyed the thrill too, even though the SW corner held me up slightly, as did 16d, my last one in (we don’t have those things in these Benighted States, do we?). My stars today are all fictional: 26a, 1d, and 22d. Thanks Falcon and today’s setter. * / ***

  5. With all the checkers in 16d took longer than the rest of the crossword put together – heaven knows why as obvious really.
    Typical Monday fare. Not too taxing & a pleasant solve, as is today’s Graun.
    The weather outside is absolutely gorgeous & I fear I may succumb to the temptation to take a book with me on today’s walk & discreetly linger on a remote bench somewhere…….
    Thanks to the setter & to Falcon for the review.

    1. Hi Huntsman,
      Lucky for you. Our public benches are taped like a crime scene and in some towns like Béziers, the mayor had them all removed.

      1. Here the benches remain in place but there is an $800 fine if you are caught sitting on one!

    2. I took your advice and checked out Billy Strings. Absolutely awesome guitar playing. I’ve passed on some of his videos to friends. Thank you. 🎸

  6. Pleasantly straightforward and excellent entertainment for a sunny Monday. I enjoyed the murder/mystery theme with 1d my favourite. I apologise in advance to everyone if the weather now breaks as I have just collected some patio gas for the BBQ.

    Thanks to Mr Scott and Falcon.

  7. 1.5*/3*. An enjoyably pleasant and not too taxing Monday solve. 1d was my favourite.

    Many thanks to Campbell and to Falcon.

  8. 1d was a ‘wait for checkers and then slot together the anagram’ moment but otherwise a smooth passage.
    No particular favourite but I did like the fawn hiding in the trees.

    Thanks to our setter and to Falcon for the review – that’s some 17d in your picture!

  9. I enjoyed the 8d clue, but didn’t particularly enjoy the movie. There were some much better films around at the time that didn’t get anywhere in the Oscars. Shame really. Many thanks to the setter and to Falcon.

  10. Done at a canter, a very gentle start to the week, I did enjoy the theme and for me 1d and 26a were the favs.
    Thanks to the setter and Falcon

  11. Great start to the week, nearly a write in but as usual confidence got the better of me, and I ran out lf stea, st 9d and 14d. Coffee prevailed and managed to complete in fairly good time. I suspect that tomorrows will be tougher.
    Thanks to Falcon and setter.
    Keep well keep safe everyone.

  12. A great start to the week. I needed electronic help with a couple and, like Huntsman, 16d took me far too long. I always have a problem when most of the checkers are “E”s for some unknown reason. There were many good clues so difficult to pick a favourite but I liked the misdirection of 9d. I spent ages trying to fit in “tutor”, “teacher” etc.

    As ever, grateful thanks to the setter and also to Falcon for the great hints.

    I see my dog stuck his nose in at 1d. :grin:

    1. Strange coincidence just the day after your post – I did note. Don’t think Biggles has featured.

      1. “Head changes on silly laughs for a fictional airman”? That is my first time at devising a clue and it will be my last! :smile:

          1. Yes, that is far better! I look forward to seeing it feature in a future puzzle. :good:

        1. Air ace’s broken leg is hidden by jumbo slacks at first (7)
          Pilot twice searches for missing spectacles (7)

          Those two should be familiar to at least one or two here

  13. 16d was my last one in, didn’t see it for ages. Hadn’t come across the fictional detective but could get him from the anagram.

    not as easy as yesterdays!

  14. Like yesterday another gentle puzzle: are we to pay later in the week?
    New abode means I look across to the Glenmorangie distillery: no white “smoke” from the stack means no production I guess.
    An Osprey fly-past earlier brightened an already bright day.
    Thanks to setter & Falcon.

      1. The roles of whisky & religion in the times of a lockdown now there is an interesting topic that could occupy Question Time for months.

  15. 16d was my last one in, didn’t see it for ages. Hadn’t come across the fictional detective but could get him from the anagram.

    not as easy as yesterdays!

    thanks setter and falcon

  16. Very straightforward, almost the proscribed term, completed at a fast gallop – 1.5*/3*.
    Candidates for favourite – 10a, 8d, and 21d – and the winner is 10a.
    Thanks to Mr Scott and Falcon.

  17. This for me was a record xxxxx. I seem to have suddenly acquired a brain!
    Now back to the garden on a beautiful sunny day. Thanks to both.

    1. The convention is that we don’t mention solving times. You can refer to numbers of cups of tea or pints consumed when solving but not actual minutes taken

  18. A gently enjoyable launch into the cruciverbal week. East outran the West. Forgot the literary source of 1d. Didn’t quite parse 8d. My Fav was 16d – a word one doesn’t seem to hear much these days (just seen Dutch’s concurring comment). Many thanks Mysteron and Falcon

  19. ooh what a lovely puzzle, we each completed it in record time, extremely enjoyable clues pandering to our reading habits. Thank you Mysteron and Falcon, more of the same please! 😁😁

  20. No great problems except for 16d which I thought was very clumsy wordplay. Shame as the rest was excellent. My fav was 1a.
    Thx to all.

  21. I notice that the caption for the picture at the 1a hint is “homocide”. Is this an acceptable spelling?

    1. It must be a murder that takes place in the Gay Village. Attribute it to late night blogging. Now corrected.

      1. Oh, right. I wondered if it was a transatlantic spelling. Never even thought that the spelling originated from your good self in a late night blogging session. :smile:

        Actually, I like your definition.

  22. Agree that this was very straightforward but hugely enjoyable.
    The poet and the fictional detective were new to me but easily got.
    Thanks to the Monday setter and to Falcon for the review.

    1. The poet was responsible for “I must down to the seas again…”, one of the most famous poems in the English language. Have a go, I think you’ll enjoy it, J-L

      1. I must go down to the seas again
        To the lonely sea and the sky
        I left my vest and socks there
        I must see if they’re dry

        Spike Milligan

          1. Not sure how he got away with this…

  23. A very pleasant Monday stroll through Murder Mystery time.Probably completed in my quickest time ever.No doubt l will struggle later this week but it was very good to feel ahead of the puzzle rather be the last one to twig.Funilly I am currently listening to the complete Sherlock Holmes stories,that must be what got me prepared.Thankyou to setter and blogger.

    1. Hello Colin – Convention here is a] please don’t use all capitals b] we don’t really discuss solving times

    2. Well done Colin. We don’t mention solving times so we don’t disillusion those who take longer than others. It’s a pastime not a sport.

    3. To avoid confusion amongst people reading the comments later in the day, this is to say that I’ve removed the time and ‘sorted’ the capitals

      1. Last time you threatened me with revising my text you were off for a hot cross bun and a cup of tea so I got away with it. Bit of role reversal here I’m off for a cuppa with some tart.

          1. Hello LabradorsruleOK when ever I see the words double entendre it takes me back to one of Kenneth Horne’s quotes “I’m all for censorship. If ever I see a double entendre, I whip it out.” Kenneth Horne.14 Mar 2013. ps your name’s a bit of a mouthful what can it be shortened ?

  24. A good start to the week. Some interesting and clever clues. 1d and 5a my favourites today. Thanks to Falcon and the setter.

  25. A nice start to a sunny Monday 😃 **/*** a very interesting crossword, Favourites 12 & 15a 👍 Thanks to the Falcon and to the Setter (Scott Campbell 🤔)

  26. A very Monday-ish crossword which is fine because it’s Monday – at least I think it is but losing track. :unsure:
    For the first time ever I remembered to hunt the two puns in the Quickie.
    Even though I knew it was an anagram I spelt the 26a detective wrong which didn’t do much for 21d.
    Had no idea about the 1d landlady but not too tricky to guess and google.
    I liked 5 and 10a and 22d. My favourite was 8d – loved the film although I know it’s not everyone’s cup of tea.
    Thanks to the setter and to Falcon – hope you’re continuing to get better (health I’m talking, not doing the hints!)

    1. Thanks, Kath

      Your comment could be apropos regardig the hints as well. I did manage to schedule correctly today and get both Quickie puns (after missing one 4 weeks ago and finding one that didn’t exist 2 weeks ago).

  27. Thanks to the setter and to Falcon for the review and hints. I enjoyed this one, a nice start to the week. I liked 1d, but my favourite was 16d. Last in was 27a. Was 2*/3* for me.

  28. I was glad to be able to complete this one without having to resort to cheating here. but there were a few clues that took me a wee while to work out why my answer was right.

    1. If you make comments on a particular puzzle on the blog for that puzzle, more people will see it, probably the setter too

  29. I’ve learnt something today – had no idea about the two puns. Strange solve this morning as the Quickie took me longer than the Cryptic. Agree with many that 1d was my favourite. Thanks to Falcon and the setter.

    1. The two puns are only on Mondays and even then I don’t think it’s every Monday but only with this setter – think that someone who actually knows what they’re talking about had better step in here.

    2. Don’t worry, Stone Lee. I spent years wondering why the first two or three clues of the Quickie were in italics. I think I discovered the pun quite by accident about 40 years after first tackling the DT back pager.

      The second pun in the Monday Quickie does not have its clues italicised so it is always worth a look. As Kath says, it is not aways there.

      Also, I agree with Kath that someone with greater knowledge should step in.

      1. Oh – well, I have been around on the blog almost since the beginning and now I feel insulted! Only joking – it takes an awful lot to upset or offend me so :smile: to you.

        1. Oh, Kath, I’m sorry! 🙁
          It is never my intention to upset anyone, least of all your good self.

  30. Completed alone and unaided and understood the clues, so another hurrah for me.

    Thanks to the setter and to Falcon.

    Stay safe everyone.

  31. I agree with Kath. A very Mondayish puzzle. I had to do a deep delve into the memory for the poet, Sherlock’s landlady, and Dot Sayers tec. I had also bunged in 12a unparsed. I had the E for Espagne and Der for a German definite article but I couldn’t find where the Cornish river fitted in.
    I liked the theme Murder (1a) The Feds (12a) or (13a) fictional detective (26a) to round up (6d) the usual suspects. Maybe the victim’s body (24d) was chopped up (4d) with a pirates sword (23a) he will probably end up being put in handcuffs (17d) before he is hanged on the (9d).
    I could go on but would rather have a pint of Marston’s 20a and a game of 25d at the pub ( If only I could)
    Thanks to Falcon and Campbell

  32. I have to tell you that the “theme” was not intentional.
    You may be interested to know that my FT pseudonym of Falcon comes from Robert Falcon Scott and that my old DT Toughie pseudonym of Campbell comes from the actor George C. Scott, the C being Campbell.

    1. Thanks for popping in. I clearly was stretching the “themed” parts a bit too far. but the puzzle was top-notch nonetheless.

    2. Thanks for:
      the test
      making me feel better for not spotting the theme
      & for popping in
      One thought, when you set the puzzle do you think of the day it may appear?

    3. Let me also add my appreciation for your visit. The matter of duplication of pseudonyms came up on my very first contribution to Big Dave’s blog nearly ten years ago (http://bigdave44.com/2010/09/15/dt-26346/#comment-54591). How ironic that after all these years I should find myself reviewing your puzzles on a regular basis. Although, in the wild, falcons are apparently very territorial, I hope these two Falcons can coexist on the same territory.

  33. Many thanks to the setter and Falcon. I also enjoyed this one and didn’t encounter any problems.

    My favourite among many excellent clues was my last one in, 16d.

  34. I really enjoyed this, loved Sherlock Holmes books and D. Sayers, particularly the TV series with LPW, can’t remember the actor’s name but he was super. My fave was 1d, dear Mrs. Hudson. I needed e-help for 16d, last in.
    Thanks for the fun Campbell and Falcon for the hints and tips.

    1. Having been a bell ringer my favourite Sayers novel featuring the sleuthing Lord was “The Nine Tailors”. Mind you, I doubt being stuck in a belfry while the bells around you rang the 3 hours of a peal would drive you insane but she did get Stedman Triples right.

  35. In response to LabradorsruleOK, the answer is no. However, if the editor thought a particular Monday date deserved a themed crossword, I would be pleased to do one.

    1. If the RSPB or Natural History Museum wanted a themed crossword you could be Markham!

      1. Yes..
        It’s my mum’s birthday.
        She is going to be 80.
        We could have a theme about her.
        After all, her greatest achievement was to bring me into this world.

  36. */***. A really good Monday puzzle and probably one for new puzzlers to get their teeth into. 10a was my favourite. Thanks to the setter and Falcon.

  37. Standard Monday fare, a pleasant early evening solve that kept me entertained.
    Thanks to setter and Falcon for review

  38. Thanks to setter and Falcon for an enjoyable solve today. Just stumbled over the poet (wasn’t paying attention in school obviously) and the landlady. Read lots of detective stories, but strangely never cared for Sherlock Holmes, not in book or tv format. Today’s bonus cryptic 600 is enjoyable and I have almost completed, recommend if you need something else to do.

  39. I usually struggle with Campbell but not today, so either I’m getting on the right wavelength or he was feeling benevolent. I suspect the latter. Lots to like today and favourite clue is going to be 20a, my favourite beer. Many many thanks to Campbell and Falcon.

  40. No problems today, but I found it more difficult than everyone else. I think I struggle looking for synonyms that are not there…27a, spent ages looking for a synonym for ‘telephone’, until I realised that it was much simpler than that.
    Vulcan is good in the Graun today if anyone is bored.
    Thanks all.

  41. I liked everything, but especially enjoy it when compilers share their thoughts – and even answer questions – so thank you to Mr Scott for your fine puzzle and contributions to the blog and to Falcon for your explanations.

  42. A nice easy puzzle to start another week with an enjoyable solve.
    Favourite clues today were 10a, 26a, 16d & 19d
    Thanks to Falcon and setter

  43. I defeated myself by misspelling 2d, which rather upset 10a! Perhaps it was the news that we have only seven days left of Level 4 lockdown here in NZ which distracted me? Level 3 is almost as strict, but I think is necessary for at least two weeks in these troubled times! Keep well, everyone, and stay safe! Thanks to Falcon for the hints, the setter for a grand puzzle, and to everyone for the comments!

  44. Odd what you learn from crosswords. Not for the first time I differed from others. I thought deal was a tree! However, it still enabled me to get the answer and parse. 16d was my favourite. It seems like this was a marmite clue. Only pause for thought was in the SW where 17d and 27a were the last two in. Very enjoyable – thank you very much

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