DT 29357 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29357

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29357

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment **

Good morning from Lockdown L I. Where Saint Sharon and I are enjoying an enforced retirement with pay. Although we have nothing to do and all day to do it, it is surprising just what can be achieved with a little effort here and there. The interior of our house in Leicestershire (It’s not Warwickshire Sharon) is nearly finished so I have begun an ambitious landscaping project in the garden. That should be fun with my knees. At least I have plenty of alcohol to see me through.

Today’s puzzle was a do what it says and all will be well puzzle. It fell into place quite quickly. I was hoping for more of a challenge but maybe that’s what The Toughie was made for.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Bitter moan about plant in garden (10)
MONTBRETIA: For the gardeners amongst us we have an easy anagram of a plant also known as Crocosmia. The anagram indicator is about and the fodder is BITTER MOAN which is what you have after this plant has spread rapidly and taken over your borders

6a    Posed outside back of shop in row (4)
SPAT: A three-letter word meaning posed has the last letter of the word shop included.

9a    Abandon girl in shrub (6,4)
DESERT ROSE: Begin with a synonym of the word abandon, particularly used in a military situation. Add a girl. What girl? You may well ask. My daughter fits the bill.

10a    American native given greeting outside work (4)
HOPI: The abbreviation of opus for a musical work sits inside a regularly used informal greeting. The tried in question had 19,338 people according to a census of 2010

12a    In middle of lesson get unfriendly rebukes (6)
SCOLDS: The two central letters of the word lesson contain a word that means unfriendly, the opposite of warm.

13a    Awful trouble with EU showing no love for diehard Tory? (4,4)
TRUE BLUE: An anagram (awful) of EU and TROUBLE needs to have the letter O removed (no love)

15a    Special collection of least well-regarded artist? (6,6)
BOTTOM DRAWER: This special collection used to be what a bride to be gathered before her wedding to give her a start in married life. It might at a stretch be how one describes a lowly artist.

18a    Buffoonery of liar had Queen troubled (12)
HARLEQUINADE: Anagram (troubled) of LIAR HAD QUEEN

21a    Exercises to get bit of money by bankrupt college (8)
PEMBROKE: The third oldest Cambridge college can be found by placing the abbreviation usied by schools for physical education classes. Add the initial letter (bit of) of the word money. Add a word meaning bankrupt

22a    German fellow’s regimen accepted with bit of hesitation (6)
DIETER: I believe this is a Christian name popular in Germany. Begin with a prescribed course of treatment often used for weight loss. Add one of two hesitations used by setters. Not um, the other one

24a    Emotion created by speed getting heart going (4)
HATE: Begin with a synonym of the word speed. Remove its central letter to reveal an emotion on the other end of the emotional scale to love

25a    Prisoner on top level said to be hiding away (10)
CONCEALING: Start with a regular criminal. Now find an upper limit or top level. Change the spelling of this word to suit the definition given by the clue. The word said is used here as a homophone indicator

26a    Gait of the old man going to church (4)
PACE: Begin with an endearing informal term for your father. Add the abbreviation for the Church of England

27a    Determined little girl, ten, saucy on the outside (10)
PERSISTENT: A three-part charade. 1. A little girl. The diminutive form of a female sibling. 2. The word ten from the clue. How generous of our setter is that. 3. A synonym of the word saucy. Arrange as per the instructions within the clue


1d    Way holy person is unassuming (6)
MODEST: A way or method of doing something is followed by the abbreviation of a canonised person

2d    Small numbers — in what way is that something bothering restaurant? (2-4)
NO SHOW: Split 3,3 we have the abbreviation for numbers followed by a word meaning in what way or by what means.

3d    Like a drippy type showing no interest whatever? (5,2,5)
BORED TO TEARS: One might be said to be lachrymose in a situation of extreme ennui

4d    They hear corny things (4)
EARS: Our organs of hearing are also the seed bearing heads of cereal plants

5d    What may be played in tents that’s naughty and full of spirit (10)
INSTRUMENT: An anagram (that’s naughty) of IN TENTS contains (is full of) an alcoholic spirit favoured by sailors

7d    Bad legislation? Such would supposedly help the needy (4,4)
POOR LAWS: A synonym of the word bad and a synonym of the word legislation should provide you with parliamentary acts of yesteryear designed to aid those living in chill penury

8d    Attempt to get hold of liquid, out-of-this-world bathroom item (8)
TOILETRY: A three-lettered word meaning an attempt holds a liquid lubricant and the abbreviation used to mean out of this world which was the part of the title of a wonderful film about a boy and a visitor from outer space

11d    Naval officers raised alarm at sea after first sign of rocks (4,8)
REAR ADMIRALS: An anagram (at sea) of RAISED ALARM follows the initial letter of the word rocks

14d    Attacked dwelling and was effective (6,4)
STRUCK HOME: A word meaning to have attacked by hitting is followed by a term for ones dwelling or household

16d    Quickly providing two portions of meat (4-4)
CHOP-CHOP: A word for a thick slice of meat, especially pork or lamb, adjacent to and often including a rib is repeated to make an exclamation meaning quickly

17d    A passionate knight going out is fragrant (8)
AROMATIC: Begin with the letter A from the clue. Add a word meaning passionate or showing feelings of love but without the chess notation for a knight

19d Newspaper and Daily telegraph Puzzles Subscription clue. Street on fire — terrible conflict (6)
STRIFE: The abbreviation for street is followed by an anagram (terrible) of FIRE

19d Daily Telegraph subscriptions clue. Conflict? It’s upset ref badly (6)
STRIFE: Anagrams (upset and badly) of IT’S and REF

20d    Traditional manufacturer needs entitlement to be heard (6)
WRIGHT: A homophone here. A traditional tradesman who might have the words wain, wheel or ship appended to his trade is a homophone on one’s entitlement to, possibly by birth

23d    Stars in disgrace sometimes (4)
ACES: The answer lies hidden within the words of the clue. Indicated by the word in

Quickie Pun: bristle+rovers=Bristol Rovers


69 comments on “DT 29357

  1. A pleasant puzzle today but it did begin slowly. Not heard of the term at 18a before so another for the mental files. No real favourites today although I did like 15a.

    Grateful thanks to the setter and to Rumpelstiltskin for the hints.

    1. Forgot to add my thanks for the reminder of a book I read years ago, Rumplestiltskin. “Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee” is a thought provoking work that incites anger and sympathy in equal measure. I must dig it out and read it again.

      1. Once read never forgotten Steve. Rumpelstiltskin isn’t fair either.

        1. Having made many visits to Arizona knew of the suffering & the long walk etc but was ignorant of the book. I will rectify that ASAP, thanks.
          Visitors to Monument Valley, de Chelly and Antelope canyons help the Navajo Nation. Apparently they are sadly being hit hard by CV due to their relatively poor standard of living (30% still haven’t access to running water) and health problems.

          1. I enjoy many books, LROK but “Bury my Heart” is the only one to have ever moved me. I am not easily moved.

            1. SC
              From what I learned what they did to the various tribes would almost qualify as “ethnic cleansing” today. Certainly the vast majority of the Navajo live in fairly basic conditions today.

  2. I’m not sure who set this one – it took a 2* time to solve and was about average for enjoyment.

    I agree with MP about 1a – once you’ve got it, it will be in your garden for ever. We even tried killing some of it off when revamping an entire very large flower bed, but back it came

    Lovely warm and sunny here today – so I’m back off into the garden

    1. I wouldn’t mind if the two I have, one at the back and one at the side weren’t orange which clashes with everything and the one I planted myself (the lovely crimson Satan/ Devil one) isn’t now obscured by a filbert tree at the time it’s flowering.
      And what is that grass which looks a bit like crocosmia but is much bigger, tougher and looks like it should be by a lake? It’s so hard to get up that I’m now resorting to spot glyphosate to cripple it first.
      What I really need is a nice strong young man, but this will not be possible for another few weeks…….

        1. No, I think it’s a pendulous sedge, judging by RHS pictures.
          Now I think back more than 10 years, I bought it when I was in “ornamental grass” mode, thinking it would look nice in a perennial border, after I’d been to Chelsea. My son in law has dug up a couple. Re your comments about paving slabs, he chucks them about like playing cards, whereas I can barely lift one.
          Shallow roots but so dense that you have to dig all the way round to lever it out and one of them is mixed in with a thorny rambling rose………
          There are lots of self seeded babies. I’m now vigilant about pulling them up and I’ve now removed all the seed heads of the big one to dent its future descendants. Thanks for the hint though…

    2. I suspect the one place it won’t persist is in my memory. My mind stores a wide range of useless information, without me asking it to, but scientific names of garden plants go in one ear and out the other. As usual I had to resort to getting all the checking letters, then making up credible letter patterns from the rest of the fodder, and check to see if they constitute a word. As it happens my first guess was right on the button.

      1. I don’t think so either. And sadly it won’t grow here, used to have it in England, but don’t remember it being a problem.

  3. I thought this was clever and quirky without being overly difficult. Little bit of head scratching in the NW with the clever 2d my LOI. I didn’t quite get the nuance of 15a but what else could it be?
    Liked 6 and 25a plus 1d in particular
    Many thanks to the setter and to MP for his customary witty review .

  4. I didn’t quite manage to complete this without help, 1a being a piece of GK I certainly didn’t know. I completed the rest of the grid in **/*** time, but was unable to fully parse 8d and 24a. 18a was another word I didn’t know, but was easily made up from the anagram fodder.

    Many thanks to the setter and MP

  5. Something different for a thursday nearly a write in except for 18a at the last moment with letters in I realised it was an anagram, but even so required electronic help. I must have been on setters wavelength for once.
    Thanks to Rumplestiltskin and setter. Good luck with the landscaping alchohol works wonders for the knees.

  6. The NW corner proved the challenge today given the extent of my ignorance of all types of flora. Mr G was therefore required for confirmation of both 1&9a and also for the 18a anagram which isn’t a word I’ve seen used before. Other than that a pretty straightforward finish in *** time with 15a my pick of the clues. Thanks to the setter & to MP for the review.
    Back now to yesterday’s supposedly fluffy Toughie where I’m still 6 short.

  7. As one who never remembers the names of flowers and plants, I impressed Mrs S hugely with getting 1a straightaway. Very enjoyable and surprisingly straightforward for a Thursday. Now back to the garden, the sunshine and a good book.

    1. **/** for me as had to guess 1a and 10a and thought it a bit too much general knowledge. Didn’t understand ref to artist in 15a either.

  8. An easy jog through today. Mental jog that is as I’m confined to barracks. I did need to check that there really was a plant called montbretia but that was it. Favourite 15a. I’m guessing that not too many brides to be put together a “bottom drawer” these days. Many years ago, it was very much the thing to do. I wouldn’t like to spend this forced imprisonment without the benefit of alcohol either and it’s the first thing in my shopping basket!

    1. At the beginning of Lockdown my young neighbours were very amused when in response to the question was there anything we
      needed at the supermarket the answer was yes, Gin, Schweppes* tonics and lemons! They had expected bread, milk and tea
      from a couple of OAPs I suspect!
      * other brands are available, but not as good IMHO

  9. Yes this was straightforward (ish) for Thursday with very few headscratchers.
    COTD was 10a Purely because the name reminds me of our near-annual visits to the Grand Canyon. Their reservation includes part of the it at the Western end. Sad we probably won’t visit again. Seeing the the sunrise / sunset from10a Point will have to remain just a memory.
    Thanks to setter and the man of many names for the review.

  10. This was pretty straightforward but no less enjoyable for that (*/****). I liked 7d, 8d and 18a together with some fine anagrams. Thanks to MP and the setter.

  11. Another day when the Quickie was far harder than the cryptic. In a way, I think I found the Toughie easier than this too. I hope to go into the garden with a good book later. I pay someone to weed…..not daft you know!

  12. Very pleasant and surprisingly uncomplicated for a Thursday, though I didn’t know the 1a plant (am wondering how to pronounce it), which solved itself. I liked 2d, 20d, and 14d, especially, with 17d my LOI because I thought the clue said ‘fLagrant’ and I put ‘dramatic’! ** / *** Thanks to MP and the setter.

    1. You can call the Montbretia Mountain Fleece if you want to Robert.
      For all other plants you are unsure of Grandiflora Dammedifino will do just fine

  13. Nothing to write home about today and nothing by which to be really troubled either. The 22a name is certainly not prevalent in Germany particularly as it is a diminutive of Marlene’s last name meaning warrior of the people. 2d would seem to call for a rather more ingenious clue. I had problem parsing 8d as I was stupidly concentrating on only using the attempt at the end of the solution. My Fav was 15a – probably largely an anachronism! Thank you Mysteron and MP.

    1. 2 down is a big problem within the restaurant industry. A quick google of the answer is worth a look. It is so rude and I don’t understand why anybody would deliberately do such a thing

      1. Term used in golf also for person who fails to turn up for a competition. Looked on as a badge of shame. At least we get the entry fee, I presume the restaurant has difficulty getting anything.

        1. Nothing from the person who booked the table. You don’t go to restaurants on your own so nothing from his or her guests either.

      2. I agree with you MP. Just put a comment at the end. I feel sick thinking of the sort of people who do it. It is bad anyway but if it’s a table for two in a restaurant with a lot of covers it can be absorbed but a table for ten in a small restaurant can be catastrophic.

  14. Some clever and quirky clues today which added to the enjoyment. Like I suspect most people 18a was a new word for me which I had to confirm in the BRB. My fav was 9a, reminded of the Sting song.
    Thx to all

  15. Nicely straightforward and satisfying to complete. Last one in 22a. Favourites 13a and 19d. Had to check there was such a word as 18a.
    I assume you rub the alcohol on your knees, Rumpelstiltskin?

    1. Having lifted and moved umpteen 2 x 2 slabs and lifted some turf to raise a hollow in the lawn I am now looking at two 3 x 2 slabs the sainted one wants moving. The sun is well over the yardarm. It can’t be long now

  16. Straightforward. Hadn’t heard of 1a but my neighbour at the old house had a front garden full of aubretia and one conclusion led to another. Thanks to setter and MP.

  17. Regarding the quickie – I wonder if anyone else charged in with ‘fast’ as the first word for 15a and subsequently became help up by that error…
    Cryptic – needed help with 1a as I had never heard of it, but enjoyed the splendid 18a. Great puzzle.
    Thanks to all.

  18. Like J.B l found the quick harder than this.Had not heard of the tribe so pleased to get it from the wordplay.I know it is not Ray T. But good to complete on a Thursday.Thanks to setter and as ever to M.P.

    1. The tribe’s Kachina figures are beautiful. Having lived in Arizona we have a couple of them.

  19. I realised that 1a was an anagram, but had to use an anagram scrambler. Perhaps if I’d started on the down clues I’d have worked it out from checking letters. I’ve never heard of the plant. Apart from doing a bit of weeding, I leave the garden to my husband. He leaves the cooking to me. It works fine as we are always in two different places. 13a and 15a were favourites. Many thanks to the setter and to Miffypops. I might have to climb into the loft later and retrieve a copy of Grimm’s Fairy Tales from a box.

  20. The NW took a while.
    I love flowers and shrubs but can never remember their names. I usually keep the little label attached to remind me.
    Couldn’t get bored to death out of my mind in 3d but definitely knew that the college was right. Took forever.
    Thanks to the setter and to MP for the review.

    1. I too was bored to death until I realised it was too extreme for The Telegraph

  21. An ok puzzle for when forced inside by the briefest of showers. Nothing too tricky and good fun while it lasted. 7 and 8d were worthy favourites.

    Thank you to our setter and MP.

  22. A couple of anagrams that needed checkers to come in before they would solve themselves (1a and 18a). The German took a long time to come too I toyed with the usual suspects’ Otto and Herr(en) for a while. I was bored to death as well.
    For my B’day last year, I took advantage of a 2d at a v nice but perpetually booked restaurant in York. This year they are providing work for some chefs by providing food hampers to prepare at home. I am going to try and secure one this year.
    Thanks to setter and Rumplestiltskin. Two very nice musical interludes today.

  23. Took ages to getting going on this and then suddenly lots fell into place apart from the NW! Couldn’t for the life of me sort out the anagram to 1ac, made worse when I realised I had crossed out the ‘O’ but it wasn’t in my in-progress solution. In these cases, e.g unknown plant, I turn to my copy of Hamlyn Crossword Dictionary. First published in 1932 – I picked up a second-hand copy in Hay-on-Wye in the 80’s and it has been a treasure to me. But, today not – the answer was not in Flowers, Plants or Trees and Shrubs! Nor is Crocosmia!

    But then I spotted the ‘O’ and all fell into place.

    Thanks setter and Miffypops for the parsing of 24ac!

  24. Everything has pretty much been said so I’ll shut up except to say thank you and I don’t know why anyone should
    dislike Montbretia?

  25. Thanks to the setter and Rumpelstiltskin for the review and hints. Not my cup of tea at all. Had never heard of 1a and 18a. Didn’t like 15a,2&3d. Favourite was 22a. Was 3*/2* for me.

    1. My sentiments entirely. I have all your don’t knows and dislikes on my list, plus some.

  26. **/***. Interesting puzzle. Some GK and a few obscure words. I thought we might get Stings version of 9a from the Brand New Day album but alas. Thanks to our setter and MP for the review.

    1. The track is a Tom Waits song called Trampled Rose. At least Stings song has the right title to suit the answer.

  27. I was right on wavelength, a huge pleasure and surprise for a Thursday.
    I enlisted e-help for 18a, even with several checkers I had no clue, I’d never heard of it with that ending.
    I knew 1a, so the anagram was perfect. Fave was 16d, but 15a amused.
    Thanks to whomsoever set this and (let’s see if I can spell his name) Rumplestiltskin for the hints and pics.
    Yesterday a dearth of Famous Grouse, today it’s my fave tea, Red Rose. Will this never end?

      1. Be more useful at the minute if the miller & daughter stuck to making flour, preferably bread flour for us.

      2. The only thing I remember is being scared when I saw the illustration in the book. I believe we read it when I was about 9, I would have been in second form, and we had someone read to us before going to bed. I should read it again to see if it’s still as scary! Another book I remember from about that time was The Secret Garden.

  28. A bit late now but, for what it’s worth, I found this more difficult and more enjoyable than most of you did by the sound of it – one of those “just me days”. :unsure:
    I really like 1a’s, preferably the Lucifer variety which is a bright red.
    I liked 15 and 21a (there’s one in Oxford too) and 16 and 17d.
    Thanks to whoever set this one and to MP in disguise – rather you than me.

  29. **/*** and completed without needing any help here. But not being a gardener needed Mr G for 1A. Nor the American tribe, but got it from the clue before I checked on G.

  30. We have been spoilt by some lovely puzzles this week. I was beginning to think it was time to call it a day last week. But here we are having lots of fun. Thanks to setter and to Miffypops. Did have to groan at 4a. And was stumped by 18a, never would have come up with that one.

  31. We’re with Kath on this one in finding it quite a lot trickier than usual. It actually took us longer than the Toughie..
    An enjoyable solve.
    Thanks Mr Ron and MP.

  32. I’m with Heno on this, never heard of 1a, 9a, 18a or 21a. I don’t do gardening and I didn’t go to university. I also didn’t like 2d, what’s it for to do with restaurants? 15a I thought was a bit iffy! The other 75% of the crossword was ok. No favourite. Thanks to the setter and MP. Also well done to all those who thought it was easy, maybe I was having a bad day.

    1. When a girl was engaged she got presents and bought items for her future home. She put them in her “bottom drawer” which was a special place. With regard to 2d I don’t know whether Jean-Luc will confirm this also but in the UK the no-shows are the bane of restaurants. Simply people who book and don’t turn up. There are people who will book more than one restaurant for an evening and then choose which one to go to without cancelling the others. That is why restaurants sometimes want deposits for large parties.

  33. Wednesday was a hard act to follow but this was doable without help – even the unfamiliar words. 1a was my next t o last one in but with the checkers there are only certain places the remaining letters can go. I was actually left with BRT as I did not have 3d. Played about rearranging and got the answer which led me straight to LOI 3d. I got 22a straightaway and it was my favourite for its simplicity and the word regimen. Thank you setter and MP

  34. 3*/3*……..
    liked 13A ” awful trouble with EU showing no love for diehard Tory? (4,4) “

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