DT 29358 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29358

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29358

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Good morning from South Staffs on the 75th anniversary of VE Day. Not much celebration as the current war on the virus drags on, and nothing thematic in the crossword either.

Nothing too obscure in the content of today’s puzzle, though the cryptic definition in 16d seemed rather stretched. My biggest struggle came with the Quickie pun: I’ve put two possible answers, but don’t much like either of them.

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           Days of old power studied for big corporation (6-3,6)
MIDDLE-AGE SPREAD – A period of history (6,4) followed by Power and another word for ‘studied’.

9a           Rip up root for replanting, leaving petals in a bowl? (9)
POTPOURRI – Anagram (for replanting) of RIP UP ROOT.

DIY: Potpourri

10a         Poem about place of fantasy … (5)
ODEON – Another word for ‘poem’ followed by ‘about’ or ‘concerning’, giving us a place to watch works of fiction.

11a         … it is featured in retro street musical (5)
EVITA – Reverse (retro) an abbreviation for a type of street, then insert IT (from the clue).

12a         Venomous African country midge bites unknown number (9)
MALIGNANT – A West African country, followed by a type of midge wrapped round an algebraic term for any number.

13a         Rough National Trust walk ahead (8)
STRIDENT – ‘To walk’ (briskly or strongly) followed by the acronym for the National Trust.

14a         Threaten prankster with death (6)
IMPEND – A mischievous creature followed by another word for death.

16a         Sack’s covering penny or something in river (6)
RAPIDS – Another word for ‘sack’ or ‘plunder’, plus the ‘S, with the symbol for a penny inserted.

Potholes, Waterfalls and Rapids | IS2104: Atmosphere and Hydrosphere

18a         Take in case of broken limb being blue (8)
DOWNCAST – To take in, as one might take in a pint of beer, followed by the casing which is put on a broken limb to hold it together while it heals.

22a         About fifty, one is plain absent-minded (9)
OBLIVIOUS – The Roman numerals for fifty and one are inserted into another word for ‘plain’ or ‘evident’.

23a         Catch up with rest of fiction (popular) (3,2)
LIE IN – A fiction or untrue statement followed by a two-letter word for ‘popular’.

24a         Personal accident cover, with strings attached (5)
APRON – Cryptic definition of something worn in the kitchen to protect against spillages.

25a         Last act of Jesus — Son, in case uncertain? (9)
ASCENSION – Anagram (uncertain) of SON IN CASE, producing the last recorded appearance on earth of Jesus, according to the New Testament.

26a         Male detective with hound following Joe Bloggs? (3,4,3,5)
TOM, DICK AND HARRY – Put together a male animal, anther word for a detective, AND (from the clue), and a verb meaning ‘to hound’, and you get another expression like ‘Joe Bloggs’ to refer to any unspecified person.


1d           Idiots upset MP in reshuffle (7)
MUPPETS – Anagram (in reshuffle) of UPSET MP.

[arve url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tgbNymZ7vqY” /]

2d           More bananas showing a higher number of speckles (7)
DOTTIER – Double definition: in the first, ‘bananas’ being an informal term for mental disturbance; the second being a straight definition.

3d           Famous Italian represented cardinal on video (8,2,5)
LEONARDO DA VINCI – Anagram (represented) of CARDINAL ON VIDEO.

Portrait of a Man in Red Chalk - Leonardo Da Vinci Self Potrait ...

4d           Lilac rim on yam’s inside reveals bitterness (8)
ACRIMONY – Hidden in the clue.

5d           In a bad way in Spain, very unwell, variable (6)
EVILLY – Put together the IVR code for Spain, an abbreviation for Very, another word for ‘unwell’, and an algebraic variable.

6d           Irish pool staff, small and large, getting into party drink and food (10,5)
PLOUGHMANS LUNCH – Put together an Irish pool or lake, a verb for ‘to staff’, Small and Large. Then wrap a drink which might be served in a large bowl at parties (remember them?) around the result to get something you might eat at a pub lunch (remember them?).

Go for an English - classic meals - the ploughman's lunch

7d           Eastern Fleet being shelled will swallow tax boost (7)
ELEVATE – Put together Eastern and the inside letters (shelled) of fLEEt, then insert the initials of a tax levied on business transactions into the result.

8d           Stood for flipping parade — tone-deaf taking part (7)
DENOTED – Hidden in reverse (flipping) in the clue.

15d         Kind of French clubs with dodgy casino Romeo inhabits (8)
CORSICAN – The bridge symbol for Clubs followed by an anagram (dodgy) of CASINO with the letter represented by Romeo in the NATO alphabet inserted. The answer describes someone from a French island in the Mediterranean.

Napoleon Bonaparte and His Famous Hands - French Metro Antiques

16d         There’s always a lapse before it’s read (4,3)
RIOT ACT – Cryptic definition of something which, historically, was read out to an unruly crowd before the military moved in to restore order. These days, more likely to refer to a dressing-down given to a group of school students or workers.

17d         One has faith one will go far (7)
PILGRIM – Cryptic definition of someone who goes on a journey (to Canterbury or Compostela, perhaps) for religious reasons.

[arve url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5yHJMPw8RHU” /]

19d         Retail confused lies about English artist’s place in Paris? (7)
ATELIER – Anagram (confused) of RETAIL wrapped around English, to get the French word for an artist’s studio.

20d         House-keeping? It could be a flat occupation (7)
TENANCY – Cryptic definition of one of the ways in which real property can be held.

21d         Second bird, one from America originally (6)
MOHAWK – A second or brief  period of time, followed by a bird of prey, to produce a Native American.

The Quick Crossword pun WHARF + HAUL = WAFFLE or WOLF HALL (if it’s this, then the author gets a name check at 14a)

55 comments on “DT 29358

  1. That was a puzzle of two halves! I completed the top half very quickly, on course for my 1* time. The SE corner then put up some resistance (3* level) and finally the SW proved to be a brute with lots of head scratching required (5* level). The one consistent element is that it was all good fun (3*).

    26a was my favourite.

    Many thanks to the setter and to DT.

  2. Enjoyable without being too challenging and containing two opposing clues, 16d is very clever and 15d is not.
    Thx to all

      1. Have only just read Zandio’s comment which confirms my opinion that in no way could it be a DG product.

  3. Rather different to last Friday’s! Very enjoyable and I did like 26a. **/***. Thanks to both.

  4. I’m with Rabbit Dave on this one. The NW went inso quickly that I thought I was in for 1* difficulty but the bittom half of the puzzle pushed it into 3* time. There were so.e good clues . Ia was good and 6d was clever but, like 19d and 26a, it was awfuy convoluted, long-winded and lacked real elegance. I found that the complicated wording just reduced the enjoyment factor a bit (2*). Thanks to DT for help with parsing 22a and 26a and thanks to the setter. Stay safe and well everyone. What a shame we can’t have street parties to celebrate the 75th anniversary of VE day. I have very fond memories of street parties in the East End of London, where I grew up

  5. Apart from a momentary pause with a couple in the bottom left, this all went in without much of a struggle.
    A pleasant puzzle, although I do not like the adverb in 5d.

    Thanks to the setter and to DT.

  6. Like RD I had the North in in pretty good time but resorted to electronic help to finish the South, even that taking a lot of head scratching. 6d was an unashamed bung in, thought it was a terrible clue. Didn’t care much for 5d (obscure), 19d (ditto) either, or some of the surfaces for that matter. Quite liked 1a plus 1&2d but overall a dated feel and one to forget for me.
    Thanks to the setter and to DT for unravelling it all.

  7. My main problems with this one were caused by writing letters in that looked like something else and so not being able to solve the linked clue. Nice Friday level crossword – thanks to the setter and DT

  8. I’m with RD & Chriscross on this one. Didn’t have to even pause for thought in the NW & the top fell very quickly. Much slower in the bottom and only scraped in just inside *** time. A number of good clues of which 16d & 26a were my favourites.
    Thanks to the setter & to DT.
    Ps I’m not sure what to make of the Quickie pun either.

  9. A bit more of a tussle today, but no less enjoyable for that. I also thought 5d a very ugly word.

    Although 16d occurred to me immediately, I didn’t put it in until I got some checkers because I wasn’t really convinced.

    Good fun, many thanks to DT and the setter.

  10. Difficult to get going but 1 Across and 6 down were both good clues that opened things up a bit. 26 across very good clue also. I’m not the quickest so perhaps 2*/3* . Challenging but answers within reach so the ah-ha experience came at regular intervals to keep me encouraged. Don’t believe 25 across ever happened (except in 10 across!!). Thanks to the setter.

  11. DT
    Might I suggest the Quickie pun relates to VE Day – “war fall”?

      1. Wolf Hall doesn’t work for me. Where is the “L” in the answers? I agree with LROK but with the caveat I put in #17.

  12. Like RD & other a puzzle of two halves, with the last two falling in *** injury time.
    No stand-out clues for me wonder why Tom etc were chosen. Mr Wicki was no help but he did tell me it was an example of a tricolon so I learned another useless fact.
    Thanks to setter and DT for the review.

  13. Rushed through top half, along with most others; bottom half dragged me just within 2* time. I REALLY (yes I know I’m shouting) dislike quarters, or in this case halves, joined by only 2 checkers. So thanks DT, and sadly fewer thanks to the setter.

  14. Reasonably straightforward except for the SW which required some head scratching for completion at a gallop – 2.5*/3*.
    Candidates for favourite – a toss-up between 1a and 6d both of which must be oldies but goodies – and the winner is 6d.
    Thanks to the setter and DT.

  15. A difficult start but I picked up speed after a while. Having said that, I needed the hints for a few. Still, it was a great challenge and there were some good clues. I liked 1a and 28a and I thought 4d was a great lurker.

    Many thanks to the setter for a great Friday challenge and to DT for the hints.

    I tend to agree with LabradorsruleOK that The Quickie is a tribute to those that fell in WW2 but it would have worked better had a third clue been given that read “hen”.

  16. I enjoyed this puzzle and felt rather smug when the top half went in so easily. I also battled with the bottom half though. Had a Zoom meeting with our WI committee yesterday – hilarious, especially as on my Kindle can only see 4 people at a time and then swipe to see another 4. What strange times we live in when a Zoom meeting (which until a couple of weeks ago I had never heard of) is the highlight of my day!

  17. A nice finish to the week. I particularly liked 1a and 26a, both made me smile and take joint honours today. Thanks to DT and the setter.

  18. I thought this tricky and the answers elusive but in retrospect the majority of the clues were high quality and so ultimately it was satisfying. A ***/**** for me with thanks to the setter whoever he or she may be.

  19. I found this a puzzle of two halves. I was off to a good start with the top half but slowed up for the second. As mentioned above, a pleasant finish for the week. My contenders for COTD are 24, 25, 26a and 16d. Thanks to the setter and DT for the extras🦇

  20. Having real problems getting on to the site getting a message ‘this site can’t provide a secure connection’, anyone else getting this? Both on Android phone and tablet.

  21. As it has just been on tv, the Quickie pun has to be Wolf Hall. Indeed I never bothered to think of anything else.

  22. Most of the morning taken up by Skype calls with the offspring but I did tackle this beforehand and quite enjoyed it. No.2 daughter on IOW isn’t of a mind to download the coronavirus app so I have to wonder just how successful the roll-out is likely to be?
    My top three today were 23,24&26a with a smile for 1a.

    Thanks to our setter and to DT for the review – have to say that I had Hilary Mantel in mind for the Quickie pun but perhaps that’s because I’ve just started on the last book of the trilogy. There is certainly merit in LabrOK’s alternative.

  23. Interesting and enjoyable many excellent clues 15d held me up I had to resort to hints. A few of us a social isolating for a tea party to celebrate VE day. It will be nice to get together.
    Thanks to DT and setter

  24. 25a made me wonder if the setter was Giovanni. 1d was my favourite. Many thanks to the setter and to DT. My father flew over Holland on VE Day to drop food parcels, but came back in time to hear the King’s speech. I still have the letter he wrote to his parents that night.

  25. Same thoughts about the setter.
    With 4 cryptic defs, and with Rufus gone (may he rest in peace), it has to be the Don.
    The SW drove me mad 😠.
    Loved 6d and 26a.
    Thanks for the workout and to DT for the review.

  26. Enjoyable crossword today (unlike the beast of yesterday 😬) ***/**** Favourites today the first and the last 😃 1 & 26 across. Big thanks to DT for the enjoyable blog, enjoyed the music, and to the Setter/ Giovanni 🤔

  27. Thanks to DT but did not enjoy this Friday offering; it seemed very clunky e.g. 23 a, 5d, 6d.

  28. I thought this was the cleverest cryptic of the week’s very good back-pagers, a most enjoyable way to end the week. I especially liked 15d, 17d, and 21d, my podium choices, with a special shout-out to 16a, the UK version of the American John Doe or Mr MITS (the Man in the Street). Thanks to the setter and to Deep Threat for the hints. ** / ****

  29. Being contrary as normal, I have enjoyed every crossword this week until today. Found the clues strange, agree with Deep Threat on 16d. Not helped that I always want to put de and not da for the famous Italian, so was looking for another e for the anagram, duh. I did slog on until I finished, but sadly did not enjoy. Thanks to setter and to Deep Threat, who kept me going til the end.

  30. Hello, compiler here. Thanks very much for the feedback. Regarding the Quick pun, I liked all the various suggestions. However, my intended pun was the one connected to the author whose name appears in the grid (along with her latest book). Hope you have an enjoyable VE evening.

    1. Thanks for the visit & the entertainment.
      Was wrong on the pun but such things make for interesting dialogues.

    2. Many thanks for a most enjoyable challenge. I made my comment about The Quickie pun above – so I was wrong then! :grin:

  31. If today were a work day this would been binned in the first five minutes. Sat in the garden in the sun with a beer and a cigar I decided to persevere. I confess I found it staid and scholastic. I found the clueing clunky and some of the definitions stretched. Not my wavelength and of little satisfaction to solve. Thanks to all.

  32. This was fun. I really like 1d and 2d. Though there are none that I disliked. 26a also made me laugh.
    Like CrypticSue I also put in letters that look like something else but that’s my own fault. I had good handwriting in Infant and Junior school and it’s all been downhill since then. I think it really started to go to pot when taking notes in class and then keyboarding after that but yes, that’s just an excuse.
    Have a safe and happy weekend everyone.

  33. I started out at speed and finished the top half in record time. I had to go out for an appointment, got quite excited, so long since I’ve been anywhere, then found I’d returned to a very difficult puzzle.
    I found the long clues very friendly and went straight in, they helped enormously with the rest. I needed help from DT with a couple.
    Thanks Zandio for the fun, I really enjoyed this, and thanks to Deep Threat for the help.

  34. Enjoyed this, like others managed the top half first (**/****). 26a raised a chuckle – Our 5 months old Dalmatian has started three holes in the back garden which we have named al la The Great Escape film tunnels…T/D/H 😉
    Thx to Setter and DT

  35. Very enjoyable puzzle today, finished after sitting in front garden, as were all our neighbours,,,, keeping socially distanced, but still managed to communicate. Odd but very pleasant!
    Thanks to setter & Dt for review

  36. Started off with a chuckle at 1a and kept smiling throughout the solve.
    A well put together set of clues that we appreciated and enjoyed.
    Thanks Zandio and DT.

  37. Unlike most of the previous commentators I struggled to get any sort of foothold on this. Then suddenly the mist lifted and I finished it in quite short order. I can’t blame it on over indulgence in the afternoon VE celebrations on the close, only two cans of beer, I think it was the stress of cooking a steak. I’m no cook and I made a mess of the last one. Super crossword, favourite 26a. Many thanks to Zandio and DT.

  38. Not really my scene but persevered in a rather haphazard way over the day in between much TV gawping and a village socially-distanced gathering to end the day after the Queen’s moving speech. I was another who found the South, particularly the SW, more challenging than the North. 6d was fun to unravel but my Fav was the little 23a. Place in 19d really is rather unspecific. Thank you Zandio and DT.

  39. By the time I even thought about commenting yesterday it was far too late.
    Like others I found the bottom half much more difficult than the top, and I didn’t even find the top a doddle.
    There were quite a few answers that I couldn’t even get – stupidly they were some of the easier ones – funny that!
    I did like 1 and 26a.
    Thanks to Zandio and to DT.

  40. Mostly straightforward. Couldn’t get 5d. Had edible in my brain! 24a favourite answer. I thought Wolf Hall for quickie.

    1. Yes, I was oblivious to the obvious for a long time. Like others, the SW corner took time – but I felt that although tricky, the clues were fair.

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