DT 29349 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29349

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29349

Hints and tips by Mr K

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BD Rating  -  Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

Hello, everyone.  I hope you are all staying safe and well.  Quite a cultured puzzle today, with classical music, painting, and fair bit of history sprinkled across the grid.  But nothing too extreme, I thought.  I can't recall meeting a puzzle with so many proper nouns as answers, but then again my memory's not that great and I haven't solved that many puzzles.   

In the hints below most indicators are italicized, and underlining identifies precise definitions and cryptic definitions.  Clicking on the answer buttons will reveal the answers.  In some hints hyperlinks provide additional explanation or background.  Clicking on a picture will enlarge it or display a bonus illustration.  Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.



7a    No doubt about force going wrong way (3,6)
OFF COURSE:  No doubt or certainly is wrapped about the physics symbol for force

8a    Weapon point taken through wooden pole (5)
SPEAR:  A point of the compass inserted in (taken through) a wooden pole 

10a   Soldiers go and come back (6)
RETURN:  Some usual engineering soldiers are followed by a go or attempt 

11a   Tough no longer working in theatre? (8)
EXACTING:  The answer split (2-6) could mean no longer working in theatre 

12a   War hero caught stabbing other lunatic (6)
HECTOR:  The cricket scoreboard abbreviation for caught inserted in (stabbing) an anagram (lunatic) of OTHER.  Read about the ancient war hero here 

14a   Small-time? (6)
MINUTE:  This one presented an interesting underlining challenge.  I parsed it as an all-in-one double definition, with a straight definition meaning small-time or minor superimposed on a cryptic definition of a smallish unit of time 

16a   Worst  footballer? (4)
BEST:  A more straightforward double definition.  The answer is its own opposite – a Janus word.  He was also a fairly decent footballer known for sentiments like "I spent a lot of money on booze, birds and fast cars.  The rest I just squandered."

17a   Artist in Cuba condemned (5)
BACON:  The artist is hidden in the remainder of the clue

18a   Sack composer drops at home (4)
CHOP:  A Polish composer and pianist drops the usual word meaning at home 

19a   Surprise cut short on river (6)
AMAZON:  Follow all but the last letter (cut short) of surprise or stun with ON from the clue 

21a   One bashed in legs (6)
SINGLE:  An anagram (bashed) of IN LEGS 

24a   Dungeon holding gypsy with general (8)
CROMWELL:  A dungeon or room in a jail containing (holding) both a male gypsy and the single letter for with.  Read about the general here 

26a   Railway out from very pleasant city (6)
VENICE:  Take an abbreviation for railway out from VERY and then append a synonym of pleasant

27a   Briefly made advances, then elected Communist (5)
LENIN:  All but the last letter (briefly) of a verb meaning made advances of money is followed by an adjective synonym of elected

28a   Bat perhaps brings insect to leading lady (9)
CRICKETER:  Follow a chirpy insect with the Latin abbreviation for the current queen 



1d    Present in box unopened (5)
OFFER:  A box for treasure with its first letter deleted (unopened)

2d    Man behind bars butchers butchered? (8)
SCHUBERT:  An anagram (butchered) of BUTCHERS.  The definition here is cryptic 

3d    Fruit in this boat around north-east (6)
PUNNET:  A type of boat that one might propel along the Cherwell is wrapped around the abbreviation for north-east

4d    Man being one is extremely lithe (4)
ISLE:  IS from the clue with the outer letters (extremely) of LithE. The definition here is by example ( … being one

5d    Very accurate boy collects trophy (4,2)
SPOT ON:  What a boy must be contains (collects) an informal synonym of trophy 

6d    Flower people seen under vehicle (9)
CARNATION:  A country's worth of people following (seen under, in a down clue) a motor vehicle 

9d    Local pump attendant? (6)
BARMAN:  A cryptic definition of a person attending pumps at your local 

13d   Beat music ultimately identifies Stones (5)
ROCKS:  Follow a type of music having a pronounced rhythm with the last letter (ultimately) of identifieS.  The capitalisation of Stones is misdirection 

15d   Another sales opportunity in racing town? (9)
NEWMARKET:  The answer split (3,6) could be another sales opportunity 

17d   Meat product in crate (6)
BANGER:  A double definition.  Crate as in a decrepit car 

18d   Improvised corn deal that won't hold water (8)
COLANDER:  An anagram (improvised) of CORN DEAL 

20d   Dead man walking? (6)
ZOMBIE:  A cryptic definition exploiting the literal meaning of the clue 

22d   Religious probationer without blemish? (6)
NOVICE:  The answer split (2,4) could mean without blemish 

23d   What propels boat south -- oarsmen? (5)
SCREW:  A charade of the single letter for south and a group of oarsmen 

25d   Fat vicar's bottom pinched by groom (4)
LARD:  The last letter (…'s bottom, in a down clue) of vicaR contained (pinched) by a groom or boy.  No vicar pinching in this video, but who doesn't love a flash mob? Open the video in YouTube for the full story


Thanks to today’s setter for a fun solve.  Favourite clue for me was 14a because of the pondering involved in deciding how to classify it (or perhaps clues don't need to fit into neat classifications – if most solvers can find the answer and enjoy doing so, perhaps that's all that matters?)  Which clues did you like best?


The Quick Crossword pun:  FARE + RETAIL = FAIRY TALE


85 comments on “DT 29349

  1. I am Grumpy of Manchester today; I was unable to complete this one, with four missing in the SW, namely 19a, 24a, 17d & 20d. It’s been a long time since I was beaten by such a large margin.

    Really quite annoying because the rest of the clues and answers seemed quite straightforward, and I was on for a solve in ** time.

    I didn’t know the gypsy in 24a, but should really have got the others. I blame the 8 mile walk at 6am.

    So thanks to Mr K. for putting me out of my misery, and the setter for putting me there in the first place.

  2. Pretty straightforward as I knew the answers to all GK questions . My one hold up was 28a as I thought of the mammal before the sportsman.
    Torrential rain here. Well, the garden needs it.

  3. I thought this was going to be really difficult but,in the end, only the NW corner held me up **/****. There were a lot of proper nouns and GK involved but I enjoyed solving this puzzle. I liked the 2d anagram, 12a and 28a. Thank you Mr K for help with 26a. I couldn’t think where the first two leetters of the city would come from. Thanks to the setter and stay safe and well everyone

  4. It took me quite a while to get a decent foothold but once I did, with the benefit of the checkers it came together nicely. Strange puzzle in that it had a quirky and original feel to it but even in my relatively short time of solving there were quite a few ones I’d seen before (16a,19a plus 4 and17d amongst them). Needed electronic help with 12a.
    I particularly liked 1 and 3d plus 10a.
    3/2.5 *
    Many thanks to the setter and to MrK for his usual excellent review.

  5. 2*/3*. A very pleasant puzzle today with commendably brief cluing.

    Regarding 28a, I have a big aversion to the use of the implement used to play cricket to mean a cricketer who is batting. Sadly it has become commonplace, along with the even worse “batter”.

    I’m not an expert on 20ds but I thought they were undead rather than dead.

    Lots to like here with 14a, 2d, 13d & 25d making it onto my podium.

    Many thanks to Messrs R & K.

    1. Hi RD.

      The reason for batter is that it’s gender-neutral as they felt that batswoman was too much of a mouthful.

      So, batsman is sadly no more.

      1. Thanks for that explanation of something I had wondered about, because it always seemed unlikely that the UK had adopted the US word for a baseball player who is batting.

  6. A very diverting and fun way to cheer up a drizzly Shropshire morning. All well clued, with 2d my COTD. Sadly we won’t be seeing any 9 downs for a good while. Thanks very much to both Misters.

  7. I dislike proper nouns as answers, so my enjoyment of today’s puzzle was diminished. No major problem, though, once I realised my initial answer to 5a was wrong. Favourite clue 28a, puzzle ***/** for me. Thanks to Mr K and setter.

  8. Enjoyed this puzzle which was quite tricky in places but finished it in the end. Really hoping that the rain eventually arrives here in Norfolk as we need it badly. Making asparagus soup with the ends of two bunches of fantastic asparagus we had in the last couple of days. Picked 250g of wild garlic leaves from my garden yesterday to make pesto. Yummy!

  9. Very enjoyable, upper half in fast but held up in SW , last one in 26 a. Lovely anagram 2d. Amazing video for 26a.Thanks to Mr K and the setter. I don’t often post because of time difference but I really enjoy this blog.

  10. I enjoyed this a lot – thanks to the setter and Mr K.
    I expected some critical comments about the amount of GK but everyone seems happy with it so far.
    My ticks went to 7a, 24a, 2d, 9d and 25d.

  11. A very pleasant and straightforward Tuesday puzzle assisted by a sprinkling of Oldies but Goodies for completion at a gallop – **/****.
    Candidates for favourite – 19a, 28a, and 15d – and the winner is 15d.
    Thanks to the setter and Mr K.
    P.S. Chalicea is back to Fluffy in the Toughie (at least I thought so).

    1. Just did Toughie on your rec – it did indeed take less time than the regular.

  12. Found this very tricky in parts esp the bottom left corner. Bit too arty farty for my taste. Not at all impressed with 12a, stabbing and lunatic are a bit weird as indicators. However, I really liked 28a, wonder when the finest game in the world will resume, I miss it.
    Thx to all

  13. 2nd try to post. This was a curate’s egg for me with some quite tricky clues all on the West side coincidentally.
    COTD was 2d with honourable mention to 14a as it reminded me of privileged I was to watch him play between ’63 and ’69. He was one of the most naturally gifted footballers I have seen in 70 years of watching the game.
    Thanks to setter & Mr K

    1. I was fortunate enough to be at Wembley in 1968 when Man U won the European Cup beating Benfica 4-1 with 16a scoring a typically brilliant solo goal. Bobby Charlton scored twice, very unusually for him one of which was with a header.

      1. You lucky man RD. Mrs LrOK & I went to every home game, couldn’t afford to travel away so didn’t have enough tokens for a ticket for the final.
        Third try hope don’t get the failure to connect message again.

        1. I’m certainly not a Man U fan but even the home fans loved to watch him play. An audacious talent.

      2. Alex Stepney’ s save of Eusebio’s fierce shot was the turning point in the match .. Gray remembers it fondly, wasn’ t there but glued to the TV as a young teenager, born into supporting Man U.

        1. Yes a great save even Eusebio applauded it I remember. Sad now that the modern ball makes saves like that so difficult.

  14. Started well, held up a bit in the SW corner but got there unaided. Biggest smiles of the day go to 2d and 17d. Thanks to setter and Mr. K

    1. This should have appeared as comment to. I keep getting database connection problems#15

      1. So do I – #19. I thought it was my internet connection but it can’t be if you’re getting the same problem. :negative:

        1. “Error establishing a database connection” is the message frequently displayed when I try to post.

  15. No problem with the GK – it was the wretched meat product that held me up!
    New info for me today was the name of the male gypsy, I just assumed that it was an abbreviation.
    Plenty of goodies but it was the Quickie pun that really made me smile.

    Thanks to our setter and to Mr K for another much enjoyed review – that mini-Kitty looks SO tempting………….

    1. I, too, had a nibble at quince before realising it had no place on today’s menu. The gypsy was the learning experience of the day.
      Enjoyed today’s magical mystery tour…
      Thanks setter and Mr K

  16. My first comment disappeared into the ether after I got an error message saying the database could not be reached (or something).

    The east went in well but I needed help from both Mr. G. and Mr.K. for the westThere were some good clues and my favourites were 28a and 2d. It took me a while to realise that 16a was a Janus word.

    Grateful thanks to the setter and also, Mr. K. for the great hints.

    Dull, overcast, wet and cold in the Welsh Marches today. Keep safe and well everyone.

    1. Sorry for the typographical errors. Connection problems prevented my editing of the post.

  17. One doesn’t expect to find metonymy in a Telegraph puzzle, the TLS perhaps, but 28a provided it. Took a long time thinking about it and then used the checkers in the word wizard. About ***/*** for this puzzle. Liked 3 and 9 down. Thanks to the setter and to Mr K for his thorough review.

  18. Have been in very poor form for a week now and this was no exception.Needed help for 2 answers and very little went smoothly.Thankyou Mr K. I found the blog better than the puzzle but would stress that is my weakness and not the puzzle.

  19. Like MalcomR I was starting to get a wee bit tetchy at my tortuous progress (or rather lack of it) with the left half. After the SW corner finally succumbed I began, for the first time ever, to look for a pangram & bunged quince in for 3d which clearly made no sense. The NW eventually fell when I figured out the blindingly obvious 2d anagram. Completion was a shade over **** time so it was obviously a challenge for me but an enjoyable one. Thanks to the setter & to Mr K for the review.
    Ps The miserable weather renders this afternoon’s walk unappealing so might have a bash at the Toughie. Mind you my idea of fluffy may not necessarily correspond with that of Senf & his trusty steed…….

  20. An interesting puzzle for us culture-vultures (not Brian’s cuppa at all, I see) and fun to work but it took me a good bit longer than the Toughie did last night. The NW corner held me up a bit because I was unfamiliar with 3d (rather, I’d forgotten about that little basket of goodies) but once I remembered Achilles dragging poor 12a around the walls of Troy–or what was left of him–I was well on my way to a good finish. Podium stuffers: 1a, 12a, 24a, and 2d my COTD. Thanks to Mr Kitty and today’s setter. **1/2 / **** (And thanks for the ‘metonymy’, Corky! ‘Bat” for the whole thing, no less.)

  21. Going for a**/**** today as I really enjoyed the puzzle ,straight forward until I reached the SW corner but all fell into place once I twigged 20d which was my favourite clue.
    Had to look up the gypsy in 24 a which turned out to be an abbreviation- I will now log it for future reference.
    I was amused by 16/17/18 reading across, was this intended by the compiler?
    Liked the quickie pun- excellent toughie today with some cracking surfaces-what would we all do without a lockdown!

  22. I thoroughly enjoyed this with lots of nice, satisfying clues. I got a bit hung up on the meat product because I was looking for boxes and I
    didn’t know the word for a male gypsy. We spent the first four years of our marriage in what was then a very small village called Tollerton just outside Nottingham
    A very young and innocent bride, I was nervous when the gypsies came calling – my neighbour told me that if I did not buy something they would write a
    sign on my gate to tell other Romanies. Ever since then I have always felt compelled to buy something to avoid a curse. Hertfordshire abuts Cambridgeshire and
    we have a lady vicar and whilst she is a bit of a diva I cannot see her breaking into song and dance ! Such fun.

  23. Really enjoyed today’s puzzle a **/**** for me today, must have been on my wavelength
    everything fell into place straight away.
    Favs 2d, 17d and 24a with 2d winning.
    Thanks to all.

  24. Whoops – I meant to type 8a. Spike didn’t really fit, even though it had a weapon and a pole (S) in it!

  25. I struggled A bit with this one particularly in the SW – it seems I wasn’t alone with that. One of my problems was parsing 24a because I overlooked singular form of gypsy synonym. IMHO there are a few iffy clues including16a, 2d, 4d, 17d and 23d. Joint Favs 26a and 9d. Thank you Mysteron and MrK.

  26. Nice crossword today **/**** 😃 Favourites 28a & 2d 🤗 Thanks to Mr K and to the Setter. Really wet here in the East, a bit of a shock after all the lovely sunny days 😳

  27. Not my cup of tea today. Cannot get a foothold, clearly way off wavelength. I needed too many of Mr K’s picture hints, so think I’ll go and finish painting the bedroom instead. Perhaps the paint fumes will wake my brain up….

  28. I read 3d as “Fruit” rather than “Fruit in this”, hence went down the quince route. Unjustifiable. 2d was my favourite, followed by a certain wonderful city in Italy. A Bellini would go down very well right now. Many thanks to the setter and to Mr Kitty.

  29. **/****. Like many the last quadrant to yield was the SW. Some good clues: 16a, 2&4d. I like brevity and 16a whilst I’m sure I’ve seen this before is a really good example of the richness of the English language. Thanks to Mr K and the setter.

  30. My earlier comment disappeared with the same error message that others are getting so, with no confidence this will post, I’ll just say I was on wavelength today and thoroughly enjoyed it.

    Many thanks to the setter and Mr. Kitty

  31. Struggled through this one . I am another who did not know the male gypsy….and ‘Cromwell’ was certainly not the first answer that sprung to mind for ‘general’.
    Enjoyed the tussle though.

    Thanks to the setter and to Mr K

  32. Liked everything about this crossword.
    Short and concise clues, great mix of constructions and good variety of answers.
    Super review also.
    Thanks to the setter and to Mr Kitty.

    1. Ps: For those who miss Giovanni on a Friday, he appears in the Guardian today under Pasquale.

      1. Hmm, interesting. I assumed The Don had retired.

        I wonder if he stopped doing DT crosswords because of two certain bloggers who shall remain unnamed?

        We will never know….

          1. That answers the question then.

            I reckon I’m right.

            The two word post ‘Oh dear’ from one of the aforementioned still haunts me.

            1. I’m pretty sure that it would take a lot more than a few complaints here to influence DM.

              As to what he’s doing now, a recent Telegraph Puzzles newsletter included this comment from our editor:

              “Where’s Giovanni?
              Our long-standing Friday Telegraph Crossword compiler, Don Manley (Giovanni) announced at the end of last year that he was stepping down from his regular slot; if you are a regular Friday solver, you may have noticed that the puzzles on that particular day have contained fewer religious references than normal.

              Many readers have been in touch to ask where Don has gone; the answer is ‘not very far’, as he’s still making regular appearances, just not on Fridays, and not weekly. Some solvers say that they can spot a particular compiler a mile off, just by identifying their normal quirks and foibles in a puzzle; surprisingly, only one person so far has been in touch having solved the mystery of the missing Don. If you think you know where he is, please let us know!”

              1. Excellent stuff.

                You add so much to this blog, Mr K.

                You’re my favourite contributor, by a mile. No one touches you.

  33. This was quite a diversion fot a tuesday, for some reason for once I was on the setters wavelength and sailed through most of it. Needed some hints for a couple though but didn’t need the reveal. A real change in the weather down here but the garden needed it.
    Keep safe and well everybody.
    Thanks to Mr K and setter

  34. Like others the SW corner caused me a problem – especially as I put PERT in for 25D instead of LARD. Numpty!

  35. When I managed to get round to this it was relatively straightforwardly and only 12 and 24a were penciled in the margin with enough doubt to put me off bunging them in.
    12a I wasn’t sure of his heroic deeds and need to brush up on my ancient history. 24a I wanted to have Roma as the gypsy. I didn’t realise the a was optional.
    17d was last one in. I was thinking Box might cover the crate and the beef. The only reason I can think of for missing the obvious sausage was the fact that Mama Bee is the daughter of a butcher and she says “Butcher’s daughters don’t eat sausages” As mum is on lockdown and I am doing the shopping I guess she will have to eat 17d as I like em (as long as they are decent I wouldn’t foist ears and unmentionable bits on Mum) Sorry Jean Luc I don’t think I could eat an Andouillette either. too many unmentionable bits for even me.
    Thanks to Mr K and setter. I will away and have a stab at the toughie.

  36. A while to get onto wavelength tonight, but a steady solve once in. 24ac ended up being a bung in, then the parsing clicked.
    Thanks to setter & MrK for review

  37. I started out apace, did the east side running, then got bogged down in the west. I got the hint for 7a which helped but soon struggled again. Solving 15d helped, then full stop again. I then resorted to e-help to solve the rest of the blanks.
    Fave when I sussed it out was 2d, 15d was a close contender.
    Thanks to our setter and to Mr. K for finishing the puzzle for me. Clip at 27a was music?

    1. The answer to 27a and the video illustrating it are connected by the Coen brothers’ movie The Big Lebowski. Evidently it’s not as well known as I thought it was.

  38. My brain must be on another planet today, I couldn’t really get going with this one, struggled through the east and resorted to far too many hints in the west….so not that enjoyable for me! Thanks to Mr K for the hints and the setter.

  39. We were much slower in the SW corner than, in retrospect, we should have been.
    Fun to solve.
    Thanks Mr Ron and Mr K.

  40. Thanks to the setter and Mr Kitty for the review and hints. I enjoyed this one very much, but found some of it very tricky. I found 7,27,28a all very tricky. I liked 26a, but my favourite was 2d. Was 3*/3* for me.

  41. Enjoyed this overall. Some lovely misdirections, and a battle with a tough grid layout. 17d my favourite. Had me all over the place before the penny dropped. 21a too. Only grumble was 16a, which I really don’t like. The ? doesn’t really indicate the level of strangeness needed to parse the answer.

  42. I started commenting earlier but was interrupted by a video call, it’s hard to stop women talking once they start. I’m in the “oddly enough I didn’t find this too difficult” camp. Favourite has to be 18a as it reminds me of my teddy bear. Good fun crossword many thanks to the setter and Mr K.

  43. Finally completed this tricky puzzle – without hints. That said, what’s the opposite to ‘at a gallop’?

    1. Over 50 years ago there was a good social scene at Tollerton Flying Club. I once with some friends to a Vicars and Tarts party. We were somewhat embarrassed upon arrival to find that we were a week early.

  44. Sorry last comment in wrong place. It did not post when I first asked it. It was meant for Daisy Girl and Taylor Gibson. In answer to Hugh Sawyer “Flogging a dead horse.”

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