DT 29352 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29352

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29352

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

Good morning and ‘white rabbits’ from South Staffs, where we continue with a second month of lockdown, and my hair is acquiring the length (but not the colour!) it last had in the 1970s.

The top half of today’s puzzle went in very quickly, then I had to think a little more about the lower half, but still finished in ** time.

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.


1a           Facial expression noble Anne changed before church (11)
COUNTENANCE – Put together a foreign nobleman (Monte Cristo, perhaps), an anagram (changed) of ANNE, and the initials of the Church of England.

7a           Hotel losing all contents: utter thief uncordial and nasty (7)
HURTFUL – The letter represented by Hotel in the NATO alphabet, followed by the outside letters (losing all contents) of UtteR ThieF UncordiaL.

8a           Cutting back on beer in bar (7)
EXCERPT – The final letter of beeR inserted into a word meaning ‘bar’ or ‘saving’, giving us what may be a press cutting.

10a         Marked lack of cuddling partner (5)
NOTED – Split the answer (2,3) and you may have what a child missing his favourite cuddly toy might say.

11a         American willing for piano to be completely stripped (9)
ILLINOIAN – Remove the outside letters (to be completely stripped) from the second, third and fourth words of the clue, and put the remainder together to get this resident of an American state.

12a         African native‘s wife painting house close to Johannesburg (7)
WARTHOG – Put together an abbreviation for Wife, something of which painting is an example, an abbreviation for HOuse, and the final letter of JohannesburG.

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

14a         Warrior spirit reflected in development of Asia (7)
SAMURAI – Reverse (reflected) an alcoholic spirit, then wrap an anagram (development) of ASIA around the result.

Learn To Draw A Samurai In 9 Easy Steps (With Pictures ...

15a         Intern cleared out skip coming to us (7)
INBOUND – The outside letters of InterN, followed by ‘skip’ or ‘leap’, to get a word for a ship or plane heading for its home base.

18a         Young beast bit German neighbour (7)
TADPOLE – Another word for a bit or smidgen. Followed by someone who is a geographic neighbour of Germany.

Tadpole Stage

20a         Characteristic rush to return eastern currency no longer in use (9)
TRADEMARK – Reverse (return) another word for ‘rush’, then add Eastern, and a former European currency.

21a         Little bit odd in empty catacomb (5)
CRUMB – A word for ‘odd’ or ‘strange’ inserted into the outside letters (empty) of CatacomB.

22a         Approaching rogue in anger (7)
NEARING – Anagram (rogue) of IN ANGER.

23a         Bird‘s right din on far side of mineral spring (7)
SPARROW – Put together a mineral spring, Right, and a din.

House sparrow | The Wildlife Trusts

24a         Officers from university caught in fib by those renting (11)
LIEUTENANTS – Another word for a fib and another word for people renting a property, placed either side of University.


1d           Dog on a hill, one overseeing museum (7)
CURATOR – Put together a pejorative term for a dog, A (from the clue) and a hill on Dartmoor, perhaps.

2d           Empty fund, excited to acquire house finally (5)
UNFED – Anagram (excited) of FUND, wrapped round the final letter of housE.

3d           Meaningful narration (7)
TELLING – Double definition: something which makes an impression on the hearer; or a simple recounting of a story.

4d           Noticed about ladder at regular points going up in sewers (7)
NEEDLES – These sewers are used for sewing. A word for ‘noticed’ is wrapped around alternate letters (at regular points) of LaDdEr, then the whole lot is reversed (going up).

5d           Given pseudonym that’s appropriate upset male journalist (9)
NICKNAMED – Put together a word for ‘appropriate unlawfully’, the reverse (upset) of another word for a male human, and the usual crossword journalist.

6d           Bodily organ with another, heart excised previously (7)
EARLIER – An organ found on the side of your head, followed by another organ from your insides, with its middle letter removed.

7d           Engineer drew that inn using pen, perhaps (11)
HANDWRITTEN – Anagram (engineer) DREW THAT INN.

9d           Player’s problem intense playing with large fiddlestick (6,5)
TENNIS ELBOW – Anagram (playing) of INTENSE, followed by Large and the implement used to play a violin.

13d         Rodents metres below river covered in hard frozen water (5,4)
HOUSE MICE – Put together Hard, the name of one of several rivers in England, Metres, and ‘frozen water’.

16d         Tool and plug put in scrap (7)
BRADAWL – A short form od a commercial plug inserted into a scrap or fight.

Bradawl - Skillman & Sons

17d         Current of air upended the short beefeater? (7)
DRAUGHT – Put together TH(e) (from the clue, short) and a person performing the duty that the Beefeaters perform at the Tower of London, then reverse the result.

18d         Opinion lad adopts (5,2)
TAKES ON – An opinion or angle on a question, followed by a lad or male child.

19d         Works ever so frantically outside for all to see (7)
OEUVRES – Anagram (frantically) of EVER SO wrapped round the letter used by film censors to indicate a film suitable for general viewing.

21d         Secure area to the north in Asian country (5)
CHAIN – Start with a large Asian country, then move the Area forward in the word (to the north, in a Down clue).

The Quick Crossword pun HIDE + RANGER = HYDRANGEA

77 comments on “DT 29352

  1. All completed in *** time. A steady Friday solve, with nothing to furrow the brow. 11a is an ugly word, and 24a is just one of those I never seem sure how to spell. Luckily the word play for both left no room for manoeuvre.

    Many thanks to DT and the setter.

  2. Bit of a slog this one. needed lots of ‘inspired’ guesses with the checking letters then taking twice as long to word out the wordplay.
    Not my favourite I’m afraid.
    Thx for the hints which I needed to parse 8a, 11a, 10a, 71d, 18a and 19d!!!

    1. Agree, no fun at all. In fact, disappointingly I haven’t enjoyed one all week. Too many convoluted clues today. I despair.

  3. Strangely, although, like DT, I found this puzzle a game of two halves, it was the east that went in easily and the west that stumped me. Also, although there were some really great clues (11a, 18a, 24a) there were some that I felt were not so well put together (8a) and 4 that were difficult to parse. So its ***/*** from me. Thanks to DT for an enlightening blog and to the setter. Keep safe and well.

  4. Well ,this was certainly different today-new compiler?
    I started slowly but gradually reached ramming speed.
    Last in was 8a, I thought that the clue should have read ‘of’ beer not on-I suppose it just about worked,
    Liked 12a which I’m sure has been in before and 11a because it was unusual, also 9d and 7d for their surfaces.
    Going for a **/***

  5. For the first time in a long time I was beaten by a clue (19d) and had to resort to electronic help. I was convinced the definition was ‘for all to see’ and was working on that. I needed DT’s assistance to explain the letter u once I had the answer.

    I spent ages trying to make an anagram of 1a and loved the misdirection when the penny dropped.

    I loved all of this crossword but my favourite was 10a because it made me smile.

    Many thanks to the setter and DT.

  6. Completed at a steady pace. I cannot be alone in detesting 11a.. What an ugly word.

    Thank you Deep Threat. Whoever thought a trip to the barber/hairdresser would turn out to be a treat!

  7. An enjoyable friendly for a Friday crossword. My particular made-me-smile favourite was the ‘cuddling partner’ in 10a

    Thanks to the setter and DT

    Having been the one to go out for the weekly shop, I didn’t realise quite how exciting ‘going out’ would be for Mr CS who’d stayed at home since the lockdown started until we went to B&Q this morning. For someone whose always worked from home and only gone out occasionally, the whole experience made him go on and on about how beautiful all the blossom and so on is. So if you too haven’t left the house for some time, be prepared to be quite moved by the experience when you do, especially if you are doing so to get your hair cut!

  8. This setter is very fond of all manner of reversals and of stripping or filleting words of their letters. And there were several clues where you had to look for the less conventional pronunciation of one of the words, e.g. 5d which took me a bit of time. I needed DT’s hint at 19a, not to get the answer but to be reminded of “ for all to see”. I’d forgotten that.
    But on the whole, a good mixture of types of clues.
    One of those where you do a bit of bunging and take a bit of time to tease out the wordplay.

    I’d call it worthy, like porridge instead of pancakes and syrup. Good for you but not a whole lot of naughty fun…… 3*/2*

    1. Good description, much prefer pancakes and maple syrup (must be McCutcheons).

  9. I too got stuck on 8a, and got 11a but wasn’t sure why (thanks for the explanation). But very enjoyable and did like10a particularly. I think ***/*** and thanks to both.

    1. Ridiculously clever. Clever, maybe, but ridiculous in places. Started easily, then stumbled… chuckled at the German neighbour.

  10. Enjoyed this. No problem in North but South took some teasing out. Think 11a is a bit much for a UK audience (especially as there are several alternative spellings) but perhaps it makes up for numerous instances of Britspeak which occur and hence are not US friendly. Not sure about 15a. In line with other commenters my Fav was 10a. Thank you Mysteron and DT.

    1. It is interesting how subjective our crossword experiences can be: I found this to be an enjoyable */**** and yet quite often find the opposite rating applies to puzzles others find easy. Thanks to the Setter for a happy start to Friday.

  11. Way above my solving ability for about a third of the clues. 11a a stinker of a clue which needs taking out and consigning to the council tip. Thanks to DT for unravelling this tangled heap.

    1. Competely agree Corky just about sums this crossword up. And you can add 4 d as well.

  12. Certainly agree with Bluebird about this setter’s penchant for stripping or filleting words and with others who thought 11a was something of a mouthful.
    Change of tactics needed with 1a when I realised that it didn’t involve an anagram of ‘noble Anne’ and I thought ‘young beast’ was a somewhat extreme description of the little guy in 18a although I suppose it’s fair enough!
    Liked the description of the fiddlestick and my favourite was the simple 3d.

    Thanks to our setter and to the hairy DT for the review. Amusing to listen to the reprise of Flanders & Swann’s 12a.

  13. Also found this a puzzle of two halves. I guessed 8a in the end – last in. The clue still makes little sense to me. Where does the beer come in? It could be cutting back on any word ending in r as far as I can see. I had to check the spelling of 11a. The word and meaning are pretty obscure but given all the “stripping back” it was all I could come up with. Favourite 9d.

    1. I read the “back on beer” to mean it’s last letter and inserted in bar=except

    2. It could indeed be any word ending in ‘r’ but the beer is there to help the surface and to misdirect you to the wrong kind of bar at the same time.

        1. I found this a nice steady solve (no exclamations, question marks next to any clue – that is rare, so I think wonderfully clued). Slow start but picked up until the last one in, 8ac, which I will say for misdirection was my cotd. I had no problem with the American … I am an old Glaswegian, Uptonian, Theocsbrian amongst others … are they ugly words?

          Thanks to setter and DT.

  14. I had more trouble with the top half than the bottom. I fact I had rough scanned all the across clues down to 24 ac before I had an answer! Thankfully that triggered the brain to start ;-)

  15. Comments so far reflect hat I thought. The first read yielded virtually nothing for some time & the thought that I didn’t like the cluing. Then as it started to unravel I started to appreciate what was going on & ended up quite enjoying myself.
    Liked 5d & remembered mine was “Oddsocks” whether because I often wore them or a very stretched homonym (vey advanced at my junior school) of my name I don’t know.
    Thanks to setter & DT.for the excellent hints needed to to explain the u in 19d.
    Re haircuts I have to confess it was the only thing I stocked up on. The week before everything went pear-shaped I had a No 2 all over. With the way things are going looks like it should have been a No 1 or an all-off and polish

    1. My 5d at school was “Spider”. I think it was because I was tall and lanky.

      1. My husband’s nickname at Campbell College in Belfast was ‘soft’ which I think is odd as he was a 6’4″
        sporty type but apparently it was the Irish rendition of Howard which made HARD which of course in perverse
        schoolboyspeak became SOFT !?

        1. ” Temple’s nickname was Bod, by a tortuous schoolboy logic involving his initials: CAT (Charles A Temple), was changed to DOG, then amended to ‘Dogsbody’, which was finally shortened to ‘Bod’.
          Written work: Jennings in Particular
          Author: Anthony Buckeridge
          Thanks, Daisy for reminding me of the wonderful Jennings books.
          My nickname at primary school was BumbleBee because I had a tendency to hum when concentrating. When shamed into stopping they resorted to a more common device of adding a Y to my surname and I became Blacky

      2. After the other day perhaps you had a snooker cue on your head!

  16. Bit of a mixed bag for me, the best clues were the most economical and concise, such as 10 and 15a plus 2 and 21d.
    Many thanks to the setter and to DT for his excellent review.

  17. Took me a while to get going today then I managed to work out 9d, which gave me a few checkers. Even so, progress was slow. I had to use a couple of the hits to get me over the finish line but I did find the challenge enjoyable. There are some good clues and I liked 6d, the aforementioned 9d but my COTD is 17d.

    Grateful thanks to the setter and to DT for the great and needed hints.

    I have two bags of flour but no yeast. How do I make soda bread?

    1. Swap you some yeast for a bag of flour (only if it is bread flour of course)

        1. I found some dried yeast, though not a brand I recognised, on Amazon. Careful though, some of the products are for brewing.

      1. I have both. They’ve been in the cupboard for quite a long time so I’m not sure how well the loaf might turn out. Just used some of my dwindling supply of self raising flour to make a cherry and sultana cake

        1. Oh please don’t talk about baking, I am resisting it with great difficulty
          but a moment on the lips is unfortunately a lifetime on the hips.

    2. I have lots of yeast, but no wheat flour of any kind…..
      Steve – there are lots of recipes for soda bread online – you just need flour ( doesn’t have to be strong), salt, buttermilk and bicarbonate of soda. Some people use water or yoghurt for the wet. Some people add a bit of sugar or fruit and nuts. No yeast means no proving, so dead quick.
      I like it with a nice fish chowder, Cullen skink or the Irish equivalent.

        1. If you find a recipe that specifies buttermilk and you haven’t got any – hardly something that is in the fridge all the time – just add some lemon juice to milk and leave it for a minute or two.

  18. 1.5*/3*. A light but pleasant puzzle to end the week with 3d my favourite.

    We have recently identified a number of possible Friday setters: proXimal, Silvanus & Zandio, but today’s offering didn’t feel to me like any of those.

    Many thanks to Mr Ron and to DT.

    1. Having had the setters make a late appearance both yesterday & Wednesday perhaps today’s will give us the pleasure of a visit

  19. Found this a good deal easier than the last 2 days though not quite as enjoyable. All done in a shade over *** time with 3 clues in the south causing issues. For someone with zero practical skill (tool box = hammer, screwdriver & spanner) 16d took a while and wasn’t helped by the fact I initially bunged impound in for 15a. Like Margaret the main head scratcher though was 19d – not a word you see that often. Unlike others I quite like 11a which was an immediate bung in with the wordplay (reasonably quickly for me) worked out afterwards. Another vote from me for 10a was COTD for me – I still have panda who was my cuddling partner when I went off to boarding school in Wolverhampton at the tender age of 8 – reckon he got me through the first night…..
    Thanks to the setter & to DT for the review.

    1. So I wasn’t alone in being packed off to boarding school at 8 years old but it was quite unusual for the “fairer” sex but don’t think I had a cuddly for comfort.

  20. A fairly benign Friday offering, I thought, with 9d top of my pile. We did venture out today to the Farm Shop, and most of the men we encountered, at least those with hair, are beginning to look like extras from The Sweeney or footballers of the era. I think the idea is you don’t look in a mirror.

    Good fun all round from our setter and thanks to him and DT.

  21. This eas another pick up and put down for me, which I think is due to lockdown. I feel that I ought to be doing odds and ends in the garden etc. Still at the moment it seems to work. Favourite clue 1d, also I didn’t like 11a and 19d had me completely stumped. However all in all pretty enjoyable, I am hoping that we get some easing of the lockdown it is now getting tiresome, but needs must.
    At the moment lovely and sunny brisk SW wind and sll looking lovely and green.
    I hope you are all keeping safe and well.
    Thanks to DT and setter.

  22. No matter how hard I strived I couldn’t yank out the answer for 11a. Equally felt in need of a drink after gaining the help of DT for 8a.
    I’m 64 years old yet my childhood 10a still sleeps next to me on my bedside table (he is only little). I may be revealing too much here!

  23. Very unusual for me but managed to finish the back page and the toughie and it’s still daylight!
    This crossword contained quite a few elaborate constructions which were a joy to unravel.
    Thanks to the setter and to DT for the review.

  24. Was not familiar with so much stripping of words and that held me up for quite a while.Needed electronic help with .11a and found the clue unhelpful.However a good puzzle and a super blog.Thankyou.

  25. Smooth and enjoyable Friday puzzle, with a lot of unclothing of words (a great deal of that lately, it seems) with plenty of clever oddities. Finished with a flurry in ** time, though I doubt that one sees the spelling of 11a very often (sometimes seen with an extra ‘si’ in it, though the ‘s’ is always silent–not unlike the spelling of natives of Little Rock. AK, where they are sometimes called ‘Arkansawans but more usually ArKANSANS). Winners today: 19a, 8a, 15a and 2d. Thanks to DT for the hints and to the setter. ** / *** It’s May Day, everyone, “M’aider! M’aider! M’aider!”

    1. Hi Robert,
      You definitely need to have a go at the toughie then.

      1. Thanks, J-L, I did–and guess which clue I failed to solve!! I first put ‘Friday’ in, thinking it’s Friday today, and he’s the one who offered assistance to Crusoe; I overthought the darned thing, didn’t I? Otherwise, I did finish the Toughie, but with considerable help. I hope, one day, to finish, unaided, an Elgar.

  26. I thought this was going to be easy. I always fill in across clues and down clues as I move from the NW corner. Completed most of the top half except. 4a.
    11a came easily to mind. Moving on to the bottom half gradually working round until I came to 19d. This foxed me. I guessed it was an anagram but had no idea about the last 4 words of the clue. I now recall that I may have seen it once before in 10 years of solving. Not a good clue in my opinion but I suppose I will now have to store it in the braincells. So two clues unsolved and once again indebted to this site and the setter of course.

    1. Thanks to the setter and to Deep Threat for the review and hints. I found this very difficult, but got there in the end. There seemed to be a lot of clues where the middle of the word was discarded. I liked the misdirection 18a, but my favourite was 10a. Was 4*/3* for me.

  27. I found this faitly gentle and completed in ** time. Thought 10a and 11a were excellent clues, the latter took a bit more head scratching before the penny dropped. Thanks all.

  28. Thanks to all the compilers who have kept us busy and out of mischief for another painful week.
    We fairly sailed through this but I have to confess quite a few were done without being properly
    parsed so many thanks for the useful explanations as usual. I wanted to put the ‘s’ in 11a it does not look
    like a real word and stupidly I could not think why Ted needed a cuddle (we have a friend called Ted). I wanted
    1a to be an anagram and even thought it might be Queen Anne somehow giving me eloquence which of course was
    not relevant anyway. Oh dear, I think perhaps I am losing my grip on reality……..

  29. Two great puzzles this week, todays wasn’t one of them. Thanks to all

  30. Thanks to the setter and to Deep Threat for the review and hints. I found this very difficult, and noticed that there were quite a few clues that discarded the middle of words. I got there in the end. I liked the misdirection in 18a,but my favourite was 10a. Was 4*/3* for me.

  31. I found this really really difficult and almost gave up with three to go, but didn’t.
    I wonder who set it – do we know – think there’s something about me and Fridays that just don’t go well together.
    11a was my last one – I’d decided what it had to be but hadn’t quite cottoned on to why so couldn’t spell it – I looked it up and it’s supposed to have an ‘S’ between the ‘I’ and the ‘A’ at the end.
    Like most others my favourite was 10a but I also liked 12 and 20a.
    Something has eaten all my 18a’s. :sad:
    Thanks to whoever set this one and thanks and deep admiration to DT for sorting it.

    1. I too looked this up Kath. The answer is nothing to do with the inhabitants of Illinois. Check google.

    2. I am always some days behind in filling out a crossword. I did have problems with 11a and looked it up on crossword solver.org before I had answered 6d. The only solution was Islington! I spent some time wondering what Jeremy Corbyn had to do with a piano. Eventually I got Illinoian but this is a Pleistocene glaciation, not an Illinoisian, an inhabitant of Illinois. I guess they are both pronounced the same way.

  32. ***/***. First few clues went in quickly but then a very slow read through with hardly another solved. Got a good toehold with 7d which let me complete the West half. Another pause before solving the SE and finally the NE. 11a was a bung in but I couldn’t see why. Thanks to DT for explaining and thanks also to our setter.

  33. Phew I found that hard even with electronic assistance, but enjoyable nevertheless. Loved 10a. Thanks to mystery setter for helping with occupying my long afternoon and to DT for hinting.

  34. I did fairly well on this. Like DT the top flowed smoothly – even 8a where I was in the last letter of beer camp.
    I also toyed with an anagram for 1a like Jane but got there eventually. 7d was a penny drop too as I was expecting it to begin RE or REME which is usually my first thought when I see engineer.
    I didn’t find 11a too American as following the instructions was straightforward.
    LOI 21a mainly because I always misspell 19d and needed a hint to put me right.
    Obliged to pick 13d as I was doing the crossword sat on the banks of that river.
    Thanks to Dt and setter.

  35. Struggled for a while with 11a until we sorted out how the wordplay worked and that led us to the answer.
    Lots to enjoy and a pleasant solve.
    Thanks Mr Ron and DT.

  36. Too convoluted to be enjoyable, more suited to the Toughie crowd. Thanks to Deep Threat, but unless I read many of the hints I won’t be finishing this one. Life’s too short.

  37. Fairly straightforward apart from the last three in 8a, 6d and 19d which I got but needed help to parse. Favourite probably 12a. Thanks to the setter and DT. Did Wednesday’s and Thursday’s a day late so didn’t comment but breezed through them both.

  38. I too found this one a bit of a slog. Top half was the easy part for the most of it except for some of the NE corner. I too did not like the 11a word.
    Bottom half was a tough struggle for me. Overall ***/*** puzzle for Friday.
    Favourite clues: 3d, 5d, 17d & 20a. Winner 3d

    Thanks to setter and DT for hints

  39. Far too “clever – clever” for me today, I didn’t enjoy this much, although 10a struck a chord! Thanks to DT, and the setter. 🙃

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