DT 29402 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29402

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29402

Hints and tips by Falcon

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty *Enjoyment ***

Greetings from Ottawa, where the weather remains unsettled. While I solved this puzzle, a violent thunderstorm raged outside dumping torrential amounts of welcome rain on my parched garden.

What today’s solve lacked in endurance, it more than made up for in enjoyment. I thought that many of the surface readings were truly outstanding.

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   Witty colonel drinking mineral (7)
COMICAL — the abbreviation for colonel imbibing a flaky mineral

5a   Eccentric learner driver, a Parisian with a twitch (7)
LUNATIC — join together our usual learner driver, a French indefinite article, the A from the clue, and a twitch

9a   Cranky duke, led on, wrongly imprisoned (5,4,3,3)
UNDER LOCK AND KEY — an anagram (wrongly) of the first four words in the clue

10a   When young woman briefly returned for a dance (5)
SALSA — start with a short conjunction meaning when followed by all but the final letter of a young woman; then reverse the whole lot

11a   Service his curate arranged (9)
EUCHARIST — an anagram (arranged) of HIS CURATE

12a   At the moment, assume one is in South American national park (9)
SNOWDONIA — start by lining up an adverb meaning at this moment, a verb meaning to assume or put on (the robes of office, for instance), and a Roman one; then, insert the result in the abbreviation for South America

14a   Lower hood after onset of shower (5)
SCOWL — a hood follows the initial letter of Shower; as the definition, lower means to look angry or gloomy

15a   Put off head of team feeding animals (5)
DETER — the initial letter of Team is ingested by some ruminant mammals

16a   Would-be poet met merry with sherry! (9)
RHYMESTER — an anagram (merry) of MET and SHERRY; the answer is perhaps the slangy Eastender from 22a

18a   Innocent mistake concerning vision (9)
OVERSIGHT — a preposition meaning concerning (“an argument **** who was at fault“) and a noun denoting vision

21a   Secure, having connection at university (3,2)
TIE UP — a link or bond followed by the usual adverb denoting at university

22a   Imitate Cockney at speech indoors, badly (4,4,7)
DROP ONE’S AITCHES — an anagram (badly) of AT SPEECH INDOORS

23a   Tiresomely long finish, not so great (7)
ENDLESS — finish or come to a conclusion followed by an adjective denoting smaller

24a   Set out from Scottish island, gillie initially heading for England (7)
ARRANGE — a Scottish island in the Firth of Clyde followed by the initial letters of Gillie and England


1d   Disasters involving upper-class holidays at sea (7)
CRUISES — disasters (or, at least, emergencies) into which one must inject the usual letter denoting upper-class

2d   Brave person, a Democrat, following heart — frequently moderate, politically? (6-2-3-4)
MIDDLE-OF-THE-ROAD — string together a word meaning heart or centre, a poetic term for frequently, a brave person, the A from the clue, and a D(emocrat)

3d   Messenger, out of uniform, going round with culinary herb (9)
CORIANDER — remove the letter represented by uniform in the NATO phonetic alphabet from a messenger; wrap the result around a synonym for with

4d   Unattached miss holding ring (5)
LOOSE — to miss or fail to take advantage of (an opportunity, for instance) clasping the ring-shaped letter

5d   Enjoy nuts greatly (4,5)
LIKE CRAZY — enjoy or find pleasure in followed by nuts or insane

6d   Martial art expert‘s home in New Jersey area (5)
NINJA — place the usual indication for at home in the abbreviation for New Jersey; then append A(rea)

7d   Suffer defeat stoically, as most boxers do? (4,2,2,3,4)
TAKE IT ON THE CHIN — If a boxer fails to block a punch to the head, he may do this

8d   Items of cut glass? Shed tears, booth having only one left (7)
CRYSTAL — to shed tears followed by a booth or stand missing its final letter; here’s something to feast your eyes (and ears) on from the record producer we are to encounter in 14d; the single was actually recorded by Darlene Love and the Blossoms but credited to the Crystals (who were touring at the time) in order to get the record on the market ahead of a version recorded by Vicki Carr. The Crystals were unaware of this and were stunned to hear a DJ announce the debut of their new single!

13d   Song, for example, right to be included by tenors performing (2,7)
NO REGRETS — abbreviations of for example and right enclosed in an anagram (performing) of TENORS; I was overwhelmed by choice here as this is an extremely popular song title — I found more than a dozen different songs from different genres with this name. These included songs by Bon Jovi, Eminem, Canadian rocker Tom Cochrane,Tom Rush, and even a famous Edith Piaf piece whose title is often translated into English as this

14d   One watches Wall of Sound producer tackling a tango (9)
SPECTATOR — an American record producer famous for his self-described Wagnerian approach to rock and roll (currently doing time for murder) incarcerates the A from the clue and the letter represented by tango in the NATO phonetic alphabet; watch what this producer personally considered to be his best work

15d   Desperately determined in entrance and exit (2-2-3)
DO-OR-DIE — an entrance to a house or other structure followed by an exit from this earthly existence

17d   Letter I posted contains quick and clever reply (7)
RIPOSTE — a lurker hiding in the first three words of the clue

19d   Twenty, the full total (5)
SCORE — a double definition, the first another term for the given cardinal number and the second the number of points accumulated in a game

20d   Jewellery item, article collected by rising Italian artist (5)
TIARA — place an indefinite article inside the reversal of the abbreviation for Italian; then annex our usual artist

For my clue of the day, I have chosen 2d — topical as our newscasts are filled with reports on the shenanigans transpiring south of the border.

Quickie Pun (Top Row): LAWYER + LISZT = LOYALIST

Quickie Pun (Bottom Row) : SCENT + REFUGE = CENTRIFUGE

88 comments on “DT 29402

  1. A most enjoyable solve today. Even the long ones, which often cause me trouble, fell into place with ease. No real favourites today although 22a raised a smile.

    Many thanks to the setter and Falcon for the hints.

  2. I nice easy way in to the start of the week, all over in ** time.

    Two clues got circled in my paper, 2d for the sheer brilliance and complexity – without straying
    Into Toughie territory, and 16a because the answer was clear but the parsing isn’t, not to me at least.

    Thanks to the setter and Falcon.

  3. As straightforward a puzzle as I can remember, but still fun to complete. 16a was my favourite.

    Thanks to Campbell and Falcon.

  4. I thought this reflected the weather, light and breezy, my only problem being the exact parsing of 2d but pleased to see Falcon has confirmed how I (eventually) saw it.
    The clues that stood out for me were 12a &16a plus 5&15d.
    Many thanks to the setter and to Falcon for the entertainment.

  5. This didn’t detain me for long. A very easy start to the week. No real favourites. Falcon’ s assessment is about right. Thanks to all.

  6. A gentle start to the week, although a puzzle of two halves. Top went in very quickly; bottom took rather longer. Best thing was that I ended up with no question marks, indicating that the definitions, for once, were precise. Had to remind myself of 16a – not a word I come across very often. Totally ignorant of the Wall of Sound producer, but the answer was fairly clear. Favourite definitely 15d. Thanks to setter and Falcon.

  7. A very gentle romp today, elegantly clued, and enjoyable. Did not immediately recognise the felon in 14d but what else could the answer be? LOI was 14a (nice trickery), but the winners were 12a, 5d, and 16a. Thanks to our Canadian friend and to the setter Campbell. * / 3.5*

    more Covid records in city, county, and state yesterday. VP donned a mask in Dallas as the choir, maskless, sprayed the congregation with their projectiled voices. Great modelling, DoDo 2!

  8. That was a lovely start to the week, with some enjoyable clues. I particularly liked 22a . I struggled a bit with the reasoning of 14 d but was obvious from the checking letters.Thank you to the setter and Falcon.

  9. I agree with the comments so far. It was pretty straightforward but no less enjoyable for that(1.5*/4*). The long clues were well put together but 16a was my overall favourite. Thanks to Falcon for the hints. We too have had some welcome rain after a long dry spell much of it in the form of heavy squally showers with gusty winds today. Thanks to the setter also.

  10. Bright and breezy is just right and a walk down memory lane or perhaps climbing up the wall.Thanks to setter and to Falcon.lwill now play the tracks and pretend l am 15 or so again.lwonder if others remember turning these tracks to the B side and finding very poor instrumentals.

  11. Light & breezy about sums it up & not dissimilar to today’s Graun Quiptic in terms of difficulty. Must admit that I didn’t bother too much with parsing the answers properly as just for fun I tried to solve both Quickie & Cryptic in under ** time & were it not for my total ignorance of bobbin lace would have made it with time to spare. Liked the anagrams at 9,11,16 & 22a and thought 7d & 12a good clues. Off to rookie corner (with a degree of trepidation having scanned the comments of the premier league solvers) before golf which is likely to be a test with today’s conditions.
    Thanks to both Campbell & Falcon.

    1. I could have written your comments Huntsman,exactly on my wavelength including the bobbin lace,which still haven’t got!
      Has anyone got it?

      1. It refers to lace from an area you might say. Now you know how some of us feel when faced with endless crickety, golfy or footbally clues. But do we complain? Do we moan? No not at all, we take it all in our stride and when we discover the answer we just add it to our store of knowledge. 😇

      2. We had to cheat on that one. I could only suggest Nottingham which of course was not enough letters. Never heard of this lace.

    2. It wasn’t quite a knitting clue and in the quickie rather than the cryptic, but the bobbin lace clue was specially for Ora Meringue I think. I bet she got it – I did too!

  12. That was fun whilst it lasted. My only hold up was 14d. I had to googlething “Wall of Sound”. The answer was then obvious. I liked the four long clues. Really helpful for checking letters.Great quickie puns today. Many thanks to the setter and to Falcon. Back to the ironing now. Yuk.

    1. At least the temperature isn’t so high this week. I cannot believe it is bed-changing Tuesday tomorrow already so soon.

      1. We have bed changing on Saturdays, a hold over when from when we both worked full time.

  13. I agree with everyone. It was really enjoyable.
    Thanks to our setter and Falcon.
    My favourite 13d is this one by the Walker Brothers…..

  14. Once I got a couple of the long answers this was straightforward Monday fare. As others have said pleasantly clued light starter to the week.
    COTD 13d if only for memories of “the little sparrow”. Sorry Falcon but the version chosen leaves me cold compared to hers. To each his own I guess.

    Thanks to setter & Falcon for review. (And the clip for 14d one of my all-time favourites).

      1. Falcon
        For me it is one of those songs that once it gets into your head it stays there for the rest of the day (at least).

  15. Nice start to the week **/**** 😃 even remembered to get the bottom phrase Favourites 12 & 16a. Thanks to Falcon and to the Setter 👍

  16. 1*/4*. This puzzle proves that “it doesn’t have to be tough to be enjoyable”. It made a great start to the week with 16a & 2d fighting it out to be picked as my favourite.

    Having broken a tooth a few days ago, I’ve got the unenviable experience of a visit to the dentist this afternoon which I imagine in the current circumstances will be very different to a “normal” visit.

    Many thanks to Campbell and to Falcon – great music choice.

  17. Going for a **/***, and everyone seems happy with their start to the week.
    Favourite was 12a-I initially thought that the definition was going to be some obscure animal until a few checking letters went in!
    Liked the surfaces of 14a and 22a.
    The Quickie Pun took a while as I put Lahar in for 5a , the saving grace was that for a change I remembered the possibility of the bottom line QP2.
    Thanks all,

  18. IMHO an unremarkable start to the cruciverbal week but stuck with it and came through eventually. North yielded first and 13d was last. Several convoluted clues which tested patience e.g. 2d. Thank you Mysteron and Falcon.

  19. A one star difficulty level is no harm from time to time and as Falcon says , great surface readings.
    Thanks to the setter and Falcon.

  20. A very pleasant start to a four day (non-)work week* completed at a gallop – **/****.
    With the proliferation of some of the more obscure letters, I started looking for a pangram but, as far as I can tell, at least Quebec is missing.
    Candidates for favourite – 1a, 12a, 7d, and 15d – and the winner is 12a.
    Thanks to Campbell and Falcon, especially for unscrambling the ‘upper’ Quickie Pun, that one eluded me.

    * We have a (virtual?) holiday for Canada Day on Wednesday.

    1. Happy Canada Day Senf.
      After sorting through a dozen different songs titled “No Regrets”, my only regret is failing to mention the upcoming holiday.

  21. Agree this was not overly tricky but very enjoyable
    The pic @9a should be displayed on billboards as a deterrent, in the same way horrid pictures are put on packets of tobacco these days
    Thanks Campbell and thanks to Falcon for the blog

  22. All good fun although I was a little slow to pick out the ‘brave man’ in 2d.
    Favourite for me was, of course, 12a (currently hidden by thick clouds and a curtain of rain!) with humour awards going to 14a&5d.

    Thanks to Campbell for a cheery start to the week and to Falcon for a very musical review.

  23. We also found this good fun for a Sunday night (we are 5 hours behind). The long answers were all terrific, with 2d being the last of the four to be solved, and this one “in reverse”, where the answer was easily apparent but the parsing less so. Thanks to Campbell and Falcon for a good start to the week.

  24. A nice puzzle that I too solved on a Sunday evening. Some nice clues and a fun time */**** Favourites were 12a, 18a, 22a, 2d & 5d
    Favourite by a country mile was 22a! Great for a good chuckle

    Thanks to setter and Falcon

  25. It has all been said so I will just say thank you to everyone and here’s to another week🍸

  26. Having said that, I cannot help commenting on the depressing news in the DT today about the delays in elective orthopaedic surgery- I don’t think I can wait another year!!!

  27. What a lovely start to the week! I thought that this was fun, with both excellent clueing and clever misdirection. I particularly enjoyed 22a, 16a and 12a (having tried to think of South American national parks as intended before seeing the error of my ways!) Special thanks to Falcon for concise explanations and for such an interesting and detailed review and to the setter for providing a satisfying diversion from spending time in the garden trying to fill my green bin. Picking up leaves wasn’t such good idea a good idea in a strong wind!

    1. I tried to think of South American National Parks too…..until I looked at the checking letters I’d already got, then I laughed out loud. I used to do a lot of walking and climbing in that National Park.

  28. Terrific fun – just at my level.
    In fact the only downside was the tornado-like winds blasting through the garden. No amount of paperweights would have saved papers from needing retrieval from all parts of the garden. I made the schoolboy error of taking the post out with me to open, and only succeeded in giving Lola a moment’s concern as an envelope joined her amongst the wallflowers. She strolled over to say ‘hello’ and after a minute or two in the howling gale, decided to retreat to her ivy and wallflower clad base.
    Thanks to Campbell and Falcon.

    1. Has it occurred to you to do the crossword indoors in inclement weather? Just thought.

    2. Daisy, Merusa – I do like to use the crossword time to spend an hour or so with Lola. If the weather is truly awful I would retreat inside, but I get such pleasure sitting outside – even in the rain (under cover) looking at the garden and enjoying the fresh air. I associate undertaking the crossword with sitting at the garden table with little Lola nearby and I feel rather shortchanged if I’m at my desk indoors.

  29. Good start to the week, simething gentle to break us in, once the long ones had gone in rest followed, except for 16a no idea about this one. In the end resorted to hints still not quite the wiser, neber mind. Favourite 12a and 1a.
    Blowing a good one down here in NC certainly blows away the cobwebs, for some reason the dogs go bonkers in high winds.
    Thanks to Falcon and setter

    1. Re: 16a

      The wordplay parses as an anagram (merry) of {MET + (with) SHERRY}.
      As an anagram indicator, “merry” is used in a British sense meaning slightly drunk (in Canada, we might say that someone in this condition is “feeling happy”). This anagram construction in which the indicator is positioned in the middle of the fodder is seen fairly often and is not dissimilar to saying, for instance, “gin mixed with tonic”.

  30. Just proves that cryptic crosswords do not have to be difficult to be immensely satisfying.

    Solving this gave me a lot of pleasure, some lovely clues like 12a that just sort of cheered me up along with a lot of catch phrases to guess at.

    Doubtless we will pay for this later in the week……… thanks to setter and Falcon.

  31. Nice and easy … just like it should be on Monday. Thanks all.

    ps Today’s Quiptic in the Guardian is of a similar nature. Very surprised to see that the setter is The Don (Pasquale).

    1. pps Falcon, an easy one for you to solve in the Guardian Cryptic today.

      7d From nothing, a power unit raised capital (6)

      1. Thank you for that. It’s a slightly different take on a clue of which I have seen several variants over the years.

  32. Something of a contrast to yesterday, straightforward, though I had to bung in 14a, as I did not know the use of the definition, or the synonym to hood, so a lucky stab.
    I agree with an earlier poster who made a comment about absence of Toughies on a Monday and I have to agree. If Monday to Friday, the back-pager get progressively harder, would it not make sense to run the Toughies from Monday to Thursday? I fancied doing one today, instead Everyman or Quiptic from the Guardian beckons.
    Thanks all.

    1. The Sunday Toughie starts this week – you’ll have to save it for Mondays

    2. Go to Rookie corner if you need a Toughie Hoofit – had a bash before golf & only got halfway – plenty tough enough for me. Will return to it later this evening. Really enjoyed Everyman yesterday – have only started doing them in the last couple of months & they’re consistently excellent in my view.

  33. Pretty much all has been said. Steady solve and some lovely clues, particularly the long ones. I can’t choose between 2 and 7d so they can share the silver with gold going to 12a.
    Thanks to Campbell and Falcon.

  34. After months and months of trying l have finally solved a Telegraph cryptic unaided. This site has been invaluable and saved more months or years of frustration. Going for a lie down now.

    1. Welcome to the blog Stuart and well done on your first unaided solve, may you have many more. And, keep commenting!

    2. Well done! I well remember my first unaided solve and thank all the bloggers and setters here for help over the years.
      Stick with it and come here regularly and we will soon have you tackling the Friday Toughies. (even Elgar)

  35. It was good to read all the comments today. I usually find when I manage to complete a puzzle without any help that there are some rather sniffy comments about the standard of the puzzle.. But today it was a pleasure to solve and a pleasure to read the blog and the comments. So thanks to everyone.

  36. Everything has already been said and I agree with all of it.
    A couple of the pics gave me nasty attacks of the wobblies – the first one being that poor boxer and the second was what I think is the ‘knife edge’ ridge in Snowdonia – the scariest ‘walk’ I’ve ever done. :sad:
    Thanks to Campbell and to Falcon.

    1. The ridge path to the right appears to be the Watkin path that eventually becomes a bit “airy” as it becomes Y Liweldd.
      To the left of the lake (Llyn Llydaw), The Miners Track heads toward the lake and above that is the Pyg Track, both relatively easy underfoot.
      Out of shot to the left is my scariest ridge, Crib Goch runs into Crib-y-Ddysgl topping out at Garnedd Ugain, leaving a nice stroll up to the summit. Last time I was there a group of walkers poorly equipped for the wet and windy weather had to be encouraged to change their plans and go down on the train.
      Either Crib Goch or Y Lliwedd/Y Gribin are impressive notches to have on your walking resume Kath

      1. Crib goch my daughter & hubby did at some pace whilst doing the Welsh 3000s in a day (all 15 0f them) only on foot some years ago. Recommended route is start at top of Snowdon but they started at the bottom at 4am climbed it first then finished at 11.30pm. Not for the faint hearted, more the certifiably insane!

        1. It beat me, I couldn’t face the Carnedds after losing all that height coming off Tryfan. had to finish them off a couple of days later.

      2. Yes – it was Crib Goch – I can say it but not spell it which is why I didn’t even try in my comment. Bloody hell – it nearly finished me off – never been so scared in my life! :sad: and :phew: Don’t really care whether it was impressive or not – I was just glad to escape it with my life.

  37. Tiny brain here, lovely, lovely crossword today, friendly and fun. There were so many good clues here, hard to pick a fave, but I think 12a gets my gold star. My last in was 3d, I was fixated on cardamom which isn’t enough letters, so waited until I had checkers.
    Thanks to Campbell and to Falcon. Please send some rain here, we’re so dry again from the Sahara dust.

  38. Really enjoyed again today, although I did find it a puzzle of two halves, with the top going in quickly, and the bottom half needed some hints. Almost felt like two different people wrote it. Never heard the 16a word before.

  39. I’m with the vast majority of commentators who found this straightforward but huge fun. Well done Campbell more like this please. Obviously I didn’t have a problem with the 14d producer but favourite goes to 22a. Many many thanks to Campbell and Falcon.

  40. A great puzzle with some lovely clues. I only needed help with two, 14a and 16a, and for me that is good. The top half went in quicker than the bottom half, and I do like multi word answers. My fav clue 15d.
    Like the rest of the country it’s pretty wet here in Cheadle Hulme today, let’s hope the good weather returns soon.
    Thanks to the setter and Falcon

    1. Forgot to say love the music clips, Falcon. The first record I ever owned was Then he kissed me by The Crystals.

  41. I waited nearly 50 years to solve a DT Cryptic in clue order (1a, 1d, etc) and, like the proverbial bus, a second one appears ten days after the first! Thanks to Falcon for a very interesting review and to the setter for perfect clues.

  42. Couldn’t help wishing that 22a could be seen by all the people who insist on saying ‘haitch’.
    A lovely crossword today.

  43. Thank you. I feel I should have thought of a nom de plume, standing out as I do – exposed.
    Acted on the spur of the moment due to a pet bugbear of mine although I’ve been enjoying the blog for ages.

    1. You can always change to an alias next time you comment. You’ll go into moderation and be welcomed again, but after that you can be relatively anonymous

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