DT 29384 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29384

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29384

Hints and tips by pommers

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty * Enjoyment ***

Hola from the Vega Baja where summer seems to have been suspended for today.  It’s a bit chilly this morning and I can hear a rumble or two of thunder in the distance.  Normal service is due to be restored on Wednesday.

As to the puzzle, well it didn’t put up much of a fight. I got eight of the acrosses and then twelve of the downs on first pass so the horses didn’t even prick up their ears.  My only pause was with 16d where I couldn’t believe that -A-C-D-G could be correct so I spent a bit of time checking my across answers before the penny dropped.  I don´t think many of you will be requiring any hints today.

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.

Across

1a           26 at hop around two hours before midnight (10)
ATTENDANCE:  You need to have the answer to 26a for this one although the word has a different meaning here.  It’s the AT from the clue and another word for a hop or ball placed around the time two hours before midnight.  I’m not keen on clues that can’t be solved without the answer to another clue.

6a           Fruit fleshy, reduced (4)
PLUM:  A word meaning fleshy or chubby without its last letter (reduced).

9a           Distinctive  person (10)
INDIVIDUAL:  Double definition.

10a         Guy to miss start of march taking place soon (4)
ANON:  A word for a guy, as in a male person, without its M (to miss start of March) followed by a word meaning taking place or happening.

12a         Sappers become weary, go to bed (6)
RETIRE:  The usual two letters for the sappers followed by a word meaning to become weary.

13a         An advocate by day, that woman in a tent, scratching head (8)
ADHERENT:  Start with the A from the clue and ENT (Tent scratching head).  Into this insert (in) a D(ay) and a word meaning that woman.

15a         & 18 Across Long-running show  song (3,5,2,2,1,11)
WHO WANTS TO BE A MILLIONAIRE:  Double definition.  The show is a long running quiz show on television.  Here’s the song . . .

18a         See 15 Across

21a         Huge reduction in fuel that’s mined (8)
COLOSSAL:  A word for a reduction inserted into (in) some black fuel that’s mined.

22a         Sophisticated city, European (6)
URBANE:  A word which can mean city, as in city life, followed by E(uropean).

24a         Slightly wet in Amsterdam, perhaps (4)
DAMP:  A lurker hiding in (in) Amsterdam perhaps.

25a         Stinging insect squashed by most angry ruminant (10)
WILDEBEEST: An insect that has a sting is inserted into (squashed by) a word which could mean most angry or most riotous.

26a         Barrier in former London prison, not new (4)
GATE:  Take a famous London prison, closed in 1902, and remove the NEW (not new).  I believe the Old Bailey now stands on the site of this prison.

27a         Traders — I’ve upset one located on Madison Avenue, maybe (10)
ADVERTISER:  Anagram (upset) of TRADERS IVE.

Down

1d           A change involving one enclosure for birds (6)
AVIARY:  Take the A from the clue and a word meaning change or alter and insert (involving) the letter that looks like a number one.

2d           What single person might want until now? (2,4)
TO DATE:  This could be a double definition.  It’s a phrase meaning until now and it could also be something that a single person may want to do.

3d           Elves sent her out anyway (12)
NEVERTHELESS:  Anagram (out) of ELVES SENT HER.

4d           Assistant in a team lacking leadership (4)
AIDE:  The A from the clue and another word for a team but without its first letter (lacking leadership).

5d           Apprehensive admitting girl makes wine (10)
CHARDONNAY:  Take a word meaning apprehensive (5) and insert a five letter girl’s name.

7d           Behold, through window, legendary knight … (8)
LANCELOT:  The usual two letters for behold or look inserted into a type of window gives one of the Knights of the Round Table.

8d           … troubadour in street protected by Merlin somehow (8)
MINSTREL:  Two letters for street inserted into (protected by) an anagram (somehow) of MERLIN.

11d         Dish erstwhile bar concocted (5,7)
WELSH RAREBIT:  Anagram (concocted) of ERSTWHILE BAR.

14d         Pair took in wad, anxious to secure folio (3,2,1,4)
TWO OF A KIND:  An anagram (anxious?) of TOOK IN WAD with an F(olio) inserted (to secure).  I’ve never seen anxious used as an anagram indicator but I guess it works.

16d         Look to follow Ofwat, say (8)
WATCHDOG:  A word meaning to look or spectate followed by a word meaning to follow or tail.

17d         Envoy‘s graduation certificate required on top of those (8)
DIPLOMAT:  A graduation certificate followed by (on in a down clue) the first letter of (top of) Those.

19d         Shows concern over son’s pet (6)
CARESS:  A word meaning shows concern followed by (over in a down clue) an S(on).

20d         Derisive remark about extremely stout clown (6)
JESTER:  A word for a derisive remark or taunt placed around the first and last letters (extremely) from StouT.

23d         Club losing wickets, and advantage (4)
EDGE:  A type of golf club without (losing) the letter for wicket in cricket notation.

My favourite was 16d with 23d and 24a on the podium but all the clues a pretty good.


Quick crossword pun:  MOW     +     HEAT     +     OWES     =     MOJITOS
If there’s a pun in the bottom line I can’t see it.

128 comments on “DT 29384
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  1. Nicely Mondayish, with an old friend or two and an earworm to boot!

    Thanks to the setter and to Pommers – summer seems to have been so last month – blooming cold here today, I’m back in a wooly jumper :(

      1. In the Sainsbury’s queue on Saturday morning, there was a man in T shirt and shorts who told me he didn’t like to be hot – there isn’t a lot between the Sainsbury’s car park and the sea, and with a chilly north-easterly blowing, he was starting to turn blue before he actually got inside the store!

        1. I had the same conversation outside Waitrose (Click and Collect) recently with a man in shorts and t-shirt but he said he was regretting his choice of gear as the wind howled around us!

          1. Resolved to swap shorts for “long trousers” until September out. Yesterday”s max of 9C/48F and rain tested my resolve. Today’s 11C & sun a bit better.
            Remember when graduating to long trousers at school was a rite of passage.

        2. A few years back, we were in Estes Park, Colorado (where they filmed The Shining). As it was snowing quite heavily, and some of the roads were closed, we stopped by a coffee shop for some hot chocolate drinks. In walked a couple in shorts and flip flops… and it wasn’t us.

    1. I wore a thermal on the golf course today & was glad I did. At least with the cold you can wrap up but on Saturday out walking I got caught in heavy rain, thunder & a lot of lightning – not a pleasant experience.

  2. Not a struggle for me and would have been within ** time had it not been for 16d. If I had not switched off the timer and resorted to cheating this could have well held me up for a very long time. I thought the answer should be acronym which was clearly not correct so, barking up the wrong tree, I was looking for a synonym of acronym. I could have kicked myself as it was of course possible to build up. I had a few favourites but I will just go with one from each side – 25a and 16d once I had got it! Thank you setter and you Pommers. I may come back when I have checked some of the parsing from your hints. Sounds like your weather is not dissimilar to ours.

  3. Like Pommers I found this light and enjoyable.
    Though the answer was obvious I’d never heard of the synonym for anxious in 5d. Also I suppose “f” must be an accepted abbreviation for ‘folio” re 14d.
    Podium places go to the simple 10a, where it was good to see ‘guy’ used in the conventonal sense, 22a (lovely word) and 25a.
    Excellent Quickie Pun too.
    1.5/3*…..
    Many thanks to the setter and to Pommers (loved the Donna Summer clip)

  4. No difficulty with this one. Entertaining whilst it lasted. I don’t like clues that rely on the answer to another one either but 1a was decipherable without the prison. Cold here on the South Kent coast too. Have we had summer now? Favourite 25a. Thanks to all.

  5. This went in very smoothly until I got to 15a and 18a. I thought that the setter might have forgotten it was a cryptic puzzle. Since I have never watched the TV show with this title, the double meaning passed me by. I am not a musicals fan so it took me ages to get it. So my rating is **/**. Thanks to Pommers for enlightening me. Hope the weather perks up as predicted. Thanks to the setter. Keep safe and well everyone.

  6. Fast and clever and enjoyable, but 16d continues to bewilder me, even though I solved the clue with no problem (except clearly relating it to Ofwat). I guess it would help, even after googling it, if we in the USA had such a facility, which must be kind of like our OSHA. After finishing the puzzle last night, I find myself still humming and actually singing some of those great Cole Porter lyrics from High Society (Sinatra doing the honours no less!). Top choices today: 1a/26a, 25a, & 8d. Thanks to pommers and the Monday setter. ** / ***

    1. Great movie, I’ve got the DVD, must watch it again, I need some frivolity in my world right now! Great cast, Celeste Holm, remember them?

  7. I did not find this as straightforward as pommers but it was still a very comfortable puzzle to solve. I liked 16d the best, and it is always a pleasure to hear Sinatra sing that song from a favourite movie. We have builders working on an extension at the moment so that may be why my concentration lapsed as the contract says they have to have Radio 1 blasting out at all times.

    Thanks to our Monday setter for a fun and enjoyable challenge and to pommers.

    1. I sympathise about the radio issue. Once I was awoken in the middle.of the night by a radio left by a builder on the roof, and had to go up a ladder with a torch to switch it off!

  8. 2*/3* for a light but enjoyable start to the week.

    A couple of questions:
    13a – isn’t “an” surplus to requirements?
    16d – doesn’t to “watch” mean to “look at” not simply “look”?

    And a raised eyebrow for 5d. The good news for my blood pressure is that we haven’t seen one of these girls for quite a while.

    With plenty of possible choices for favourite, 22a just about noses in front on the finishing line.

    Many thanks to Campbell and to pommers.

    1. I wondered that re 13a RD, and came to the conclusion that it was there to indicate a noun rather than ‘advocate’ as a verb, but I agree, its unnecessary.
      Can’t see much wrong with 16d though!

    2. 13a Yes, the clue works just a well without the an. I just decided to include the an in the definition.

      16d Agree with you there. It’s possibly why it took a while for my penny to drop.

      5d was one of the ones I missed on first pass but once the checkers were in it became obvious.

      Not 100% sure this is from Campbell. There’s no bottom line pun that I can see and somehow it didn’t feel quite right for one of his.

      1. Surely ‘Look/watch out!’, or a demonstration ‘Look/watch, I’ll show you’ passes the word substitution test

  9. Solved alone and unaided and could parse all the answers, so a hurrah day for me.

    Thanks to Pommers and to the setter for a good start to the week.

    Stay safe everyone and best wishes to all who are unwell.

  10. Very gentle start to the week although I did spend a minute debating the plural in 23d. Thanks to Pommers and today’s setter.

  11. Lovely way to start the “working” week. NE was last corner to yield. Surely one located on Madison Avenue is not the 27a but rather their client is. 15a/18a reminds me of my very favourite movie of all time due to Ol’ Blue Eyes. Thank you Mysteron and Pommers. Altogether great clues but no outstanding Fav.

  12. We are all getting so in tune that not a lot is fooling us anymore. Thanks to Campbell especially for not including a second pun which leads to lots of muttering three words over and over again in different accents and stresses like deranged maniacs all to no avail. Thanks to Pommers. Rather you than me. I’ll be eating pork pie with mustard and supping on a pint of bitter at 1.15pm in remembrance of my dear pal John Thompson. Way to go John. Thanks for all the good times

  13. Nice warm up for the week ahead. I’m laughing about the reports of people turning blue in Sainsburys. Winter is eight days old here in BNE and it was 24 degrees. Numerous candidates for COTD; I’m giving it to 16d as it required a bit of research, Ofwat🤔. Thanks to the setter and Pommers🦇

  14. Bright and breezy today – both the puzzle and the weather here. My only hold up was trying to fit an actual city into 22a so that clue gets a place on the podium along with 25a and 14d because the latter always reminds me of Eric and Ernie.
    I’m sure we’ve seen 1a quite recently?

    Thanks to Campbell and to Pommers for the review – I’m sure you’ll be sporting those shorts again very soon.

    1. And me with city Jane it was obvious it couldn’t be Prague but I just couldn’t get it out of my head.

      1. Hi Janie,
        Time can be such an abstract notion. It should read 1* for difficultly, which, in a way, is linked to the time you spend solving. The easier it is, the faster you are at completing.
        To some, a star refers to the time it takes to drink a cup of tea.
        I used to count in washing cycles.
        The shortest being a cold wash with no spin cycle and the longest a 90• with prewash and at least two rinses.

        1. Thanks Jean -Luc. I sometimes do the crossword on the tube to Sloane Square from Chiswick which is about half an hour – is that one star do you think?

  15. Everything was fine until I got to 15a/18a. I thought that I was in the wrong crossword. I can always take a bit of Fred Astaire though. Many thanks to Campbell and to Pommers.

  16. Another very pleasant offering from Campbell to start the week off, completed at a fast gallop – **/****.
    Candidates for favourite – 26a/1a, 9a, 25a, and 2d – and the winner is 25a.
    Thanks to Campbell and pommers.

    1. I have become enlightened since reading the hints. For 15 & 18a I was looking for the name of a long-running show at a theatre, but eventually with the checkers realised the answer was a game show. I did not, however, remember the song title. This is opposite to others who remember the song but not the show! It matters not, we all got there. I do have a problem with adherent as a synonym for advocate (n). As formerly one of the latter I never regarded myself as such and in my old edition of the BRB neither is given as a synonym of the other. The nearest is that under Scots Law adhere can mean confirming a judgment, so in that case perhaps a Judge would be the adherent. Perhaps I am being too pedantic as with the checkers in place the answer was obvious.

        1. Thanks! Glad it’s not just me. Adherent Or adhere comes up fairly frequently I think but not with that definition

      1. I too bunged in 13a as that was clearly the answer but couldn’t see how it fit. However when I checked the thesaurus it did give that as a synonym. But I still would not interchange one with the other. An advocate, in my mind, is someone in favour of something, whereas a 13a is someone who abides by something. Not quite the same thing.

  17. This puzzle is my sort of level so naturally I enjoyed solving it, unaided.
    My favourites are 1a and 16d – like Pommers I had -a-c-d-g for 16d and thought I had gone astray somewhere, then it clicked.
    No paperweights required in the garden.
    Waiting for an Amazon Prime Now grocery delivery ‘between 13:00 and 15:00’ so excitement is unabated here, obviously.
    Thanks to Campbell and Pommers.

  18. A nice easy lunchtime exercise helped down with a glass of bubbly – it is our 63 wedding anniversary (I was only 3 when we wed and yes, I CAN still do the splits). Never thought that finishing the crossword unaided would be the highlight of the day, but it is! Many thanks to all.

          1. Golly bongs indeed. Got the card from the Queen to prove it too. George says you don’t get such a long sentence for murder!

            1. My very good friends celebrated their 60th anniversary last week & when I said to her that it was like 3 stiff sentences in chokey without remission she replied “you can say that again” with perhaps a little too much conviction.
              Congratulations from me also.

    1. I thought pommette and I were doing well when we got to 44 years last Friday but you’re in a different league!

    2. 63 years! As someone who thinks he’s in a long term relationship if it lasts six months, I raise my hat to you both.
      Many congratulations!

    3. Congratulations Daisygirl.
      I love that number. Not only it’s my birth year but it’s also my weight, in kilos of course and for the last 37 years.

  19. Ooh – haven’t seen a 1* for ages, if ever – I know that I’ve never done a crossword in that time.
    I sat up and took a bit of notice when I saw the combination of letters in 16d and, like pommers, assumed one was wrong but it wasn’t.
    I can’t spell 5d and if it hadn’t been for the stinging insect in 25a would probably have messed that up too.
    I liked 9 and 24a and 16 and 20d.
    Thanks to whoever set this one and to pommers.
    Not very warm but not cold either in Oxford but still too dry – off to the garden now.

  20. Nice Monday romp with plenty to eat and drink. I have just had a nice cheese delivery so I will be snacking on 11d for a while.
    16 and 17d were last to fall today and both went with a bit of a clunk as I was about to reach for the Thesaurus.
    My inner Bee goes for 25a as COTD today but lots of contenders.
    I shall be raising a glass to Mama Bee who 58 years ago today had me !🍷🎂🍻

    Thanks to pommers and Campbell.

    1. Thanks for the good wishes I have a nice bottle of Talisker to raise when the hour is appropriate (Now seems appropriate)
      Fellow Geminians, Daisygirl, and Ulysses’ good friend will get a nod as will all the commentariat here. 🥃

      1. Happy Birthday JB, sounds like you’ve got it sorted – I’ll join you and raise a wee Glenmorangie later

        1. LbR not good to report the men of Tain still not producing their finest. Could be a shortage in 10 year’s time!

      2. You can add me to that list JB – I beat you to that age on the last day of May.
        Happy birthday & enjoy your island malt – a nice drop

  21. Must be me, found this really tricky, at least a *** for difficulty. Even when i got the answer many i just could not parse.
    Could not get on this setters wavelength at all.
    Thx for the hints
    ***/*

    1. Brian – your experience echoes mine but just not today. I agree that it is such a lot about being on the same wavelength as the setter. Sometime I see comments like “Finished it in mere minutes!” when I have been scratching my head for hours…

  22. Nice start to the week as others have said. Nothing too taxing, but it was more 2* difficulty for me rather than Pommers’ 1*.

    Last one in, 5d. I’m not very good at wines so I can’t think of a lot of alternatives. I ended up getting it by concentrating on the apprehensive bit.

    Very enjoyable. Many thanks to the setter and Pommers.

  23. Agree with straightforward with pommers et al at * time. I would qualify that: in some ways I think “star time” is personal. What is * for pommers is just represents a shorter time., I certainly could not take much less time than today’s.
    Very pleasant whilst it lasted. Thought 15a/18a more suited to GK though.
    Thanks to setter & pommers.

  24. Managed to complete the puzzle unaided – a first for me. Couldn’t have done this without the excellent guidance from this site.
    Thanks to Pommers and the setter.
    Also, thanks for the Frank Sinatra and Celeste Holm clip.

  25. Good enjoyable Monday fare with 25a probably being my favourite today.
    I’m just back from my postprandial walk, just to the north of Glasgow. It was quite warm in shorts and a polo shirt…..😎
    Thanks, as always, to all involved.

  26. Completed this one very early this morning. Other than 15&18a the answers fell almost immediately then for some reason (maybe insufficient coffee & still half asleep) I temporarily forgot the 2 were connected & was trying to solve with 15a only.
    No issues with any of the clues and overall the usual standard straightforward Monday fare with 25a the clear pick of the clues for me.
    Thanks to the setter & Pommers for the review.

  27. I seemed to be on the same wave length as the setter, I liked 1a and 7d but 15 & 18 across made me smile as I like watching the film. Many thanks to the setter and to Pommers.

    TTFN

  28. ***/***. Sailed thru this until I got to the SE corner which held me up for ages. Thanks to Campbell and Pommers. Congrats to all those having anniversaries. 63 years of marriage takes the biscuit!

    1. OFWAT is a British government body concerned with the water supply. It is the economic regulator of the water sector in England and Wales and acts as a watchdog to protect the interests of consumers. 2nd definition from Chambers applies here
      watchdog noun
      1 a dog kept to guard premises, etc. 2 a person or organization that guards against unacceptable standards, inefficiency or illegality, etc in governmental or commercial operations by closely monitoring their procedures.

      Maybe this is a bit obscure for US readers but it is a UK based crossword.

  29. Pretty good today at first glance it looked like a stinker, how wring could I have been. Solutions fairly flowed. A nice start to the week.
    Rain,sun etc = lawn mowing dead heading and greenhouse duties.
    Thanks to Pommers and setter.

  30. Congratulations to LetterBoxRoy, Prolixic, KiwiColin and Mr Kitty all of whom achieved podium places in the Weekly Clue-Writing Contest in the Telegraph Puzzles Newsletter.

    1. Thanks Gazza, hadn’t seen that until you mentioned it – a very pleasing podium so congratulations to all
      ‘Apple sauce’ is going to present a bit more of a challenge though, I think

  31. A bit late on parade today. I wasn’t able to pay much attention to today’s puzzle because of this that and the other but have just finished it. I found it difficult but I think this is mainly because my concentration was taken up by other things. Having said that, I got there in the end and the were some cracking clues. I especially liked the 15 and 18a combination but my COTD is 25a.

    Grateful thanks to the setter for the puzzle and to Pommers for the hints.

  32. Didn’t know the long running show was also a song.
    Only got it once I had enough checking letters.
    The rest was quite straightforward.
    Good fun.
    Thanks to the setter and to Pommers for the review.
    Summer only begins on June 21st.
    Good things come to those who wait as Guinness would say.

  33. A nice one. All went in fairly smoothly, although with several bung-ins which I was then able to parse. No problem with 16d once I had reminded myself what Ofwat is, as we don’t have such a body. Convinced that 15/18a was a theatre show until I worked out what the fourth word must be (no pun intended). Never watched the show but did watch the recent series about it, which was quite entertaining.

  34. Good that we had a friendly puzzle today as I was late starting, then I had a visitor just checking up on me.
    Very enjoyable, loved the reminder of that fun movie and the clip.
    The Owfat totally confused me but what else could it be with those checkers? Last one in.
    Fave was 22a, lovely word, with 25a runner up.
    Thanks to Campbell, maybe, and to pommers for his review.

  35. What a lovely start to the week. Thanks to setter and Pommers. Could do with more like this one. Almost had it done, but then had to go and get ultra sound and cortisone shot. Home again, and rest went in. Favourite clue was 11a as we love that. Best is from Betty’s in York, served with apple chutney. But I do make my own version a couple of times a month here. And my own version of their delicious chutney. Saving the bonus 607 cryptic until tomorrow, in case that one is a stinker.

  36. As with most other commentators, except Brian obviously, I’m in the “straightforward but enjoyable” camp today. Favourite is going to be 8d as it reminded me of dear old John Hardy, a larger than life character who, in the days when I used to hawk my guitar around the local pubs turning up unannounced and unpaid, used to call me the troubadour. Manny thanks to the setter and Pommers. I’m currently being plagued with silent calls on my mobile, all apparently 02 numbers with consecutive last digits. I’ve blocked most of them but they keep coming, I’ve just had another one now. Anyone else having the same problem?

  37. A fun puzzle for a Monday but not in 1* time … more like ** and *** for enjoyment. Got stuck in SE over several words. Some nice clues though including 1a, 21a, 25a, 2d & 20d and the winner is 21a
    Thanks to setter and Pommers for the couple of hints I ended up using.

  38. I tried this last night but got nowhere. Possibly because I had one more glass of wine before, well in these straightened times it would be irresponsible to waste it now wouldn’t it?
    Today we drove from Marmora to Wendover, the other side of Ottawa. I haven’t left the house since February 7th except to go for a CT scan and to see my GP and one quick trip to drop off a pair of paintings I had done for a friend. Today we were dropping off Christmas presents from our eldest son (Toronto) to our youngest son (Wendover), yes I know it is June! We spent 10 minutes with youngest son and then drove back. 7 hour round trip but it was lovely, not too much traffic, perfect weather and Hwy 7 (the Trans-Canada-Highway) was so pretty.
    Got home and tackled the crossword and it has really started to fall into place. Not quite done, hopefully will not have to resort to extra clues but who knows. Really like 11 down and 25 across.
    Stay well everyone.

  39. This was too hard for me as usual for a Monday. I don’t think I have ever finished a Monday crossword. Easily the most difficult day of the week.
    Thanks all.

  40. I’m with you on that HYD. For me there doesn’t seem to be any solving pattern emerging during lockdown days but attempting to solve daily crosswords with clues and reading the comments is a big highlight of my day. So don’t be dispirited- I’m not, just hoping solving magic will happen soon. Lots of thanks to setter and Pommers and all commentators. It’s lovely to have a snapshot of life around the world.

  41. Agree with comments about user friendliness for the most part, but had to come back this morning to the crossword and then to the blog for 17d (🤦🏼‍♀️) and 22a – completely off wavelength with that one. Still don’t understand the definition for 27a. If anyone’s still following could they explain?

  42. 1 Across – I found the 26 in the clue really confusing, since the clue already had ‘at hop’ in which to insert the ten – I could see no connection with ‘gate’.

    1. You’ve used a new alias since your last comment so this one needed moderation. All three aliases will work from now on.
      Gate means attendance at a sporting event, e.g. ‘The gate at today’s match was 12,000’ – gate being the count of the number of paying supporters who have gone through the turnstiles.

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