DT 29366 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29366

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29366

Hints and tips by Falcon

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Greetings from Ottawa, where we are celebrating the Victoria Day long weekend that traditionally marks the unofficial beginning of summer. The risk of overnight frost is supposedly past and gardeners can begin exercising their green thumbs. People can finally open their cottages (I suppose Brits might call them holiday residences) which have been shuttered all winter. At least, that is what usually happens. This year, the denizens of cottage country who normally welcome cottagers (and their money) with open arms are begging COVID-19 laden city folk to stay away. At least the weather, which has been abnormally cold, is back on script and we are enjoying some lovely warm days.

I found today’s puzzle by Campbell to be more testing than usual. But then, I always seem to have more difficulty with his puzzles than do most of the contributors to the blog. It will be interesting to see if that holds true again today.

In the hints below, underlining identifies precise definitions and cryptic definitions, and indicators are italicized. The answers will be revealed by clicking on the ANSWER buttons.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought of the puzzle.


1a   Lots written about large kingdoms (6)
REALMS — a lot of writing (in terms of the number of sheets of paper filled) about a size of garment

4a   Let in old boy, very English in old hat (8)
OBSOLETE — LET (from the clue) inserted into a charade consisting of the abbreviation for old boy, a synonym for very, and the abbreviation for English

9a   Possibly upright  girl (6)
JOANNA — double definition in which the first is an East End musical instrument

10a   Kind and shy, like some actors are (8)
TYPECAST — kind or sort followed by shy or fling

11a   Reptile that might not be what it appears to be (9)
CHAMELEON — cryptic definition of an animal that never stands out in its surroundings

13a   Put off, in crude terms (5)
DETER — a lurker hiding in the final two words of the clue

14a   Saw only deep space flicks (7,4,2)
CLAPPED EYES ON — anagram (flicks) of the three middle words of the clue

17a   Restrictive economic policy? Believe press (6,7)
CREDIT SQUEEZE — string together verbs meaning to believe or accept as true and to press or crush, for example, to extract juice from fruit

Image courtesy of renjith krishnan at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

21a   Escape notice entering the day before (5)
EVADE — a short commercial message inserted into the day before a notable event

23a   Where one may be driven mad? (2,3,4)
UP THE WALL — the situation leading to Humpty Dumpty’s downfall?

24a   Legendary knight‘s wife leaving joint in vehicle (8)
TRISTRAM — an anatomical joint with W(ife) removed boarding a public transit vehicle

25a   Character in form (4-2)
MAKE-UP — double definition, both nouns; the first denoting one’s personality or temperament

26a   Champion‘s card sure to be corrected (8)
CRUSADER — anagram (to be corrected) of CARD SURE

27a   Read about brewer’s last stout? (6)
STURDY — to pursue a degree in a subject at university wrapped around the final letter of breweR


1d   Refuse to take about 100 in plane (6)
REJECT — a short word meaning with regard to or concerning followed by the Roman numeral for 100 aboard a fast plane

2d   A clan have dreadful downfall in the Cairngorms, perhaps (9)
AVALANCHE — anagram (dreadful) of the first three words of the clue

3d   African statesman and staff — short stay (7)
MANDELA — to staff or engage personnel followed by a verb meaning to stay or suspend a process with its final letter removed (short)

5d   After ‘Suspicion’, without question (6,5)
BEYOND DOUBT — after or further than followed by suspicion or uncertainty

6d   Regularly co-opt new dean close to busy time when the public may visit college? (4,3)
OPEN DAY — start with a regular sequence of letters from cO-oPt, then add an anagram (new) of DEAN, and finish off with the final letter of (close to) busY

7d   Order English knight before a court (5)
ENACT — a charade of E(nglish), the chess notation for knight, the A from the clue, and the street sign abbreviation for court

8d   Gent heading off with European band’s recording (8)
ENTERING — link together the (g)ENT from the clue with its initial letter removed (heading off), E(uropean), and a band worn on a finger

12d   Former job with university behind protest? (11)
EXPOSTULATE — concatenate the usual former significant other, a job or paid employment, U(niversity), and what this blog will be if it does not appear at 11:00 am

15d   Cry, being cut gathering fruit (4,1,4)
SHED A TEAR — cut like wool from a sheep around the fruit of a palm tree

16d   Catholic charged, offering no resistance about being imprisoned (8)
ECLECTIC — start with an adjective denoting charged as though plugged into the mains from which the physicist’s symbol for resistance has been removed; then, inside it, lock up the one-letter Latin abbreviation for about

18d   Lethargy at home I rate badly (7)
INERTIA — the usual adjective signifying present at one’s home followed by an anagram (badly) of I RATE

19d   End of stage stage worker polished (7)
ELEGANT — line up the final letter of stagE, a stage in a journey, and a six-legged worker

20d   Pilot admitting pressure after operation for limp (6)
FLOPPY — start with a word meaning to pilot or operate an aircraft; insert into it the physicist’s symbol for pressure and a shortened term for operation in the order specified in the clue

22d   Farewell to the French about to go west (5)
ADIEU — a word meaning ‘to the’ in French enveloping a more formal way of saying ‘go west’ or ‘bite the dust’

In lieu of a favourite, I will nominate three clues that proved the most difficult to parse; namely, 4a, 6d, and 16d. And the orneriest of the lot was 6d.

Quickie Pun (top line): GOPHER + WRIT = GO FOR IT

Quickie Pun (bottom line): READ + MISSED = RED MIST

80 comments on “DT 29366

  1. Didn’t enjoy this much. Still don’t understand 4a, 5d & 6d, will check Falcon’s explanation. Thanks anyway!

    1. 5d After = Beyond
      Suspicion = Doubt

      Without question = Beyond Doubt

      6d. Regularly co-opt gives even letters op . Anagram of Dean and close to busy y. Opdeany.

      4 a Old boy gives OB. Very English SOE. LET inside these letters, as per first two words of the clue And old hat equals obsolete.

      I did however fail to get 4a until I read these answers…..

  2. A cracking pangram to start off the solving week. Certainly a tad harder than recent Mondays, but it lost none of the fun and enjoyment. All in all a rewarding and challenging puzzle. My favourite was the evergreen 9a.

    Thanks to Campbell and Falcon.

  3. I enjoyed this pangram and thought it a great start to the week. I put the wrong answer in for 7d, which threw 10a out for a while. Another case of my putting in an answer without properly parsing the clue. I thought the clues were good and I liked 9a, which was my COTD. Others I thought good were 17a and 24a.

    Many thanks to Campbell for the challenge and to Falcon for the hints.

  4. This was quite testing, particularly for a Monday (**/****). I only just finishedit in 2* time but I really
    enjoyed it. 14a was a good anagram and other great clues included 9a, 17a, 16d and 19d. Thanks to Falcon and to Campbell. Stay safe and well everyone.

  5. I thought this was slightly trickier than the average Monday but very enjoyable.
    16d isn’t the first word you associate with ‘catholic’ but it’s in the book so no complaints. I’m puzzled by 25a though. What is the preposition ‘in’ doing there? Surely it ruins the double definition?
    My favourite was 19d
    Many thanks to the setter and DT for the entertainment

    1. When I first came across the phrase “catholic taste” I assumed that it meant “very limited taste”, on the grounds that religions tend to prescribe the thinking of their followers. After seeing it’s use in context, I came to realize that it meant just the opposite (ie eclectic taste). I guess the church named itself after the word, in order to lay claim to universality, rather than the other way round.

    2. The preposition “in” is acting as a link word. Although double definitions most often consist of merely the two definitions, occasionally (as is the case today), they will also contain a link word. When used in a double definition, a link word conveys the idea of equivalence between the two definitions. Here, I think you could interpret the word “in” as meaning “as represented by”.

      1. Thank you for you feedback Falcon, much appreciated.
        I was thinking, before the explanation, that maybe the setter was thinking of
        ‘In the form’….ie how it’s made up.
        Eg…the entertainment was ‘in the form of/ made up of’ a live band…..but I’m probably over thinking!

        1. No, you are not overthinking at all. That is precisely how I wanted to explain it but realized that using the phrase “in the form of” could potentially be very confusing given that that second definition is, in fact, the word “form”. So I wracked my brain attempting to express it in a different manner.

  6. Was really enjoying this with about 4 left to fill in when I must have hit a button on my Kindle which then revealed th whole puzzle completed! What an ass. Still thanks to all and some very clever clues. Didn’t realise it was a pangram.

  7. I loved this pangram. Really enjoyable. 5d was my favourite followed by 17a. Many thanks to the setter and to Falcon. I am now going off for my first walk of the day.

  8. Can’t make mind up about this, a curate’s egg for me. About average difficulty for a Monday although the long clues held me up longer than I would have liked.
    Southerners who have been basking in sunshine so much recently might be surprised that this morning I can still see enough snow on the (distant) Cairngorms for a decent 2d.
    Thanks to Campbell & Falcon.

  9. Most enjoyable Monday pangram! The SW held me up for a bit, with its superb clueing of 16 and 22d, and 24 and 26a. What a nice quartet of surface readings and clues. Had to guess at 9a, assuming it’s Cockney rhyme for piano (if it is, that’s just wonderful!). All in all, a really fine, well-constructed, nicely balanced puzzle by Campbell. Thanks to Falcon…up there, from down here.
    ** / ****

      1. … which I presume with a soft R will sound like pee-annah. Or does it work the other way around with joanna being pronounced jo-anner (with a hard R).

        1. I’m no expert, I was only born within the sound of Bow Bells, never lived there!

  10. I enjoyed this puzzle. It certainly has some thought provoking clues. I thought 4a was straightforward although “old hat” meaning out of date is not much used in ordinary speech these days. 12d was a well constructed clue. Not 100% sure about 25a. I’d agree with the earlier bloggers and say that the “in” serves no real purpose other than to add fluency to the clue. Favourite 9a. Thanks to all.

  11. Surely 9ac is Joanna never heard of a piano called Joanne though bb king had a guitar called Lucy!

    1. I put Joanna without questioning it… I have never heard it called Joanne before.

    2. Far be it from me to disagree with someone with a blues based handle, but I think BB’s guitar was called Lucille.

  12. 3*/3.5*. I go along with the trickier than usual for a Monday club, and unusual, I think, for it to be a pangram. It was however very enjoyable with 6d my favourite.

    Many thanks to Campbell and to Falcon.

  13. Has Campbell got his days mixed up ? Considerably tougher than his recent offerings & all the more enjoyable for being so in my view. For the first time ever this pangram malarkey assisted in solving 1d/9a and 25a. Struggled with my last two in (16d & 24a) but completed in just under *** time though unable to fully parse either of them satisfactorily.
    Other than 4a which I thought very clunky this was well clued with my podium comprising 9,17&24a.
    Thanks to Campbell & to Falcon.

  14. Delightful way to start the cruciverbal week. Too lazy to fully parse 4a bung-in. Likewise I am rarely on the lookout for pangrams so missed that today. 9a was definitely Fav but it’s probably not so obvious for non-Brit solvers. TVM Campbell and Falcon.

  15. I took longer over this than yesterday’s Dada. Definitely much harder than the normal Monday fare though there was nothing wrong with any of the clues once solved
    The other Monday puzzle– 604 –however, was solved in record time

      1. It’s a prize puzzle which appears on the puzzles website on a Monday. There’s a cryptic, a quickie and a GK and today’s was number 604.

  16. Very much enjoyed this one although it was only when 14a fell that I thought I was getting the upper hand.
    1d & 9a were the last to fall and I think the latter ends with an ‘A’ in Cockney slang.
    Favourite was 10a which may be a chestnut but made me smile.

    Thanks to Campbell and to Falcon – fascinating clip of the 11a.

    1. As a cockney, I can certainly say that my late dad used to play the joanna ( an elderly upright) at family gatherings.

      1. Ahh, when in Newham as a kid, the whole family would gather round the ol’ joanna
        on a Sunday evening, wishing someone could play the bl*ody thing !

        1. I was born in West Ham, grew up in Newham and taught at a boys comprehensive in Canning Town. Long arm if coincidence.

          1. I’ve been in the wilds of South Woodford for 27 years. Couldn’t live in the LBN now, sadly. COYI.

            1. What on earth is LBN and, since I’m at it, what on earth is COY? Am I being completely dim? :unsure:

              1. Kath, LbR
                It is football so don’t concern yourself too much. (“I’m forever blowing bubbles” plays in background)

    2. I did reply to your final post on yesterdays blog but only just before logging on here. I have a dog called Surrie.

      1. Well – that’s definitely a new one for me, at least I’d heard of ‘duck’ even though always applied to a woman/girl. I wonder what is the sex of your dog?

        1. All my dogs are male. Locally it’s pronounced surreh with the hard e at the end. I have another dog called Marra which is a corruption of mate. Ay up me old marra is another familiar local greeting. We’re a strange lot round here.

  17. Huntsman, if you use telegraph on line puzzles then every Monday there is an extra prize puzzle and this week we have reached number 604

    1. Thanks for info.
      If you’re looking for another cryptic the Graun is a gentle stroll.

      1. Today’s DT setter’s alter ego (Falcon) in the FT is nice and friendly too

  18. Enjoyable **/**** although I can’t really claim ** as I guessed 9a as Joanne (ironically given Falcon’s late night typo) as I had not heard of that instrument before. Another lesson learned!

  19. Felt pretty neutral about this one, didn’t over enjoy it but couldn’t really find anything to comment about.

    Being involved with the Scottish ********* Service website I found 2d made me smile so will give that my vote for COTD.

    Thanks to Campbell and to Falcon!

  20. I enjoyed this and found it pleasingly more stretching than the average Monday. 24a was my favourite today. Thanks to all.

  21. I also thought it was a very nice start to the week and 9a was my c of the d. Some very nice
    clueing and a pangram to boot, although I had to seek help for 25a which I am still not quite clear about..
    Thanks to all.

    1. Re: 25a

      Make-up can mean “The combination of qualities that form a person’s temperament” or “The composition or constitution of something”.

      1. Thanks I get that but sorry, I still don’t like the clue! It don’t impress me much as the song says.
        I am having a bad day and taking it out on a poor defenceless crossword. I did say how much
        I enjoyed the rest of it, though.

  22. I enjoyed this one very much. The knight was the last to go in as I always forget about the fellow for some reason but the checking letters led me to the elusive chap.
    I print the quickie on one side, and the cryptic on the other of one sheet of paper. Today, in Surrey, it is a three paperweight day to stop the sheet of paper arcing away like a butterfly in flight.
    Thanks to Campbell and Falcon.

  23. Great start to the week after my daily run/walk with our 6 months old Dalmatian. 12d & 17a got me thinking pangram. 9a brought back memories of my late grandad saying “let’s tickle the keys on the old Joanna” 😄.
    Thx to Campbell and Falcon.

  24. Good puzzle and with excellent humour.The chances of me spotting a pan gram are about as good as Stoke City winning a major title in the next 20 years.In some cases l got the answer without being able to fully parse and am grateful to Falcon for his help.

  25. I found this a bit tricky and made quite hard work of it with hindsight. I even spotted the pangram, with an early ‘J’ in 1d arousing suspicions, but it didn’t really help much as all 26 letters were already ticked off with several clues left to solve. Nevertheless, it all fell into place eventually.
    Thanks to Campbell for my lunchtime mental workout, and to Falcon whose 3*/3* rating I agree with.

  26. I rattled through most of this but ground to a halt on 24 and 25a.
    In my book of Arthurian knights, he is usually T***tan I had to do a bit of investigoogling to find the alternative. and with 25a If I hadn’t been chasing the last letter of my pangram I would have had a hard time choosing from the myriad of options for those checkers.
    I did like 17a and 2d and wondered if a more 2d prone mountain range would have been appropriate until I noticed the Clan in the fodder and I liked it even more.
    Thanks to the Falcons

    1. As an old Victorian ‘scholar’ (taught the period for decades), I quickly remembered Matthew Arnold’s 1852 version of the legend, ‘Tristram and Iseult’. Arnold used the same spelling that Malory does in ‘Le Morte d’Arthur’. Haven’t read the Arnold poem in years, and now I think I’ll do just that, thanks to you, John Bee!

        1. I’d forgot how long Arnold’s little epic is–in three parts, with interspersing lines from Tristram and the two Iseults–of Brittany and Ireland–but it pretty much follows the general arcs of all Tristan und Isolde versions. As you will discover if you decide to tackle it. I enjoyed my re-acquaintance with it–earlier this afternoon (I’m in South Carolina). It was not one of the poems my Victorian courses usually covered in class (probably because of its length, though also because it’s not up there in the top tier of Arnold’s grander works). Wagner’s treatment is still the crème de la crème, IMHO. Nice chatting with you.

  27. A puzzle of two halves. Led side was no problem with some excellent clues but the right especially the SE corner was a real b…..r!
    Had to resort to the hints for the last two clues 19d and 27a, just couldn’t see where the setter was going.
    If I was rating the left side it would be **** for enjoyment but the right is only *.
    The difficulty rating was ***.
    Thx for the hints.

  28. I quite enjoyed this and probably found it a bit more difficult than an average Monday.
    As usual I missed the pangram.
    I took ages to get the 14a anagram and never did get 25a.
    Can’t ‘do’ legendary knights, along with lots of other things, so I wouldn’t have got him without a list of them.
    I liked 9 and 11a and 5d and my favourite was 20d.
    Thanks to Campbell and to Falcon.

  29. I made hard work of this, probably because I was hoping for a gentle Monday. A few convoluted clues that spoilt it for me, but at least I knew Joanna, and 11a jumped right off the page. Also had 10a for ages before I was confident enough to pen it in. Apparently head down digging in the garden yesterday didn’t revive the old grey cells. Thanks to Campbell and Falcon. Will be looking forward to tackling 604 over lunch later.

  30. ***/***. I found this quite tricky and needed insight supplied by Falcon – thanks. Thanks also to Campbell for a challenging and enjoyable workout.

  31. Enjoyed this crossword (or Curate’s Egg as someone called it) went ahead nicely but took ages solving two three in the south e.g. 16d, 24 & 25a 😳 ***/*** Favourites 9 & 19a
    Thanks to Falcon and to Campbell 😃 I don’t think Brian has checked in yet 🤔

  32. A good start to the week though I found it very tricky, even having to refer to hints halfway through.
    I didn’t help myself by spelling 11a incorrectly, even worse, I know I can’t spell and should have looked it up earlier, would have made my life much easier.
    Fave was 9a, got it right off, I also liked 24a, with 16d running close, I associated catholic with the creed so had no problems.
    Thanks to Campbell and to Falcon for his help with the hints.

  33. Oh dear I’m at odds with everyone again. I usually struggle with Campbell but this evening breezed through it at Senf’s canter. Favourite 9a, never had an e on the end of it. Eddie Grant did a song called that. Many thanks to Campbell and Falcon.

  34. I found this really enjoyable. Some clever clues, and just enough thought-provoking ones. Favourites 4a, 10a, 21a, 5d, 8d and 13d.

  35. Thanks to the setter and to Falcon for the review and hints. I found this very difficult, needed 9 hints to finish.

  36. Nice to be stretched on a Monday.
    So, **** and **** for enjoyment.
    Last in, to my shame, 1d and 6a
    Many thanks to the setter and to Falcon.

  37. Favourites 9 10 and 24a and 16 and 22d. Never spot a pangram! 9a jumped straight out and ditto with 11a which, thankfully for me, was not well camouflaged. Last one in by a night’s sleep (interrupted only by getting up in the middle of it to switch off the garden sprinkler) was 16d. I was on the right lines, not looking for the church, but could not think of a synonym to fit. 12d took some time to figure out but apart from that all the sticky ones were in the bottom half. Getting 24 and 26a gave me the ending to 16d. Thanks Campbell and Falcon. Not quite so many comments as recently – are people getting out more?

  38. i thought it was very straightforward but dull, lacking any eureka moments. more like a daily mail puzzle

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