DT 29405 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29405

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29405

Hints and tips by Wilson, Keppel and Betty

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Good morning from the bottom of the barrel. Our new home where I am waiting for DPS to bring my new HiFi system having donated my old one to a worthy cause in the L.I. boondocks. Had I realised just how much high end HiFi would cost I may not have been so altruistic. As usual ‘Don’t tell Sharon’.

After solving the Quickie as a warmup, I didn’t expect too much difficulty from this puzzle and it didn’t prove me wrong. Work through the acrosses and downs a couple of times and fill in the blanks. After the three easier starts to the week I was hoping for a more testing exercise. I have a theory that the longer you stay with Big Dave’s blog the better you get at solving these puzzles.

Thanks to the setter for providing an early loaf of bread and a slice of cake to go with my early morning cup of cha.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.

Across

1a    Good article about old English author who wrote in German (6)
GOETHE: Just what we need to start the day. An obscure (to me) German author who died in 1832. Actually he is considered to be Germany’s greatest ever writer. His output was varied and prolific. However has he passed me by? The abbreviations for Old and English are separated by G(ood) and a word described in the clue as an article but defined as a determiner

5a    Women’s undergarmentsthey may cause embarrassment (8)
BLOOMERS: An old-fashioned term for a ladies loose fitting knee length knickers is also a term describing a gaffe that might lead to red faced embarrassment. After a serious injury my pal John had to visit a physiotherapist to help regain the use of his hand. He couldn’t close his fist to hold small items which would fall through to the ground. The sweet young female physiotherapist asked what tasks he could no longer do that he would like to be able to do. “Well nurse” he said, “I can’t hold my peanuts” Unfortunately that wasn’t what she heard.

9a    An Irishman too nasty to bring peace and concord? (13)
HARMONISATION: Here we go. Anagram time. Anagram (nasty) of AN IRISHMAN TOO

10a    Criticising action of quarry workers? (8)
BLASTING: A form of criticism is also what quarry workers might do with dynamite. Does anybody remember Mr Bates? I considered looking for a YouTube clip but thought it would be very dated and not really funny

11a    Sound of Bertrand in speech? (6)
RUSTLE: A British polymath and Nobel Laureate born in 1872 has a surname that sounds like the noise caused by the movement of dry leaves or paper

12a    US city street in financially favourable situation (6)
BOSTON: A time of great prosperity is interrupted by the abbreviation for a street

 14a    Last bits, fancy details — any number to be filled in (4,4)
TAIL ENDS: On of those anagrams that doesn’t require too much shuffling. The word fancy suggests an anagram. The letters of the word DETAILS are those to play with. Hang on I hear you cry! Where does the letter N come from? Ah yes I see now. That is the mathematical unknown

16a    Holy person with top-class car, one in no hurry (8)
STROLLER: The abbreviation for one canonised is followed by a term used to describe a make of luxury motor car.

19a    Cake provided by entrance to a university (6)
GATEAU: An entrance like the one to your front garden is followed by the letter A from the clue and the abbreviation for university. Somebody stole our front gate the other day. Right in front of my eyes. He just took it off it’s hinges and walked away. I didn’t say anything in case he took offence

21a    Word of thanks with poet getting ceremonial tunic (6)
TABARD: A simple two-letter word of thanks is followed by a poet, traditionally one reciting epics and associated with a particular oral tradition

23a    Like many a blind Italian (8)
VENETIAN: A nun was taking a bath when there was a knock at the door. “Who is there” she asked? “The blind man” came the reply. “Well come on in then” she said. The blind man entered, looked at the nun and said “Nice boobs. Now where do want me do want me to fit these blinds?”

25a    On the golf course messing about (7,6)
PLAYING AROUND: When split 7,1,5 this might describe what a golfer is doing on a golf course.

26a    Doomed fools suffering setback in exploit (8)
DESTINED: A word meaning fools or idiots is reversed (setback) and placed inside a word describing an exploit or performance

27a    Leg gets stuck in bit of wood, running (6)
LOPING: I do like this clue. A term meaning one of your legs is placed inside a sawn-off branch of wood

Down

2d    Play books set on top of celebrity magazine (7)
OTHELLO: Collectively the first half of the books of the bible is followed by the name of a magazine popular amongst people who are very different. Oddly different

3d    Birds back with first one descending to ground (5)
TERNS: A word meaning the back (of a ship perhaps) has its first letter moved to the end of the word

4d    Passionate end of the movement, a recital’s final bit (9)
EMOTIONAL: A four-part charade in regular order. 1 The final letter of the word the. 2 A movement in an agenda or in general. 3 The letter A from the clue 4 The last letter of the word recital

5d    Girl in game ultimately lost (7)
BRIDGET: This girl can be found by adding the final letter of the word lost to a popular card game

6d    Broadcasting as one walking very happily? (2,3)
ON AIR: A double definition. The second describes Saint Sharon ever since the moment she set eyes on me. Lucky girl

7d    An item possibly seen when going round the ship (9)
MAINSHEET: An anagram (possibly) of AN ITEM sits around the gender by which a ship is known

8d    Caused irritation, having acted as boss after row (7)
RANKLED: The past participle of a verb meaning to lead as in be the boss follows a row of soldiers perhaps

13d    Attacked and broken up? (4,5)
TOOK APART: A double definition the second being more obvious to me. What George Daniels did with the watch he found as a boy

15d    E-learning can be arranged, by and large (2,7)
IN GENERAL: Anagram (can be arranged) of E-LEARNING

17d    Pirate’s funny walk (7)
TRAIPSE: Anagram (funny) of PIRATES. I quite like this short sharp clue

18d    Wrecked artist, very old (7)
RAVAGED: The abbreviation for a member of the Royal Academy is followed by the abbreviation of very. These are followed by a word meaning old or knocking on a bit.

20d    Leave a bar, accompanied by university teacher (7)
ABANDON: Begin with the letter A from the clue. Add a word meaning to bar something. Add a term for a lecturer at a university

22d    Lower oneself to be entertained by rude ignoramus (5)
DEIGN: The answer lies hidden within the words of the clue. The words to be entertained by suggest that it is so

24d    Something digital, mostly with quiet beat (5)
THUMP: One of our digits has its last letter replaced by the musical abbreviation for quiet.


The Quick Crossword pun: locum+ocean=locomotion


111 comments on “DT 29405
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  1. Thoroughly enjoyable and not particularly taxing this morning. I particularly liked the surfaces of 9a and 4d. All in all a fun puzzle to complete.

    Thanks to our setter and MP for an amusing blog, especially the joke at 23a.

  2. Probably my fastest solve of the week, helped by what I strongly suspect were quite a few chestnuts. Didn’t like 1a though it was guessable from the wordplay (‘the’ is the definate article) and thought 7d a bit obscure. Liked 6d, and 16a was amusing but my favourite was 8d
    1.5/2.5*
    Many thanks to the setter and to the ever modest MP for a top review.

    1. Definitely the definite article … the indefinite article in your spelling “definate” is definitely wrong.

      Sorry!

      Is there any cake in Pedants’ Corner today?

  3. This was quite intriguing in that some of the clues were very straightforward and some unusual in their wording. A few were unusual enough to give pause for thought like 7d, a term I am unfamiliar with but guessed from the clue. Perhaps this is a new compiler? I quite liked 23a and 24d. My overall rating would be 2*/3.4*. Thanks to the multi-identitied dispenser of hints and to the mystery compiler.

  4. I, too, found this a releatively straightforward task this morning, but I will admit that 7d defeated me. I couldn’t get past ‘MS’ or ‘SS’ for the ship, so was left short of fodder.

    COTD for me was 23a.

    Many thanks to the setter and MP.

  5. Progressed quite quickly although in common with others paused over 7d where I found the word play a bit strange. I also needed to check my German author existed. Another vote for 23a. Thanks to MP and today’s setter.

  6. The shock I got after reading WK&B’s comment about the subject of 1a sent me scurrying away from the rest of his review. The answer to 1a just happens to be the Shakespeare of his country and the author of perhaps the singularly most important epic poem ever to come out of Europe! I was stunned…but moving on, I thought this the best puzzle of the week and a bit less canny than a Ray T on Thursday but nonetheless most enjoyable. I was held up a bit by the NE corner (7d was my LOI) but beyond that, I thought this an exciting and witty excursion. Top-drawer winners today: 25a, 23a, 1a, 7d, 21a, and 1d. ‘Obscure’, WK&B? Thanks anyway and to the setter. 2.5* / ****

    50,000+ cases in the US yesterday. A Faustian deal with the Devil, I fear.

      1. Is that Atwood’s Gilead, LROK? Oh, if only it were Marilynne Robinson’s! There’s supposed to be “a balm in Gilead that heals the sin-sick soul”. I used to play it for the choir.

          1. Did I read that the US bought the whole lot? I feel I’m on a planet that’s spinning out of control. Remember, “stop the world I want to get off!”

      2. Boy, did I miss the boat on your reference, LROK! I do know about the pharmaceutical behemoth you mentioned, but my reflexes are usually keyed elsewhere these days, especially when such a biblical / literary reference as ‘Gilead’ is made. I do see your point about the 1250 pounds a pop. Outrageous. The Devil wears all kinds of disguises.

    1. The geezer at 1 across is obscure to me, a poorly schooled orphan boy. I have looked him up and now see that he is as much a polymath as the fellow at 11 across. I will dip in and alter the hint.

      1. Thank you. I have taught both parts of Faust to grad students, and I can attest to its greatness. And the author’s. It was his death and that of Sir Walter Scott’s in 1832 that ended the Romantic Age and prepared us for the Victorians. Many operas based on 1a’s output, not only the three major Faustian operas, but Werther by Massenet, etc., etc. A legacy beyond words.

          1. Yes, indeed. CM based his play on the ur-Faust legend, which had been around long before 1a took it up and squeezed the literary blood out of it. Thomas Mann, in 1847, wrote what I think is the most exciting ‘recent’ treatment of the theme. Miffypops, do you remember that great line from Marlowe, “Why, this is hell, nor am I out of it!”? Many of us over here feel exactly that way right now.

  7. I was expecting a bit of a fight this morning but I’d rate this puzzle a 1*/3*. I did like the review. 23a was quite clever, it had me going in the wrong direction for a few moments. It would be hard to pick a favourite but 10a and 8d would be in the running. Thanks to all. Does anyone know the identity of the setter?

  8. I worked out the answer to 16a and 17d as the paper was chugging its way out of our very noisy printer. I started in the bottom left and just made my way up the page until I got to 12A. I was very tempted to write “Austin” because of the the ‘street in”, but I couldn’t justify the “Au”. I held back until I filled in 2d and all became clear. 23a was my favourite. Thanks to the setter, Miffypops, W,K and B. I will be celebrating my birthday today at a very acceptable restaurant called “Mon Chez Moi”.

      1. Thank you Miffypops. I’ll skip the oysters but there is a bottle or two of my favourite champagne in the fridge for later.

      1. Thank you thatch. We did enjoy enjoy the meal. I kept it simple. Leg of lamb and mint sauce with lots of roast root veg. followed by a chocolate Irish Stout Gateau. All washed down with some rather nice wine.

  9. A nicely challenging puzzle this morning. Needed Mrs Doguern’s help with the NW, which she filled in with ease – even 7d which neither of us understood until reading the hints. I agree with RC’s comments about 1a – hardly an obscure author. Got 3d without understanding why – I always miss these clues which have a letter moved. Needed help with the parsing of 24d too. I thought 23a was a brilliant clue!. I was put out for a while by entering “putting greens” in 25a until the penny dropped. Thanks to setter and WKB.

    1. You’re not the only one with 23a. It took me a little longer to get the right answer. I suspect my first response was due to the fact that so many of these clues lead to immediate answers. A good puzzle with a nice variety of clues and a few chestnuts. Thanks to the setter and WK&B.

  10. I enjoyed this one very much. I liked 5a the best.
    However, I don’t think 13d quite works. Took apart and broken up are different tenses.

  11. Am afraid I was a little underwhelmed by this one as it was over far too quickly to be entirely satisfactory. Perhaps I was just on the right wavelength for once but the only pause for thought was the garden plant in the Quickie. I did like the literary starters at 1a & 2d but 23a was my pick of today’s offering. Thanks to the setter & MP/WK&B.
    Ps lovely to see a clip of SAHB. I was at their last ever gig when they headlined the Reading festival in 77. My memory is that he was dressed as Jesus being nailed to a polystyrene crucifix as they launched into Framed – somehow they seemed to get away with that sort of thing.

  12. Thanks to the setter, Miffypops, W,K and B.
    Pedant alert.
    Is it just me or is 12A a bit odd? Chambers has ‘boon’ as a gift/something to be thankful for, whereas a ‘boom’ strikes me as a more “financially favourable situation”. Anyone for ‘Bostom’? Just saying!

    1. You’re not alone. My first thought was boom too. Then, like you, I realised it had to be boon. Boom would have been a better synonym.

  13. With my finding the lsat few puzzled difficult (for me) this was a welcome relief and most enjoyable. I tend to agree with Lymey about 12a as I have always thought” boon” to be a gift or favour.

    Some really good clues today and my COTD is 23a.

    Many thanks to the setter for the enjoyment and to the Egytian sand dancers for the hints.

  14. This was a nice way to relax after nervously attending a routine opthalmic appointment. N W was last quadrant to acquiesce. Thought 1a and 7d rather weak. Fav was the lighthearted 25a (chestnut?). Thank you Mysteron and MP whose modesty never ceases to amaze me!

  15. A straightforward and well clued solve. Can’t really agree that 1a is obscure & I detect a tongue-in-cheek remark from WKB. Took a time to see 7d – like others was trying to fit usual suspwcts for ship with the other bits. 1.5*/*** for me.
    Nothing to dislike but neither did anything stand out.
    Thanks to setter & WKB for usual entertaining review.

  16. Straightforward and enjoyable solved whilst sitting in the Waitrose car park this morning (other shop car parks are available)
    **/*** 😃 Favourites are 5a & 23a 👍 Thanks to MP and to the Setter

  17. I know and understand the pleasure that the cognoscenti get from a Ray Tbut for we who struggle this was much more fun on a wet day in lockdown.l accept it was quite straightforward but l can always make difficulties for myself.For 10 a lconvinced myself that somewhere on this planet there is a word slateing which made 3 d impossible.Eventually the wonderful Mr.Bates returned to my mind so l could finish.Goodluck in new house to our multi named blogger and thanks to all.

  18. 1a reminded me of the old joke. Foreman to worker, You idiot, you put in a joist where I told you to put in a girder. Don’t you know the difference between a joist and a girder? Worker: Of course I do! Joyce wrote Ulysses and Goethe wrote Faust!

  19. A half day off work today so I only printed this puzzle off this morning. It just about filled my coffee breaks with the NE holding out the longest. The 5’s a and d were last in as due to recent ubiquity I was looking for the other type of women’s underwear. getting 7d put me right.
    Some very funny jokes from WK&B and a nice debate about Goethe.
    Brian T Beat me to the Goethe joke

    Thanks to WK&B and setter.
    We have a glut of Basil here but by the time I have bought Pine nuts, Pecorino and olive oil I could have just bought the pesto outright.

    1. I laughed with Brian T., and now I’ll laugh with you, John. You’ve given it a nice Erin Go Bragh ethnicity, too.

  20. Very enjoyable albeit over too quickly. As with some others, I had a problem with boom vs boon in 12a. It’s wrong, isn’t it? Perhaps someone could put me right – maybe the setter? I carelessly ended 1a across with an ‘A’ which caused me some grief. It’s not as if I don’t know the man! 23a took top spot from me.

    1. I think 12a would work better if the word ‘financially’ wasn’t there as a ‘boon’ could then be a favourable situation

  21. Great puzzle, just up my street. OK its the not the most cryptic crossword but it suits me just fine.
    Exactly what I needed after a dreadful round of golf.
    Thx to all
    **/*****

  22. I enjoyed doing this one. Although I got the answer for 7d I couldn’t fully justify it because I wanted to use SS for ship. (I wonder why ships are referred to as feminine?) No particular favourite clue but I do like 17d as a word – worthy of Victoria Wood perhaps. Thanks to the compiler and reviewer: much of the review made me smile.
    And, yes, I do remember Mr Bates. At the time he caused much merriment but probably very dated as W, K & B says: would probably come with the qualification now of “the language reflects that of its time” or similar. Might have a look for some of his material and see what I think.

  23. Well that was a fun solve 1a got us off to a good start. A rather psychedelic hint man on parade – does the new house have any close neighbours I wonder? And does poor Violet know she has been shunted off? My mother actually saw W K & B live and used to do a very funny imitation of the sand shuffle. Happy days.

  24. Worked through this one steadily alone and unaided, understanding the clues except for 7d which was bung-in from the checkers, so no hurrah for me today……
    Like others I was also not so sure about 12….I have always thought of a boon as a favour or something to be thankful for, not a financial situation…..but who am I to moan? I have never set a crossword in my life and am generally in awe of those who do.

    Thanks to the setter and to the Sand Dancers.

    1. Welcome to the blog

      Long Itchington (LI) is a village in Warwickshire. Our multi-named blogger is currently the landlord of one of the village pubs although he and his wife, the long-suffering Saint Sharon, are soon to retire to a new house away from the village. How LI will cope without them remains to be seen

      1. They can busy themselves fund raising so they can commission Antony Gormley to make statues of us both to put on Italian marble plinths on the village green

  25. A puzzle to savour as there was lots to enjoy for me, 1 across was new to me, 23 across reminded of an old joke, i enjoy all the blogs by our bloggers but really enjoyed this one as to coin a phrase I really need help some days, thank you to the setter and Wilson Keppel & Betty which brought back memories of Th Old Sahara Desert song.

    Heigh Ho Heigh Ho,to toughie land I go, TTFN

  26. Another straight forward but enjoyable grid today. My COTD, 25a. A punchline that’s got a few laughs over the years. Cue Sid James, Benny Hill et al. Thanks to the setter and WKB🦇

  27. You all seem to be of an age group that went to “gigs”. Not mine. Not when you’re born in the Twenties!

  28. Going for a**/*** as per W/K and B,I remember seeing this trio on the old black and white TV’s-probably in the 1950’s!
    The W/K sand dance reminded me of AC/DCs Angus Youngs famous ‘strut’ across the stage-that’s where he got it from!
    Thanks too for The Mr Harvey pic for 12a, his brother Les was a fine lead guitarist with Stone the crows until he electrocuted himself- enough triviality
    on with the show, an enjoyable solve, favourites 25a and 7d

  29. That was fun. I didn’t manage to complete it unaided (thanks, Wilson etc), but it was still fun (thanks, setter).

    I messed up 24d by putting in 23a as ‘Venician’; the place is Venice, so that spelling seemed the most logical to me (and Italian is famed for its logical spelling, unlike English).

    25a is an old Ronnie Corbett joke. I didn’t understand it when I saw it on TV as a child in the 80s, but apparently it stayed with me and came in useful today. I think 1a is my favourite.

    1. Oh, and yesterday’s Skittles-based home-schooling went better than I was expecting. The 5-year-old was happy with the resulting rainbow effect. Today the 7-year-old’s out with the other parent, looking for creepy crawlies to identify.

      1. Quite. Not content with having its own unpredictable spelling rules, English also makes a mess of other language’s words!

    2. That was one of RC’s best! Immediately sent it to my university WhatsApp group.

      Your pictures were wonderful, Smylers. They reminded me of my daughter who works in an early learning centre in Melbourne. She is just as inventive.

  30. All of you who like this should definitely give the Toughie a go – it was very much on the gentler side and great fun

  31. Another entertaining puzzle, made even more so by MPs hints, even when completed they are also worth a read. For some reason 1a caused me to ponder, no idea why. Had to go Exeter today, very quiet met up with friends for a picnic at Topsham, the view from the church across the estuary is still one of my favourites.
    Thanks to MP and setter.

        1. Got off the train from Truro to Salisbury once just to see the Cathedral in Exeter, and it was absolutely beautiful. Stayed overnight I liked it so well, the whole city.

  32. Yet again I agree with all that’s been said.
    Like the person who commented a long time ago I tried to justify ‘slating’ for 10a but it wouldn’t stretch enough to make it work.
    Like others I was a bit doubtful about the ‘favourable situation’ in 12a – I agree with CS that the clue would work better without the ‘financially’.
    I think my favourite was either 11a or 8d.
    Thanks to whoever set this one and to the man in disguise.
    Since jokes seem to be the order of the day . . .
    A cowboy rides into a deserted town and goes into a completely empty bar somewhere in the land where Westerns are made. He orders a beer and asks the barman where everyone has gone – he’s told that they’ve all gone to watch the hanging of Brown Paper Pete who was called that because everything he wore – his hat, his coat, his trousers and even his boots were made of brown paper. He asked why he was being hanged and was told that it was for rustling. Boom, boom – OK – I’ll get me coat!! The best bit of the whole thing is that the person who told me that joke is called Russell.

    1. Very good, Kath.

      How about this?

      A man was doing a crossword but was stuck on one word so he asked his wife.

      Husband. “What’s a 7-letter word for ‘easily perceived or understood’ that starts with ‘O’?”

      Wife “Isn’t it obvious?”

      Husband “It should be, but I can’t figure it out. That’s why I’m asking.”

      1. Brilliant – and I had one very similar when doing a quick crossword with the Elder Lamb and her partner a while ago. They were right down in the bottom right corner – the clue was ‘finish’ (6) – I said, as a suggestion, ‘ending’ and daughter said, “Don’t know yet, but there’s a ‘D’ in the middle!
        Another of her real classics was when they were both completely stuck and yelling for help. The whole of one corner had gone wrong – the clue was, “Of the nose” – most sensible people would have said “Nasal” but they’d put “Nosey”! They’re just not “crossword material”!

        1. Ah, yes, there’s the rub! Never put in the first word that comes to mind and assume it’s correct.

          I once tried to explain a cryptic clue to Mrs. C. I think she thought I had lost my mind! 🤣

    2. I told you about the weasel that went into a bar and asked for ‘pop’ a few weeks ago. Well the landlord was clearing up later that night and musing on the fact that he’d had a weasel in the bar, when there was a sudden coldness and the ghost of a large dog oozed through the doors. He came up to the bar and said ‘I’d like a large whisky’. Landlord stammered I’m so sorry, I can’t do it. ‘Is it cos I’m a dog? Or is it because I’m black? Because either way it’s discrimination. Give me a large whiskey please.’ The landlord looked apologetic, it’s not because you’re a dog, and it’s certainly not because you are a black dog – I’m just not allowed to serve spirits after closing time.

  33. Wotta relief! Sorry, Betty, I know you wished for a stinker today, maybe tomorrow.
    I loved it all, saw nothing wrong with 12a. If someone gave me £1000, I’d call it a boon!
    I think 11a is my fave, but liked lots of others, 23a also stood out.
    Thanks to whomsoever gave us this fun and to Betty for the laughs.

  34. I think it took me longer to read your tips and hints than it did to finish the puzzle. As always very entertaining (the hints that is)! Not heard the story about John before and any excuse to drop SAHB in works for me…

    1. If you still on the air 2Ks, just coming up to 0915 in BNE and about to download today’s. You must be two Kiwis that don’t have a sailing background😜

  35. Like others I’m in the “never heard of 1a or 7d” camp. Apart from that this was an ok crossword. Re 12d I toyed with several first words, but you know when you’ve got the right one. I didn’t struggle with the spelling of 23a as it cropped up recently. Favourite was 11a. Thanks to the setter and MP.

  36. Thanks to the setter and to WKB for the review and hints. You can pay the earth for Hi-fi, but if you love your music….. Nice puzzle, nothing too taxing, the only problem I had was with 7d, which was last in. Had a feeling it was an anagram of “an item”, so guessed the answer, wasn’t sure what the “she” was about, thanks to WKB for the explanation. Favourite was 1a. Was 1*/3* for me.

  37. Just spent an enjoyable half hour reading the blog as I drank my breakfast coffee. The jokes etc were fun.
    Finished both puzzles but must say I found the Toughie easier.
    Now to tackle today’s offerings and hope they are not too Fridayish!

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