DT 29389 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29389

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29389

A full review by crypticsue

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This puzzle was published on 13th June 2020

BD Rating – Difficulty *Enjoyment ****

It was obvious fairly early on to guess which setter was responsible for this Saturday Prize Puzzle, which pleased me no end as I do like solving his crosswords. However, as he didn’t turn up to take ownership of the crossword, I wonder if both Tilsit and I were barking up the wrong tree? Either way, an enjoyable time was had both solving and reviewing the crossword.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


2a    Energetic man on board one pumped up for event (6,6)
BOUNCY CASTLE – BOUNCY (energetic) CASTLE (man on [chess] board) – “a castle being an old-fashioned, rarely used now, possibly incorrect term for a Rook” – this has to be one of Rabbit Dave’s “howlers” as he’d say ‘definitely incorrect’ unlike the chess ‘expert’ whose words I have quoted here

8a    Song Frau von Trapp won’t start (4)
ARIA – Frau Von Trapp’s first name was mARIA from which the start or first letter should be removed

9a    Dark treacle in short while found by girls (8)
MOLASSES – MO (moment, short while) LASSES (girls)

10a    Gifts bestowed in important letter read out? (8)
LARGESSE – Sounds like (read out) a LARGE (important) S (letter)

11a    I’m about to stay in the same place (6)
IBIDEM – IM (from the clue) goes ‘about’ BIDE (stay)

12a    Amazing sunspot due to explode (10)
STUPENDOUS – An anagram (to explode) of SUNSPOT DUE

13a    Colossus inspiring current painter (6)
TITIAN – TITAN (colossus) ‘inspiring’ I (electrical current)

16a    Firm embracing socialist principles (5)
CREDO – CO (company, firm) ’embracing’ RED (socialist)

17a    Dad! Look at muscular mariner! (6)
POPEYE – POP (dad) EYE (look at)

18a    Go for replanted forest where domestic growth high? (4,6)
ROOF GARDEN – An anagram (replanted) of GO FOR followed by the Forest of ARDEN

21a    Occasional work for Bond henchman (6)
ODDJOB – The occasional work has a hyphen ODD-JOB

23a    Unbalanced indeed and so this? (3-5)
ONE-SIDED – An anagram (unbalanced) of INDEED and SO

24a    Energy fuelling crazed Orlando genius (8)
LEONARDO – E (energy) ‘fuelling’ an anagram (crazed) of ORLANDO

25a    Some excitement for couple (4)
ITEM – Lurking in some excITEMent

26a    Compilers from Connaught: their best friends? (5,7)
IRISH SETTERS – Crossword compilers from Connaught, one of the five ancient kingdoms of Ireland


1d    Savage to devour rook and chicken portion (6)
BREAST – BEAST (savage) to ‘devour’ R (rook in chess notation)

2d    European nudist drinking gallons — one to push the boat out? (9)
BARGEPOLE – BARE POLE (European nudist) ‘drinking’ G (gallons)

3d    Concert in timeless African port going ahead (6)
UNISON – Remove the T (‘time’ less) from the African port of tUNIS and add ON (going ahead)

4d    What Tweeters do to have negative effect on originator? (4,4,2,5)
COME HOME TO ROOST – Birds do this at the end of the day – it can also be a phrase meaning that one’s actions could have unpleasant consequences for oneself

5d    Satellite first going between rings? (8)
CALLISTO – IST (first) going between CALL (ring) and O (the letter shaped like a ring)

6d    Huss cooked with one fish dish (5)
SUSHI – An anagram (cooked) of HUSS plus I (one)

7d    Loyal follower — bloke from Belgian city? (8)
LIEGEMAN – A bloke from the Belgian city of Liege

14d    Inflammation of a certain spot? That can’t be helped! (5,2,2)
THERE IT IS – THERE (of a certain spot) ITIS (inflammation)

15d    Cherish and adore D. H. Lawrence, initially slammed (4,4)
HOLD DEAR – An anagram (slammed) of ADORE D H L (initially)

16d    Vicious gatekeeper who found employment in Barking? (8)
CERBERUS – The three-headed dog who guarded the entrance to the underworld, and presumably barked a lot as part of his employment!

19d    The fat of the land, do we hear? (6)
GREASE – Sounds like (do we hear) GREECE

20d    Old disciple beheaded in diocese (6)
EXETER – EX (old) followed by pETER (the disciple) ‘beheaded’ or without his first letter

22d    Boat son consigns to scrapheap (5)
JUNKS – JUNK (boat) S (son)

6 comments on “DT 29389

  1. A very pleasant puzzle – thanks to Crypticsue for the write-up.
    My favourite clue was 2d.
    Wasn’t the 21a character Bond’s enemy rather than his henchman or am I missing something?

    1. He is described as a henchman in one of the James Bond books (Goldfinger) so is one of a number of ‘Bond henchmen’ (there’s a list of them online with Oddjob in second place), just as there is a list of ‘Bond villains’

      1. Initially thought ‘Chores’ was the answer to this clue (Jaws being a Bond henchmen)

  2. I found this impossibly hard yet you gave it one star. Yesterday’s 3 -star I nearly finished. We get the crossword about 4 months after it appears in the Telegraph. Thank you for giving so much help with your explanations.

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