DT 29408 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29408

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29408

Hints and tips by pommers

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Hola from sunny Los Alcázares on the Mar Menor.  Now that we’re allowed to cross regional borders we’ve come to the apartment for a couple of weeks holiday. We live in Comunitat Valenciana and the apartment’s in the region of Murcia so we haven’t been able to come here for about twelve weeks.  It’s usually a couple of degrees cooler here than in Almoradí so it’s very pleasant in the heat of the Spanish summer.

Anyway, to the crossword.  Apart from a couple of minor mistakes I thought it was great.  Not too tricky but with enough for a little bit of head scratching. I’ll be interested to see who agrees and who doesn’t.

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.


1a           Spoke about Conservative one who favours extreme change (7)
RADICAL:  A word for a spoke around (about) a C(onservative).

5a           Framework of church when applied to sister (7)
CHASSIS:  You need an abbreviation of church followed by a word meaning when and finally an abbreviation of sister.

9a           Usual? Not on a butterfly (5)
COMMA:  Start with a word meaning usual or widespread and remove the ON from the end (not on) and then add the a from the clue.

10a         One of the last to go in, kind welcoming trouble (4-5)
TAIL ENDER: To get one of the last to go in to bat you need a word meaning kind or gentle  with a word for trouble inserted (welcoming) and then split it all (4,5).

11a         Copper gets gear changed, some of it good, some of it bad (7,3)
CURATES EGG: Chemical symbol for copper followed by an anagram (changed) of GETS GEAR. 

12a         Ordinary guys writing on the wall (4)
OMEN:  O for ordinary followed by some guys or male people.

The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,
Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.

14a         CCTV, perhaps, almost always effective — conceal weapon (12)
SURVEILLANCE: Start with a word for always effective but without its last letter (almost).  After this you need a word for to hide and finally the weapon used by knights in a jousting contest.

18a         Obsession of individual recording soul (9,4)
ONETRACK MIND:  This is a charade of a word meaning individual or single, a recording or a part of an LP and a word for soul.  According to me and Collins the first word should be hyphenated.  I can’t check the BRB as it went for a swim in the flood and I haven’t got around to replacing it yet but Chambers online agrees.

21a         Honour holding old musical instrument (4)
OBOE:  The honour, sometimes disparagingly referred to as “Other Buggers Efforts”, placed around (holding) an O for old.  Here’s nice bit of music from this instrument . . .

22a         On account of test, short prayer required, say (3,7)
FOR EXAMPLE: A word which can mean on account of followed by a test like a GCSE and lastly a prayer without its last letter (short) and then split (3,7).

25a         Sauntering in street, swaggering (9)
STROLLING:  The usual two letters for street followed by a word which doesn’t really mean swaggering but does mean staggering.  I think there might be a misprint here.

26a         Lowest score, ultimately, in final (5)
LEAST:  Take another word for final and insert (in) an E (scorE ultimately).

27a         Lengthen lease, in writing (3,4)
LET DOWN:  Lengthen a skirt or pair of trousers perhaps. It’s a word for to lease followed by a word describing something written on a piece of paper.  Here’s a bit of Radiohead . . .

28a         Slammer, finally — bad result for cattle thief (7)
RUSTLER:  Slammer finally is an R.  Follow with an anagram (bad) of RESULT.  I’m not usually a big fan of anagrams but this one really works well.


1d           Starts to renovate old cottage of church officer in an old decorative style (6)
ROCOCO:  First letters (starts to) the next six words.  It’s a bit rich for me . . .

2d           Reserved object, last in sale (6)
DEMURE:  A word meaning to object followed by an E (last in salE).  A bit of a chestnut perhaps but it’s still a good clue, especially if you haven’t seen it before.

3d           Drag a scout free — this rescue worker might (10)
COASTGUARD:  Anagram (free) of DRAG A SCOUT.  I think this is a very nice all-in-one.

4d           American after fortune for plant (5)
LOTUS:  A word for fortune or fate followed by the usual two letters for American.

5d           Cold fish on shoot gets a wrap? (9)
CLINGFILM:  The fish in this clue used to be a crosswordland favourite but I haven’t seen it for quite a while.  Anyway, start with a C for cold and follow with said fish. Finally you need a word meaning to shoot with a movie camera to get a wrap for your lunchtime sandwiches perhaps.

6d           Article about a neighbourhood (4)
AREA: An indefinite article followed by two letters for about and finally the a from the clue.  Not a wasted letter!

7d           Deposit small sum of money in crumpled tens (8)
SEDIMENT:  An American coin of small value is inserted into (in) an anagram (crumpled) of TENS.  

8d           Bolt, maybe, in small piece of office equipment (8)
SPRINTER:  This Bolt is Usain, cunningly concealing the required capital by having him the first word of the clue.  He’s made up of S(mall) followed by a piece of office equipment.  If you want to watch his amazing world record run have a look here:-  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HFLuduKmnW0 

13d         Golf course in narrow valley — good scores there (10)
GLENEAGLES:  A narrow valley in Scotland followed by some very good scores on a golf course.

15d         Winner, Scotsman, becoming strait-laced (9)
VICTORIAN:  Another word for the winner followed by a common Scottish man’s name.

16d         Huge company deficit a line shows (8)
COLOSSAL:  The usual company followed by a word for a deficit, the a from the clue and an L(ine).

17d         Protest about renegade party member (8)
DEMOCRAT:  An abbreviation of a protest march followed by a single letter for about and finally a renegade or traitor will give you a member of a political party.  Not Donald Trump’s but the other lot.

19d         Stretch of lake twists to the north (6)
SPRAWL: Start with L(ake) and the a word meaning twists, as a piece of wood might twist, and then reverse the lot (to the north in a down clue).

20d         Morse creator put off about vote (6)
DEXTER:  The name of the writer who created Inspector Morse is a word meaning to put someone off around an X (vote).  Here’s one for Kath . . .

23d         Keen listener comprehending good English (5)
EAGER: Take one of the listeners you have on the side of your head and insert (comprehending) a G(ood) and an E(nglish).

24d         Real solid houses to boot (4)
ALSO:  A lurker hidden in (houses) the first two words.

My favourite was the splendid 3d and up on the podium with it are 13d and 28a.

Quick crossword pun:     CHEWED     +     AROSE     =     TUDOR ROSE

106 comments on “DT 29408

  1. Re 18a, apparently the system that sets up the online puzzles can’t cope with hyphens and so calls them a letter! It has been fixed now

    Nicely Monday-ish crossword – thank you to the setter and Pommers

  2. I found this quite challenging, but very enjoyable. Favourite clue 1a, with honourable mentions for 18a, 22a and 13d

    1. Adding your nationality sent you into moderation. Both aliases should work from now on

      1. Thank you. I don’t think I’m the only Richard to write in, so nice to be an individual. I thought about changing my name to “Richard, the proud Welsh rugby supporter now living in England” but thought that might be a step too far. Thanks for all your efforts

        1. When Wales was playing England I asked my Welsh friend living in England which side he supported. He replied: “Whichever side wins!”

  3. I thought this was a cracking Monday puzzle, the best one for ages. Whole host of podium contenders but I’ve gone for 13d, the very clever and smooth lurker at 24d with top spot going to 1a.
    Many thanks to the setter and to Pommers for the top notch entertainment.

    Ps…I remember seeing 15d quite a few years ago clued as something like “19th century gentlemen”…How clever I thought, and it sparked my interest in these puzzles.

  4. A very pleasant Monday puzzle – thanks to setter and pommers (especially for the wonderful Fitzgerald ‘translation’ of Omar Khayyam).

    As well as the missing hyphen the enumeration is also wrong in 18a (at least it’s wrong on the Puzzles site).

    I checked the BRB and it does list the required word for 25a under ‘swagger’ – so it’s probably not a misprint.

    The clues I liked best were 11a, 12a and 3d.

  5. Thoroughly enjoyable grid. Perfect for a day’s leave I’ve also managed the additional Monday electronic crossword. What a treat. Lots to enjoy but 19d was my LOI and favourite. Honourable mention to 8d. Like others I was somewhat confused by 18a expecting 3-5, 4 not 9,4. Thanks to setter and hinter.

  6. The missing hyphen in 18a held me up for a bit, and since when is ‘mind’ the same as ‘soul’? Didn’t care much for that one, nor did I find the usual sharpness in a Campbell puzzle, though I found it moderately enjoyable. I liked 13d best of all, as well as 1a and 3d, which is always two words over here. Thanks to pommers for the hints and to Campbell. 3* / 3* (because of enumeration oddity)

    1. Ditto re soul and mind (spiritual and physical) and with 18a is it OK, in order to get the solution, to imply a hyphen into the clue, i.e. as “individual-recording”? I know the convention is to ignore punctuation in the clues, but to add one that isn’t there?

        1. Robert, I do miss Keith Waterhouse and his campaign to improve written English through his ‘Association for the Abolition of the Aberrant Apostrophe’. If he thought things were bad then, I am sure that, if he’s following social media up there in grammatical Valhalla, he must be sharpening a whole armoury of virtual weapons. People don’t seem to comprehend the difference between it’s and its, and probably the very worst freakish error to have recently invaded the language like COVID-19 is ‘should of’, ‘could of’, ‘must of’ and so on. I sometimes wonder, apart from their lack of understanding of basic grammar, as well as apostrophes, how people emerged from at least 11 years of schooling not knowing the difference between lose and loose, draw and drawer, to, two and too, there and their. Sometimes I simply lose the will to live. Sorry, rant over.

  7. I raced through this until I got to 18a. I couldn’t work out why it said (9,4) but only had 12 squares. I got the second word, but had to check the review for the first because I was a bit unsure. I couldn’t get through to the DT this morning, they were having “problems”. I almost emailed BD to throw some light on it all, but thought better of it. Thanks to CS for solving the mystery. Thanks to the setter and to Pommers. Favourite clue was 11a. Our two ducks George and Mildred have left us, but they seem to have been replaced by a rabbit in the garden. No prizes for his name.

    1. I am in two minds – It’s either Peter or Bugs and the vote goes to… Peter

  8. An enjoyable start to the week. 3d was my favourite clue today. Thanks to the setter and Pommers.

  9. An enjoyable puzzle as everyone else has said, with just enough challenge to keep us on our toes (**/****). I particularly enjoyed some of the anagrams (11a and 3d). 14d and 7d were great clues too. Thank you to Pommers for the review and to Campbell for an interesting puzzle.

  10. My only pause for thought was with 18a; other than that all quite straightforward.

    Not sure about the hint for 7d – the answer is singular.

    Many thanks to the setter and to pommers.

    1. You’re right about 7d. It’s silly me wot put an S on the end in the blog. I’ll put it right. Ta muchly.

  11. Pleasant start to the week ,I thought that the surfacing in general was excellent, for example 2d,13d,9a,10a.
    2d is my favourite . No obscurities to spoil this puzzle. Going for a **/****-thanks setter.
    My local reopens today-I think I will let the dust settle for a while!

  12. A very fine puzzle for a Monday morning. 11a stood out for me, as did 5d. Not too difficult but beautifully clued throughout and great fun.

    Thanks to our setter and pommers.

  13. This gently entertaining exercise was a welcome contrast with yesterday’s nightmare. Last to go in was 13d as I had tried to use seaside course rather than a specific one but it now becomes joint Fav with 8d. Thank you Campbell and pommers.

    1. I did the same thing with the seaside course. I needed all the checking letters to tumble to the correct answer! What did someone say about lateral thinking?

  14. Back up and running again. A very kind lady at the DT sorted the website issues for me in the end. Today’s puzzle a 2*/3* for me. I liked 5d. A clever clue. Favourite 19d. No real difficulty with any of it although 18a is correctly punctuated in my version or that would have caused a problem. I shall now look at the one I missed yesterday. Judging by your comments it seems It was a good one. Thanks to all.

      1. As I said to the Crossword Editor when I alerted him to the enumeration-hyphen problem – I really miss the newspaper – I only get one on Saturdays now

    1. For the first time in about 3 weeks today’s paper miraculously appeared on my iPad without me having to do a hard reset.
      Glad that you’re sorted out

  15. Nothing overly taxing & maybe a tad more demanding than some of the recent Monday offerings. As a keen golfer I couldn’t believe Perthshire’s finest caused some head scratching but I was fixated on getting links into the answer for some reason. 22a was my last in & must admit I needed Pommers to properly parse it. Enjoyed the acrosses at 10,11&14 plus the downs at 3,13&15 but it’ll have to be the golf clue that wins it. Fans of anagrams ought to head to rookie corner today with pen & paper at the ready (I certainly needed both) & I thought the Graun’s Quiptic delightfully clued.
    Thanks to the setter & Pommers.
    Ps. Can somebody please explain 20d answer in the Quickie – probably just me being dense….

    1. If you’re being dense about 20d in the Quickie then so am I. I’ve no idea about it. With a bit of luck someone will enlighten us.

    2. I thought 20d in the Quickie rather strange too. If someone says ‘Take it!’, I suppose the listener must ‘react’ to that command. Still, rather odd.

    3. Not 100% sure about 20d either, but I assumed it to mean how you “take” something, in the sense of responding to it.

    4. I don’t ‘get’ 20d in the Quickie either – it’s usually me being dim but glad others agree.

        1. D’oh! Well done Gazza. I should have known it would be you that enlightened us :smile:

    5. Ref the Quickie 20d. As usual I just bung in what fits. It never occurred to me that it was odd. I didn’t notice the enumeration problem either. Heigh ho

    6. I just thought of it as “how did he take it?” or “how did he react to it?”

      1. Gazza to the rescue again, and you, Florence – no-one else seems to have acknowledged you so I thought that I would. :smile:

        1. Thank you Kath. Just having a last minute glance at the site before I retire. Stay safe and stay well.

          1. Apologies Florence. I completely missed the fact that you were there before Gazza. Note to self – read all posts before replying.

            By the by, Florence was my maternal grandmother’s name and, as she sadly died just before we bought our first boat it got called “Tidal Flo” and the second boat we had was “Firenze”. If we’d had a third it would have been “Free Flo” and a fourth would have been “Flo Forth”. But we sold Firenze to buy our house in Spain but that’s called “Casa Pom”.

            Happy days.

  16. Enjoyed today’s, although for a while I had “shredder” in my head for 8d, then the penny dropped about “Bolt”!

  17. 2*/4*. This made a fine start to the crosswording week and I really enjoyed it. 11a & 3d were my joint favourites.

    Many thanks to Campbell and to pommers.

  18. An enjoyable start to the (non-)work week, and not close to being an 11a, completed at a fast gallop – **/***.
    Candidates for favourite – 18a, 22a, and 19d – and the winner is 22a.
    Thanks to the setter and pommers.

  19. I agree with you about 18ac it took a bit of thinking about, especially as it says 9,4 letters when it is 8,4.

    1. Like the new alias – either it and your proper name will work when you comment from now on

  20. Glad to return to the easier start to the week after the raised difficulty I found on Friday Saturday and Sunday. Thanks to Campbell for the puzzle and thanks to pommers for explaining my bung in at 1 down and also for illustrating it. I had no idea what it might look like.

  21. Late start today but I greatly enjoyed this one. 13d secures the gold medal with 1&9a plus 19d also on the podium.

    Thanks to Campbell and to Pommers for the review and the delightful video clip at 21a, must listen to that again.

  22. I really enjoyed today’s crossword.
    I agree with pommers that there was enough to think about without being totally impossible.
    Lots of misdirection too – or am I just easily fooled – spoke in 1a, Bolt in 8d and ‘to boot’ in 24d all ‘got’ me.
    22a was my last answer – yet another one where I couldn’t quite find the definition.
    I didn’t have trouble with 18a because, as others have said, the enumeration in the paper was OK.
    Even I have heard of 13d!
    Lots of good clues including 14 and 18a and 1, 3 and 24d. I think my favourite was 19d but then there’s 20d . . .
    Thanks to Campbell for the crossword and to pommers for the hints but specially for the 20d pic!

    1. You’re welcome to the 20d piccy. I last used that one for a clue in DT27885 on 20 August 2015.

  23. I set off at a cracking pace only to hit the buffers when I got to the bottom half although I tried for ages to use “stapler” in 8d. Favourites are 9a, 5d but my COTD is 1a. Nice to see the author of Morse, who liked a crossword or two, make an appearance.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Pommers for the hints.

  24. Return to sanity for me after yesterday. Lovely starter for the week with some excellent clues. Like others tried to shape 13d around links until the penny dropped.
    8d good but 11a my COTD.
    Thanks to Campbell for the remarkably consistent standard and pommers for the review and explanations.

    Like others 20d in Quickie got me not sure it works

  25. You know you are a committed cruciverbalist, when you finish the crossword, pick up the Business section of the paper, read the headline “Treasury weighs virus loan changes” and think “Right, anagram of virus loan. . . . .”

  26. A nice Monday mixture of straight-forward and slightly trickier clues made for a pleasant start to the week. Favourites 1a, 22a and 8d.

  27. Much to enjoy here and last one on was 13d because I was in the ‘links’ brigade. I wasn’t too sure about 27a but lots of other clues were fun. Still blowing a gale here (despite taking the medicine Steve) and drying out all the pots but I picked some runner beans for dinner tonight and gooseberries too. But I am still depressed about the future especially for our generation and I am nervous about going out amongst other folk. Thanks to all for the divertissement.

    1. I know what you mean about the future but think I’m probably at least as concerned, if not more so, for the future of our children and grandchildren – and then, there’s always Brexit to worry about. Oh dear!

    2. Not sure I’d want goosgogs with my runner beans. It takes all sorts….

      1. Mackerel with a gooseberry sauce – good old Cornish dish. Bananas and marmite. Sausages with marmalade. Be adventurous!

        1. Bacon and marmalade on fried bread is yum, as is marmite and peanut butter on toast.

          1. Try adding some marmite to the fat that you roast your potatoes in Kath – they are truly gorgeous.

        2. Now there’s a coincidence Daisy – I have just prepared sausages in a marmalade glaze/sauce with carrot ‘n swede mash, red wine and shallot gravy
          Seemed a little untoward to be opening the Bordeaux at this time of day, but I reckon I can cope…

  28. Still reeling from the beating I got yesterday from Dada. To be honest I didn’t find this one much better. Very tricky and certainly above my ability. Incomplete even after 2 visits, will have to consult the excellent hints.
    Thx for the hints

  29. I found this a nice way to start Monday off, I enjoyed 1, 5 14, 16 across on the Downs it was 1, 16, and 20, 9 across was new to me but 10 across was my COTD.

    Stay safe everyone

  30. A busy start to the day so very late coming to this.Often,being late,l would not bother to comment but do want to say what an enjoyable and challenging puzzle l found this to be.I also struggled with20 d in the quick but a pleased that l seem to have it right and for the right reason.Thanks to all.

  31. I did reasonably well at this until I had to resort to the hints for the last 2 (22a and 19d).
    I started by bunging in Hosta for 4d until crossing clues put me right. I was reasonably sure I was right with 13d but that particular valley is not very narrow and caused me to doubt.
    I loved loads of these but 8d gets my vote today.
    Thanks to pommers and setter Campbell?
    I must buy a copy of the BRB as the online version is ok but I would like a “hard” copy would anyone recommend either the 13th ed or the crossword version (or both)

    1. We have several of various editions which came from a remainders shop. I personally wouldn’t get the crossword version and I would consider Amazon or EBay for a bargain, or a charity or second-hand bookshop. OK you may miss out on some new words but they don’t feature often in crosswords.

  32. Ouch, much harder than Dada yesterday, a few to go, a normal Monday struggle.

    1. Lost the will to live with this, eventually cheated on 13d, simply because I was bored.
      Appreciate the work of the setter, but the Monday crosswords are not for me.
      Thanks Pommers.

      1. 13d beat you Hoofs a single figure handicap?! Sackcloth & ashes
        There again you have probably forgotten the term for a very low score.

        1. I have even played there, lROK.
          I remember shanking one, just missing a very irate member.
          Can’t remember which course, but there were a fair number of ar***oles there.

          1. Nice B&B attached & fantastic views but it’s over-rated & overpriced for me.
            I prefer Blairgowrie, a proper members club with 2 great courses
            If ever you win on the lottery & want a REAL 5*+ golf and accommodation trip come up to Skibo Castle (just look it up on Trip Advisor).
            Never mention the “s” word in polite company.

  33. Nice crossword agree **/**** 😃 plenty of favourites but my choices are 5d and 13d. thanks to Pommers and to the Setter 🤗

  34. Where is Merusa today? I looked up Ameiva – Amazon jungle runner! How do you sleep at night?

    1. Late today – had a visitor! I found this morning that my ameiva has migrated to the sitooterie and I can see her on the other side of the room, just hope she stays put until my young lady comes to catch him.

  35. Really enjoyed this after yesterday’s struggle. Excellent clueing with most going in smoothly yet enough to wake up the (rapidly declining!) little grey cells. I particularly liked 3d, 11a, 14a and 18a.19d caused me the longest tussle but got there in the end, thanks to Pommers. Thanks,too, to the setter for an enjoyable and fair challenge.

  36. I certainly didn’t gallop through this one but it was very doable and there was lots to like.
    There are certainly enough candidates for fave: 11a, 6d for its economy, 13d, 20d, but I think 16d is it.
    Thanks to Campbell, and to pommers for hints and pics, not least the clip at 21a, loved it.

  37. I found this much tougher than yesterday’s Dada, and had to break away for a routine check up. Just picked it up again, but can’t seem to get on wavelength. Two new books waiting to be read, so I don’t think I’ve enough interest to ponder this one any more. Especially after I looked at the hint for 9a…

  38. Loved this puzzle. Quite appropriately my last one in was 10a and became my 2nd favourite . Top position goes to 13d for the excellent deception. At the gentler end of Monday spectrum for me, so */**** , which was a good job given my day was split between work and our brand new poodle puppy.

  39. Thanks to all for the comments. They really do make doing the blog worthwhile.

    I’m glad most of you seem to agree with my **/**** rating which is most unusual as I usually find I’m in a minority.

    I’m off to bed now as I’ve got an early start tomorrow as we’re having a day out in Cartagena. Not for the first time but we’ve never visited the maritime museum and we do know a great place for lunch, so long as it’s still open.

    See y’all in a couple of weeks.

  40. Very late today, but a solved unaided and understood all the answers, so a hurrah day.
    What a relief after my disaster of yesterday.

    Thanks to the setter and to Pommers.

  41. Harder than a normal Monday offering. Some clues jumped right out at me and others not so much. Needed some electronic help today definitely. COTD candidates 5a, 11a, 14a, 15d & 20d … and the winner is 20d
    Last in 8d as the NE was the troublesome quadrant.

    Thanks to setter and Pommers

  42. Super. I got held up at end in SE. Totally stupid of me. I knew there was a golf course beginning with Glen and shoved in Glenrothes (which apparently has two) without trying to parse. That of course proved disastrous for the others in the corner. Checked the hint- thanks Pommers – banged my head against the wall and quickly finished the rest. Thank you Cameron. Favourite is 11a.

  43. Very enjoyable. Favourites were 14a, 5d and 24d. Thanks to setter and to Pommers for the help with 8d (couldn’t stop thinking about copiers machines and staplers) and for the Radiohead video.

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