DT 29359 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29359

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29359
The Saturday Crossword Club

BD Rating – Difficulty**Enjoyment **

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

Until the Telegraph resumes the award of prizes for the Saturday puzzles, this post, and tomorrow’s, will be just like the Monday to Friday posts, with hints for every clue and revealable answers.  BD


A workmanlike puzzle which, while not quite read-and-write, for me was not far off.  Perhaps you think differently – if so please let me know with a comment.

Most of the terms used in these hints are explained in the Glossary and examples are available by clicking on the entry under “See also”. Where the hint describes a construct as “usual” this means that more help can be found in The Usual Suspects, which gives a number of the elements commonly used in the wordplay. Another useful page is Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing, which features words with meanings that are not always immediately obvious.

Some hints follow.

Across

1a Cheer snob somehow beginning to get composer (10)
SCHOENBERG: this anagram (somehow) of CHEER SNOB is followed by the initial letter of (beginning to) G[et]

Not for me, but make your own judgement!

6a Parrot shy about pelican at first (4)
COPY: an adjective meaning shy around the initial letter (at first) of P[elican]

8a Reckon to have one million in assets (8)
ESTIMATE: put I (one) and M(illion) inside some assets

9a Harvester in back-breaking exercise? (6)
REAPER: put some Physical Exercise inside (breaking) a word meaning back

10a Subtle quality — or unsubtle one! (8)
OVERTONE: an adjective meaning unsubtle followed by ONE

11a Pot knocked over: relatives will get serviette (6)
NAPKIN: the reversal (knocked over) of a cooking pot is followed by some relatives

12a White magician conceals object (4)
ITEM: hidden (conceals) inside the clue

14a Row about stray dog (7)
TERRIER: a row goes around a verb meaning to stray from the straight and narrow

18a Throw back tailless crustacean (7)
LOBSTER: a three-letter verb meaning to throw followed by most of (tailless) a word meaning the back

20a Star returned in luggage van (4)
VEGA:M hidden (in) and reversed (returned) inside the clue

23a Tory and scoundrel are in agreement (6)
CONCUR: a Tory followed by a scoundrel

24a Old sailors with invitation to go round duchy (8)
CORNWALL: O(ld), some sailors and W(ith) have an invitation around them

25a Answer Joycean protagonist having come out (6)
ABLOOM: A(nswer) followed by the surname of the fictional protagonist of James Joyce’s Ulysses

26a Drollery less desirable as one gets on? (8)
BADINAGE: split as (3,2,3) this could mean less desirable as one gets on in years

27a Fateful day — team heading into last place (4)
IDES: beware this fateful March day in Rome – start with a team and move its initial letter (heading) to the end (last place)

28a Remarkable new town theory (10)
NOTEWORTHY: an anagram (new) of TOWN THEORY

Down

1d Set point lost, but make quick progress (4,2,2)
STEP ON IT: an anagram (lost) of SET POINT

2d Exciting bottom seen in place of undesirable activity (6)
HOTBED: an adjective meaning exciting followed by the bottom of the sea

3d Bad blood from European with German in New York (6)
ENMITY: E(uropean) followed by the German for with inside the abbreviation for New York

4d Wager Ireland should accept no abomination (4,5)
BÊTE NOIRE: a wager and another word for Ireland around (accept) NO

5d Ignore flying doctor giving war cry (8)
GERONIMO: an anagram (flying) of IGNORE followed by a doctor

6d What’s white and sparkling as teeth? (8)
CHAMPERS: two definitions – colloquial words for a sparkling white wine and teeth

Drinking in the festive spirit! |

 

7d PM, English, gives first performance (8)
PREMIERE: another word for Prime Minister is followed by E(nglish)

13d Bats are able to develop (9)
ELABORATE: an anagram (bats) of ARE ABLE TO

15d Unfortunately meet Bond, getting buried (8)
ENTOMBED: an anagram (Unfortunately) of MEET BOND

16d Communist annoyed humanitarian organisation (3,5)
RED CROSS: a communist followed by an adjective meaning annoyed

17d Common person seen in theatre, very mannered (8)
EVERYMAN: hidden (seen in) inside the clue

19d Less well entertained by some light banter (8)
RAILLERY: an adjective meaning less well inside (entertained by) some light

21d One doing badly shows colour (6)
INDIGO: I (one) followed by an anagram (badly) of DOING

22d Scholar took exam, securing first place (6)
SAVANT: a three-letter verb meaning took an exam around (securing) the first place

Finally, a small taste of my morning playlist. I bet not many of you remember this one!

or this:

The Crossword Club is now open!


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The Quick Crossword pun: bust+Turk+Eton=Buster Keaton


105 comments on “DT 29359
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  1. I thought that this was very lacklustre. I’m of the opinion that the Prize Puzzle (even if there are no prizes at the moment) should be something special, not something that could have been thrown in on a dull Monday.
    Best bit for me was the Quickie pun.
    Thanks to the setter and BD.

  2. This one was more of a challenge for me than it was for Big Dave, which is not that surprising. There were some good anagrams (1a), a good lurker (17d) and a super penny-drop, when the answer to 26 a finally dawned on me. However, I didnt find it that enjoyable and some of the clues were a bit sloppy (8a seemed to have a missing ‘t’?). So its 3*/2* from me. Thanks to BD for the hints and to the setter. Keep safe and well everyone.

  3. Struggled a bit here. Never heard of the composer in 1a, didn’t know the word in 19d, only come across 22d when idiot was place in front and have never read anything by Joyce.
    Too arty for my taste. 10a Was clever and I did like 5d which was my fav clue.
    Thx to all
    ***/**

  4. Gazza’s summed it up perfectly in one word – lacklustre. Having said that I spent more time trying to figure out my last two in (19&22d) than it took to complete the remainder so I didn’t actually finish all that quickly. No real standouts though I quite liked 4d.
    Unlike yesterday no doubting the Quickie pun – surprised none of us twigged that Mantel’s latest novel was in the grid.
    Thanks to the setter & BD.

  5. Nothing to write home about although I did quite like the harvester and the stray dog.
    If that’s a representative selection of 1a’s work then I’m rather grateful that I didn’t know much about him!

    Thanks to our setter and to BD for the club – I did recall ‘Nothing shakin’ but not the ‘House of Blue Lights’.

      1. The House of Blue Lights gets my vote. It used to be one of Mrs RD’s and my favourite tracks to jive to in the days before her arthritis put paid to such antics.

      2. Hadn’t heard Nothin Shakin, but listening to it, it reminded me of Stupid Cupid by Connie Francis. I guess there’s nothing new in pop music…..
        Also, I only remember the “house of blue lights” from Good Golly Miss Molly. Two ways to take the lyrics……..did they always have red lights and blue lights?
        Either way, I think this means I’m 4 or 5 years younger than the earlier records. Are these all your singles BD, or have you now digitised them?

  6. Bit of a four quarters puzzle for me. SW and NE went in quickly followed by SE after a bit of musing NW last to fall.
    That composer is a hard listen as well as a hard anagram and needed lots of checkers to get it right. I much preferred the rest of your playlist.
    Many people claim to have read Ulysses and the interminably boring exploits of Leopold but apart from the bit about a dodgy sandwich, most are probably lying. I have tried several times but fallen into a terminal ennui long before anything interesting happens, (does anything interesting EVER happen?).
    I tend to agree that even if the prize is suspended the Saturday puzzle should be a highlight rather than humdrum.
    26a fave just.
    Thanks to tilsit and setter.

      1. It sounds like cheating to me. I have just read an article about an undiscovered first edition of Ulysses which was largely unopened – it turns out the only bit that was read was the dirty bits at the end!
        https://www.theguardian.com/books/2009/jun/04/ulysses-sells-record-price
        Not sure I can afford £275,000 + 11 years appreciation to find out. I shall have to dig out an old paperback to check. Though I suspect I passed the last copy I owned to Barter Books.

    1. Studying Ulysses before she did A level got my daughter into Oxford but it is completely beyond me. Even she said that “Finnegan’s Wake” was something else again.

    2. Sorry BD I credited Tilsit with the blog today (probably a C&P from the last time)
      Your good self and everyone else here has my eternal thanks for this sanctuary.

  7. Definitely a six furlong race today! I printed my copy off, thought about a quick read-through, then hang the washing out and make the bacon butty before returning to deep thought. At the end of the read through, I had 4 answers left to work out. Like other commentators on here, more of a challenge needed for the “Prize” crossword. However, you pays your money and get what’s thrown at you.
    No favourite clues, nothing new learned, so now I can get on and weed the broad beans, thin my summer cabbage and generally enjoy the last day of warmth and sunshine… for a while at least!!
    Stay safe everyone.

      1. We don’t get broad beans here, rather, they call them fava beans and they’re as rare as hens’ teeth. Whenever I did see them, I used to freeze as many as I could, yum, yum.

  8. Retrospectively pleased that I couldn’t get a copy of the paper today after reading the above
    Thanks to BD and setter

      1. Yes it works fine, but as soon as I read through the clues they were pretty much solved on sight (apart from 1a which I knew was an anagram of an obscure name), so I didn’t go any further
        Thanks for your help LrOK, much appreciated

  9. Amazingly I didn’t have too much trouble with this, but I had to look here to find why my answer for 22d was correct. Thanks for the music – I know both peices :-)

  10. I concur, a fairly straight forward offering for a Saturday. 6d is not a term used much in Oz, so a bit of google help required there. The SE corner slowed me up. 19d and 26a are two similar words, that threw me, and a third lurker too. 17d and 26a were my contenders for COTD. Thanks to the setter and BD. Thanks for the music too Dave. I saw George Thorogood and his Delaware Destroyers do a cover of The House of Blue Lights some years ago, it brought the house down. Cheers🦇

    1. The Rolling Stones / The J. Geils Band / Joe Jackson / George Thorogood and The Destroyers did a gig at Roundhay Park in 1982 They were the first act on and I don’t remember what they played but the whole gig was a cracker.

  11. I am going to buck the trend – I quite enjoyed this, a very pleasant end to my Friday – completed at a fast gallop – 1.5*/3.5*.
    Although, like CS, it didn’t last long enough to notice the double unches.
    Candidates for favourite – 10a, 3d, and 4d – and the winner is 10a.
    Thanks to the setter and BD.

  12. A pot-boiler sort of effort I thought. Too many anagrams & too little inventiveness for me. Not really what I needed as it didn’t do anything to brighten up a thoroughly dreich day up here. At least a couple of Ospreys just flew past as the mist closes in.
    Thanks to BD for the review and Mysteron for the solve.
    Never heard the first track. Didn’t recall the second but as soon as the “leaves on the trees” line it came back.

  13. Pretty much a read and write but in the nicest possible way. I do wish the old chestnut that is 26a didn’t take so long to surface these days!

    Have just had to contact GCHQ because someone has tried to phiss me with a letter purportedly from the UN regarding a government payout. Covid 19 is giving fraudsters a field day. Do they have any morals? No of course they don’t!

    Take care one and all.

    1. Re the above. Natwest texted me yesterday saying they suspected fraud on my card. I rang the number on the back of the card and had to tell them the last 3 transactions I had made. Had I ordered 6500 pounds of turf on 7 May? No I jolly well hadn’t but someone had with my card! Full marks to Natwest for spotting this.

      1. This happened to me a few years back. Royal Bank of Scotland rang me to ask if I had just spent £450 in Wolverhampton. I live in Shropshire so I had not. They asked me if I had my card with me. I replied I had. They stopped the transaction and their fraud department investigated it. It turned out my card had been cloned at an Indian Restaurant. I remember dining at one and, when I produced my card, they took it away to process it. That must have been when it was cloned. From then on I did not let my card out of my sight. The restaurant in question no longer exists.

  14. Well, like Senf, I am also going to state that I rather liked this puzzle. There were some good clues such as 10a. The was good diversion in 12a that sent me to the wise men and, even though it is a chestnut, I still like 26a. It took me a while to get 1a because, not liking that composer at all, I was trying to get Beethoven, whom I do like.

    The quickie pun was neat.

    Many thanks to the setter and to BD for the hints. I will not be playing the piano concerto!

  15. A somewhat lacklustre offering today in spite of being able to complete it over breakfast in the beautiful sunshine. South came on board ahead of the North. 9a is a clever clue when I finally clicked but my joint Favs are 26a and 19d. Thank you Mysteron and BD.
    Head full of 40’s music after all the nostalgia served up by the BBC yesterday. 🇬🇧

  16. Agree with most that this had too many anagrams and lacked a little sparkle.However the pleasure of finishing without outside help remains high and some clues such as 19d and 25 a made me smile.ltried to read Ullyses on talking book but found it about as baffling as atonal music.Thanks to setter whose quick puzzle was excellent and to B.D.for founding this site.

  17. Not very demanding and I would have preferred a more leisurely challenge on a weekend. Thanks to the setter and BD.

  18. Struggled as some others did in the SE with 19d – a new word for me – and 22d which despite Big Dave’s explanation I still don’t understand – help!

    Why does van=first please anyone?

    1. Hi Nas
      I think it comes from the common Dutch surname where the following words relate to an ancestral place of origin. May be wrong though.

        1. Big tick from me as I raced through it although didn’t understand why van meant first (thank you for the explanation). Those who complain that this was too easy please remember that some of us like the satisfaction of being able to complete them without help. Even on Saturdays.

      1. I think the stem of the word is Latin>French va = ‘go’ as in Latin ‘Quo Vadis?’ French ‘Ca va?’ and from French the morphed English words such as invade, advance, vanguard, vanquish etc
        As my French teacher often reminded me, many English verbs and terms are French of origin, badly pronounced by the illiterate English folk of the time – May Day!

    2. Think of ‘vanguard’ (not to be confused with the guard’s van, of course — that’s often at the rear).

      ‘Van’ on its own one of those terms which crops up from time to time in cryptic crosswords, without being used much anywhere else.

      1. Thank you also to LetterboxRoy and Smylers for further intel on “van”.

        I am now infinitely more knowledgeable than I was when I acquired the DT this morning.

        Which as well as having great fun is I suppose what it’s all about really👍👍

    3. I go along with the BRB. An abbreviated form of vanguard (from French avant garde) – those who lead the way such as troops or ships into battle.

  19. I wasn’t really on the setter’s wavelength for this one so found it a bit more of a struggle than most.

    My last one in (2d) took forever and I ended up resorting to the old trick of trying various letters in the spaces. Once I got it, I couldn’t understand what my problem had been.

    I didn’t dislike it as much as others seem to have, so thanks to the setter and BD

  20. Oh, B.D. – never mind the crossword – your link to the music was what we really need to cheer us up at the moment ! I’m far from expert on internet stuff but you’ve just opened up a whole wonderful new world via U-Tube – or something !

    Thank you so much.

  21. Now here’s the thing: I enjoyed this puzzle. Remarkably I always seem to say that when I finish them without assistance. 9a last to go in as I rushed in with ‘choppers’ for 6d without thinking much about it. Saw the error of my ways and 9a arrived into my psyche with the stealth of a scary bloke carrying a scythe.
    Thanks to setter and Big Dave.

  22. Like Terence, I put “choppers” into 6d, even though I couldn’t justify “what’s white”. The rest was straightforward. Many thanks to the setter and to BD.

    1. Me, too! Consequently, I had great problems with 9a – until the penny dropped.
      Thanks to the setter and BD. Stay safe, everyone! 🙃

  23. Like Senf and Steve C., I also enjoyed this pleasant diversion. Any puzzle that offers me an anagram of a composer whose works drive me up the wall and also contains such lovely words as 9d and 26a can’t be lacklustre to me. Admittedly, I finished in buzz-time (maybe a record for Saturday puzzles) but I did have a blip here and there, with the very UKish 6d and that big-little ‘duchy’ of sorts. The world’s biggest (or worst) 4d continues to come apart at the seams and refuses to wear a mask because he thinks it makes him look stupid. Ha! I have news for him. Many thanks to our setter and to B.D. * / *** 78, 062

    1. I’m going to have to stop watching that nit, he seems to get more unhinged every day and has the attention span of a gnat. Does he never remember what he told the nation just the day before?

        1. Not a joke! Too much power – two little brain. I am only surprised he has not been bumped off. I cannot understand how such a man came to be elected in a democracy.

          1. Alas, I think people are stupid and he’ll get in again in November. I can’t think of anything worse. Re being bumped off, even worse than him winning again would be a martyr Trump … no, bumping him off is a rotten solution.

  24. Needed help for 2d and 22d.
    Cannot say that I particularly enjoyed this one. Workmanlike as BD says .

    Thanks to the setter and to BD.
    Clouding over here after a lovely morning…..getting the woolies out again for tomorrow.

    1. Today up here it is 8C feels like 3C. Tomorrow even colder. I hope Spring comes soon. Doubt if we have had 5 days where the temperature has crept above 15C (daffodils still out, vying with the flowering gorse).
      Whilst we missed the floods we are now missing the weather all south of Perth seem to have enjoyed since the end of March.

  25. 22d is interesting because, although van (from ‘vanguard’ ) means ‘first’ or ‘leading’, the guard’s van on a train is, or at least was, at the rear!

    1. I think that is because it does not refer to the position but for some reason replaces truck or cab or wagon. The other rolling stock were the coaches but perhaps coach was too posh for a place for storage.

  26. Fairly bland challenge with a couple of unusual words. Not my cup of tea but thanks anyway to the setter and BD. Much warmer weather this week and on our daily walk we saw c.20 eagles riding the thermals rising from the beach bluff. Today I must decide which car isn’t going to get reinsured for the foreseeable future. How things have changed.

  27. I thought today’s crossword was about as OK as anything seems to be at the moment.
    Think I’d probably heard of the composer but certainly couldn’t have spelt him (or her).
    I did get a bit stuck in the bottom right corner and untangling 24a took a long time.
    I never notice things like double unchecked letters or the number of anagrams, and I like them anyway, so no complaints.
    I liked 10a and my favourite was 26a, if only because it reminds me of the wonderful Wogan – the only person who’s ever given me the giggles at 7.30am!
    Thanks to the setter and to BD.

    1. Like Kath and others above, I enjoyed this and similarly took time in the SE corner! The fact that I finished without hints made the difference! The composer in 1a is not my cup of tea, although others beginning with the same letter are! Try one with first name Dimitri…
      Sorry I feel that lacklustre is somewhat harsh, especially when one is sitting outside in warm sunshine,and no cold wind!
      Thanks BD and the setter, hope that this Covid business is over soon….

  28. I’m in the enjoyed camp, solved as I wondered how many peeps are going to complain about anagrams. While I knew the 1a composer, I certainly can’t spell his name so I was grateful for the anagram. His music is about as memorable as the 25a author’s books.
    I don’t know why 13d = bats, I’ll check the thesaurus shortly. Fave was 26a, however many times it appears, I get a little giggle.
    Thanks to our Saturday setter and to BD for his review, and for just being there.
    Went into my sitooterie this morning and sat in my chair to read the newspaper, I felt something wriggle under me and found a giant ameiva! It’s still in here but I’m certainly not going to try and pick it up!

    1. Apologies to BD for barging in but – Merusa – in 13d “bats” is the anagram indicator, as in a bit loopy or crazy, and the definition is “develop”.

    2. I was confronted with a fat Green Anole on our screened patio yesterday. It took quite a bit of persuading to get him to go out the door. Was opening his mouth and sticking out his tongue at us to show his displeasure. Finally, he got the message and scampered away through the lawn. Had one fall out of a tree onto our car recently, with a big thud. No damage, he just seemed a bit stunned.

      1. I had to look up this Green Anole. Wow! Are they dangerous or just like Ghekos?

        My initial thought when I saw your post was “Is it The Green Manalishi?”

        My apologies for this but this is early Fleetwood Mac with Peter Green. It really does sound like your lizard! 😅

        https://youtu.be/-VaVBu2uzjE

        1. I know now that they bite, he certainly looked like he wanted to, but we kept him at brooms length. Not even sure how he got on the patio, all screened. Probably snuck in when I was gardening outside.

      2. They are nasty dudes, they’ll bite, but very pretty and they grow very big. I found the cats in the shower one day with one, his head was missing and one of the cats had a bite out of one cheek. At least these ameivas don’t bite.

        My young lady who helps me, likes reptiles, so she came and caught my lizard and disposed of it two doors down. Thank goodness I don’t have to worry all night that it’s going to join me in bed!

          1. They prefer the trees and they don’t have any cats. The lizards don’t come in voluntarily, my sinners bring them in.

            1. Yes our late cat brought us in a live mouse on Christmas Day one year, when we all were opening our presents. Talk about pandemonium.

  29. All plain sailing apart from 25a. The answer was fairly obvious but made me think that I aught to read some Joyce. But I’ve always considered him to be a literary 1a – which puts me off.

  30. A nice puzzle with the right degree of thought required for a sunny Saturday morning.
    No real issues but I still can’t parse 22d (last in) … maybe it’s just me, but I don’t get the second half of the clue.
    Favourite candidates: 10a, 4d, 6d & 15d the winner.
    Thanks to setter and BD

  31. Strangely, I didn’t find this too difficult, except for words I had forgotten, 19d and 22d. However, I got most of my answers despite the clues. Penned in the answer and then checked to see if it worked. I like anagrams so now problem there. No real favourite, but I quite enjoyed this one. More solvable than a lot of Saturdays. Back to putting out some summer plants. We are supposed to get a lot of rain Sunday and Monday, might be 6” tomorrow.

  32. Oh dear! Everything was progressing well until, like the dormouse at the Mad Hatter’s tea party, I fell asleep. I awoke and finished it off straight away. Enough said I suppose.

  33. I am very much with the minority who enjoyed this one. I did not find it dull. 9 18 and 26a and 4d favourites. There were some good less familiar words which were not obsolete. Thought of the right Duchy straightaway but could not parse for ages. I was forgetting to use the “with”. I had vaguely heard of the composer at 1a but tried to fit in Schonenberg. Found that this was something else when I googled but led me to the right answer. I did not know the Joyce character but easy to guess with the checkers. I thought 6d was interesting as according to my pronunciation this is a spelt like rather than a sounds like. I note I am not alone in sticking on 19 and 22d. I stuck at it and got without help. Thanks BD, as ever, and to Mr Setter much appreciated.

  34. very disappointing, probably the most boring and childish puzzle i have come across for a very very long time.
    this was not up to the usual daily telegraph standard
    i can’t see how they could blame this on the corona virus

  35. Must be great for you lot, basking in the glory of a dt on a daily basis. We, sadly are still housebound, being “at risk”, so only get the paper on a Saturday by the very much appreciated generosity of our village Commmunity Service. So, understandably perhaps I found No 29359 a breath of fresh air, as is the dt every Saturday!!

    1. Your friends in the community service team might be able to photocopy puzzles for you. I photocopy my puzzles and post them to a housebound couple. The hard copy of the paper goes to neighbours across the street

  36. I quite enjoyed this crossword, and feel that some of the comments were rather savage, and unnecessary. I agree that it was fairly straightforward but there were still some nice clues. I am not sure the setter can be criticised if you have never heard of Schoenberg, or ever read anything by Joyce (by general consensus one of the greatest writers of the twentieth century).

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