DT 29361 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29361

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29361

Hints and tips by Mr K

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BD Rating  -  Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

Hello, everyone.  It used to be that you never knew what Tuesday's puzzle would be like, but not any more it seems.  I wonder if the rotating team of Tuesday setters has been replaced by a single compiler?  Perhaps somebody in the know could let us know? 

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



1a    Firmly fix length of wood, blue (6,4)
BATTEN DOWN:  A strip of wood is followed by blue or sad

6a    Losing time, walk to find way up? (4)
RAMP:  A verb meaning walk or tread heavily loses the physics symbol for time 

10a   Circle, or segment (5)
ORBIT:  OR from the clue and a synonym of segment 

11a   Tito again in turmoil, showing nervousness (9)
AGITATION:  An anagram (in turmoil) of TITO AGAIN 

12a   Nightie e.g. in centre of bed, tangled with leg (8)
NEGLIGEE:  An anagram (tangled) of EG, IN, the centre letter of bEd, and LEG 

13a   Period that's quiet in trade (5)
SPELL:  The musical abbreviation for quiet is inserted in a verb synonym of trade 

15a   Was ruler pelted, as stated? (7)
REIGNED:  A homophone (as stated) of pelted with water from the sky 

17a   Swell railway: just the place for a doctor (7)
SURGERY:  Put together swell or rise and an abbreviation for railway 

19a   Affected by bacteria round top of commode? One's not convinced (7)
SCEPTIC:  An adjective meaning affected by bacteria in a very bad way is wrapped round the first letter of (top of) Commode 

21a   Go it alone and the sky's the limit! (3,4)
FLY SOLO:  An aviation-inspired phrase for going it alone 

22a   Embroiled in conflict, some draw tanks retreating (2,3)
AT WAR:  The answer is hidden inside the reversal of (someretreating) the remainder of the clue 

24a   Soundly pack timber for this expensive china (8)
WEDGWOOD:  Link together a homophone (soundly) of pack or cram and a synonym of timber 

27a   Sort of headgear to use when one is smoking? (9)
STOVEPIPE:  An informal name for a type of headgear is also something that transports smoke 

28a   Problem when Queen leaves, creating fuss (5)
STINK:  A difficult problem minus the usual Queen (when Queen leaves

29a   Sailor heads north for lake (4)
TARN:  A usual sailor comes before (heads) the single letter for north 

30a   Does their work make them go totally up the wall? (10)
PLASTERERS:  A cryptic definition of workers who work on walls



1d    Either way, it's a careless mistake (4)
BOOB:  A careless mistake that's a palindrome (either way, it's a ….

2d    Plonk! Put down for discussion and heard complaint (5,4)
TABLE WINE:  A verb meaning put down for discussion in a formal meeting is followed by a homophone (heard) of a complaint 

3d    Praise former tax cut (5)
EXTOL:  Follow the usual short word for former with all but the last letter (cut) of a type of tax 

4d    Pulled, when cross-dressed? (7)
DRAGGED:  Interpreted whimsically, the answer might mean "when cross-dressed" 

5d    Who might waste a lot of time serving people? (7)
WAITERS:  These serving people could also be people who hang about a lot 

7d    Emerge with a pay increase (5)
ARISE:  Stick together A from the clue and a pay increase 

8d    Fine case in which footballers might be seen? (7,3)
PENALTY BOX:  Glue together a fine or punishment and a case or crate 

9d    Pressure as Balkan approaches unknown man in the street? (6-2)
PASSER-BY:  Concatenate the physics symbol for pressure, AS from the clue, a person from one of the Balkan states, and a usual letter used for a mathematical unknown 

14d   Short delay after call, then fix old radio (7,3)
CRYSTAL SET:  All but the last letter (short) of a verb meaning delay or obstruct comes after call or shout.  That lot is followed by a verb synonym of fix.  The answer is explained here.  They're quite magical

16d   They're authorised to certify stuff: not something to do with astrology (8)
NOTARIES:  NOT from the clue with a sign of the zodiac 

18d   Terrible income, so finally choose to save (9)
ECONOMISE:  An anagram (terrible) of INCOME SO is followed by the last letter (finally) of choosE 

20d   Two females: one employed to herd cattle (7)
COWGIRL:  A charade of a female bovine and a female young human

21d   Unusually gifted, initially schoolboy is restless (7)
FIDGETS:  An anagram (unusually) of GIFTED is followed by the first letter of (initially) Schoolboy 

23d   One barking, not loudly, could be Romeo? (5)
WOOER:  A word that is whimsically something that barks and literally a big loudspeaker reproducing low frequencies has the musical abbreviation for loudly deleted (not loudly) 

25d   Used to be tense, discontented? Rubbish! (5)
WASTE:  Join a verb meaning "used to be" and the outer letters (… dis-contented) of TensE 

26d   Runners touch, with third (or fourth) moving into first place (4)
SKIS:  A word meaning touch (gently, like lips or snooker balls) has its third or fourth letter moved to the start of the word (moving into first place)


Thanks to today’s setter for a fun solve.  Top clue for me today was 26d.  Which clues did you like best?


The Quick Crossword pun:  WARREN + PIECE = WAR AND PEACE

86 comments on “DT 29361

  1. All over and done with in ** time, with nothing to scare the horses.

    So much so, that I vote the Quickie pun as the COTD.

    A handy tip for those sick of queuing for your supermarket shop:- go when it is raining – no queues!

    Many thanks to our mystery setter and Mr K.

  2. Another puzzle that was most enjoyable. I especially liked 14d as my father made me one when I was a child. I discovered “Journey into Space” on it as I listen through huge Bakelite headphones while in bed. This makes 14d my favourite for today. Others that I liked are 21a, 8d and 9d.

    Huge thanks to the setter and to Mr. K. for the hints.

    Not quite so cold in Shropshire now the wind has died a bit. Stay alert, all!

      1. True LROK. People have been pondering those who work in Wales or Scotland but work in England. How do they manage. I am the other way round. I live in England but work in Wales, which is closed!

        1. People who live Chepstow are allowed to exercise twice. So in the morning run over the [old] bridge. Pick up your car go to work, come back park your car near the bridge then have your second exercise run back home.

    1. My dad made me one too, out of a cigar box. Similarly, I had the heavy old Bakelite headphones. I used to listen to the BBC news in the morning when I was eight or nine. They used to catch painfully in my hair when I took them off!

  3. I found this slightly lacking in sparkle with a few awkward, somewhat clunky clues. It was very much at the easier end of the setting spectrum, with the excellent 26d my LOI and favourite.

    Thanks to our Tuesday setter and Mr K.

    1. Yes some of the clues were a little awkward and i gave this 3* for enjoyment. I made life difficult for myself by taking 7d the wrong way and assuming that rise=emerge and with an a added equals raise an increase in pay. So it ended up being 3* for difficulty as I searched for an answer to 6a with an r in second place. I liked 9d and 27a, however. Thanks to Mr K for the hints and to the setter. Keep safe and well everyone.

        1. And me, so the bad fit of TRIP for 6a was wrong too. ‘Rip up’ was really too much of a stretch after removing the T , but was all I could get. Grr. Otherwise seemed fairly straightforward

      1. Me too, so I needed the hint for 6a! Why do I defeat myself? Doh!
        I had a 14d when I was a child, and my mother would remove the headphones from my (sound asleep) head when she retired for the night. This has to be my favourite today, although there were several qualifiers!
        Thanks to the setter, and to Mr K, for the hints needed, and for the cats, particularly for the clip about leads – wonderful! 🙃

      2. I thought “raise” was an Americanism, and that in the UK you would ask for a “rise”?

  4. I had 90% of this in in absolutely no time but got held up by a couple in the South, particularly the ‘headgear’. I also thought 28a wasn’t the best clue, but other than those very light and relatively good fun.
    I particularly liked 10 and 15a but my COTD was 26d where I’d initially gone down the road of ‘taps’, before having enough checkers to solve 28a
    Many thanks to the setter and to Mr K for his typically well illustrated and informative review.

    1. Thanks very much, Stephen. You have written almost exactly what I was intending to.

  5. Completed alone and unaided and understood all the clues…so hurrah for me today !

    Thanks to the setter and to Mr K for his review and his as always great pictures/videos.

    Stay safe/alert depending on where you live.

  6. I thought that this was a mixture of some good clues (e.g. 15a, 4d and 26d) and some which appeared to me to be rather woolly (21a, 27a, 30a, 5d and 16d).
    Thanks to our setter and Mr K.

  7. My comments would echo Stephen L. also. Hard to pick a favourite but 26d made me ponder for a while and it is a clever clue so it gets my vote. I always look forward to doing the DT cryptic and these days more than ever. I never have a clue who sets them but thank you whoever you may be.

  8. The trend of Monday puzzles on a Tuesday appears to be continuing, completed at a fast gallop – 2*/2.5*.
    24a always confuses me as it looks as though the ‘E’ that should be in the middle has been stolen.
    No standout favourites.
    Thanks to the setter and Mr K.

  9. My COTD, 15a held me up – couldn’t get “skinned” (pelted) & spent too long head scratching. Then it dawned & 14d came to me.
    Remember listening every night to my crystal set. “Dick Barton Special agent” I think . I certainly still remember the theme

    Thanks to setter & Mr K for a somewhat racy review

  10. Needed to reveal the first word of 1a.
    Just didn’t know it nor the expression.
    Had to check a list of hats to get the one Abraham Lincoln used to wear.
    The rest fell in alright.
    Wondered if 30a had something to do with being drunk.
    Thanks to the setter and to Mr K for the review.

    1. I have a feeling that 1a is a naval term as it is usually followed by ‘the hatches’. In other words, when a storm was brewing you would batten down the hatches and my Father would say that if Mother was on the warpath.
      Am I right, any of you seagoing folk?

      1. Oh, right Daisygirl.
        Thanks. That expression does ring a bell now but if I had to write it, I probably would have made a mistake as I thought it was button down the hatches.

        1. It is surprising how many British expressions come from seafaring. Well worth learning while time to spare!

    2. Also, anyone who has done any sort of renovation will be well familiar with the frequent need to fasten battens to the wall first.

  11. I found this easy until I came to 14d. Eventually I got it and now can’t get the image of Isambard Brunel out of my head. Very enjoyable **/***. Thanks to both, especially Mr K’s illustrations!

    1. I found this easy until I came to 27a. Eventually I got it and now can’t get the image of Isambard Brunel out of my head. Very enjoyable **/***. Thanks to both, especially Mr K’s illustrations!

  12. Like others, I breezed along and then got held up by the last couple which for me were 28a and 26d. My men up the wall were decorators for quite a while which didn’t exactly help with the SE corner.
    Top two here were 4&8d.

    Thanks to our setter and to Mr K for a fine blog – we tried putting a lead on one of our cats when she was recovering from an operation and not allowed to roam freely outside. Got the lead on OK but the success rate on walking was zero!

  13. Plain sailing, it did remind me of last weeks. Didn’t think too much of 21a or 30a. Favourite today was 26d. **/**. Thanks to Mr K. and the setter.

  14. Raced through this one until I got to 14d where for the life of me I couldn’t think of the old radio & didn’t work it out from the wordplay. In the end I used Mr G & could have kicked myself. The only other head scratchers were 28a & 26d adding up to a finish in 2.5* time.
    Not my favourite crossword if I’m honest although I quite liked 23d.
    Thanks to the setter & to Mr K.
    Ps a friend has just pointed out to me that the key to Saturday’s prize crossword in the Graun is the periodic table which I’d singularly failed to work out for myself.

    1. I worked out the key but cannot be bothered looking something up for every single clue. that is what I used to do in the old days.

      1. Well, I had to write them all out (The abbreviations, that is, next to their number) as I have no way of remembering them. I barely understand them, despite being a Chartered Scientist, which title really has no weight.
        The “theme” came to me after I’d done 2 or 3 answers which made no sense for a while.
        I just think you have no pens or paper at home, MP. That’s why you’re forced to do anagrams in your head……

        1. I have pens Bluebird, and pencils. I’m just not very good at using them I will change my avatar to a Toughie I did some time ago so you can see how I cannot read my own writing. I can read everything I write on the ipad though. The mental solving of anagrams started because Saint Sharon would not fetch me a pen and a writing pad when I first had an ipad. She still won’t. Not so Saintly now is she? And she refuses to sort me a plate of cheese and biscuits just before bedtime. Its my favourite ever meal and I haven’t had it for thirty odd years. that’s how stubborn she is.

          1. She’s quite right not to allow you cheese and biscuits before bed. You might fall into vivid dreaming and become a considerable liability.

            1. I suspect that he’s a considerable liability anyway, Bluebird, and she’s definitely saintly!

    2. So that’s what hose numbers referred to! Maybe I’ll go back now and try it again. Thanks, Huntsman.

  15. I found today’s offering a similar standard as yesterday’s. Quite straight forward but there were some well crafted clues. My contenders for COTD are 21a, 14, 16 and 26d. Many youngsters may not have heard of a fax machine let alone a 14d so it’s my COTD. Thanks to the setter and Mr K🦇

  16. Another case of Monday on a Tuesday but enjoyable all the same.Had the picture of IKB in my head put took a while to remember what the hat was called.l am stuck on 3D for the Quick puzzle although I am pretty sure l have the right checkers in.Thanks to setter and Mr.K.

  17. I solved this first thing this morning. Then I solved The Guardian while I waited for the paperboy to deliver the Telegraph so I could attempt The Toughie as it is my turn to blog it today. Consequently I don’t remember much about the puzzle except it didn’t take too much to unravel. I also liked 14d. My elder brother once spent most of his wages buying me the components to make one. (Thank you Paul).
    I wonder if the comment yesterday from LabradorsruleOK was responsible for the article today about the golf course that straddles the English and Welsh borders. II wouldn’t be surprised. a newspaper takes some filling and the journalists have to find their stories somewhere. Thanks to Mr Kitty for the review and thanks to the setter for setting. Speaking of The Guardian. The clue at 25 across yesterday was a beauty. He proved drug is the same; host agreed (8) The answer is a Nobel prize winning scientist famous for his theory of relativity. It did cause a few comments.

    1. It did cause comment, until some commenter have the game away by using a spoiler term……
      Another drug related answer today, but that was just long, rather than witty.

    2. Missed the comments – it was an easy bung in but no idea how to parse it.
      Thought today’s Graun was quite fun.

    3. MP:
      Llanynynech is a well known oddity within the golfing world. Know the chap well who was quoted, wouldn’t surprise if it wasn’t him
      What is really strange is that the day following a post I made pointing out the plight of the Navajo re CV (after your Dee Brown quote) an article on the very subject appeared in the paper . However as I always say the word “coincidence” wouldn’t exist if there weren’t coincidences!

  18. I got held up by the hat until inspiration struck from somewhere, and like others above, I threw in ‘raise’ without a care (must remember Senf’s advice) but recovered. Recalled the old Ronnie Corbett joke:
    “Every day my dog likes to go for a tramp in the woods. The dog loves it – the tramp isn’t so keen though…”

    Thanks to setter and Mr K.

  19. Not too tricky generally but this ended up taking me ages because of my last few answers.
    I’ve never heard of the 27a hat so cheated and looked up a list of hats. :oops: I don’t like doing that but . . .
    Started off with putting 23d where 25d should have gone and vice versa but the hat sorted that out.
    I couldn’t do 28a or 26d for a very long time.
    I think my favourite was, eventually, 26d.
    Thanks to the setter and to Mr K.

  20. This was a puzzle of 4 quarters……..of which the SW was just annoying.
    I was similarly wedded to skinned for 15a.
    23d was awful, in both its incarnations and..
    20d was daft.
    This is literal, but I don’t think a 12a is a nightie and certainly nothing like the pic that Mr K has put up!

    After thanking Mr K for his efforts, I will now take my grumpy self into the garden.

    1. It isn’t. It is an apology for a dressing gown. I had one for my honeymoon and it
      never came out of the box again, far too impractical.

  21. Enjoyable, solvable and clever puzzle 😃 **/*** I liked 16, 20 & 23d 👍 Thanks to Mr K for his usual nice blog and to today’s Setter, hopefully we see more of him on a Tuesday 😜

  22. I was only stuck on 27a, and like Kath, I had to look up a list of hats. I had the first checking letter, so spent too long trying to justify “sou’wester” before giving up on it. Many thanks to the setter and to Mr Kitty.

  23. A mixed bag of compliments and brickbats…I haven’t been out for a while (both literally and crossword-wise); so it’s nice to hear from some of you. I must correct the person who says that 12a isn’t a nightie and that it doesn’t look like the example picture: Chambers Dictionary defines it as “a woman’s loose, decorative nightdress” – so it is actually correct on both counts!
    It’s always interesting to see which clues are the favourites: and – as so often happens – some people’s faves are others’ dislikes….but there’s nowt so queer as folk, as they say where I live!
    Still, all in all, I’m glad to be back on the Back Page once more, even if it’s on a Tuesday, when – according to some – it should really be on a Monday). Stay well and keep solving!

    1. Thanks for popping in, X-Type. I thought we hadn’t seen you for a while, and thanks for a fun puzzle.

      As for what day of the week it is – who knows, I certainly don’t, and how are we supposed to tell? One clue is that if there’s no Toughie, it’s not Monday.

      1. Oops. I think what I meant to say is that if there’s a Toughie, it’s not Monday. :wacko:

    2. A good one, X-Type. I wonder if the timber references might have been an early clue as to the setter’s identity.

        1. I used to have an X-Type Jag: and it seemed to be a good shorthand for an X-word setter…But my job is as a Consultant Wood Scientist and Environmentalist – so someone has an idea of my profession!

    3. Belated thanks for popping in, X-Type. Like several other solvers, I was surprised at first by the nightie definition for 12a, but both the BRB and Collins confirmed that it’s OK. Hence the picture (since I couldn’t find one of a fur-trimmed 12a with pom-poms to complement the bonus pic).

      Hope we see you back here soon.

  24. This was a nice solve and I was just held up by the problem with the Queen and the runners, I couldn’t get beans out of my mind as I am concerned that mine are not getting enough watering. Really hesitate to argue with X-type especially as he has just given me an hour’s pleasure, but I guess any woman would bet good money on a negligee being a ‘dressing gown’ and they usually are bought with a matching nightgown. I shall crawl away now, but not before saying how much I enjoyed the cats on leads!
    Thank you everyone.

    1. That reminds me of the old joke: “She opened the door in her nightdress – what a funny place to have a door…”

      1. ;) You say that X-Type, but the “modern” incarnation of the negligee, if you go by “ modern” dictionaries and Mr Google’s images, does contain “doors” , and sometimes “windows”, on which I will not elaborate, and bears much more of a resemblance to what used to be called “baby-doll” nighties. I’m sure Daisygirl might agree. Of course, these descriptions can no longer appear in the marketing for overwhelmingly obvious reasons.
        The concept of erotic mystery has disappeared from the modern world…….

      2. I’m chiming in late but it’s morning here in Brisbane. Just checking the comments made while I was asleep…Yes, that’s a different slant on Groucho shooting the elephant in his pajamas gag. The punchline is, ‘how the elephant got into my pajamas I’ll never know’. Cheers🦇

  25. IMHO there were several disputable clues, particularly in the South, which reduced enjoyment of today’s enigma. Forgot about Lincoln’s tile (needed prompt). Fav was 2d. Thank you Mysteron and MrK.

  26. Like Daisygirl, the Queen and those runners put me into a solving funk, from which I couldn’t lift myself and had to ask for two letters–why, I have no idea now since both answers seem so obvious. Still, I finished in a Senfian canter and enjoyed the run. Winners today: 27a (see Abe Lincoln!), 16d, and 2d. Thanks to the great Mr Kitty and his enjoyable review and to our setter. ** / ***.

  27. A pleadant surprise for me completed well within my personal caffetiere time, southern half first the NW corner. The rest fell in quickly. This compiler seems to be consistently on my wavelength. Some very enjoyable clues together woth the usual gimmies. Been gardening thats the reason for late response.
    Beautiful day here in NC wind dropped so will be out ealking later.
    Thanks to Mr K and the mysterious setter. I hope you are all keeping safe and well.

  28. A gentle but pleasing puzzle with some nicely constructed clues, especially 12a, 9d, 14d, 18d and 25d. Mrs doguern’s help with the hat was useful. Never used a 14d, but plenty were made and used during the war, including by my father, in this occupied island. We celebrated the 75th anniversary of Liberation on Saturday, so the island is festooned with myriad flags and bunting.

  29. Like others I absolutely sailed through this this morning – that is until I got to the bottom right! 28a and 26d more than doubled my time.

    Once I got it, I really liked 26d but didn’t think much of 28a at all.

    Many thanks to the setter and Mr. K

  30. Another very pleasant and enjoyable puzzle, so mystery setter thank you and keep them coming. Despite being sports averse, have to award 8d COTD. Thanks to Mr K for the walking the cat clip. Never tried that, and doubt ours would have tolerated. Would have got that really disdainful look.

  31. **/***. I enjoyed this while it lasted. Some tricky clues kept me thinking and the rest fell into place relatively easily. I always want to put an E in 24a so I bit of scribbling messed up an otherwise clean sheet. Thanks to X-Type and Mr K for the review.

  32. A very friendly puzzle today except for a couple that held me up. I would never say “I got a rise this week” when referring to a “raise” so didn’t suspect that my 7d was incorrect, thus couldn’t solve 6a. I thought of the answer to 28a but dismissed it, sure it was wrong.
    However, the rest of the puzzle was a delight and loved it. When I got the checkers for 27a I immediately thought of Honest Abe, no problem there.
    I liked so many, hard to choose a fave, I did like 14d, also Abe’s hat.
    Thanks to X-Type for the fun and to Mr. K for the hints and particularly the cat pics.

    1. I would never say I got a raise, which is why I’m doubly annoyed that I put it in.

  33. An enjoyable evening solve with a coffee. A steady solve with a couple of clues that were head scratchers, but good clues helped.
    Enjoy 2d(clue & said product) & 8d.
    Thanks to setter & MrK for review.

  34. Late start today as for the second time this month I left the crossword on the printer before going to work. I made a mess of quite a few clues. I was bolted down and got a raise but I did remember the hat ( from IKB rather than Abe )
    NIce puzzle and blog. Thanks, X type and Mr K.

  35. Apart from as previously mentioned stupidly putting raise into 7d, I was going to bleat on endlessly about it being an Americanism, I breezed through this. That didn’t take away any of the enjoyment. Favourite was 1a. Many thanks to X-Type and Mr K.

  36. This one flowed smoothly for us with plenty of smiles along the way. 14d our favourite. Pleasant solve.
    Thanks X-Type and Mr K.

  37. A relatively gentle puzzle today with no real hold ups. A good pastime for breakfast & coffee and watching the rain return today. I too, like many, wanted the ‘e’ in 24a, but soon figured it out. Several other head scratchers that I revisited after getting some more letters from other surrounding words. **/*** I think is a fair assessment. Liked 14d as my favourite today along with 17a, 29a & 23d. Last one in was 26d and took a while to figure out the parsing for the answer.

    Thanks to the setter and Mr K

  38. Having read Mr K’s comment about Tuesday’s puzzles perhaps all now being by a single compiler, I thought I’d pop in to say that there have been four different compilers in the last five Tuesdays!

    1. Thank you, Chris. Now we know, it sure gives an edge to Tuesday’s back pagers. :good:

  39. A belated thank you to everyone who commented yesterday, especially with reminiscences about crystal set radios and the incompatibility of old headphones with long hair.

  40. 3*/3*……
    liked 18D ” terrible income, so finally choose to save (9) “

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