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DT 29345

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29345

Hints and tips by Pinkie Brown

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment **

Today we have a very depressing black grid. There are 88 black squares out of 225. That is forty per cent of the available space not being used. This means we only have 26 clues to solve. These grids always disappoint me.

Of the 135 white squares left 51 are filled by anagram fodder from the five and a half anagrams. That disappoints me too.

The free holiday the government has given me does not disappoint at all.

Nor did the puzzle when I got around to it. It didn’t pose too many problems and there was a nice surprise to eat towards the end of the across clues. Any kind of food is welcome. It helps the solving process

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


5a    Susan’s bowled over by the legendary hero (7)
THESEUS: The shortened form of Susan’s is reversed (bowled over) and placed after the word the from the clue which our setter has offered as a gift. Maybe to sweeten us up before he increases the difficulty factor.

7a    Baddies in car first to escape (5)
HEELS: A slang term for one’s car has its first letter removed (first to escape)

9a    Daughter getting behind, being less sensible (6)
DAFTER: The abbreviation for daughter is followed by a word meaning what comes next or behind

10a    Map’s original creator with new layout (8)
MERCATOR: The initial letter of Maps is followed by an anagram (with new layout) of CREATOR

11a    I am clothed afresh and well-organised (10)
METHODICAL: Anagram (afresh) of I AM CLOTHED

13a    Man readily available when husband is away (4)
ANDY: Remove the first letter of a word describing somebody as skilfully adept to leave a man’s name.

A man applies for the job of Handyman at a large house. The lady of the house asks him if he can tend a garden and mow lawns? No he replies. I’m useless at gardening. How about electrics. Can you mend a fuse and change a plug. No madam, I wouldn’t know how to do that. How about plumbing she asks. Can you fix a leaking tap? I don’t like to mess with the water supply madam. Exasperated the lady asks what is it about you that makes you think you are handy? Well madam he says. I only live around the corner.

14a    Nomad is drunk outside a meeting-place somewhere in New York (7,6)
MADISON AVENUE: Begin with an anagram (drunk) of NOMAD IS. Add the letter A from the clue. Add a meeting place.

16a & 18d    Smaller beast that shines in the night (4,5)
URSA MINOR: This is the name of a constellation that shines in the night sky. As the clue suggests this is the smaller of two similarly named constellations

17a    Quick rhythm evident in gavotte! (6,4)
DOUBLE TIME: The musical timing of a Gavotte is also a quick rhythm

19a    Party that’s horrible with teachers’ group providing something to eat (8)
DOUGHNUT: A three-part charade. 1 our usual crosswordland party. 2 An expression of disgust uttered when something horrible has been experienced. 3 A now defunct teachers’ union

20a    Like an understudy on stage? (6)
ACTING: What a cast member in a play is doing whilst on stage is also a synonym for deputising like an understudy

22a    Archaeologist taking vehicles to edge of site (5)
EVANS: Take tradesman’s vehicles to the last letter of the word site

23a    Car slightly deficient facing ban — this could strengthen its frame (7)
ROLLBAR: Begin with only the first word of a make of car synonymous with luxury. Remove its last letter (slightly deficient). Add a word meaning to ban something or somebody


1d    Vegetable matter a domestic animal has eaten (4)
PEAT: Insert the letter A from the clue into what a domesticated animal such as a cat or a dog is

2d    Explosive females at matches in Scottish isles (8)
HEBRIDES: The explosives here are High Explosives. Begin with the initial letters of High Explosives. Add what the female matches are if the male matches are grooms

3d    Endless task given to a learner associated with singing (6)
CHORAL: A tedious domestic task needs its last letter removing and the latter A from the clue together with the abbreviation for learner adding

4d    Placed side by side with group opposing (3,7)
SET AGAINST: A three-letter group of like-minded individuals sits next to a word meaning opposed to

5d    Guy providing drinks with energy (5)
TEASE: Begin with the plural of a popular hot breakfast drink and add the abbreviation for energy. The Guy here is not a chap. Nor is it a means of securing a tent. It is a verb meaning to make fun of or ridicule. This meaning of guy appears regularly in puzzles so is worth remembering.

6d    Circuit material making comedic turn so dreadful (13)

8d    Foot of water in cathedral office (7)
SPONDEE : A small body of still water sits inside the place in which a cathedral church stands, identified as the seat of authority of a bishop or archbishop. The answer is a term used in poetry for a metrical foot that consists of two stressed syllables. Plenty of examples for you to find in this in this stanza

The Song of Hiawatha by Henry Longfellow

By the shore of Gitche Gumee,
By the shining Big-Sea-Water,
At the doorway of his wigwam,
In the pleasant Summer morning,
Hiawatha stood and waited.
All the air was full of freshness,
All the earth was bright and joyous,
And before him, through the sunshine,
Westward toward the neighboring forest
Passed in golden swarms the Ahmo,
Passed the bees, the honey-makers,
Burning, singing in the sunshine.

12d    Shrubs faring badly in ashy gardens garden (10)
HYDRANGEAS: Anagram (faring badly) of ASHY GARDEN. In the online version the anagram fodder is given as ASHY GARDENS which has an extra letter S. I didn’t notice. The answer was immediately obvious and I never check because I trust the puzzle will be correct which they usually are.

14d    Poet and playwright heard in town by Thames (7)
MARLOWE: A town on the river Thames in Buckinghamshire sounds like the name of an English poet and playwright who died in 1593

15d    Unusual blue lava worth a lot (8)
VALUABLE: Yet another anagram (unusual) of BLUE LAVA

17d    European man losing head when grabbed by pretty girl? (6)
DANISH: The word MAN in the clue needs to be beheaded as the clue suggests. He then needs to enter a very dated word used to describe a pretty girl.

18d    See 16 Across

21d    Pipe from bath taking last of waste (4)
TUBE: A synonym of the word bath has the final letter of the word waste added.

Clue 27: No hint or tip needed as there isn’t a 27th clue

Clue 28: No hint or tip needed as there isn’t a 28th clue

Clue 29: No hint or tip needed as there isn’t a 29th clue

Clue 30: No hint or tip needed as there isn’t a 30th clue

Clue 31: No hint or tip needed as there isn’t a 31st clue

Clue 32: No hint or tip needed as there isn’t a 32nd clue

Isn’t Van Morrison wonderful?

Quickie Pun: soup+eerier=superior


73 comments on “DT 29345

  1. This would have been completed in * time except for a couple of GKs which I didn’t know. I hadn’t heard of 8d, but with all the checkers it fitted the word play, and I didn’t know the chap at 22a ( I assumed he wasn’t called Acars).

    I also spotted that the fodder for 12d was wrong, with an extra ’s’ in the clue in the dead tree version.

    Many thanks to the setter and MP.

    (Edit – Your Quickie pun isn’t hidden)

  2. What a delight this puzzle was. I managed it in what must be my fastest solve yet so feeling rather smug. :cool: I did have a couple of bung-ins but the rest succumbed to parsing. Favourites are 10a, 19a and 2d with 10a being my COTD

    Grateful thanks to the setter and to the boy from Brighton for the hints.

  3. An enjoyable Thursday puzzle, even with the sparsely populated grid – thank you to both setter and blogger,

    I took 10a to be an all-in-one as the gentleman concerned did indeed create an original new layout for maps

  4. Bit of a mixed bag for me with a couple of obscurities and dated synonyms spoiling an otherwise pleasant but unspectacular puzzle. 19a made me smile (and hungry) and I liked 10 and 13a too but can’t give more than 2*/2*
    Many thanks to the setter and to MP for his usual top review.

  5. Completely stumped by 8d. I’d never come across the word. Still not sure why 1d is peat though it was all I could come up with. Where is the domestic animal? Everything else fairly straightforward although it took me a while to unravel 6d. Not sure why. Brain fade. Favourite 19a.

      1. Great crossword.

        I adore General Knowledge in crosswords, as long as they’re gettable from the clue. Obvs.

        I’ve now learnt the word trochee because of 8d.

        Keep ‘em coming!

  6. Had a bit of trouble by writing Madison Garden in 14a (not too sure about the Outside. Shouldn’t it be Beside) and Double Step in 17a but soon realised my errors.
    The poetry foot was new to me in 8d.
    Quite liked the anagrams.
    Thanks to the setter and to our neurotic reviewer. Well, that’s how Pinkie is described apparently.

      1. Thumbs up from me as I managed it all without help apart from the pesky 8d which I had actually heard of as I think I learnt about them in an English class about 40 years ago.

  7. A fairly straightforward solve and enoyable too (**/****). The only one that I found puzling was 17a and I think it was because I tried to make it more complicated than it was. I liked the long anagrams and 10a and the 16d/18a combination. Having finished digging the vegetable plot, I think it’s the dreaded lawn raking today. Still, it’s a nice day and perhaps I won’t find too much moss? Keep safe and well everyone and many thanks to Pinkie (one of my favourite films) and our setter.

        1. I had a problem with 17a, in that a gavotte is medium time, not double time. The fact that the setter was alluding to there being 2 “t”s in gavotte was way above my head.

    1. I wouldn’t hold out too much hope for the lawn. After the last winter, this is one of the worst years ever for thatch……I can’t do that much by hand, so I’ve ordered an electric scarifier…….who knows when it will arrive? It’s a bit of a luxury re shopping, but I’ve now taken the view, at the end of a few weeks, that businesses should still be supported where possible and single delivery drivers are pretty safe. Had a Yodel driver yesterday who had 125 deliveries to do in his day’s shift and was still incredibly cheerful when he got to me (103/125).
      Mind you, the box is still outside waiting for the sun to murder any viral blighters on the cardboard……..

      1. Mr CS has been waiting for a delivery of a strimmer for nearly three weeks now – to say he was peeved when my printer ink cartridges arrived yesterday 22 hours after I’d ordered them would be an understatement!

        1. Haha. Yes, there’s a lot of that going on. I’ve now emptied the box (which to be fair arrived after 4 days), but it only has tomato bags, which I don’t need yet, but not the rest of the compost and seeds, which I do….
          I think it mostly depends on the courier used by the retailers (small items via Royal Mail doing well) rather than the retailer itself.
          I think I’m going to do separate orders for each item, because you can’t keep track when things are only part-delivered and fail to follow up. I’ve had a Lakeland parcel at Hermes for a month now, so I must remember to try to get a refund.
          And I must now stop wittering on….

        2. Whenever a strimmer comes up anywhere I always think of what the Aussies call them because it makes me laugh and it’s such a good name for them – whipper-snippers!

      2. We had “scarifier” in a puzzle recently, a new one for me, and I thought I’d never come across it again, but here we are – someone actually used it in a sentence!

        1. Yes, Merusa, they look nice and friendly on the outside, but inside they are packed with flailing knives!!

  8. Not much to say about this one. Ok puzzle, but, if I’m honest, a bit boring. Has anyone tackled today’s Toughie? Review in due course, but I found it fairly easy and hugely enjoyable, much better than the ordinary cryptic one today

  9. Completed this one, but failed to parse a few properly, so a well done day rather than a hurrah day.
    A bit heavy on general knowledge.

    Thanks to the setter and to Pinkie.

  10. I’m afraid to say I took against this, which isn’t something I often do, believing that it’s the solver rather than the puzzle at fault.

    Too many proper names or terms, some of which were esoteric (8d 10a 22a) some less so (5a 16/18 and 14d) but still too many in a small grid with other names and some just inane (13a – really?).
    Even 12d was made annoying by the extra S.
    I wasn’t mollified by some simple anagrams. Does blue lava exist?

    Well, there we are. I don’t often find a puzzle irritates me, but this one did. Thanks to Pinkie for trying to find some entertaining pics.
    Grumpy, moi? Well, I wasn’t till I picked up the puzzle.

    1. Quite agree, very annoying puzzle and felt cheated by so few clues. I open everything when it arrives wearing surgical gloves and then bin the outer covering and the gloves. Unfortunately our wonderful volunteers are told not to deliver our papers ‘in case’! WHO say the papers don’t carry the virus – if worried just bin the front and back page.

      1. I put on rubber gloves and run a hot iron over front and back sections of each section. Every morning.
        My husband says he feels like someone in Downton Abbey .

      2. We only get the Sunday paper, which is probably fine as it has been baking under the Florida sun in our driveway (that’s where they are tossed over here – no letter box delivery) for a couple of hours when I stagger out to get it. Then I remove and bin the plastic cover, lay the folder paper on floor just inside front door, and wait until Tuesday before I read. And lots of hand washing of course.

        One of our neighbours says she puts it in the microwave! Think this could be a fire hazard.

  11. Another pleasant diversion from lockdown but somewhat spoilt by a superfluity of black squares and anagrams plus abbreviated first names. My dead tree version also had too many esses in 12d. Lloyd Webber hint to 3d was a bonus. Faux pas in bunging in ‘beet’ for 1d. Joint Favs 19a and 17d for their parsing. Thank you Mysteron and MP blogger.

  12. I really enjoyed this one, it had shades of Giovanni in that everything the solver needs is in the clue, no leaps of faith or double synonyms.
    My only observation is that is you are going to include a weird word as in 8d make the clue a bit less obscure.
    Thx to all

    1. Just finished the ‘Quick’ crossword which is probably one of the worst I have ever seen in the DT, just awful.

  13. I can’t say I enjoyed it .I was stumped by quite a few including 8d.
    Trying to get to grips with Zoom lessons is annoying although my senior students are as good as gold.
    Thanks to Miffypops and to the setter.

  14. Can’t say I even noticed the sparsely populated grid & I rather enjoyed this one although again made fairly heavy weather of it finishing in a shade over *** time. Some new terms for me but all gettable from the wordplay & then requiring confirmation from Mr G. My knowledge of French footwork doesn’t extend beyond the can-can, not up on Flemish cartographers (though it vaguely rang a bell) & had never heard of 8d. Particularly liked 5a as today’s starter.
    Thanks to the setter & to Pinkie for the review. Brighton Rock would take the bronze medal for me for the best British gangster movie ever – beaten only by The Long Good Friday & Get Carter.
    Ps – Yes Pinkie Sir George Ivan Morrison OBE is an absolute genius. Have seen him live countless times (sometimes infuriatingly just going through the motions) & if I could only have 1 artist’s discography to keep me company on my desert island it would be Van. My Spotify playlist (andyhunt31562) sneaks in at just under 30hrs of listening……

    1. We had tickets for The Palladium shows. Now scheduled for November. 4th row tickets. The furthest back we have been for a long time. Always a good show. Roll on November

  15. Needed electronic help to confirm 8d my ignorance of poetic matters exposed again. Having seen the hint it strikes me that Running Bear by Johnny Preston was inspired by Hiawatha ( it was released in 1959 – nobody can accuse me of being quick on the uptake)
    Otherwise a fairly straightforward day.
    Pleased I spotted the 2 it’s in 17a just the thing I normally miss.
    Thanks to setter & PB for the succinct hints.

  16. If I’ve got the correct 22A, isn’t he the bloke who dug up ancient Knossos, then ruined it for every generation ever after by “rebuilding” it, mainly in nice grey concrete? I’m not a fan…

    1. I must admit that when we visited Knossos the overuse of concrete was almost sacrilegious.

  17. Quite enjoyed this which was enlivened by Pinkie Brown who made me laugh.
    Thanks to the setter

  18. Relieved to note I’m not the only one to be stumped by 22a and 8d. Two of those ‘if you don’t know ‘em, you don’t know ‘em’ answers.
    Thanks to the setter and Pinkie B.

  19. I would never have got 23a without my husband’s input, I don’t do engines just as I don’t do sport – unless it
    is tennis. Thanks for pointing out the cleverness of the double TT in gavotte, I hadn’t spotted that.
    4d was last in for some reason, it just would not come. But thanks to all as usual.

  20. I thought that the grid looked a bit weird today. A couple of new words to remember. No standout favourite clue today. Many thanks setter and the Brighton Rock character.

  21. One of those rum Cryptic/GK puzzles. The hardest part about it for me was wringing the fun out of it. Thanks to all.

  22. I quite enjoyed this.
    I’m one of those who doesn’t notice things like lots of black squares and sparsity of clues along with pangrams, Ninas, double unchecked letters etc etc so no complaints from me.
    Started off badly by putting Perseus for 5a – dim! :roll:
    7a and 8d were my last ones.
    I only got 6d once alternate letters were in and, even then, by doing a cheaty thingy – ie it had to begin with ‘semi’ and I had the C so did a trawl of the BRB – still none the wiser – never heard of it.
    I liked 17a, specially now that I ‘get’ the TT bit, and 19a and 8d. My favourite was 13a.
    Thanks to the setter and to MP.

    1. The thing you wrote on is full of them Kath. They are nearly as essential as Labradors (or collies or cats) to modern life

    2. Like you, I don’t notice the grid or paucity of clues, and I see pangrams when there aren’t any.

  23. This was a tricky little devil, it didn’t really click with me at all. Then I suppose we in crossword land don’t have to keep setting puzzles.
    I got the anagrams sorted quite quickly but the puzzle lacked something. I didn’t get 8d and like some bloggers never heard of it.
    Noticed our local police on the lookout for invaders, the Atlantic Highway seems to be a good hunting ground.
    Thanks to MP and setter.
    Keep safe everybody, things will get better.

  24. Of all things to stump me, it had to be 8d! Although I spent decades scanning poetry for myself and students, I couldn’t get ‘foot of water’ out of my brain; that ‘r’ just wouldn’t go away, and I finally had to resort to a one-letter electronic assist. — / — / — / — / — / There! Spondaic Pentameter, as if such a thing exists. A decent puzzle though not very much fun. (Sour grapes?) I did, however, like 5a, 10a, 19a, 14d, and the COTD 8d (well, it has to be). Thanks to Pinkie and the setter. *** / **

  25. A bit of a curate’s egg today, Quite a few clues I liked 10a,16a18d, and a few I didn’t like 13a, 22a.
    8d was a new word for me too but I worked it out then looked it up so that was today’s learning moment.
    Yesterday we had an unexplained P in appears and today an extra S in 12d. and I think 2d is a recent repeat.
    Fave was 10a I watched a BBC4 programme last night that was all about maps and he featured heavily so the answer leapt out.a
    thanks to Pinkiepops and setter. I wouldn’t have noticed the shortage of clues if you hadn’t mentioned it. I don’t feel short-changed either as it filled coffee breaks just about right.

  26. Nobody’s moaned about 5a so I will. Greek mythology or history is a closed book to me. However I finished unaided in *** time despite 8d etc So gettable despite the odd word or two. But only ** for enjoyment. Liked 19a 10a 13a. Spent ages trying to parse 7a. I even went through the alphabet until I got to W.

  27. Another tricky in parts crossword ie 8d & 22a so ***/*** 😬 (Would have helped if I had spelt the end of 12d correctly) Favourites 2 & 5d 😃 Thanks to “Small Finger” and to the Setter 👍

  28. **/**. Underwhelming puzzle with too much based on GK and one anagram with an extra letter. Thanks to all.

  29. Too late in the day to add any meaningful, insightful comments, so I will just add my thanks to our setter and MP.

  30. I enjoyed this, though I had never heard of 8d either, but now I’ve learnt something new. I used e-help to get a few, 6d and 8d in particular. I bunged in 22a, so obvious even if I didn’t know her. I couldn’t believe 13a was really the answer, I thought of RD!
    There’s lots to like here, I’m finding it hard to pick a fave. I like the story of Theseus and Ariadne battling the Minotaur, so I’ll choose 5a.
    Thanks to our setter for the fun and to Pinkie for his fun review. I did enjoy the Pie Jesu, quite lovely.

  31. Ouf, difficult. But everything made better by the Pie Jesu, thank you Pinkie! 😀

  32. Well I hardly dare say this as there are so many Jay fans out there…..but I enjoyed this a lot more than yesterday and found it quite a bit easier too! The shrubs bring back fond memories of my grandparents and childhood holidays in Torquay. Thanks to Pinkie and the setter.

  33. Completed the majority of this rather quickly but got stumped by a few clues that others have already mentioned.

    I eventually worked out what 8d must be and googled the word. The Wikipedia definition made me twitch a bit. Anyone who understands this stuff must be on a different planet to me.

    1d is also not purely vegetable matter, so took me a while to be convinced that peat may be the answer.

    Not impressed with the crossword editor not spotting 12d had a typo in the paper edition – I assumed I must be wrong and it took resorting to here in desperation to confirm the answer.

    ***/* for me today with no particular favourites.

    1. I read MP’s words on 8d twice and did not understand any of it, so I am with you on that score.

    2. I live on the Planet Prosody. We scan poems to establish their rhythm, such as Shakespeare’s iambic pentameter in ‘That time of year thou mayst in me behold’ but we don’t call it “stuff” even when two syllables are both heavy-stressed, as in ‘My Word’. That would be a spondee if it appeared in a line of verse. It’s often fun, bananawarp. Have a good evening and keep safe.

  34. Was all at see (ho!,ho!) With 8d, convinced that the definition was ‘office’, and ‘foot of water’ was the letter ‘r’.
    That notwithstanding, I did not particularly enjoy this offering, not sure why.
    Loved both the book and the film with Richard Attenborough as Pinkie and William Hartnell as Spicer, thanks for the reminder, MP and the hints.
    Thanks to Mr.Setter as well.

  35. I, for one, was glad there weren’t too many clues. I had to use electronic help to get 8d, even with all the checkers I couldn’t fathom it. If I had to award a favourite it would be 16a/18d. Thanks to the setter and PB.

  36. Thanks to the setter and to Pinkie for the review and hints. Quite a nice puzzle which was let down by the GK. Had never heard of 22a & 8d. Mistake in 12d, “s” on the end of gardens. I don’t know why, but I really disliked 17d. Favourite was 10a, this was GK too, I suppose I liked it because I knew it, but really it was because of the surface. As Mercator himself was quite original. Was 2*/3* for me.

  37. Still gardening at 9.00 p.m. so a LTE start to an enjoyable puzzle.14 and 17d my favourites. Thanks to Pinkie and the setter. Now to do some reading.

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