DT 29363 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29363

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29363

Hints and tips by Kath

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating — Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Hello everyone. Well, here we all are now half-way through our eighth week of lockdown – I don’t know how the rest of you are doing but I’m beginning to feel more than a bit on the loopy side. OK – rant over and now on to the crossword. As it was two weeks ago when I did the hints today’s setter is definitely Ray T – last time I said it was one of the most straightforward of his that I’d ever done and almost all of you disagreed with me so I’d got it wrong. I’m going to say the same thing again this week and just hope that this time I’ve got it right – my fingers are firmly crossed so please excuse any typos!

In the hints the definitions are underlined and the answers are hidden under ANSWER so only do that if you need to see one.

Please leave a comment telling us how you got on today.


1a        Detective’s certain to accept appeal for offence (11)
DISPLEASURE — one of the many two letter abbreviations for a fairly senior detective, with his ‘S, and a synonym for certain or positive contain an appeal or a claim

10a       Method is reported to produce delicious food (5)
MANNA — a homophone (is reported) of a method or a way of doing something sounds like some delicious food that was miraculously provided in the Bible – I wonder how many of you will say that the two different words don’t sound anything like each other?

11a       Menial cop turns into officer (9)
POLICEMAN — an anagram (turns into) of MENIAL COP

12a       Nearly being in harmony squeezing old instrument (9)
ACCORDION — all but the last letter (nearly) of a word that means being in harmony or in keeping with contains (squeezing) the one letter abbreviation for O[ld]

13a       Work over taking sexy snap (5)
PHOTO — the usual crosswordland two letter work is reversed (over) and goes round a synonym for sexy or desirable

14a       Carpeted perhaps, made of strong stuff? (6)
RUGGED — if a small carpet had been put on the floor it could be called a word that means made of strong stuff

16a       Mugs inside stand mostly for judge again (8)
REASSESS — these ‘mugs’ are silly people rather than things you drink coffee out of and they  go inside  the first three of a four letter word (mostly) that is a synonym of a stand or something that you put something on

18a       Who flogs beer on board? One on board (8)
SALESMAN — a kind of beer is contained in the usual two letter abbreviation for a S[team] S[hip] (on board) and that is followed by a general term for one the pieces used in the game of chess (one on board)

20a       Kicked out of sack keeping excessively upset (6)
BOOTED — this sack is a slang term for where you sleep and it contains (keeping) a reversal (upset) of a little word that means excessively or overly

23a       Grass one found in jungle? (5)
MAIZE — the letter that looks like a one goes inside (found in) a synonym of jungle – this jungle is a labyrinth or a confused muddle

24a       Weapon going wrong held by the German (9)
DERRINGER — a synonym of ‘going wrong’ or committing a sin is contained in (held by) the German word for ‘the’

26a       Get round to eating bananas with sweetheart (9)
NEGOTIATE — an anagram (bananas) of TO EATING with E – the middle letter or heart of ‘sweet’

27a       Ready to get beer right before time (5)
ALERT — some beer, the same one as that used in 18a, is followed by two abbreviations, the first one is for R[ight] and the second for T[ime]

28a       Record single penned by hit Queen performer (11)
ENTERTAINER — this is one of those that I’m saying once and only once – a verb to record or write down is followed by another verb to hit or whack which contains (penned by) the letter that looks like a one (single) – then you can breathe a sigh of relief and finish it off with the easy bit – the usual two letters for our Queen. Phew!



2d        Interesting order noticeable in columns originally (5)
IONIC — the first letters (originally) of the remaining words of the clue

3d        Plain couple that is welcoming affair, finally (7)
PRAIRIE — a couple or a twosome and the little two letter Latin abbreviation for ‘that is’ contain (welcoming) the last letter (finally) of [affai]R

4d        Life of priest in strange order (6)
ESPRIT — an anagram (in strange order) of PRIEST

5d        One helps to hush up a report (8)
SILENCER — this report is the sound that is made by a gun being fired

6d        Unusually precise instructions (7)
RECIPES — an anagram (unusually) of PRECISE

7d        Mistakenly marries best man losing one’s shame (13)
EMBARRASSMENT — an anagram (mistakenly) of MARRIES BEST MAN without the ‘I’ (losing one, or the letter that looks like a one) This is one of the words that I always have to check – how many R’s and how many S’s  – however I write it it always looks wrong!

8d        Revealing this compiler’s style’s primarily tricky (8)
IMMODEST — how the compiler would say ‘he is’ and a style, or a way of doing something, with the ‘S’ and then, finally, the first letter (primarily) of T[ricky]

9d        Unkind extraordinary rendition case (13)
INCONSIDERATE — an anagram (extraordinary) of RENDITION CASE

15d      Horses incapable of continuing race? (8)
GELDINGS — ‘continuing the race’ here means breeding

17d      Plant worker beginning to deploy garden tool (8)
MANDRAKE — a general term for a male worker, the first letter (beginning to) of D[eploy] and a garden tool used to collect things into a heap

19d      Small number clothing small honey (7)
SWEETEN — ‘honey’ here is a verb – begin with the one letter abbreviation for S[mall] and finish with a three letter number – in between the two (clothing) you need a synonym for ‘small’ or very little

21d      Sort of art foundation almost inspiring amateur (7)
ORIGAMI — a six letter synonym of foundation or basis without its last letter (almost) contains (inspiring) the two letter abbreviation for amateur

22d      Strong garden tool holds (6)
ARDENT — the only lurker or hidden answer today – it’s indicated by the last word of the clue

25d      Birds fancy heading south east (5)
GEESE — an exclamation of surprise like ‘cor’ or ‘blimey’ or ‘well I never’ is followed by the abbreviation for S[outh] E[ast] – or down a bit and right a bit if you happen to be me!

dog chasing geese in the flooding at port meadow oxford 25/11/20123

I thought that there were some excellent anagrams today and I enjoyed all of them. I think my favourite was either 15d or 25a. What did all of you think?


84 comments on “DT 29363

  1. I managed to finish today’s back pager almost unaided. I did need electronic help for a couple but the rest came smoothly. I struggled with the long anagrams but I always do when there are no checkers. Once checkers appeared the anagrams began to come together. There were some good clues and I liked 1a and 5d with my COTD being 19d.

    Many thanks to Ray T and also to Kath for the hints.

  2. A very pleasant way to spend */** time in the garden this morning. No head scratching was needed, indeed, I think I took as long on the Quickie as I did on the Cryptic.

    Last one in was 21d, and therefore COTD.

    Many thanks to Ray T. and Kath.

  3. It was a very characteristic Ray T puzzle, akways a bit challenging with lots of clever clues. I agreed with you Kath itwas **/****. I loved the anagrams. My joint favourites were 15d and 21d. We are not allowing ourselves to get loopy yet. My husband is extremely vulnerable and rather than flow the government advice of sitting, eating, abluting in separate rooms, if I go out, I am shielding as well. This goes on at least till the end of June. It’ll be straight-jackets by then! Thanks for the hints, well explained as ever and thanks to Ray T. Stay safe and well everyone.

  4. I also enjoyed all of this and my only confusion is 20a. I hesitate to ask, because I think I’m probably missing something, but is ‘oot’ excessively? I thought it was ‘ott’ (Over the top).

    Anyway many thanks to Kath and Ray T for the enjoyment.

      1. I got 20a but only because I thought it was booed for upset with a t thrown in for some unknown reason, not the the right way to read the clue I know, but at least I got there 😊

  5. A quintessential Ray T offerering, a few stretchy synonyms but beautifully and concisely clued throughout. I thought it was outstanding.
    In a very strong field my podium places go to 13 and 14a plus the unfortunate horses in 15d..
    Many thanks to Mr T and to Kath for their excellent works.

  6. 2*/4.5*. What a superb puzzle albeit at the easier end of RayT’s range. I must say he was a little on the verbose side today. In his last two puzzles (and perhaps more) he limited himself to a maximum of seven words per clue. Today he sneaked in an eight word clue – shock, horror! (Of course, still not exceeding his trademark limit of eight).

    I would have given this five stars for enjoyment except for the second helping of the same beer.

    After considerable deliberation, my podium comprises 18a, 5d,15d & 17d.

    Many thanks to RayT and Kath.

    1. Just back from golf – very enjoyable, but sadly no beer as bar still closed.

  7. More than happy to agree with you, Kath, Mr T was certainly using the soft pedal this morning – does that mean Silvanus has a ‘stinker’ in store for us on the Toughie side?!!
    No problems encountered here and my top two were 1a & 15d.

    Devotions to Mr T and many thanks to Kath for the review – seeing Eeyore always makes me smile.

  8. Many thanks to Ray T for an enjoyable puzzle and to Kath for her usual entertaining blog.
    I ticked 14a, 8d and 25d but my favourite was the excellent 15d which must be a strong contender for clue of the week.

      1. I try very hard to refrain from wittering on about non-working homophones, J-L, but, since you’ve brought it up, it does grate.

    1. Gazza, 15d reminded me of your brilliant clue from many years ago.

      Remove nuts from serving of Angel Delight (4)

      It always makes me laugh!

  9. Sailed through the North but then the South presented one or two sticky patches. Overall a very enjoyable solve. Struggled with 17d as I was trying to use hand instead of man. Fav was 15d with 23a (chestnut?) running up. TVM RayT and Kath.

  10. Agree with the consensus above. An enjoyable puzzle, demanding in places, but not too difficult. 15d really made me smile.

  11. Also agree with you Kath. Finished in 2.5* time having been somewhat derailed by bunging in imposing for 8d & bugged for 20a. I really must stop entering the first (invariably wrong) thought that enters my head. Yet again the lurker didn’t jump out at me in 22d & was my last in. 15d raised a smile & was the pick of the clues for me.
    Thanks to Ray T & to Kath.
    Ps if today’s Toughie is anywhere near as enjoyable as the last 2 days it’ll be a treat.

  12. Completed alone and unaided today …so Kath must be correct !
    Needed her help to parse 21d so a well done day for me today.
    I have a book and some appropriate paper to do some 21d…..might give it another bash whilst lockdown continues.

    Thanks to Kath and to RayT.

    Stay home/stay alert everyone wherever you are.

  13. Very straightforward for a Ray T, completed at a gallop – 2*/4.5*.
    Standout favourite -15d – it totally appealed to my lockdown affected usually somewhat warped sense of humour.
    Thanks to Ray T and Kath.
    P.S. The Silvanus Toughie is very ‘accessible.’

  14. Enjoyed this on the whole, although I always find it frustrating when I end up with solutions I know must be right but am not sure why, and there were several examples today. So thanks to Kath for the explanations. Favourite definitely 15d.

  15. I was slow to get off the mark today, and by the time I had finished I had edged into my 3* time range.

    A big tick was awarded to the excellent 15d.

    Thanks to RayT and to Kath.

  16. Not as tricky as some Ray T’s but for me anyway a lot more enjoyable than some of the previous ones. I did laugh out loud at 15d which is my top favourite of several

    Thanks to Ray for the crossword and Kath for the blog

    Nature report – blooming cold wind, yellowhammers and a lot of happy fisherman heading to the two man-made lakes on our walk round the marshes

    1. Ospreys paid us a very brief visit this morning rather than the usual fly-past.

      1. I can’t compete with Ospreys but we have a little bird sitting on eggs in a nest in the saddlebag of my husband’s bike. Knowing that Jane knows about birds I asked her and she said a Dunnock or a Wren (thanks, Jane) – when we first saw the nest it just had two eggs in it and now there are six – trying to stay as far away as possible but I did take a quick peek this morning.

    2. The colourful Goldfinches and Goldcrests are visiting our garden at the moment. These, along with the usual, Blue Tits, Coal Tits, Great Tits, Robins and Wrens keep us entertained.

      1. I put up some coconut halves with a mix of fat and bugs in them for the birds that have fledglings. It was very frosty for the poor things this morning. A couple of enormous jackdaws and a magpie were trying to hang on and feed as well as the usual collection of starlings and blue tits/great tits etc.

        1. You can always tell when there is going to be a cold night. The birds start a feeding frenzy.

      1. You can always spot their song when you’re walking along a country lane, Merusa. It’s always translated as “Little bit of of bread and no che-e-e-se”.

  17. Definitely go along with 15d being the outstanding clue of the day.
    A bit held up in 4d as I wrote 12a the French way.
    Thanks to RayT and to Kath.

  18. Great entertainment, both puzzle & blog, thanks Ray T and Kath.
    Struggled with 28a as I had “sweetie” for 19d due to lax parsing. Why I convince myself things must be right as opposed to thinking something must be wrong I don’t know.
    Like others the superb 15d my COTD. 26a deserves honourable mention.
    Stay safe.

  19. An enjoyable Ray T – on the friendly side. 20a was the only one that gave me trouble. I couldn’t get OTT out of my mind for some time, even though I had the answer. I think this was a bit of Ray T’s deviousness and misdirection. I hope so. I’ll give gold to 15d. Sympathy vote for the poor beast.

  20. 19d was the only one that threw me. I put in “sweetie”. I thought it fitted the “clothing” element of the clue. It left me a bit flummoxed over 28a until I’d sorted it out. Many thanks to RayT and to Kath.

  21. Very enjoyable with some nice clues such as 3d (good misdirection), 5d and my favourite 15d.
    Lots of nice anagrams to keep Mrs B happy.
    I assume it was a Ray T judging by the Quickie so it must go down as one of his benign puzzles but enjoyable for all that.
    Thx to all

  22. I thought 19d was sweetie too. I struggled with this one but as I have now learned it’s a Ray T puzzle that’s par for the course for me. I find it difficult to gauge the wavelength. Need to try harder! Favourite 15d. I wasn’t convinced by maze = jungle in 23a. I suppose in so far as both are reputedly hard to navigate it works but just about. 28a is a bit convoluted too.

  23. Another vote for 15d as the COTD. Very enjoyable today. Thanks to Kath and setter.

  24. Another cracking puzzle from RayT absorbing clues, great anagrams nuff said.
    All jobs finished in house and garden, relaxation time.
    Hope you are all safe and well.
    Thanks again to RayT and Kath.

  25. 15d my clear favourite this morning. What an absolute belter of a clue. I thought Ray T was being quite friendly today, but as always, it was high on entertainment. So thanks to him for an excellent puzzle and thanks also to Kath.

  26. Challenging but fun. After completing I needed to check with Kath regarding how I did so…
    For example I wasn’t sure how I arrived at 20a.
    Knowledge of American rock guitarists helped with 24a.
    15d is my COTD – amusing to me, less so for the poor horse, I imagine. Ouch!
    Thanks to Ray T and Kath, of course.

  27. Yes, I agree with all of you who thought 15d was the COTD, and as soon as I solved it, I thought, well, this is it! What a thoroughly enjoyable crackerjack of a puzzle, with Ray T at the peak of his powers. Hard to pick winners in such an all-triumphant display, but I’ll go with 18d, 14a, and 17d. Many thanks to Kath, whose rating I agree with, and to Ray T. ** / ****

  28. Straightforward today, but enjoyable, like Ray S I had OTT in my head, once the penny dropped all done in ** time and a **** for enjoyment 15d like others was my COTD also liked 17d.
    Thanks to Kath and Ray T.

  29. You got it right this time Kath. Definitely a RayT Lite. We got 7 of the acrosses and then 12 of the downs and then the rest went in very smoothly. Last in for no apparent reason was the long one across the bottom. Like others our fav was 15d but 2d is worth a mention.

    We agree with the **/****.

    Thanks to Kath and RayT.

  30. The top half went in fairly quickly but I found the a bit tougher. In all an enjoyable crossword. My favourites, 24a and 15d. Thanks to ‘Mr T’ and Kath for the blog🦇

  31. Enjoyable clever crossword once again illustrating that crosswords don’t have to be over difficult to be enjoyed 😳 **/**** Favourites 15 & 17d. Thanks to Kath and to Ray T 🤗

  32. Whilst it may have been a bit easier than RayT’s usual puzzles, the absence of overly-stretched synonyms made this much more enjoyable for me, so thank you for the entertainment Ray. I rather liked the way the repeated beer in the across clues then set up a nice misdirection with what might initially seem to be a garden tool repeat in the down clues.
    In common with several other commenters, 15d was my favourite and made me chuckle out loud.
    2*/4* feels about right.
    Thanks to Kath for the review.

  33. I agree with Kath and others that this was a lovely, straightforward puzzle with precise clues and high satisfaction rate.
    As there seems to be a ‘nature’ theme to this blog, we had the strangest creature on a Rambling Rector trunk outside our
    back door. Grey and sinister looking, 3″ long with horns at both ends. Sent a photograph to a Biology teacher in the
    village and discovered it is two Apple Tussock moths mating !!! It is still there 24 hours later. I don’t suppose anyone is going to
    read this as I am late on parade but it was a very strange sight and looks like Covid 19 personified. I am keeping the back door
    firmly shut.

    1. There’ll be a lot later commenters than you. Sounds a fascinating creature (or two) but as you say, you wouldn’t want them in the house!

    2. Now is the time to look through the frequently asked questions Daisygirl. Find out how to set up your own gravatar and use the photograph of this delightful creature so we can all have a look. You can change your avatar at any time

  34. Delightful puzzle. Sailed through this until 20a and 21d slowed me down. My favourites were 15, 19&21d and the long anagrams. Thanks to Ray T and Kath. We’ve had two consecutive days of no new cases in the community but the care homes still have some challenges.

  35. Being generally confused as to what day it is I forgot it was a Thursday and Ray T day and therefore unwittingly and without being daunted completed this little gem of a crossword in * time so am well chuffed.

    So I agree with Kath but even more so!

  36. Another fun way to pass the time. These puzzles are a real lifesaver, made even better by the comments of all in the extraterrestrial BD world. Thank you so much RayT and Kath today.
    So many perfect clues but 15d and 17d were the most fun for me.

  37. If l can do a Ray T. it must be at the easier end of his spectrum.North went in quite quickly but South much trickier for me and needed help to parse both 18 and 28 a.Lockdown improves with a super puzzle and blog sitting outside in lovely weather.Thanks to all.

  38. Lots of fun today. What I can remember of it. Thanks RsyT. You do set a corker of a puzzle. Thanks to Kath. A tremendously wonderful blog as usual.

  39. As is normal, I struggled with this. North went in quite readily, but I needed to refer to Kath’s hints to get me going again in the South.
    Fave was 15d, really giggle worthy, I also liked 24a.
    Thanks to RayT, one day I’ll be on wavelength, and to Kath for her help to finish the race.
    Imagine, only May and we have a nascent hurricane just NE of us! Hope it’s not a sign of things to come.

  40. Took me ages as I seem to have difficulty concentrating at the moment but it was so worth it. How clever of Ray to use “squeezing” in 12a. As already said, plaudits due for 15d and for the plethora of visuals from Kath. A pleasant way to spend quite a lot of today.

  41. Excellent puzzle from RayT once again and we agree with Gazza that 15d has to be in the running for clue of the week.
    Thanks RayT and Kath.

  42. Great stuff from RayT this evening…. I can now say I finished a RayT in 2* time. But I will not shout it too loudly until I complete his next one
    2*/4.5* no picks as most clues were really good.
    Many thanks to RayT for this cracker & Kath for her review

  43. Finished a Ray T puzzle! And enjoyed it too. Thanks to Kath for the hints and tips which I’m pleased to say we’re not required today and thanks to Ray T for challenging my brain cells just the right amount!

    1. Don’t you just hate predictive text sometimes…should say were not….not we’re not!!

      1. I hate predictive text! I once sent a text to my wife saying I loved her (old romantic me) but predictive text put my boss as recipient. His reply was “I love you too, sweetie!”

        1. The first text message that I ever sent was, needless to say, to my daughters – my Elder Lamb and the Younger Lamb as they are called here. I ended up saying, “Lots and lots of love my Lambs, Mum xxx” Predictive text, in those days anyway, turned “Mum” into “Nun”. Actually, thinking about it again now, I probably just made a mistake!! :oops:

  44. Evening all. My thanks to Kath for the analysis and to everybody else for your comments. All much appreciated.


    1. Good evening, Mr T. You definitely went easy on us today but it was nevertheless a most enjoyable puzzle – sign of a really good setter.

  45. Hooray, a Ray T puzzle I could actually do and very much enjoyed, albeit my reasoning was off a couple of times, but I at least I got there. I am sure this was one of his most friendly puzzles, unless I am finally getting on wavelength, probably wishful thinking. COTD for me was 18a. Thanks Ray T and Kath. Another great day in crossword land.

  46. Again all said before I got here. RayT Thursdays are always something to look forward to. I didn’t have a problem with homophone of 10a, they sound the same to me! As others favourite 15d, it went straight in mind you. Many thanks to RayT and Kath.

  47. Not very enjoyable for me but it took me forever to realise that the word I had in my head for 1a but which I’d dismissed as being too long was in fact correct; then I struggled to spell 7d despite having all the letters provided in the anagram; then I failed to read my own writing and was looking for a word beginning with A for 14a. One of those days. I like 11a for the very apt anagram.
    Thanks all

    1. I get my M and H mixed up. They look very similar when I write them. Causes no end of problems with crosswords.

    2. I think we all have “those days” and, if it’s any comfort to you at all, I can never spell 7d even when it’s an anagram. I also thought that 11a was a very apt anagram.
      Tomorrow is another day . . . :smile:
      Do you live on a boat?

  48. I think that it’s about time to say, “Night night” but before I do I’d like to thank Ray T for another wonderful crossword.
    Thanks also to all of you who have left a comment today – I’m glad that I finally got the difficulty rating about right.
    I was about to have another quick verbal ramble about the tough times that we’re all living through but it seems a better idea to just go to bed . . . :yawn:
    Sleep well, everyone

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