DT 29426 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29426

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29426

Hints and tips by pommers

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Hola from the Vega Baja where the very quiet summer continues. Very few tourists about and all our bookings on the apartment have cancelled so there’s not much work to do.

Today’s crossword was about as I’ve come to expect for Monday.  Not too difficult in the main but with a couple of head scratchers.  There seems to me to be a lot of messing about with single letters today.  There’s six clues requiring you to use either the first or last letter of a word.  There’s also six clues involving anagrams so I know some of you will be happy.

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           Sound off right away, after one tucked into crusty roll (9)
CROISSANT:  Start with a word meaning crusty or irritated and insert (tucked in) the letter that looks like number one.  After it put a word meaning to sound off but without the R (R(ight) away).

6a           Crack in rig initially overlooked (4)
QUIP:  It’s a crack as in a joke.  A word meaning to rig or supply without the first letter (initially overlooked).

10a         Wild dog daughter shot protecting home (5)
DINGO:  D(aughter) and a word for a shot or a try at something placed around (protecting) the usual word for home or at home.

11a         Head describing Scottish town preacher (3,6)
LAY READER:  Take a word for a head or person in charge and place it around (describing) a town and port in SW Scotland.  Split it all (3,6) and you get a preacher who isn´t an ordained clergyman.  Any excuse for a bit of Dylan . . .

12a         Call to mind first half of authentic prayer (9)
RECOLLECT:  The first half of a word meaning authentic followed by a prayer.

14a         Sudden quick movements in game (5)
DARTS:  Double definition.

15a         Be tense suppressing awful urge for pot (4,3)
BEER GUT:  This is a pot as in a pot belly.  It’s the BE from the clue and T(ense) placed around (suppressing) an anagram (awful) of URGE.

16a         Wild, as is to be expected (7)
NATURAL:  Double definition.

18a         Dicky writes about onset of tragic tornado (7)
TWISTER:  Anagram (dicky) of WRITES about a T (onset of Tragic).

20a         Part of series involving Federal agents (7)
SEGMENT:  Take a word for a series and insert a term for members of the FBI.

21a         Small border plant (5)
SEDGE:  S(mall) followed by a border or rim.

23a         Let go, student I rebuked (9)
LIBERATED:  The usual student and the I from the clue followed by a word meaning rebuked.

25a         Way of living in Ely itself changed (9)
LIFESTYLE:  Anagram (changed) of ELY ITSELF.

26a         Love huge Greek character (5)
OMEGA:  The letter for love in tennis followed by a word for huge which can also be used to denote 1,000,000.

28a         Angry and very rude on vacation (4)
SORE:  A word for very (2) followed by RE (R(ud)E on vacation).

29a         Farm building may make wife and child disheartened (5,4)
DUTCH BARN:  Cockney slang for wife followed by a Scottish word for a child without its middle letter (disheartened).


1d           Cried out for a drink (5)
CIDER:  Anagram (out) of CRIED.

2d           Possess dress, not grand (3)
OWN:  A word for a formal dress without the G (not Grand).

3d           Focus attention on minor securing trophy (9)
SPOTLIGHT:  Take a word for minor and insert a slang term for a trophy or cup.

4d           Complaint of menial working on top of tower (7)
AILMENT:  Anagram (working) of menial on a T (top of Tower).

5d           Sea god assuming tail of ray in attempt to deceive (3,2,2)
TRY IT ON:  Start with a sea god, son of Poseidon and who is also the planet Neptune’s largest moon, and insert (assuming) a Y (tail of raY) and split the result (3,2,2).

7d           Held in custody below, a leader of ring and others (5,6)
UNDER ARREST:  A word meaning below followed by the A from the clue, an R (leader of Ring) and a word for the others.

8d           Cheese and wine welcome when lacking energy (4,5)
PORT SALUT:  A fortified wine followed by a word for a welcome but without the E (lacking energy).

9d           Soldiers, last in ward, get better (4)
MEND:  One of the usual words for soldiers followed by a D (last in warD).

13d         Gambling game: clubs delay introducing limit (6,2,3)
CHEMIN DE FER: Take a C(lubs) and a word meaning to delay and insert a phrase (3,2) meaning to limit or surround.

15d         Scented stuff from spa lasts, if sprinkled (4,5)
BATH SALTS:  Another word for a spa followed by an anagram (if sprinkled) of LASTS.

17d         Plane, one with brightly coloured wings (5,4)
TIGER MOTH:  This aircraft is named after an insect which has brightly coloured wings.

19d         Ivy League university raised in revolutionary broadcast (7)
RELAYED:  Take one of the Ivy League universities and reverse it (raised in a down clue) and insert into a word for a revolutionary or communist.

20d         National  topic (7)
SUBJECT:  Double definition.

22d         Presenting few difficulties in store, as yet (4)
EASY: A lurker hiding in (in) the last three words of the clue.

24d         Sketch rear of wagon pulled along (5)
DRAWN:  A word meaning to sketch followed by an N (rear of wagoN).

27d         English artist shows age (3)
ERA:  E(nglish) followed by the usual artist.

No stand-out favourite for me today but 11a, 8d and 15d are worth a mention.

Quick crossword puns:
Top line:     AUK     +     SHUN     +     EARS     =     AUCTIONEERS

Bottom line:     RHEA     +     WHIN     +     DOE     =     REAR WINDOW

70 comments on “DT 29426

  1. A very gentle start to the DT solving week. No particular favourites, just a nice straightforward solve.

    Thanks to Campbell and Pommers

    1. A pleasant, reasonably straightforward puzzle which was enjoyable and had a few challenges. I couldn’t parse the whole of 1a so thanks to Pommers for the hint on that one. I liked 20a, 23a and 29a best and as Pommers remarked there were some good anagrams. It must feel very strange for that there to be so few tourists in that part of Spain aand the neemw uarantine for those returning from varoius parts of Europe wont help the tourist trade.

  2. Certainly Monday but very enjoyable while it lasted.The blog is even better.Thanks to all

  3. 1.5*/3.5*. A light and enjoyable puzzle – just right for a Monday with yet another appearance for the seemingly ubiquitous 26a.

    I can’t disagree with pommers’ choices of 11a, 15a & 8d for my podium selection.

    Many thanks to Campbell and to pommers.

  4. 8d, 15a & 13d would be my pick of the clues in what was a pleasantly straightforward Monday solve.
    Thanks to Campbell & Pommers.

  5. This wasn’t quite as straightforward as Monday puzzles have been of late. 8d had me baffled for a time because the second word looked as though it could be split and I couldn’t make any sense of that. I quite often have the cheese in question but it was, nevertheless, a lightbulb moment. I’m still struggling to understand 12a and 28a. Where does the prayer come into it? Anybody? And why does taking the u and D out of rude become a vacation? **/*** Favourite 17d. Thanks to all.

    1. The last seven letters of 12a are a short prayer – as for the vacation in 28a, it is literally an emptying of the insides

      1. Thank you, cryptic Sue. I didn’t know that so there’s something new I’ve learned today. And thanks Pommers. I see, the U and D are on vacation as in away. Simple when you know how!

    2. A collect is a type of prayer.

      Think vacation in terms of being vacated or emptied.

      1. The emphasis in pronunciation would be on the first syllable, Greta, unlike the normal use of ‘collect’ where we stress the second syllable. The prayer is usually one of 365 set prayers called the Daily Collects which the Anglican Church use in their daily services.

        A pleasant start to the week, overall.

        1. I looked it up after Cryptic Sue told me. It was kind of her not to tell me to do that first! It’s the first definition listed in my Oxford dictionary. I have just been exposed as a total heathen! Not one I will forget now.

      1. Your avatar is of a man with a camel following a bright celestial event and you object to religious clues!!
        (just kidding I slapped my forehead when the penny dropped on that one too)

            1. Brian with one of the magi on his avatar? Pull the other one, or am I too thick.

  6. A week off work allows me to get here early but it has already been said. I concur totally with CS and RD.
    Campbell has settled in as an ideal Monday setter who can compile a straightforward puzzle that still satisfies.
    Thanks to pommers for explaining a few.
    8d would be a fave but it is such a bland chewy cheese I have demoted it.

  7. A delightful Monday puzzle with (oh dear!) some foreign words but nothing that seemed too estranging. I’m glad that the 4-letter words came more easily today than yesterday’s bung-ins (!), and one of them gets the Gold today: 6a. Other winners: 13, 8, and 3d. Thanks to pommers and to Campbell for a most enjoyable start to the week. 1.5* / 3.5*

    Olivia de Havilland has left us, age 104; she gave one of the greatest-ever performances in “The Heiress”, for which she won the second of her two Oscars.

    1. Always a quiz question favourite – the only siblings to have won the Oscar in a lead role. Shame they had such a fractious relationship.

      1. Here is another:

        The only father and son to have played in the same (cricket) test team ?

  8. I don’t know why but this one didn’t really do it for me. I’d never heard of the gambling game but the the French phrase for railway jumped out at me from the checkers and I saw how the wordplay could work. Same to a degree for the cheese and barn building. Only other problem was parsing 20a.
    No particular favourites so I’ll go for..
    2.5/ 2.5*
    Many thanks to the setter and to Pommers, particularly for including one of Dylan’s more melodic offerings.

      1. I was familiar but the G men. I tried to make regimen fit, and of course that didn’t help with 8d nor 20d.

    1. I’ve often wondered why the game was called “railway”, I must google and research.

  9. The week gets off to a comparatively 22d start. East got there before the West. Needed help with parsing 1a and 20a. Fav 13d. Clever Quickie puns. Thank you Campbell and Pommers.

  10. A ticklish little puzzle for a monday, it yook me some time to bring it to heel. For some reason 6a eluded me for some time, and when answer finally revealed itself one has to say I felt a little foolish.
    Thanks to Pommers and setter who seems to be giving us some cracking monday puzzles.

  11. By recent Monday standards, a bit of a head scratcher that took some time to get going and then it was done, completed at a gallop – **/****.
    Candidates for favourite – 12a, 3d, 7d, and 13d – and the winner is 12a.
    Thanks to Campbell and pommers.

  12. A neat puzzle today although I did not know the interpretation for prayer- also liked 20a very much. Thank you setter and pommers

  13. Took ages as I just couldn’t see 6a & didn’t know the cheese (although I think it has been used before). The others were typical Monday fare, well clued & satisfying to solve.
    Agree there seemed a lot of dropped letters, perhaps it is a Campbell trademark (assumimg it was him because of the double pun).
    COTD 28a.
    Thanks Campbell and pommers for review.

  14. Solved at a brisk canter. I didn’t know I knew 13d until the parsing led me to realise that it was indeed tucked away somewhere. I do like the surface of 1d. Thanks to the setter and Pommers.

  15. A most enjoyable puzzle but one that did put up a bit of a fight. I floundered in the SE corner because, for some reason known only to angels, I put “Gypsy” as the first part of 17d. Whatever possessed me to do so, I cannot fathom. As far as I am aware Sir Francis Chichester did not fly his boat around the world.
    Favourite clues galore today but special mention needs to be made of 11a, 29a and the fantastic 8d, which is my COTD.
    I missed the second Quickie pun because I have never heard of the second word.
    Many thanks to the setter for the entertainment and thanks also to Pommers for the hints.

    1. Ah, but there was a Gypsy Moth as part of the de Havilland ‘family’ of Moth aircraft!
      Additionally, Sir Francis was an aviator before he was a sailor owning a Gypsy Moth aircraft.

      1. There’s also a gypsy moth insect but it doesn’t have brightly coloured wings, it’s drab brown colour.

  16. Slight delay in getting round to this one as the hairdresser arrived this morning to shear my locks for the first time in four months. Quite a surreal experience having a mobile salon set up in the garage but it was ‘persisting down’ outside so the garage seemed to be the best alternative!
    All done and dusted now – both hair and crossword – the latter being our usual enjoyable Monday fare.
    No outstanding favourite but I did award places to 12&15a along with 8&13d.

    Thanks to Campbell and to pommers for the review – think we’ve got many of your would-be visitors over here at the moment!

    1. Jane,
      Thank you for yesterday’s observation re the BRB.
      Just three words: “Don’t YOU start”
      The visitors you haven’t got are up here

      1. Thought it unlikely that you wouldn’t be getting flak from elsewhere! I suppose you could always neatly point the BRB into the mantel piece and request a new copy for Christmas? Watch out though, the replacement could come down the chimney with one heck of a thud!

        By the way – any news regarding photos of the owl?

        1. Jane,
          Re fireplace am thinking the books make an interesting feature so putting bookshelves either side of stove to hold up said mantelpiece is plan X. Will be a talking point when the house is featured on Grand Designs (or more likely, DIY SOS).
          No further sightings of Snowy sadly. Latest encounter was when daughters dog disturbed an extremely cross adder of which photos were obtained, plus 2 red squirrels when they weren’t.

  17. Thoroughly enjoyable and reasonably untaxing today. I thought our blogger’s selection of podium places was spot on, and of these I thought 8d was the outstanding clue of the day.

    Thanks to Campbell for the fun and to pommers.

  18. Have to agree with Stephen L – I found this became slightly irritating. Answers either wrote themselves in immediately or I fiddled around with individual letters, so, all in all, not either a very satisfying nor hugely enjoyable solve. However, thanks to the setter for his efforts – I wouldn’t even know where to begin in setting a crossword and to DT for hints which weren’t needed but which, as ever, were entertaining.
    A busy family day yesterday meant that I only completed half of the Sunday crossword before exhaustion set in so need to try to complete, though the signs are that it’s going to be a real tussle!

  19. Slightly more challenging for a Monday, but nonetheless very enjoyable. Always forget the feds as in 20a, so thanks for the parsing help. But did remember the cockney slang in 29a for once. Favourites 11a, 4d, 13d and 17d which took me back to the 1950s when I flew in one. Found the four-letter clues the hardest.

  20. I didn’t find this particularly 22d to solve, mainly my GK letting me down. Have never heard of 8d, or the prayer in 12a. I have always found a 1a to be flaky rather than crusty, so that threw me off for a while. Also only recalled “trouble and strife” as the cockney for wife. Some good clues but some that didn’t quite gel, at least for me. That’s 3 days in a row when I have not done very well, hope to do better tomorrow. Thanks to setter and Pommers.

    1. BL
      As in the review, crusty refers to someone’s mood (then insert “i”) to get the first 6 letters, rather than the texture of the roll.

      1. Thanks. Really recommend today’s bonus cryptic 614, it’s a real treat, with 20d being my COTD. I even managed a couple of sporty clues 😊

  21. Flew through the west side except 1a, thought I was on the way to a new PB. Came to a grinding halt, 1, 6, 8 & 16 held out for 10 times as long as the rest put together. Thanks to Setter & Pommers – you might like to revise your explanation for 15d.

  22. Enjoyed this immensely as it was not too taxing so thanks to all. Particularly enjoyed the cheese clue. Years ago we rented a boat for a week from a boatyard a lock downstream from the monastery where the cheese is made. On our last day we went through the lock and moored near said monastery. To our horror we suddenly found we were high and dry and there was no water round us. I phoned the boatyard and they said not to worry – apparently the monks hated the fact that the English manager of the boatyard wore shorts! and always diverted the water to annoy everyone when one of his boats was there. I remember I was listening to The Archers and wondered why we were suddenly at a very strange angle. The water came back a couple of hours later. You wouldn’t think monks would get stroppy about shorts. Thankfully in lockdown I’ve completely lost my addiction to The Archers!

  23. Yet another nice start to the week😃 **/*** Favourites (there were many) 😉 1a & 29a. Thanks to Pommers and to Campbell👍

  24. And seeing ignorance is the curse of God, Knowledge the wing wherewith we fly to heaven…
    Well I have been the curse of God today, for I struggled to complete this occasionally baffling puzzle. I fell three short, so much gratitude to pommers for helping me over the line.
    A really grim day here in Surrey with fierce winds and heavy downpours. Lola decided to stay indoors so I followed her fine example.
    Soon be Christmas…
    Thanks to Campbell and pommers.

    1. That’s the second reference to Christmas I’ve seen today – yet another year that’s flying past at a fair old rate. Mind you, a lot of us won’t be sorry to see the back of this one, provided of course that 2021 is an improvement!
      Hope you’re not subjecting Lola to more football – I found that cats were far more fascinated by snooker, especially those ‘trickle’ shots.

        1. Hardly surprising, Kath, you’ve had a lot more on your plate than many of us.
          As my dear old granny used to constantly say ‘count the blessings that you do have and put the rest of it behind you’.

          1. Allow me to join in with an ‘all the best’ to Kath.

            Jane – Lola is having a break from football as she found yesterday quite stressful but she has asked me to make sure I wake her on Saturday afternoon for the F.A. Cup Final.

            1. Not sure who you think you’re fooling, Terence, but if it makes you happy then Lola will doubtless go along with it in preference to facing the dog next door!

  25. A lovely surprise spur of the moment visit for the day from the Elder Lamb, her partner and our three year old grandson.
    After a very wet walk (to wear out the ‘beast’) lots of drying out and lots of food they left leaving a trail of chaos – cleared up and then did the crossword.
    I quite enjoyed it and didn’t meet too many problems apart from the blasted federal agents in 20a – I always forget them.
    I got a bit held up with 15a – oh, that kind of pot. :roll:
    I think my favourite was 8d.
    Thanks to Campbell and to pommers.

  26. A nice puzzle to start the week off, **/****, but had issues with the clue and then the hint for 29a. Didn’t quite gel with my knowledge of what the hint was suggesting for the first word of the answer. Maybe it’s me … just saying …
    Favourites today were 1a, 23a, 5d, 13d & 20d .. tie for winner 5d & 20d

    Thanks to setter and pommers

  27. Nice and straightforward for me today. Always good to see the classic Gmen putting an appearance in. Didn’t need the clues, pommers, though I did think you had slightly let the cat out of the bag with the hint for 15d. “Another word for a bath…”

    1. 15d – mea culpa. It always surprises me how easy it is to do that. It’s supposed to say “Another word for a spa”. D’oh!

      1. It’s so easy to do that sort of thing. When I do the hints the thing I dread most is seeing a fairly early comment from Gazza. It usually means I’ve got something a bit wrong – sometimes a little bit and sometimes a big bit. He’s always so nice about it that it doesn’t dent the ego too much but it sorts out the problem.

        1. It’s so so easy to make a mistake when writing hints and proof reading ones own work always fails. We keep going though.

          1. I’m very grateful to all the hinters. Big Dave really doesn’t pay you enough. 😂. Most days I like to think I can manage but some days I definitely do need help and if I attempt the Toughie then more than likely I’ll need the Rosetta stone of the hints.

              1. Yes, and every time I go fishing I catch ten times as many as last time…

  28. I started off running then hit a roadblock and needed a little e-help to get going again. A little trickier than the normal Monday fare, I thought.
    Lots to like, I like the cheese in 8d so maybe that’s my fave, but 13d also appealed. I never did solve the pesky four-letter 6a.
    Thanks to Campbell for the fun and to pommers for his review.

  29. I’m in the “straightforward apart from the ones I’ve never heard of” camp this evening. Like others I’ve never heard of the prayer in 12a, being not at all religious that’s not surprising, the cheese in 8d or the gambling game in 13d. But hey ho I got there without recourse to the hints. Favourite was 14a for no better reason than I’m going to play tomorrow for the first time since they closed the pubs. Thanks to Campbell and Pommers.

    1. Surprisingly, I knew the prayer, the gambling game and the cheese. Not sure what that says about my ‘previous’ but perhaps ‘eclectic’ covers it. Enjoy your 14a tomorrow – I’ve always counted it as a win if I’ve managed to embed my missile into the board!

  30. Found the quickie a bit tricky today….
    held up a bit in the cryptic with “gypsy” in 17D ” plane, one with brightly coloured wings (5,4)”….
    3*/4*….liked 15A “be tense suppressing awful urge for pot (4,3)”.

  31. Started last night. Fell asleep and finished upon waking. Did get them all without hints or aids but felt like extracting teeth for some of them. Thanks for the parsing of 1 and 28a Pommers. 6 16 and 28a were last in. Favourites were 6 11 and 15 a and 8 and 13d. Thanks Campbell.

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