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DT 29369

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29369

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

A jolly nice Thursday puzzle. Slightly lacking in difficulty.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Old girl, one getting on, missing out (8)
OMISSION: Let us begin by following the instructions set out by our setter. 1 The abbreviation for old. 2 A girl (unmarried). 3 The letter that looks like the number one. 4 The word ON from the clue. Will this set the tone for the rest of the puzzle. I hope not. Far too simple

9a    Sequence of individual’s autobiography? (3,2,3)
ONE BY ONE: A delightful clue. The sequence describes single file. The whole clue wittily describes an autobiography 

10a    Holiday location — mostly ‘dance island’? (4)
BALI: Three quarters of a formal dance together with the abbreviation for island will lead you to a holiday destination which is also an island. One of 17,508 in Indonesia 

11a    Maidens out in winds where snow and ice may be evident? (12)
MOUNTAINSIDE: Anagram time. No pencils necessary here. Anagram (winds) of MAIDENS OUT IN 

13a    Shop with endless lines in bowls? (8)
DELIVERS: Begin with a shop. The sort where Saint Sharon might buy my olives. Add a word meaning some lines (of poetry) but without its last letter.

15a    My covering had to be head cloth (6)
CHADOR: The word had which our setter has kindly gifted to us sits comfortably inside an expression like my or gosh or golly bongs

16a    Male animal with leg cut (4)
STAG: With the letter E added this male animal become a leg or intermediate part of a longer event or process 

17a    Where stone was taken from food item (5)
SCONE: The stone mentioned in the clue is also known as The Coronation Stone. It is named after the abbey where it used to be kept. Both the name of the abbey and the name of the stone are also the name of a small unsweetened or lightly sweetened cake made from flour, fat, and milk and sometimes having added fruit. The subject of an article in today’s paper. Online page 53. Dead tree page 11

18a    Language of ranter sermonising (4)
ERSE: The answer lies hidden within the words of the clue indicated by the word of

20a    Line on map leader ignored travelling from place to place (2,4)
ON TOUR: Remove the first letter of the word used to show heights above sea level on an Ordnance Survey map. O.S. Maps also feature in today’s paper. Online page 11. Dead tree page 2

21a    Leader of men is boss in funny business? (8)
MISCHIEF: Begin with the first letter (leader of) of the word Men. Add the word IS from the clue. Add the head person, ruler or leader of an organisation 

23a    Requests for ointments? (12)
APPLICATIONS: A delicious double definition. If in doubt wait for checkers 

26a    Facial expression of Greek character, last character in line-up? (4)
PHIZ: The 21st letter of the Greek alphabet is followed by the last letter of ours

27a    Home (No. 6) by river — they’ve been asked along (8)
INVITEES: A three-part charade. 1 a word meaning (at) home. 2 The Roman numerals denoting the number six. 3 A river. No juggling necessary. Very straightforward once you stumble across the river

28a    Guidance to find cheap accommodation (8)
STEERAGE: A double definition. The second usually being the cheapest form of travel


2d    Unusual teatimes having most of one sort of food (8)
MEATIEST: Anagram (unusual) of TEATIMES

3d    Sporting venue associated with water polo possibly! (8-4)
SWIMMING POOL: An all in one definition of a venue where water polo might be played. The final word is an anagram (possibly) of POLO 

4d    Trendy, on end of street, a Parisian flat? No! (2,4)
IN TUNE: Begin with a short word meaning trendy. Add the final letter of the word streeT. Add the French feminine word for a. An interesting definition 

5d    Nothing these days arrives on time (4)
NOWT: A three-letter word meaning these days or at the present time is followed by the abbreviation for time. The answer is a lovely little word much underused 

6d    This person, bad, holding firm up? Neither bad nor good (8)
MEDIOCRE: A word meaning this person is followed by a word meaning awful which contains the reverse of the abbreviation for company

7d    Piano composer not the first or last in a native group (4)
HOPI: Remove the outer letters of a Polish composer’s name who wrote primarily for solo  piano. This answer appeared a fortnight ago clued thus: American native given greeting outside work (4)

8d    Go through with soldiers sitting on ‘final’ vehicle (8)
REHEARSE: The soldiers here are The Royal Engineers who have spent a lot of time in crosswordland through the years. They are followed by the vehicle used to carry people on the way to their final resting place or a crematorium 

12d    Something dramatic not everyone will pick up (5,7)
STAGE WHISPER: A cryptic definition of a loud whisper uttered by an actor on stage, intended to be heard by the audience but supposedly unheard by other characters in the play.

14d    Rage of street men prepared to fight about nothing (5)
STORM: There are three parts to this charade. 1 The abbreviation for street. 2 The abbreviation for a set of fighting men, this time the the Royal Marines. 3 The letter that represents nothing. Arrange to suit the instructions within the clue.

16d    Occasional crop said to be unreliable (8)
SPORADIC: Anagram (to be unreliable) of CROP SAID.

17d    Note ascending space vehicle — there’s a rotating mechanism (8)
SPROCKET: The note appended as an afterthought is reversed and placed in front of a spaceship.

19d    Wholesale activity to remove dirt? (8)
SWEEPING: a word meaning wide in range or effect also describes the removal of dirt with a broom

22d    Silly jokes about parking in capital city (6)
SKOPJE: Good luck with this anagram (silly) of JOKES which surrounds the abbreviation for parking. Good luck with the spelling. I left this blank 

24d    Put surface material on quiet avenue (4)
PAVE: The musical notation for quiet is followed by the abbreviation of avenue 

25d    Tails up maybe after this? (4)
TOSS: What one does with a coin to decide an outcome by guessing heads or tails 

John Thompson. Gone but not forgotten. Thanks for all the good times.

Quickie Pun Maxim + Million =  Maximilian  A Holy Roman Emperor never crowned by The Pope


103 comments on “DT 29369

  1. As so often happens, this seemed to be a fairly gentle puzzle, until the end. Three items of GK let me down, at 15a, 26a & 7d, which needed electronic help . Without those, this would have been completed in *** time.

    Many thanks to the setter and MP.

  2. Well I thoroughly enjoyed this one. Even the relative obscurities were very gettable with the accurate wordplay. 9a was my favourite clue closely followed by 23a. Off outside now.

    Many thanks to our setter and MP.

  3. Really enjoyed this one. 7d and 15a were words I was unfamiliar with, but was able to work them out cryptically, and, when I checked in the dictionary, lo and behold! Took a little while for the penny to drop on 17a (Scone). My thanks to the setter for a really entertaining puzzle

  4. I obviously found this slightly trickier than Stig and BD (who provides the ratings) – I could blame the fact that I solved it extra early this morning as my friend said that if it was going to be hot today, we should get up and walk early. I duly obeyed, she overslept so I had to do crosswords until she was ready. I did know all the ‘unknowns’ that I would imagine people will go on about in later comments so no excuse really

    Thanks to whoever set the crossword and to Stig (one of my son’s favourite books when they were young, I’d better get a copy for the grandchildren)

  5. No lack of difficulty in my book! What with Boatman in the Graun a day to enjoy the sun.
    I shall be back when/if I finish this.

    1. Not forgetting a Beam Toughie. Lots of sunshine and unlimited ale for me.

  6. Not so easy for me. If Monday was * and Tuesday ** this was ***. However very enjoyable. Only hiccup (to take a recent answer) was 26a and it did take me a while to sort out the last part of 11a. I did not know the word in 26a. I had thought of putting the last letter of our alphabet in but could not think where it would fit. Favourites were 20 27 and 28a and 8 12 and 14d. Thank you setter and Miffypops for putting me right with 26a.

  7. Did anyone see the obituary in yesterday’s Daily Telegraph to Irene Desmet, a 91 year old retired paediatric surgeon. She was apparently an avid Telegraph cruciverbalist. Just wondered if anyone knew of her although probably not blogging here in view of her age.

  8. MP. Is it possible that 3d is one of those non-indicated anagram (or whatever it’s called) in that the first word of the answer is the anagram indicator for polo?

    1. I gave up on that clue. I am open to any offers that might be offered.

    2. I took the first word to be associated with water and the second (possibly) to be the anagram of polo. Otherwise, I do not see that this is really a cryptic clue.

      1. I like this type of back-handed anagram . Polo is ‘pool’ swimming, hence the allusion to the type of venue. Only clue that made me chuckle!

      1. Another straight forward and enjoyable offering today. Have we been lulled into a false sense of security only to be tested tomorrow? I found myself working steadily from west to east. My COTD contenders: 13, 17 and 20a. I was wondering who Stig of the Dump is (will google next). When Saint Sharon was mention I realised it was MP in disguise. So thanks MP and the Setter.🦇

    3. That’s how I read it – definition is first five words, then the word ‘polo’ ‘swimming’
      Like the old ‘Gegs? (9,4)’ clue

  9. Except for that dratted ‘food item’ (what is cryptic about that clue anyway?), I found this a pleasant diversion lacking the spark of a Ray T and a Curate’s Egg (first time I’ve ever used that expression) that delivered mixed blessings (and pardon my mixed metaphor). I did enjoy the Macedonian capital, having always wondered just how to pronounce it, and these podium stars: 9, 26, and 21a. Thanks to Stig for the hints and today’s setter. ** / ***

  10. Like MalcolmR, I found this pretty straightforward bar 15a which I guessed from the wordplay and the parsing of 17a which needed e confirmation. I did like it though, thought the clues were inventive and fun, particularly 9a, 13a and 21a which make up my podium.
    2.5/ 4*

    Many thanks to the setter and to MP for his usual excellent review.

  11. Not my cup of tea
    ( ****/**). I found this one very difficult and didn’t enjoy the clues much. Some of them were barely cryptic (3d and 9a) and there was some rather clumsy wordplay too. No favourite clues today. Thanks to MP and the setter. Keep safe and well everyone.

  12. I thought some of the clues were so straightforward that I must have got it wrong somehow. I think I was expecting a Ray T today to struggle with! The only one I really wasn’t sure about was 26a with that spelling so it was a tentative bung in for me. 22a gave me pause for thought until I realised it was an anagram of jokes with P for parking, then all was clear. I couldn’t pinpoint Skopje on a map precisely but I think it’s the capital of Macedonia? Favourite 19d. Thanks to all. I like reading everybody’s comments – it’s good to know what’s happening round the country and abroad. Proper news.

  13. A puzzle of two halves for me but ended up a ***/*** and I had to rely on Stig for 26a which is a new word for me.

    1. Phiz comes along every so often. It’s partner phizog or fizzog never appears. I suppose that is because it would not be very friendly in a regular grid

      1. Thanks for that further explanation Stig. I think it’s a word I’ll remember as having got the letter “i” I assumed the Greek element was likely to be Phi but running through the alphabet for the last letter didn’t help. Now I know it I think it will stick👍

      2. I’ve never heard of it and can’t imagine how you might use it. “Wipe that phiz off your face.” Strange word.

        1. I have always thought it a contraction of;


          a person’s facial features or expression, especially when regarded as indicative of character or ethnic origin.
          “friends began to notice a change in his physiognomy”

          Just a test post really I have had connection problems too and have had to clear cookies

          1. That’s an interesting thought, I’ve always taken it to be a corruption of visage. I’ve been wrong before mind you.

  14. Sorry, we really didn’t like this, found it clumsy, contrived and occasionally obscure. Solving the clues gave little pleasure, although 17 a went straight in ( Rose is Scots) and we did like 9 a and 23 a. Others obviously disagreed, maybe it’s just us! 😥

  15. First impression was that there was no way I was going to get this done but hey presto I got there and enjoyed every minute of the solve. Numerous nifty clues with 9a, 1a, 5d and 8d worthy of special mention in my book. Thank you Mysteron and MP.

  16. No problem with the facial expression as we had a chat here about physiognomy not that long ago but didn’t know about the stone in 17a.
    Funny how a few years ago there was such uproar about wearing a 15a in Our Glorious Republic. The face mustn’t be hidden they claimed. Today we’re made to wear a mask to cover it.
    Thanks to the setter (x-type?) and to Stig for the review.

      1. Great story. Thanks.
        I like the fact that they even knew what car they used to drive down.

    1. If it was x-type he normally does us the courtesy of a visit so watch this space.

  17. I’m afraid I’m in the group that did not find this enjoyable. It was a hard slog for me and, while I don’t expect puzzles to be easy, I do like them to be “workable”. By that, I don’t mean the puzzle didn’t work, it’s just I could not work out many of the clues. I don’t like staring at a clue, trying to parse it and getting absolutely nowhere. I have not heard of 15a ( I have now) and I wouldn’t have solved 26a in a month of Sundays.

    I realise this is all down to me. Either I wasn’t on the setter’s wavelength or I was merely having an off day. It has to be one or the other given many liked the puzzle.

    Grateful thanks to the setter – I’m sorry I could not do your offering justice. Thanks also to Stig of the Dump for the great hints.

  18. Definitely a ***/*** for me today sailed through most of it,
    not heard of 15a, I thought 7d was used not long ago and 26a needed assistance.
    Fav was 5d,
    Thanks to Stig and the setter.

  19. How did the setter know there was going to be an article on 17a in today’s DT? Spooky. And mentioned in the editorial also. A controversial item both in it’s pronunciation and method of eating. Also apparently in whether to use eggs or not. Delicious every which way. Thanks for the hints and the chat.

    1. The setter knew about 17a just as the DT setter back in the day knew the code names for the beaches of the D-Day landings?

  20. Yikes! Not so easy for me, I confess. Needed Stig’s help with a few; 15a, in particular, needed to be unwrapped for me.
    Lovely in the garden, bees buzzing, birds singing, some bloke hammering something about half a mile away.
    Thanks to the setter and Stig.

    1. There is always a bloke hammering/using a power drill/ sawing when it’s a lovely ‘restful’ sunny day.

  21. I know we’re all different, but I would never have put this down as a 2*, whereas the first three puzzles this week were rated 3* by BD(?), whereas I thought none were more than 2.5*.

    I expect I’m in the minority, but I prefer crosswords to be about general vocabulary level, with only a small representation of uncommon or esoteric terms, which is just random cherry-picking. After all, this isn’t a pub quiz, so any more than 10% rates a 3* in my book, even if I know the answers. Here we had 15a,18a,26a,7d, 17d and 22d, which is 20% of the total. I’m prepared to accept that one person’s sprocket is vocabulary, whereas it‘s another’s GK……:)
    I think I may have backed myself into a tight corner…….

    I only remembered 22d because I think there was an earthquake there when I was young? I haven’t got around to pairing Balkan capitals with their respective post “Yugoslav” countries.

    1. Monday rated by Falcon
      Tuesday rated by Mr K
      Wednesday rated by 2Kiwis
      Thursday this week rated by BD/MP – next week by Kath
      Friday will be rated by Deep Threat

      1. Thanks Crypticsue. For some reason I thought all the ratings were by BD, but that might be because MP said he chose not to rate (when he was on Monday’s).

        1. In my early days of writing a blog when I really didn’t have much of an idea how to turn my offer to help into an understandable set of hints I graded a Rufus puzzle as a one star for difficulty. The lovely late Tstrummer suggested that I had a brain the size of Leamington Spa. I have never set the ratings since.

      2. CS – sorry to barge in but Mondays now alternate between Falcon and pommers – think they both do their own ratings, pommers certainly does.

        1. True but I started off just talking about this week in answer to Bluebird’s original question and then by the time I’d got to Thursday. I wandered off to next week :scratch:

  22. So-so I thought with a couple I had to check (eg 15a) but nothing to complain about.
    Strange 7d came up last Thursday too if I recall correctly.
    COTD for me 5d. Much used where I came from but, as MP says not much now perhaps.
    Am reminded of the Fivepenny piece song “Hear all, see all, say nowt”.

    To think I actually bought their records – I must have been mad!
    Thanks to setter and MOMA (Man of Many Aliases Kath)

    1. Funny you should mention the Fivepenny Piece – I have a watercolour by Colin Radcliffe who was guitarist and signer with the group. I would post a picture but I don’t know how.

      1. He was a singer as well & co-wrote many of their songs.
        You have LbR to blame for my new-found skill

      2. Which one? I’ll post it for you and explain how to do so if that helps?

        1. I can take a photo of the painting but I see no way of uploading it, LBR.

          Don’t think the group would have gone very far without “That’s Life”. They were ok in a rocky folky way.

  23. I thought this was quite difficult – certainly more than 2* for me anyway.
    13a was one of those, “oh, that kind of bowls.” :roll: and I never did get that answer.
    I didn’t get 17a either.
    I’ve never heard of 15a but did manage to guess and look it up from the clue.
    I liked 21a and my favourite was 9a.
    Thanks to the setter and to Stig.
    Some neighbours in our previous house used to call me Stig of the Dump because I was always in scruffy jeans and wellies!

    1. I didn’t get those dratted bowls until I read the hints. I don’t think I’ll ever get the crickety clues down pat. Grrr…

      1. Nor me – to quote a friend of mine when she doesn’t quite ‘get’ something, “I prefer not to clutter my brain with that!”

  24. Thanks to the setter and to Miffypops for the review and hints. I found this completely baffling. Needed 7 hints to finish. Was 4*/2* for me.

  25. A pleasant solve today with little need to consult hints. As usual some gimmies and some stinkers that needed a bit of brain power.
    Thanks to Stig and setter.

  26. Pleasant enough puzzle with no real difficulties. We are still struggling with the DT iPad app. Sometimes it is real torture!

  27. It took a little while for me to remember the final vehicle, but I didn’t have a problem with the stone. 4d was my favourite clue. Many thanks to the setter and to Miffypops.

  28. Good fun, though as a Scotsman, kicking myself for not getting 17a.
    Sitting out later in our garden in the Weald of Kent, our tranquility suddenly shattered by a Spitfire coming in to land. I suppose if we are to be disturbed, there are few finer sounds.

    1. I assumed after being told the answer by Stig that the “line-up” is the alphabet.

      May be wrong!

  29. I enjoyed this one, although the brain went to sleep in the middle section for a while. I didn’t associate “note” in 17d with ps, and thought “add” might have been better. I liked 19d but, as a Lancastrian, have chosen 5d as my favourite clue. When considering the anagram in 1d, I landed on a new word “meatties” which I quite like – might try using it when the opportunity arises. Thanks to the compiler and MP.

    1. My COTD too for the same reason. Remember going round “cob a coalin” for money for fireworks (ripraps and 2d bangers). “If you give us nowt we’ll steal nowt & bid you good neet”.

  30. Not enjoying this very much so far. But in a rush as I need to leave soon for out patient surgery, so probably not the fault of the setter, more my own lack of concentration. Thanks to Stig for the hints. Did you also drive for Top Gear? 😀

    1. I drive fast enough for Top Gear. Never ever signal to Saint Sharons dismay. Consider speed limits to be advisory. Best kept off motorcycles. One can never have too much alcohol only nearly enough. Consider it nice to be nice and that kindness is catching. Can’t stand boring

  31. ***/***. It was a bit of a struggle in parts but I knew some of the more obscure answers. I missed 15&26a which is irritating in hindsight. Thanks to the setter and MP for the review.

  32. Enjoyable crossword, needed Stig’s assistance for 15a & 26a 😳 so ***/*** Favourites 12 & 27a 😃 Thanks to Stig and to the Setter it felt a little like Ray T to me 🤔(only a little!)

  33. Not bad, not too good either. Did anyone else think that 26a the poorest clue in a long line of poor clues?
    I think 6d sums up this crossword very well.
    Thx for the hints

  34. Quite mild for a Thursday although l had already forgotten 7 d could only do 26 a without recognising the word and made life difficult by initially putting the wrong first letter for 23 a.Apart from those diversions and detours enjoyed it with rather too much wine in the heat.As ever thanks to all.

  35. I’m in the really difficult camp, though quite a few were gimmes, 17a went right in. I needed e-help for a couple of anagrams to get me back on track, the long one at 11a was a great help.
    Fave was 5d with 21a right behind. I doubted my answer to 3d, seemed too straightforward.
    I found 26a to be so obscure, also slang, I can guarantee I, for one, will never be using it.
    Thanks to our setter and huge appreciation to Stig for helping me cross the finish line.

  36. Rubbish day for me today.
    Needed a lot of electronic help to complete.

    Thanks to the setters and to Miffypops.

  37. As nobody has commented I must be alone in having put “one on one” for 9a only to be told “some answers incorrect”. Whilst I can see that “by” is better, “on” to me fits the clue too.

    1. I too left the unchecked two letter word open until the end. As you say both would fit but one is marginally better, but only marginally.

      1. Not alone. I had “on” too. Certainly within the tolerances if acceptability, even if “by” is better. Can’t say I enjoyed this one.

        1. And me too with on – in fact it’s only now on reading these comments that I realise my mistake.

    2. Not really thought about this till I read these comments. I must have got it right as not picked up on the on-line puzzle. Usually you know when you are wrong as it affects other answers but not this time. I forgot to mention yesterday that this puzzle was made harder by the number of double unches why applies to this clue

    1. Having made your opening statement it should now be supported by reasoned argument in support of your views. Otherwise your post has little value.

        1. So do I but people who make this sort of comment rarely reappear to address the responses of others. Unfortunately this means that they also rarely learn.

  38. I failed 7d and 26a (which being Dickens fan) I should have got. Otherwise I thought it was a pleasant exercise.

  39. Not on the wavelength at all today. Way too many obscure words and a capital city I would be impressed if someone not connected to the country could spell.

    Furthermore, the Royal Marines spend so much time in women’s clothes I forget they are men sometimes… ;-)

    *****/* for me today.

  40. Late to this as spent the day trekking around the lovely Ashdown Forest together with a jaunt up Ivinghoe Beacon which plenty of an arduous walk up in this heat.
    As for the crossword I read MalcolmR’s opening comment & snap. I can’t recall the last time I went to the hints 3 shy on a back pager. All 3 words were unfamiliar to me though I now remember getting 7d when previously clued and confirming with Mr G – retaining the info another matter. Knew fizzog but not the spelling in 26a & really must get properly to grips with the Greek alphabet which is why the wordplay here eluded me. Would not have got 15a this side of Christmas (if ever) without the hint.
    Thanks to the setter & Stig for the review

  41. Back online after some serious family issues, currently babysitting a 2-year-old.
    I though this was difficult too.
    I failed on 7d, I did not know the word and was convinced it started with ‘P’.
    Good fun though, and relief after a dismal failure of Boatman in the Guardian.
    Thanks MP and Mr.Setter.

    1. I’m not convinced that you’re the dismal failure in today’s Graun, Hoofit

  42. Sailed through the top half and then stuttered a little in the bottom section.
    A pleasant solve.
    Thanks Mr Ron and MP.

  43. One moment I was on wavelength then I wasn’t then I was and so on until I got there in the end. Clues like 15a would have been unsolvable in the days before the internet unless you happened to know the word. Times have moved on of course and one simply Google’s the word, other search engines are available, and the confirmation of your answer pops up on the screen. Favourite probably 17d but others were close. Thanks to the setter and MP.

      1. Agreed. I much prefer to trawl the BRB. Mind you, I do use Mr. G as well.

  44. Back home now and this didn’t seem so hard after all. Must be the dozen or so numbing shots they gave me, woke my brain up. Ergo, my brain must be in the end of my nose 😊

    23a and 4d tied for favourite. Thanks to setter and Stig. Had heard of 22d but not have come up with it on my own. Quite enjoyed this as Thursday’s go.

  45. Found this puzzle a little more challenging than Miffypops led me to believe with the comments. I too had trouble with 7d, 15a & 26a and definitely needed electronic help on those three troublemakers. More of ***/*** for me.
    However were some nice clues I enjoyed, among them … 9a, 27a, 28a & 25d with the winner being 9a.

    Thanks to setter and MP

  46. This was tricky for me but having slept on it I was able to complete most of it before referring to Stig of the Dumps brilliant help. As with Smardonian being disturbed by the wonderful sound of a Spitfire, I ran out of my house yesterday afternoon to see two Chinooks flying overhead. Such an exhilarating sound to break the peace and quiet. Many thanks to setter and Sig.

  47. This went well until the last few. 17a totally stumped me. A clever clue, but too clever for me, even though I have visited the place. 26a also stumped me as I am unfamiliar with the expression.

  48. I can say this as I’m so late nobody will probably read it…..that was a dreadful crossword! Thanks to MP for telling me the answers!

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