DT 29429 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29429

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29429

Hints and tips by Yosser Hughes

(Winging it in Wing)

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Good morning from The Farmers Arms in England’s smallest county where Saint Sharon and I have taken a short break to celebrate our retirement. It has been pointed out that one has to start work before one can retire from it but hey-ho. Each to their own.

Today’s puzzle started slowly but fell a bit quicker than I initially thought it would. That’s checkers for you. We had three old cities which I found unusual but let the setter set. Our task is to solve.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    A hundred security devices — tickers? (6)
CLOCKS: The Roman numeral for one hundred is followed by the means of securing a door

5a    A new wife in a state that doesn’t bespeak peace? (3,5)
WAR BRIDE: A word describing a newly married woman or wife follows the opposite of peace to form a term describing a woman married during hostilities. The first time I have ever seen the word bespeak

9a    Family around start of evening eats plants (10)
CELANDINES: Place a family (possibly Scottish) around the initial letter of evening. Add a plural word meaning to eat

The Lesser ********* by William Wordsworth

There is a Flower, the Lesser *********,
That shrinks, like many more, from cold and rain;
And, the first moment that the sun may shine,
Bright as the sun himself, ’tis out again!

When hailstones have been falling, swarm on swarm,
Or blasts the green field and the trees distressed,
Oft have I seen it muffled up from harm,
In close self-shelter, like a Thing at rest.

But lately, one rough day, this Flower I passed,
And recognized it, though an altered form,
Now standing forth an offering to the blast,
And buffeted at will by rain and storm.

I stopped, and said, with inly-muttered voice,
“It doth not love the shower, nor seek the cold:
This neither is its courage nor its choice,
But its necessity in being old.

“The sunshine may not cheer it, nor the dew;
It cannot help itself in its decay;
Stiff in its members, withered, changed of hue.”
And, in my spleen, I smiled that it was grey.

To be a Prodigal’s Favourite -then, worse truth,
A Miser’s Pensioner -behold our lot!
O Man, that from thy fair and shining youth
Age might but take the things Youth needed not!

10a    Exercise on street to get troublemaker (4)
PEST: The abbreviations for physical exercise and street join together to make a nuisance

11a    Biker’s gear abandoned in a shelter (8)
LEATHERS: Anagram (abandoned) of A SHELTER

12a    Record companies in East or West locations? (6)
INDIES: These record companies are also the names of groups of islands with names referring to opposite compass points

13a    Recognition of sporting achievement presented by English head (4)
CAPE: An award of headgear presented for representing ones country is followed by the abbreviation for English

15a    Member of community providing money to save team (8)
RESIDENT: Money provided in return for hire surrounds another word for a team

18a    Old city vehicle taking hours, long time (8)
CARTHAGE: A three-part charade. A popular means of transport. The abbreviation for hours. A long time (not an era)

19a    Leaders of good old dramatic society given top position in theatre (4)
GODS: The initial letters of four consecutive words in the clue give the name of the highest tier of seats in a theatre

21a    Old city I’d help to rebuild (6)
DELPHI: Anagram (to rebuild) of I’D HELP

23a    Become less believable with victory involving something dirty (4,4)
WEAR THIN: A word meaning a victory surrounds a word meaning something very dirty. Actually the very thing beneath your feet

25a    Band in rush (4)
BELT: A double definition. The second being a verb meaning to travel fast. The first might hold your trousers up

26a    Investor being excellent is beginning to thrive (10)
CAPITALIST: Begin with a synonym for excellent. Add the word is from the clue. Add the initial letter of the word thrive

27a    Material comes adrift around big person (8)
STRAPPER: Begin with a three-letter material only seen in crosswordland. Add a word meaning comes adrift or separates. Reverse what you have as indicated by the word around

28a    Travelling regularly — going by air, making a new start (6)
PLYING: A word meaning travelling by air needs its first letter changing as instructed by the words making a new start


2d    Old lord, say, in story (5)
LIEGE: The story is a fib into which you need to enter a Latin abbreviation of for example or say

3d    Most gossipy and most spiteful about husband (9)
CHATTIEST: The most talkative person can be found by inserting the abbreviation for husband into a word meaning the most spiteful

4d    Man created by cartoonist doing a semi-flip (6)
SIDNEY: The worlds most successful cartoonist needs half of his name reversing

5d    Inspired new crew refitted device on vehicle’s surface (10-5)

6d    One gets to slide during sleep? It’s most hazardous (8)
RISKIEST: One of a pair of sliders on snow snuggles nicely into a word meaning sleep

7d    Speech to musical background — I had to be quick (5)
RAPID: To speak to musical accompaniment followed by a contraction of I would

8d    Norfolk town deserved to be heard and recognised (9)
DISCERNED: Two homophones are required here. One of a four-letter Norfolk town and one of a word meaning deserved

14d    A feature of Hampton Court intended, we hear, to create perplexity (9)
AMAZEMENT: Begin with the letter A from the clue. Add the baffling feature from Hampton Court. Add a homophone of a word meaning intended

16d    How IT works — no longer understand it, mate? (9)
DIGITALLY: Split 3,2,4 we have a straightforward swap for the words understand it and mate

17d    Record spell of good fortune securing a very small sporting trophy (5,3)
DAVIS CUP: A four-letter word for a vinyl record plus a two-letter description of good fortune surrounds the letter A from the clue and the abbreviation for very

20d    Computer chum set up, prime requirement for tackling work (6)
LAPTOP: Reverse a three-letter mate. Add the first letter (prime requirement) of the word tackling. Add the abbreviation of opus (work)

22d    Old city is favourite with artist (5)
PETRA: Two crosswordland oldies but goodies. A favourite is followed by a Royal Academecian

24d    Writer using a selection of nibs enthusiastically (5)
IBSEN: The answer lies hidden within the words of the clue indicated by the words using a selection of

Quickie Pun: pore+Tull=portal


108 comments on “DT 29429

  1. This was a solid *** for me, with three old cities, and none of them Ur, I was a little perplexed.

    Last one in was 4d, I was convinced I didn’t know any cartoonists other than Matt.

    I don’t understand why “no longer’ is part of the clue in 16d.

    Many thanks to the setter and MP.

    (And, MP, the ‘click here’ concealment on the Quickie pun isn’t working.)

          1. Now you’ve de-lurked, I hope you’ll come back and comment again in the future

    1. I didn’t get the ‘no longer’ bit either Malcolm and I kept thinking that I’d missed something.

    2. I think the ‘understand’ bit is considered old-fashioned now so no longer used

      1. I took it to be that too. Perhaps there’s another reason for its inclusion, who knows? Can the setter enlighten us please.

      2. I think saying ‘You dig?’, rather than ‘You understand?’ is possibly more old fashioned nowadays! 🙂

  2. The last half a dozen clues took me about as long to complete as the rest of the puzzle and it was a bit of a slog (5*/2*). Some of the clues were very complex and difficult to resolve. There were a few in which was actually unsure whether I had parsed them correctly or not (I put pate for 5a). So thanks to our feiend from the Boys from the Black Stuff for some much needed help. Ilike the long anagram 6d and 9a best. Thanks to the setter.

  3. A ***/*** rating from me too. 4d was a bung in for me – I’ve never heard of the cartoonist. 12a had to be but I needed the hints to explain it. 9a took longer than the rest of the puzzle put together. I spent too long trying to fit in a vegan of some sort before realising it was a different sort of plant altogether and one that appeared not that long ago. The old cities posed no difficulty and my favourite is 8d. Thanks to all.

      1. Sadly not. I was a bit old for Disney by the time we had a tv at home. I cried during the film “bambi” at the cinema. Probably my parents thought Disney was too traumatic for me!

        1. I never heard of him either Greta. There are only 3 cartoonists I read, one of course being Matt.

  4. Definitely a 4* today for me but I did enjoy the challenge, last one in was 4d couldn’t parse it at first, spelling it with a y, so I will give it a ****/****, with my fav clues 9a, 8d and 5a.
    Thanks to Yosser and to the setter.

    1. It was my father’s Christian name so no problem for me – with a “y” is the girl’s name.

    2. I find nowadays I’m enjoying your analysis and explanation more than the actual crossword! Many thanks. I was especially pleased and surprised to see you quoted the whole celandine poem (9ac). It’s worth not being able to work out some answers for the joy of reading your blog!

  5. Quite tricky in places but friendly in others. Quite a d’oh moment when I realised how the name in 4d related to the cartoonist. I can’t decide whether the three lots of old city were a mini theme or an attempt to blow up the repetition radar – and, as Malcom says, ‘where was Ur?’

    Thanks to the setter and to the newly retired one – let’s hope your first year of retirement goes better than mine – all our plans having been thwarted by Mr CS’s blood pressure problems and then the dreaded virus :cry:

    1. We have been practising retirement for years Sue. The lockdown has helped no end. Always make the weekends special as they have been throughout your life and weekdays will look after themselves.

  6. Thanks to MP for the Wordsworth tribute to the lovely but oft-battered–but most courageous–9a. Some days I too can identify with it–like most of this year. This seemed to be a very odd puzzle to me, neither particularly witty nor stylish, rather humdrum and workaday. I didn’t know the Norfolk town but solved 8d anyway. Isn’t 5a a really strange clue, coming out of nowhere from WW2? It bespeaks strangeness. ( Ah well, they can’t be Jay-worthy, can they?) I did like 16d and 27a. Thanks to Yosser and today’s setter. 3* / 2*

    Jolly tough Toughie today, I thought.

    1. After Isaiah visits us this weekend, I see he’s heading in your direction. Not very powerful at the moment but very, very wet.

      1. I wish us both the best possible outcome. BTW, my copy of The Greengage Summer finally arrived today, and I’ve begun reading it. I must let Jane know too. Stay safe.

  7. Sadly a case of ‘Gizza clue’ Yosser as unlike Malcolm I couldn’t figure out 4d & could have kicked myself when I read the hint. 17d also caused a fair bit of head scratching but got there eventually. No issues with the remainder in what I thought was a pretty solid crossword & probably the toughest of the week so far.
    Thanks to the setter & MP for the review & hint – happy retirement.

  8. I found this puzzle difficult today and a bit of a struggle all round.
    Failed to parse 12a-thanks MP.
    The cluing was certainly diverse and some clues were of toughie standard, a ****/*** for me.
    Liked 16d and the surface of 26a, favourite was 4d.

  9. The long anagram was a good starter, especially with a plethora of consonant checkers. Completely missed the 11a anagram. Not familiar with the 12a record companies, but the rest of the clue gave me the answer. Enjoyed the three old cities, two of which I have visited. Need parsing help for 27a, so thanks for that. Quite missed the cartoonist in 4d; was focused on it being a cartoon character, so that was the last one in. Not familiar with Norfolk towns, but a look at a list soon came up with the answer. Favourite 19a, which took me back to the weekly Scottish Symphony concerts in my student days. Many thanks to setter and hinter/tipper for an enjoyable Thursday brain exercise.

  10. I was slightly perplexed by the inclusion of “small” in the clue for 17d, but otherwise found this an admirable way to kick-start my day. Thanks to the setter and Yosser!

    1. Small just means abbreviated – ‘very small’ is a construct that Giovanni often uses.

  11. Needed help with this one…..could not figure out 4d at all…..probably because I was thinking of the wrong kind of cartoonist. Didn’t get 25a either as band and belt are not synonymous for me, though I see that they are in the BRB
    Got all the rest but could not parse 12a or 17d.
    So, overall found this one difficult….and a bit of a slog ….
    Thanks to Yosser and to the setter.

  12. Definitely a mixed bag for me today. Like others, I kicked myself when 4d clicked. Strange, I had never looked upon him as a cartoonist – just a maker of cartoon films with the artwork done by others. 23a totally eluded me so needed the hints. A huge doh moment when I did so.

    No real favourites just pleased to have finished.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Yosser Hughes for the much needed hints.

        1. Happy retirement MP and Saint Sharon. If you’re anything like me you will wonder how you ever found the time to go to work.

  13. Solved in a rather orderless way but softly softly catchee monkey. Enjoyed the pastiche of clues with the East coming on board first. Never heard of the 12a record companies. My Fav was 17d. Thank you setter and MP – happy retirement to you and Saint Sharon 🌈🥂🌈.

  14. I enjoyed this a lot but like others although I had the correct answer for 4d couldn’t see why till I read the hints. I’ve been to all three of the old cities but travelling has now come to an abrupt halt. We used to travel all over the place on Swan Hellenic’s little boat Minerva but they went bust – I suppose its not economical only having 300 passengers. Such a shame. Enjoy your retirement Miffypops, I guarantee you will fill the time very easily.

    1. I shouldn’t have any trouble passing the time Manders. Writing lists of jobs for Saint Sharon to do takes effort and imagination

    2. Back in the day, Manders, I cruised with Swan on the old ‘Ankara’ and then the ‘Orpheus’–have also been to Carthage and Delphi (several times), but never made it to Petra. I did the Nile Cruise with them, as well. Such great lecturers, such wonderful treatment by the guides and staff aboard the ships. I had five trips altogether with them.

      1. I agree Robert, absolutely first class treatment and lecturers. It was a bit like being in a shabby chic hotel. So many amazing places and memories. Felt a bit bad they went bust as I always haggled for the best possible price and then, once aboard, tried to get an upgrade, sometimes successfully. We didn’t know it at the time, but we were on the very last cruise over Christmas some 3 years ago. We were moored in Athens next to one of the new gigantic liners, like a block of flats, and we looked the size of one of their lifeboats. Happy days.

        1. I used the ferries around the Greek Islands. I agree about those cruise ships looking like blocks of flats, I can think of nothing more tortuous than a “cruise” on one of those. Shudder.

  15. Another fine puzxle completed at a leisurely pace, coffee and a couple of pipes. I did though need a couple of hints but did not need to reveal the answers. Beautiful day here in NC, the Housemarins in the shed must be nearly ready to fly lots to tooing and frowing by parents.
    Many thanks to Yosser and setter another set of cracking hints, and a quality crossword.

  16. Bit of a plod to start with but things soon picked up when I had half a dozen clues sorted. Was thrown by 4D as I would have defined Uncle Walt as an animator rather than a cartoonist. Still don’t understand 28A as a new start.
    All in all an enjoyable romp into crosswordland. Thanks to the setter and of course thanks to MP for his usual gold standard blog.

  17. I found this straightforward today and ceetainly more enjoyable than my jog in the sunshine. Favourite was 4d. Thanks all.

  18. Thanks to Yosser as I needed help with 4d (I won’t say what I think about the quality of this clue) and 9a ( I just became obsessed with trying to get relatives or relations round the outside).
    I also failed 25a and the bottom two across. Finding out the solutions didn’t give me any satisfaction.

    I wish I could find some clues/solutions I could describe as favourite, but I can’t. 11a might be a contender, but why the “in”? More experienced solvers can probably tell me.
    I’ve tempered my comments as I fear a lashing from my compatriots here. In general, I would give this ****/**.
    I was a bit frustrated by the host of proper names and the superfluous words here and there. It almost felt as though it was set by more than one person following different styles. Anyway, if it is a Giovanni, I’ll be upset as, for a long time, he was my favourite setter.

  19. MP – well done on retiring. I had a long “ weaning” period, which I kind of enjoyed……all the best bits but none of the responsibility…….finally slithering to a halt following a health problem. Not exactly fireworks but still….

    But tell me, are you leaving your ride-on mower behind? Or is dealing with that field going to be a bit of nice weaning?

    1. I bought the ride on at a steal and sold it for the same price seven years later. It hasn’t left the village but instead of me driving it to Bongo Dave’s house and cutting his lawns Bongo himself can use it to cut his own lawns. I’m selling pub stuff and adding to the reserves

  20. Agree that this was a bit of a mixed bag. I couldn’t fathom 4d so thanks to Yosser for that. Also got stuck on 27a as I don’t think I’ve ever heard the word used in that context before. On the whole, though, I enjoyed the tussle so thanks to the setter and to the newly retired one. Enjoy a long and no doubt well deserved retirement – you’ll love it!

  21. Very challenging today but probably because I wasn’t tuned in and missed a few hints in the actual clues. Not even sure I could find a COTD.

    Thanks are still due to the setter and hinter.

  22. First of all welcome to RonT and as for the puzzle this was a ****/**** for me, it was nice to see old cities other than Ur being used, my COTD was 5 across and I am still trying tp parse 4 down so if someone can help thank you in advance.

    Thank you to the setter for the crossword and to Yosser Hughes for reminding me of one of my favourite series, being an Evertonian I really related to it.

    1. Disney is the cartoonist. If you flip the first half of his name you get a mans name

  23. Thanks to the setter and Yosser for the review and hints. I enjoyed the struggle, but what a tough puzzle. Needed the hints for 5,9,13a and 17d. Also needed the hints to parse 12&27a and 20&16d. In the latter, I don’t understand what the words “no longer” are doing? Was 4*/3* for me.

  24. 5/2. Difficult end of the spectrum and not particularly inspiring. A couple of good anagrams and three old cities helped but no real favourites. Thanks to the setter and Yosser for the hints which I needed. Enjoy retirement – I find it extremely pleasant having feared it for a long time. Work was my enjoyment for 42 years and now I wish I had 42 years of this 🙂

  25. Reverse first three letters of answer to 4d and you get a maker of cartoon films

  26. Bit of a tussle today for some reason. 27a a bung-in and needed hint for 11a as I completely missed the anagram fodder. A bit ordinary after yesterday but 4d did raise a smile when the penny dropped.
    Thanks to setter and Mr Hughes. Enjoy your retirement. Hopefully St Sharon & the grandchildren will give you time to enjoy the new Hii-Fi. Your philosophy re weekends etc is spot on from my experience.

  27. Back to earth today, after doing so great yesterday. Didn’t know the cartoonist in 4d. Spent too long trying to make tram fit into 18a. And the 28a answer would never have come to me. If there was a wrong fork in the road, I took it. Clearly not on wavelength. Perhaps I got too much chlorine in brain yesterday. Orthopedic doctor encouraged me to start swimming again for exercise. He assured me the chlorine kills Covid. Hope he’s right. Only 2 other people in the pool so social distancing was easy. Thanks to setter and MP for the hints. Congratulations on your retirement.

    1. Maybe The POTUS ( Pillock of the United States) meant that when he suggested ingesting chlorine bleach to get rid of Covid?

      1. Loved the POTUS interpretation! Both BusyLizzie and I are sitting tight for Isaiah this weekend, though it doesn’t appear to be full hurricane force yet.

        1. He’s trying to get the election delayed but I don’t think that’s legal, however, the Reps seem to back him whatever he wants to do.

  28. I did most of this this morning before taking mum out for a trip around the Dales. As to the crossword it started well enough but my patience was beginning to 23a. The bottom row were hard to parse and 17d was particularly exasperating as I couldn’t see beyond MAGIC for the first word. The drive round the Dales was a bit of an ordeal too. Too much traffic and it turned into a search for open public loos and tea shops as Mama Bee requires approx 3 toilet stops per cuppa these days!
    Thanks to Yosser and setter. I hope you have an enjoyable retirement. Has someone taken on the GMOLI or is that going to be another casualty of the damn virus?

    1. The pub has new tenants John. We hand over on the 20th August. We have been closed since March.

  29. Late to the show today so haven’t read the comments of others. No doubt some will have liked it but to me it was the most uninspiring back pager I can remember, most of it could have easily appeared there 60 plus years ago. I did like 23a but precious little else.
    Thanks to the setter and to MP, always enjoy your review, loved the Coldplay clip.

  30. Thank you all for your congratulations and good wishes upon our retirement

    1. Congratulations from me too MP, hope it’s a long and happy one for you both.

  31. l kept on believing what l think l have been told that the a in1 a meant something and was stuck for a long time with a lock which was not at all helpful.With that sorted able to finish a very enjoyable puzzle.Retirement is great when you decide what you want to do.Thanks to all

    1. I confidently typed AC into the first two lights of 1ac as soon as I read the first two words. Great minds think alike

  32. A bit on the tricky side, mainly in the north. I solved the two top clues toot sweet and was encouraged, but found it got much harder. South was kinder to me, though wasn’t familiar with the “big person”, however, it couldn’t be anything else.
    After getting the hints for 9a and 11a, I managed to solve the rest. Natch, I never got 4d and would never think of that in a million years.
    Thanks to our setter and huge gratefulness to Yosser (who he?) for getting me across the finish line. Enjoy retirement, more time for Harrison and Ethan once this mess is all over.

  33. Late on parade due to a combination of the fitting of a new ‘communications centre’ to my car being postponed as the garage didn’t have one vital part, apparently (nobody bothered to tell me until I arrived) and then an unscheduled trip to a garden centre at H’s request.
    I found this puzzle very tricky though I enjoyed the old cities. 4d was last in.
    Thanks to setter and MP.

  34. Well that was a turn around from yesterday. Not my best day, a real struggle, so very grateful for the hints. Spent far too long trying to make vegetarian or vegetation fit for 9a. Never really thought of 4d as a cartoonist, yet they are probably the most famous!
    Happy retirement MP, enjoy.
    Thanks to all

  35. Tricky in places with clues like 8d giving extra problems for people like us. Did get everything sorted though.
    Thanks Mr Ron and MP.

  36. What everyone else said about 4d! Felt like hard work today and I’m not sure I enjoyed it that much. I did quite like the old cities though! Thanks to MP and the setter.

    1. Yes. Although she sings ‘Windshield Wipers’ it was too good an opportunity to miss

      1. Indeed – We used the American term… until we reminded ourselves of your confounding lingo.

        Why can’t you speak Bad English like rest of the planet?

        Mrs T

    1. Homophones ahoy here, Patrick. Two smaller words – both are ‘soundalikes’. So the first word sounds like the place in Norfolk; the second smaller word sounds like when you deserve something – you may have ?????? it through hard work. Put the two smaller words together to find the answer.

      1. You be careful young Terence. One day you will be innocently offering advice and the next you will be shackled to Big Dave’s blogging treadmill with no escape

  37. Can’t say I enjoyed this one at all. Very convoluted and did not get on setters wavelength at all 5*/1*
    Needed almost all the hints and parsing on too many was hard to see.
    Only two clues for favourites today 1a and 5d

    Nothing against setter or MP … this puzzle just did not click into my psyche today
    Thanks to setter and MP

  38. 4*/3*…..
    liked 19A “leaders of good old dramatic society given top position in theatre (4)”
    Happy retirement MP, enjoy.

  39. I’m in the “overly difficult and not very enjoyable” camp this evening. The whole crossword was encapsulated in 7d for me by referring to rap as musical! It is not. So I won’t pick a favourite but nominate 7d as my least favourite. Thanks to the setter anyway and MP, I hope your retirement is more relaxing than mine. somehow I doubt it.

  40. In agreement with all the comments above. Needed Yosser’s hints for 4d and 11and 13 a. If pushed I’d pick 9a as my favourite. Overall left me feeling a bit dissatisfied and a tad grumpy. Efforts of setter appreciated and thank you for the hints.

        1. I wonder why! Hope you have enjoyed your short break away in the smallest county. Rutland? Fingers crossed we shall be going to our favourite place, sadly voted the best seaside place in the country, next weekend. First time this year as our proposed two weeks at Easter couldn’t happen. I think you normally go later in the Spring. All the best with the retirement which should be great if and when we get back to something near normal.

          1. Although we missed going to our favourite place because of the lockdown we didn’t actually miss it too much as lockdown became a permanent holiday and eventually the gateway to retirement. Who needs a holiday when life is a holiday? Yes we did enjoy our time in Rutland. Just an hour from our new home

  41. Failed on 17d. Just couldn’t see it.
    Have to go and check if it’s tennis or golf now. Not very good with these kind of things.
    Thanks to the setter and happy retirement to you and St Sharon.

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