DT 29372 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29372

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29372

Hints and tips by pommers

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty *Enjoyment ***

Hola from the Vega Baja where summer seems to have arrived with a bang and pommers has had to get his shorts out (not a pretty sight!).  

This crossword would probably be a ** difficulty if you don’t spot what it is that all the across answers have in common.  I twigged it after getting four answers and so was able to fill in every across light before moving on to the down clues, hence the * difficulty rating. I don’t know if there’s some significance but all the across answers in the quick crossword have the same thing in common.

As usual the ones I liked most are in blue.  The definitions are underlined in the clues and the answers are under the “click here” buttons so don’t click on them unless you really want to see the answer.  Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


7a           Instrument produced by gypsy chap cutting steak (8)
TROMBONE:  A word for a gypsy is inserted into (cutting) a large steak.

9a           One who informs  bank worker (6)
TELLER:  Double definition.

10a         Tense victory secures double (4)
TWIN:  T(ense) followed by a victory.

11a         What we’re called during explosive competition (10)
TOURNAMENT:  A phrase describing what we’re called (3,4) is inserted into (during) some trinitrotoluene  (explosive).

12a         Sensitive  offer (6)
TENDER:  Double definition.

14a         Reptile in store — it desperately gulps oxygen (8)
TORTOISE:  Start with  an anagram (desperately) of STORE IT and insert (gulps) the chemical symbol for oxygen.

15a         Two sons leaving corks for hat (6)
TOPPER:  You need a word for what corks are an example of and remove (leaving) the two S(ons).

17a         Absolute ruler‘s angry tirade after Troy gutted (6)
TYRANT:  A word for an angry tirade after TY (T(ro)Y gutted).  Here’s the captain of 4d . . .

20a         Easy shot bagging stray animal (8)
TERRAPIN:  Take a phrase (3,2) describing an easy shot at golf, as in a very short putt, and insert (bagging) a word meaning to stray or make an error.

22a         Display tawdry items also (6)
TATTOO:  A military display is a word for tawdy items or cheap stuff followed by a word meaning also.

23a         Later on I worried about member’s gymnastic apparatus (10)
TRAMPOLINE:  Anagram (worried) of LATER ON I placed around a member of parliament.

24a         Helpful hint involving end of pier ride (4)
TRIP:  What this is placed around (involving) an R (end of pieR).

25a         Spell and sign name inside (6)
TRANCE:  A word for a sign as in a very small amount has an N(ame) inserted (inside).

26a         Go and film defector (8)
TURNCOAT:  Another word for your go, in a board game perhaps, followed by a film, of paint perhaps.


1d           Bully put away after quarrel in B&B (8)
BROWBEAT:  Insert (in) a word for a quarrel or argument between two B’s and follow (after) with a word meaning to put away or consume.

2d           Old soldiers pointing to sign (4)
OMEN:  O(ld) followed by some soldiers.

3d           Notice in job centre in Beverley (6)
POSTER:  A word for your job or position followed by the two central letters (centre in) from BevERley.  Pommette will like this clue as her name’s Beverley.

4d           Mean to consume mostly fresh fish (8)
STINGRAY:  Take a word meaning mean, as in miserly, and insert (to consume) a word meaning fresh or uncooked but without its last letter (mostly).

5d           Colourful scholar entertaining lad in apartment (10)
FLAMBOYANT:  I might be missing something but I think there’s a mistake in this clue.  Start with  a common two letters for a scholar and insert (entertaining) another word for a lad or male child and then insert that lot into (in) another word for an apartment but there’s an N which seems to have floated uninvited into the mix.  Perhaps the original clue was a colourful chap rather than scholar.

Crypticsue has pointed out that the clue has now been changed on the website to read “colourful bloke”. So the wordplay goes – Start with  another word for a bloke and insert (entertaining) another word for a lad or male child and then insert that lot into (in) another word for an apartment.

6d           Collection round pub raised for sport (6)
TENNIS:  A collection is placed around (round) a pub and then the whole lot is reversed (raised in a down clue).

8d           Fair play from English, somewhat reduced before close of play (6)
EQUITY:  E(nglish) followed by a word for somewhat but without its last letter (reduced) and finally a Y (close of plaY).

13d         Leave time to include guys in office (10)
DEPARTMENT: Take a word meaning to leave and a T(ime) and insert some guys.

16d         Working MO, deeply involved (8)
EMPLOYED:  Anagram (involved) of MO DEEPLY.  This is one of those clues where the anagram fodder is obvious but either of the other words could be the indicator and either could be the definition.

18d         Very hot current across river (8)
TROPICAL: A word for current or in the news placed around (across) an R(iver).

19d         Court giving support to current policeman’s charge (6)
INDICT:  The abbreviation of court placed after (giving support in a down clue) a word for current or fashionable and a police detective.  Seems odd to have the word current in the wordplay in two consecutive clues.

21d         Faux pas made by troublesome children heading off (6)
ERRORS:  Some troublesome children, often two-year olds, without their first letter (heading off).  Remember that faux pas can be plural as well as singular.

22d         The man taken in by Conservative’s surmise (6)
THEORY:  Another word for the man or him inserted into (taken in by) another name for a Conservative.

24d         Instant  credit (4)
TICK:  Double definition.  A bit of a chestnut but I still like it.

I think 3d was probably favourite with 24d and 22a on the podium. 

Quick crossword puns:

Top line:     TRAY     +     TAWSE     =     TRAITORS

Bottom line:     TAPAS     +     TREE     =     TAPESTRY

95 comments on “DT 29372

  1. 5d was changed after I asked the editor where the N came from. The clue now starts ‘Colourful bloke …’

  2. An enjoyable crossword – I did feel slightly disappointed that the letter ‘theme’ in the Across clues didn’t quite get there in the Downs, although we did remove a T to get 21d, I suppose there weren’t any suitable words with the right letter that fitted into 2d and 16d

    Thanks to the Double Punner for the crossword and Pommers for the review

  3. Ok. So I’m slow. Completely missed the starting “T”s. Pretty easy crossword but really enjoyable, with some entertaining clues. Favourites 11a, 26a

  4. Can’t believe that I hadn’t noticed the plethora of one letter in both Cryptic and Quickie but in spite of that this was a comparatively straightforward and enjoyable solve. NE was last quadrant to acquiesce. 21d is a bit unfair as the French words in clue are not necessarily plural. 3d was a marginal Fav. Thank you Mysteron and pommers.

  5. Whizbang, wallop except 7a
    Took an age to think of another word (s) for steak. Duh!
    Many thanks to the setter and to pommers.

    1. I must be very obtuse as I didn’t see the link between the across clues. Nevertheless, it was under 2* time when I finished it so pretty straightforward. There were some good clues, the best being 11a, 20a and 26a from my point of view. Thanks to Pommers for ‘teeing’ us up about the link and to the setter. Keep safe and well everyone.

  6. Reasonably entertaining & very straightforward with completion just outside of my fastest ever finish. Indeed the only head scratcher over the 2 puzzles was the Quickie strap where the phonetics helped drag it from the memory bank. Goes without saying that I was oblivious to the theme.
    Thanks to the setter & to Pommers

  7. Good fun. I didn’t spot the link in the across clues either. As a newbie to the blog I’m only just starting to find out about this sort of thing. Thanks to crypticsue for clarifying 5d. I originally thought 14a was what 20 across turned out to be. Not sure if that was intentional misdirection but clever if it was.

    1. Been doing the backpager for 50 years & I didn’t spot it. Judging by the early replies we are not alone.
      My solving technique is poor- I don’t go through all the across before starting the downs. That’s my excuse anyway.

  8. 1.5*/3.5*. Good fun. Campbell has got this Monday setting lark down to a T (or, in this specific puzzle, across from a T).

    On my podium today were 11a, 1d, 3d & 21d.

    Many thanks to Campbell and to pommers.

  9. I didn’t notice all the T’s in the across clues either but it didn’t really make any difference. Glad 5d sorted out. It was scholar in my version too which didn’t seem right. Lots of good clues. Needed the explanation for 20a. Favourite 14a. Thanks to all.

  10. Just my cup of T even though I didn’t realise it.
    Enjoyable whilst it lasted.
    11a COTD nothing else to say really.
    Thanks to Campbell & pommers.
    Is it a Bank Holiday?
    Waiting for DC to say he had his Sat Nav on when visiting the NE & he was just being “guided by the science” so was within government policy.

  11. All over in a flash and needless to say I missed the theme. I quite enjoyed it, but would like to have spent a bit longer on it.

    Many thanks to the setter and Pommers.

  12. Spent a while considering how to parse 5d’s scholar so good to see the riddle solved. Other than that I found this a very gentle start to the week. 7a is my instrument and I do like a good steak so this get’s my vote today. Thanks to our setter and Pommers.

  13. Raced through this until I got overconfident and bunged EMPLOYMENT in for 13d. Thanks to Pommers for helping untangle the ensuing mess in the SW corner. Thanks to setter and a safe Bank Holiday to all.

  14. I thought this was taking me longer than it should until l did spot the link and finished very quickly.Some good fun and l really enjoyed the Quick puzzle.Thanks to all.

  15. Don’t know how I managed to miss the obvious connection but I did! Rattled through this one at a fair speed and came up with 20a as my favourite.

    Thanks to Campbell for a gentle start to the crossword week and to Pommers for the review – hope you’ve got some sun-cream on those legs!

  16. Neither did I spot the Ts. I looked for loads of things that weren’t there like, pangram, Nina etc but never thought of looking at the first letters. I struggled with 19d, which was a shame because the answer was right there in the clue. I thought 11a was clever and this is my COTD with 7a and 4d close runners up.

    Grateful thanks to the setter and Pommers.

    1. SC,
      New Avatar title?
      Goodbye lockdown
      “There’s a whole world out there just waiting for ME”.

      1. It’s Hudson after he had been sick for about four days. This is the first day he felt better and. yep, he is raring to go.

        It’s not the picture I want because I have a clearer one but Gravatar is not playing ball at the moment.

        I would love to take on “Goodbye Lockdown” but I am still in lockdown for a while longer being in the “severely at risk” category. :cry:

          1. Oh, he knows it!
            I have to say he’s the best if the six black labs I have owned.

            1. I’ve had six too: three blacks, two yellows and a chocolate. I can’t tell you I have a fave but the chocolate had a something that was hard to pinpoint, loved him so much.

  17. A friendly and enjoyable start to the non-work week. No surprise that I missed all the Ts in the Acrosses and the ‘floating’ N in 5d with the original clue. Completed at a fast gallop – 1.5*/3.5*.
    No standout favourites.
    Thanks to Campbell and pommers.

  18. It’s not that I’m particularly observant that I spotted the T’s, it’s because of the way I approach the solving process. I always go through the across clues in order and then the downs before jumping about to take advantage of the checkers I’ve generated. So when I’d filled in four of the acrosses I couldn’t help but notice they all begin with T and I thought the odds on that were just too high for it to be a coincidence. Knowing that all the answers were to begin with a T made the across clues very easy to crack.

    1. I approach a puzzle the same way – across followed by down in order. However, I am so pleased at solving a few clues I wouldn’t even think of looking at the first letters.

      I will from now on! :grin:

    2. I too read the across clues in order followed by the downs in order and repeat until solved. I never notice anything about puzzles grids ninas unches until it is pointed out to me.

  19. Completely missed the fact that all the answers to the across clues began with the same letter. Many thanks to the setter and to Pommers.

  20. Didn’t find this as easy as the rest of you seemed to.
    Had to use pommers’s magnificent hints for 3d and 11a.
    Didn’t notice the Ts either.
    Maybe Mondays just aren’t my day…….
    Enjoyed it nevertheless .

    Keep safe

    Thanks to Pommers and to the setter

  21. An enjoyable crossword. I started with 26a, 7a and 9a and then the downs so didn’t notice the Ts either. Re “flamboyant” I could only wonder whether there was a tenuous connection with man of letters for scholar – apparently not as it turns out. I liked 11a and 19d. Thanks to the compiler and Pommers.

  22. Needless to say I didn’t spot the Ts (what a tease this setter is!). I also did not notice that scholar was wrong. I was so confident having got the two main constituents that I did not spot the rest did not parse. Very enjoyable but still at the high end of the 1* range for me. Only hold up was 25a which then became one of my favourites. 11a seems to be popular with most and that together with 8d were my top favourites together with 7a 1, 19 and 21d. Thanks Setter and to our man in Spain for the hints.

  23. I expected everyone to comment on the theme today. Maybe it’s because the DT back pager usually doesn’t have one……
    I’m wondering how many of us routinely do the quickie, which I always do as a warm up and was positively littered with the relevant letter ( see how easy it is to do……..) That was a laugh and I was a bit thrilled to get the same in the Cryptic.

    Having said that, this took me longer than I expected overall. I struggled to see the obvious corks reference in 15a, probably because I also suffered with many possibilities of 13d – ditto the 18d/22a combo and faffed around for a bit trying to get an anagram out of defector……….
    I also liked a lot of the entertaining (and sometimes dubious) surfaces.
    All in all, a bit of a lark.

  24. I very much enjoyed this light and ‘lurker-less’ puzzle. I couldnt fully parse 5d (I buy the newspaper) but with the checkers, and the flat and lad accounted for what else could it be, so pleased to see it cleared up.
    Podium places go to 7 and 20a plus 1d.
    Many thanks to the setter, and to our 3d for an excellent review.

  25. Not difficult but somehow not that enjoyable either. Some of the clues were a little clumsy and some overly complicated.
    Just an OK puzzle for me.
    Thx to all

  26. Hola Pommers,
    It’s a hot sunny day in Cheadle. Lots of people wearing legs.
    As you say once you can fill most of the across clues the rest is straightforward.
    I liked 11A.
    Enjoyable, I agree with your ratings.
    My thanks to you, Setter & B. D.


    D.D. (Ex. 18 Waverley Drive) Hasta Pronto

  27. Tackling this tormenting twister took this terrible twosome through the tasty terrine tabled today therefore thanks to thee.

        1. You do? I once got a right earful from a lady whom I was unwise enough to say that to.

  28. Fairly straight forward Monday offering made all the more easier knowing it was highly likely that the As and a lot of the Ds would start with a T. Some well constructed clues but my COTD 11a. Thanks to the setter and Pommers for the blog.

  29. Daisygirl says it all. Most enjoyable, and many thanks for help from my FlyingFox mate.

  30. I have given up as, not for the first time recently, I got an error message halfway through on the iPad and even now cannot get back in. I could scrap the app and reload it but I cannot be bothered. My wife has the same problem on a regular basis, and her tablet is a month old. This new Telegraph app is abysmal. The iPad often freezes up as well. It only ever happens when in the Telegraph. Does anyone else suffer from these annoying glitches?

    Thanks to Campbell for what was briefly a fun puzzle and to pommers for the enlightenment.

    1. I don’t have technical problems with the iPad as far as the crossword goes, but I have problems in reading the Telegraph generally. Having read a page, then scan across a few pages using icons, trying to select another item to read further on puts me back on the page where I started!
      Tried reloading?

      1. I have problems too on my iPad. Since they updated the online version Some months ago I find I start off fine with both crosswords but then it slows down until sometimes coming to complete halt. I thought maybe when the font changed mysteriously a few days ago it might improve, but if anything it’s got worse.
        While I’m here I’ll comment on today’s puzzle. I’ve not commented in a while as I seem to be a day behind most of the time. Not sure why as should have a lot more time on my hands at the moment! I enjoyed this, not too tricky but fun to complete. Didn’t spot the T theme at all. Duh!
        Glad to see everyone here is keeping well and safe.

    2. Print it out. This costs a small amount in subs. but it saves the hassle of working on the screen!

  31. Good simple fun today but missed the across clues theme – never seen this before!

  32. Lighthearted, non-convoluted and amusing R&W in the sunshine. Thanks al! !

  33. Excellent – got stuck in the SE with 3 clues, went off to play golf in the hot sunshine, and returned to finish off with no difficulty. Didn’t notice the tease of the T’s but enjoyed it very much 2*/3*. Thanks to both.

  34. Totally thought this teaser terrific. Never spotted the across clues connection. Over too quickly but enjoyable. Flamboyant had to be correct but thanks for sorting the clue to make it parse. Thanks also to Campbell and Pommers for a pleasant start to the week.

  35. Really enjoyed this a nice crossword for a Monday, got the many grey cells i posses ticking over.

    Stay safe everyone!

  36. We loved this, completely missed the Ts, favourite clue 11a. Thanks to crypticsue for sorting out the errant n, also to setter and Pommers.

  37. For some reason I didn’t particularly enjoy this. I didn’t spot the T pattern, so clearly not firing on all cylinders yet. Didn’t know the word for Gypsy man, assume from the hint that it is Rom, short for Romany. Never seen this before. And I had forgotten that steak, it is called a Porterhouse over here. And of course the sports related 20a totally eluded me. So not my best effort. Thanks to setter and Pommers. Hopefully I will do better at the bonus cryptic 605 later on.

    1. Thanks for reminding me of the bonus puzzle, I’ll print it off. Is your lake full yet? My pool is up to the gunwales!

    2. 605 was quite benign today, I thought. Mind you, I only got 95% of it correct.

  38. I find your puzzles hugely entertaining, Campbell, it also made for an amusing blog, so many clever clogs.
    Of course I missed the Ts, I’ve got the attention span of a gnat, I get too distracted.
    I loved it, it was well within my solving abilities. Faves were all the turtles.
    Thanks to you Campbell for the fun, and to pommers for his review. Also thanks for Coconut Airways, one of my faves, catchy tune. Those Bajans always say “dagree” and “Barbaydas”.

  39. A bit tricky in places but a pleasant solve not to hard not to difficult. Thank goodness for Roget andthe BRB. Beautiful day in NC popped down to Boscastle very quiet.
    Thanks to Pommers and setter

  40. Very enjoyable solve today. Re 20a I may be a thick as the proverbial pair of planks but is a terrapin an animal? I always thought it was a reptile. Many thanks to the setter and to Pommers.

    1. Rod
      My recollection, checked with Mr G, reptiles are animals in the sub class reptilia.

      1. True. An animal is any multicellular creature living an independent life so includes, reptiles, insects and birds.

        Well that’s how I see it. Didn’t we discuss this a few weeks back?

    2. It is true that a bird is not a cow. Neither is a crow an earwig. The only thing they have in common is that they are all animals.

      1. Thank you one and all for the clarification. I obviously do have an affinity with that pair of length- challenged planks.

        I hope you are all keeping well and surviving lock-down without too much trauma.

  41. Thoroughly enjoyed this puzzle, although I did need the helpful hints for a few, but that’s par for the course for me. Didn’t spot the T’s until I read the blog, no surprise there then. Thanks to Campbell and Pommers.

  42. Enjoyed this fun crossword immensely. A pretty quick solve once the across clue similarity ‘twigged’!! Not too taxing on the grey matter this morning and overall a fun breakfast puzzle to work on. No real favourite clues but did like 6d & 22d.

    Thanks to setter and pommels

  43. I am another who failed to notice the common starts across. but the puzzle was a fun solve anyway. 11a and 20a got the biggest laughs. I also noticed Amin across the middle and wondered if he was the subject of 17a.
    I didn’t need a hint today but a lovely blog and I will read all the comments after tea.
    Thanks to pommers ( put those knees away) and setter.

  44. Now I can’t even do a one star puzzle, I should be getting better, not worse. It must be about a month since I was able to complete a back-pager.
    Laughable to think that a few months ago I volunteered to do the hints!
    Thanks all.

    1. I’d give up the Graun malarkey Hoofit, it’s probably leading you astray

    2. Hoofs
      I read one of your comments recently. From my experience it can be difficult to solve even the easier puzzles when other thoughts keep interfering with your concentration. (not necessarily the Graun or the plight of the Lions).
      You’ll get back I’m sure

    3. Hey, Hoofs you have always given fair comment on here. You’ll get your mojo back. Go back to enjoying the back-pager without volunteering to do the hints. If I ever did that I would freeze and go into a permanent coma!

  45. Brilliant and funny blog today. Blog as good as or perhaps even better than the puzzle itself! If we had spotted the gimmick we probably wouldn’t have put crumhorn for seven across. And we were feeling so smug about knowing that ancient instrument.

    1. I wanted to put trumpet for 7 across as I thought the steak was rump. Luckily I couldn’t as not the right number of letters. Trombone was obvious when I had the checkers but I had no idea why. As soon as I typed the letters in I could see it and hence I thought it was an excellent clue. I have found that since I started the digital version it is much easier to spot the constituent parts than it was when I wrote in my scruffy handwriting.

      1. Oh Weekend Wanda! At last someone else who understands just how much of a Godsend the digital version is.

        1. It’s almost worth a pandemic to discover it. All the times I have struggled with the paper in the train or on St Mawes beach. Not forgetting the times I went to 6 shops before finding the DT and, when I did, that shop didn’t take vouchers. Missing the paper and the crossword when abroad. Deciding who gets the paper when husband and I are staying in different places, a not infrequent situation and so on! I expect you are missing a Cornish holiday around now?

  46. Where do I start? Never spotted all the T’s and couldn’t understand why some thought reptiles weren’t animals! Hey ho! Generally enjoyable crossword, would have been better if I’d been doing it down the pub as I used to. Never heard of a rom. Favourite 11a. Thanks to Campbell and Pommers.

  47. A bit late in the day but the Isle of Man TT races were originally due to start later this week but have predictably been cancelled due to coronavirus. Perhaps that is the significance of the T theme.
    Most, but not all, of the down answers have a T in.

    Sorry if someone has already suggested this. An interesting twist.

    Thanks to the enterprising setter and Pommers.

    1. You might well be right about the origin of the T theme, I’d completely forgotten that the TT week was supposed to start today. As a self confessed petrolhead I should have twigged that, D’oh!

  48. I’m a little surprised that so few of you noticed that every across clue, in both this puzzle and the quickie, all started with a T. Oh well, I always miss ninas and I usually miss themes unless they’re so obvious that it’s like a smack round the face with a wet haddock.

    Off to bed now so see you all in a couple of weeks.

    1. Sorry to be a disappointment to you. Are/were you a schoolteacher by any chance?

    1. A chestnut means the answer, probably with variations on the cluing, occurs often – one of the uses of chestnut usually in reference to a joke or a story.

    2. As Senf says. We usually say an “old chestnut”. For example you hear a joke that is funny but you’ve heard it many times before.

  49. 2*/3*…..
    liked 14A ” reptile in store — it desperately gulps oxygen (8) “…feel a tad sorry for the animal though.

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