DT 29436 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29436

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29436

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Good morning from South Staffs on a bright sunny morning with the promise of some high temperature to come.

A reasonable challenge today, which took me just into *** time. Thanks to today’s setter.

In the hints below, the definitions are underlined. The answers are hidden under the ANSWER buttons, so don’t click if you don’t want to see them.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a           Peel of lime added to unfinished fruit crush (6)
MANGLE – Remove the final letter (unfinished) from a tropical fruit, then add the outside letters of LimE.

5a           Place for cowboys that might provide stew? (4,4)
WILD WEST – This is a reverse anagram. The first word of the answer is the anagram indicator, and the second is the fodder which , if anagrammed, produces STEW in the clue.

9a           Unscrupulous behaviour in music rehearsal? (5,8)
SHARP PRACTICE – The first word of the answer could be one of the black notes on a piano, and the second is another word for ‘rehearsal’.

10a         Sunlit ground across river, not marred by development (8)
UNSPOILT – Anagram (ground) of SUNLIT wrapped round crosswordland’s favourite Italian river.

11a         Fears medic will encounter cases of extra drunkenness (6)
DREADS – Put together the abbreviated title of a medic, the outside letters (cases) of ExtrA, and the outside letters of DrunkennesS.

12a         Enthralled by canals, a celebrity somewhere in Eastern France (6)
ALSACE – Hidden in the clue.

14a         Retiring peer left oddly early for comic show (8)
DROLLERY – Reverse (retiring) another word for a peer, then add Left and the alternate letters (oddly) of EaRlY.

16a         Work covered by girl I’d backed for management (8)
DISPOSAL – Start with another word for ‘girl’ wrapped around the Latin abbreviation for a (musical) work. Add I’D (from the clue, then reverse the whole construction (backed).

19a         Pressures to drop women’s rowing race (6)
EIGHTS – Remove the initial Women’s from another word for ‘pressures’, and you get some rowing races, named for the number of people rowing.

Above view of two rowing eights in water | Stock Images Page ...

21a         More unfortunate choice of wedding vows? (6)
POORER – One of the alternative outcomes listed in the wedding vows.

Selective Wedding Vows | CT Pastors | Christianity Today

23a         Remove sketch after humour shown by husband (8)
WITHDRAW – Put together another word for ‘humour’, Husband, and another word for ‘sketch’.

25a         Doctor asks Fred to bag mess (4,9)
DOG’S BREAKFAST – Anagram (doctor) of ASKS FRED TO BAG.

26a         Activist comparatively unprepared touring South Africa (8)
CRUSADER – The comparative form of an adjective meaning ‘unprepared’ (like oil which has just come out of the ground), wrapped round an abbreviation for South Africa.

27a         Second asteroid’s heading direct for planet (6)
SATURN – Put together an abbreviation for Second, the first letter (heading) of Asteroid, and a verb which can mean ‘direct (towards)’.


2d           Football club magazine (7)
ARSENAL – Double definition, the first being a Premiership football team.

3d           Reach conclusion from reading file (5)
GRASP – The last letter (conclusion) of readinG, followed by another word for a file used by a worker in wood or metal.

4d           Vacancy in M & S filled by chap ultimately needing money (9)
EMPTINESS – Start with the last letter (ultimately) of chaP and some dated slang for ‘money’. Then put the spelt-out versions of the letters M and S either side of the result.

5d           Fabric displayed by wife over Irish tweed regularly (7)
WORSTED – Put together Wife, the cricket abbreviation for Over, and alternate letters (regularly) of IRiSh TwEeD.

6d           In conversation relaxed aspect of personality is transparent (5)
LUCID – A collection of letters which sound like (in conversation) another word for ‘relaxed’, followed by one of the parts of a personality – not the ego or superego.

7d           Chess player weary, showing sign of defeat (5,4)
WHITE FLAG – The chess player who always moves first, followed by a verb for ‘weary’ or ‘tire’.

8d           Small bank carrying little weight (7)
SLENDER – An abbreviation for Small followed by one of the functions of a bank.

13d         Tips for cooking in American resort? Serve up something sweet (9)
ASPARAGUS – Put together American, a health resort, and the reverse (serve up, in a Down clue) of a sweet substance.

Asparagus Nutrition

15d         Leaves behind apparent painful discomforts, we hear (9)
OVERTAKES – A 5-letter word for ‘apparent’ or ‘plain’, followed by some letters which sound like (we hear) some painful discomforts.

17d         Drone flying one Republican assumes to be properly organised (2,5)
IN ORDER – Anagram (flying) of DRONE, with the Roman numeral for one and an abbreviation for Republican placed either side.

18d         Poor clothing that’s selected for climbing (3,4)
LOW GEAR – Another word for ‘poor’ ( in health or spirits, perhaps) followed by another word for ‘clothing’ or ‘equipment’.

20d         Renegade right to support crazed patriot wanting power (7)
TRAITOR – Anagram (crazed) of (p)ATRIOT without the P (wanting power), followed by Right.

22d         Fanatical bishop at centre of attack (5)
RABID – A foray or attack wrapped round the chess notation for a bishop.

24d         Plan beginning to disappoint large number (5)
DRAFT – The first letter (beginning) of Disappoint, followed by an indeterminate number of something such as political proposals or Budget measures.

The Quick Crossword pun FORTY + CHEWED = FORTITUDE

82 comments on “DT 29436

  1. Well on the plus side I found it far more intelligible than yesterdays offering. I am still at a loss for the untangling of 16a, 6d and 27a. Fail to see why the answer means management, why turn would mean towards as you just as easily turn around and 6d is a complete mystery apart from the one word definition. I really liked 5a and 14a.
    I will do a trawl through the BRB to see if that throws any light.
    Thx to all

    1. For 6d the ‘luc’ comes from the homophone of ‘relaxed’, or ‘loose’, and the id is the third of the personalities set out by Freud. I had to resort to the hints for this one as well!

    2. I completely agree, Brian – on yesterday’s and the three clues you listed – found them very tenuous – until I read David’s unpicking skills! I liked 25A though!

  2. As is usual for me on Fridays, it took me a while to get on the compilers wavelength and I found some of the clues over-complicated. It doesn’t help that Thursday’s puzzle was a model of brevity and very succinct in uts clues by comparison. Nevertheless it seems like I’m taking slightly less time to work through the Friday puzzles. (2.5*/2*). Some of the anagrams were quite enjoyable (25a was amusing) and 13d was a good clue. Thanks to DT for help with some which I couldn’t completely parse and thanks to the compiler.

  3. Another great puzzle today but although i finished it OK, had to read the hints to parse 3d and 16a. Amazed that I got them right actually. Enjoyed 9a, 18d and many others. In for a scorcher today – wish all these hordes of very badly behaved people would go away so we could go to our little beach. Thanks to all.

  4. Maybe the best rival to a Jay puzzle in a while, I thought, as I happily worked my way through today’s little gem. I especially liked the wit and cleverness of 4 and 5d, as well d.as 5 and 14a. But my COTD is the wily wordplay of 15d. So those five make for a very crowded podium. Thanks to D.T. for the hints, which I’ll read now, and to today’s shrewd setter. ** / ****

    Another super Toughie today, with a heady mix of GK and some refreshing amusements.

  5. Last in was 6d which I failed to parse and I’m not a lot wiser after DT’s explanation re the collection of letters for relaxed, I assume the personality is ID-help
    Anyway a ***/*** for me and a sound end to the week.
    Favourite 14a, nor a word you often see in print and liked the surface of 25a.
    Cricket watching time.

    1. You have the correct word for personality, now say the first part of your solution out loud

  6. **/*** for me today. I can’t say that I understand 6d either. It’s presumably loose for relaxed as in sounds like and Id for personality but that’s a stretch. I liked 4d and 8d. Favourite goes to 25a because it made me laugh. Thanks to all.

    1. Greta
      “Loose” as in “hang loose” – no I don’t use the expression either, but some (if not lots do or used to).

  7. I would definitely have awarded more stars for enjoyment this morning as I’ve had to erect two podiums to hold all my favoured clues – 1,5,10,14,21,23&25a along with 6,7,13&18d.
    So much fun, for which many thanks to our compiler and thanks also to DT for the review plus the musical interludes.

    1. Glad you mentioned the musical interludes, Jane. “Lorraine” brought tears to my eyes, nor am I ashamed to admit it. I even watched it a second time, and still teared up. Never heard it before. The singer, whom I Googled, was a Texan apparently.

  8. I thought this was an absolute gem, beautifully crafted throughout with no obscurities. Parsing 4d was a bit of a head scratcher but 6d plain as a pikestaff to me.
    Strong competition for podium places, I liked 3 and 8d but top spot has to be 14a (particularly with my surname).
    Many thanks to setter and DT for the top notch entertainment.

    1. Like Brian I found the 27a clue a bit obscure. Is turn really a synonym for direct? Maybe for direction. Good thing the answer was a well known planet!
      Enjoyed the solving though, hard but not too hard. Thank you – I’ve wasted enough time, must get on with some work 😕

  9. Very enjoyable with some excellent clues. But I noticed that the song Lorraine my beautiful Alsace was sung by Vernon Dalhart – famous for the song of The Runaway Train which featured weekly on Uncle Mac’s children’s programme on the Home Service many years ago. Thanks to both for the entertainment **/****.

  10. Wednesday – excellent. Thursday – excellent. Friday – excellent. Three very different puzzles in a row but all superb. My rating today is 2.5*/5*.

    Rather than list the clues I did like, it is easier to mention those I didn’t – which is a very short list with nothing written on it.

    With lovely cluing and super smooth surfaces throughout, I am going to stick my neck out and thank Silvanus for this delight. Thanks too to DT.

    1. RD sorry to echo your post within minutes but I got interrupted mid-post & you hadn’t posted when I started.I always like to see who you nominate as the setter, your track record is pretty good.

  11. The third of a trio of superb puzzles this week. I found it tougher than the other two but finished unaided in *** time. Held up a bit wondering why the lower case “s” for 27a in the electronic version, just a typo I guess. Lots of super clues but 5a produced the biggest Doh moment so gets my COTD.
    25a more usually dog’s dinner to me but Biggles doesn’t mind, either (or preferably both) would make his day.
    Thanks to setter, hope you reveal yourself later to take the credit, & DT for the entertaining review.

  12. Very enjoyable and straightforward for me for completion at a gallop – **/****.
    A bit of Hmm over the homophone element of 6d and I am pleased to see that DT described it as a ‘collection of letters.’
    Candidates for favourite – 14a, 26a, and 4d – and the winner is 14a, such an amusing word.
    Thanks to the setter and DT.

  13. A difficult tussle but enjoyable, nevertheless. There have been some great puzzles this week and this continued the high standard with the enjoyment level high. There was just the right balance between head scratching and the fairly straightforward. Too many excellent clues to pick out a favourite but I will mention 14a, 6d, 7d and 13d as standing out for me.

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

    Now back to TMS to hear the trouncing of England. :sad:

    1. What a wonderful tip last night about coating the sloes in chocolate! All these years of making sloe gin and I never thought of that – You do lead a sybaritic life. Our garden is thick with hazel nut trees so we always have a surfeit if those but walnuts not so easy to find. There is a big old tree up on Goffer’s Knoll but the squirrels usually get there before me! Oh dear, autumn is on it’s way.

      1. Now I am retired, Daisygirl, I have the time to be sybaritic. Not sure I was before. :grin:

        Do try the chocolate coated gin soaked sloes. They are delicious.

        1. Sure will. We are going to need a lot of extra cheer to see us through this coming Christmas, methinks.

      2. Have to agree with you, Daisygirl – the squirrels are already burying the beech nuts and the leaves on the trees are turning. Not a pleasant prospect, especially if we have to return to lockdown in the winter.

  14. Loved this. Had a question mark against the definition in 16a but I see Brian’s post addresses this. My favourite was 4d today. Thanks to the setter and DT.

  15. Not as difficult as yesterday’s but not far off! Really liked 13d and now off to try and find some for lunch. Thank you DT and setter

  16. Rabbit Dave is quite correct!

    Many thanks to Deep Threat and to everyone else who has taken the trouble to comment. I’m very glad that you have all found something to enjoy.

    1. Thank you so much for popping in, Silvanus. Believe me, it wasn’t difficult to find ‘something to enjoy’!

    2. Double thanks to you, Silvanus–for today’s Cryptic and the Toughie earlier this week. I loved both of them.

      1. If you’re a fan of this setter, Robert, he does also make a few appearances in the Independent, one of which will be published this Sunday. The paper’s daily cryptic puzzles are available free on-line although you do have to soldier through a few adverts to get to them!

        1. Thanks for letting me know, Jane. Silvanus, Jay, Ray T, Sparks today especially: how fortunate we are to have these magicians-of-the-word!

  17. A superb puzzle. Usually I struggle on a Friday, but I found this very entertaining. So many well-crafted clues that it is difficult to pick out favourites, but I did particularly like 1, 5 (after DT’s explanation), 10, 11, 19 and 21 across, and 4, 13, 18 and 20 down. Not so keen on 16a, 6d, and 8d. Many thanks to setter and DT.

    1. I think you’re right too and he used to play, “Puff the Magic Dragon” which used to make me cry – actually it still does!

    2. Uncle Mac was on Children’s Hour at. 5 pm before the news. They lived close to us and we sometimes played with his children. Toy town was a big feature, with Larry the Lamb and Mr. Mayor. Happy days. And who remembers The Ovaltinies, happy girls and boys? Make your request, we’ll not refuse you – we are here just to amuse you. Would you like a song or story, won’t you share our joys. At games and sports we’re more than keen, no merrier children could be seen because we all drink Ovaltine, we’re happy girls and boys. !!! What did I have for lunch yesterday – cannot remember.

      1. I remember thinking those ‘happy girls and boys’ must be mad – hated the stuff! Mind you, I did like a drink of OXO which doubtless revolts others.
        Lunch yesterday? That’s a brave goal to aim for, I can’t recall what I had for lunch today – or even what I’d planned for dinner this evening.

  18. A terrific puzzle, some of it a little beyond my reach – but that’s ok as it is all part of the learning process.
    Last week I went to Byfleet to have a new audio system fitted into the car but they had failed to order one part. The second attempt was due for this afternoon but a call telling me the part has still not arrived was most welcome. The thought of hanging around in a garage surrounded by searing heat was not alluring at all.
    So… an afternoon lolling on the sofa watching the cricket awaits. Being slothful and idle are my favourite hobbies.
    Thanks to silvanus and DT.

    1. Methinks you’re getting far too enchanted by Lola’s habits – wonder which one of you will fall asleep first whilst watching the cricket?

    2. I know Byfleet well, my father in law used to be a permanent fixture in the West Byfleet club.

      1. I don’t know Byfleet too well but we did walk the length of the River Wey a couple of years ago and went through a really lovely part of Byfleet.

  19. Really enjoyed this one & found it plain sailing until the brick wall that was 4d. Got the P from the wordplay but was convinced I was looking for a synonym of cash strapped. Glad that I resisted the temptation to look at the hint as the penny has finally dropped. An array of super clues but I’ll plump for a podium of 4d, 14a & 15d but as RD says there isn’t a poor one to be found.
    After 3 consecutive days of golf I’m with Terence – in this heat it’s a day lying on the couch with the shades down enjoying the sport (brilliant last session in the Williams v Bingham match at the Crucible).
    Many thanks to Silvanus & to DT

  20. An excellent end to an excellent week. Thank you Sylvanus and to Deep Threat for the hints – I find it enormously helpful to see what you have underlined as being the goal. Too many good clues to list them and don’t really have the energy!! Lying here in the shade and regularly spraying myself with cold water which immediately dries, all was bliss until an alarm started going off, presumably the heat has triggered it. Even Thompson lifted her head in disapproval.

  21. Only had a few minutes for the crossword this morning over breakfast, but wanted to pop in and send commiserations and best wishes to all in the UK suffering in the incredible heatwave today and this weekend. Hope you all find a way to stay cool.

  22. Another great puzzle in my opinion to finish of the week,, my favourite clue was 13 down, 3 & 6 down came to me after I had entered them but I had to read the parsing a couple of times for 6 down before it sunk in and that was down to me, I agree with the BD rating of ***/*** have a nice weekend everyone.

  23. :phew: to both the heat and the crossword – I loved the crossword but less keen on 33C.
    I found this really difficult and I confess to needing the hint to ‘get’ 6d.
    14a was one major sticking point and 7d was another which was dim – I blame the heat!
    I’m more familiar with a different meal for the dog in 25a
    Lots of really good clues including 9 and 21a (and 19a, obviously) and 4d (which took me for ever to untangle) and 22d.
    Think my favourite was 13d – it reminded me of a brilliant picture of some 13d growing in an enclosed garden and the caption was, “this is the awning of the cage of asparagus”. Must see if I can find it.
    Thanks very much to Silvanus and to DT.

    1. Giving a whole new meaning to “Hair” and the Age of Aquarius, Kath! Wonderful.

  24. Terrific crossword! Too many excellent clues to mention but favourites were 21a, 26a, 4d, 13d and 15d. Many thanks to Silvanus for the entertainment and to DT for the hints.
    My only disappointment was that as soon as I settled myself in the garden to enjoy the crossword, and escape the heat, the cloud rolled in and it’s gone very grey! Sad for all those I can hear enjoying themselves on the beach, though.

  25. ***/****. Another cracking puzzle – what a good week it’s been. I haven’t picked a favourite today because there were so many to choose from (my late aunt Mary would be scolding me for not saying “from which to choose”). Thanks to Silvanus and DT.

  26. Another ***/** puzzle for this week. Some rather tangled clues with a few hmm’s when the only word that fit for the answer was revealed. A bit of a 25a all the way through this puzzle for me.
    Liked 25a, 8d & 15d but no favourite today.

    Thanks to setter and DT

  27. Thanks to the setter and to Deep Threat for the review and hints. A very enjoyable puzzle, I got stuck on the last three answers and needed the hints for 14a, could only think of earl for peer lords knows why! Pun intended. Also for 8d, wouldn’t have thought of that, but it’s what banks do! favourite was 4d. Was 4*/4* for me.

  28. Sorry to be the odd one out here but this really wasn’t my cup of Earl Grey! I really struggled today and seem to have made a 25a of it! Thanks to DT and the setter.

  29. I found three quarters of this offering enjoyable, but came to a complete standstill for the SW corner (plus 4d).

    Some very tenuous synonyms (4d, 16a, 26a), and I have a mental block with clues like 4d (The M & S bit). They do not seem to appear often enough for me to remember how to solve.

    I would also pronounce luc as Luke, so needed the above comments to explain why the answer I had was correct.

    Enjoyed the bits could solve, so ****/** for me today. Favourite clue was 14a.

    Thanks to the setter and Deep Threat.

  30. I am afraid I didn’t enjoy this one as much as othersdid…just not on the wavelength I think. Struggled through alone and unaided, but with some guesswork so no hurrah for me today.

    Thanks to Sylvanus and to Deep Threat for the disentangling

  31. Hurrah!! I finally finished a puzzle on the same day it was published! The perils of being a grandad, a gardener, having my house renovated and golfer trying to sort out his backswing.
    Very enjoyable, not quite up to yesterday’s wonderful Ray-T, but very good nevertheless.
    Ridiculously hot today in Kent.
    Thanks DT and setter.

    1. Hoofs
      A couple of weeks ago, if I remember, it was the putting.
      Sounds like a golfer in search of his game to me (aren’t they all at some time?)

      1. Had a lesson thea other day, LROK and getting lazy on the takeaway, not enough shoulder turn. Yes, like many golfers, still trying to find that crock of gold at the end of the rainbow!

        1. Remember one of my son’s coaches teaching the backswing. He would address the ball & make 3 separate movements. First lift the cluhead through 90°, then turn his wrists 90° and then rotate his shoulders 90°. From there he could come down & make perfect contact .

  32. Definitely a *** enjoyment for me. Took a while to complete the NW corner particularly as I had 3D incorrect until I unscrambled 9a. Think I was overheating about an hour ago. Agree with some of the comments about 6d, couldn’t think of anything else to fit so got there more by luck than judgment. Several contenders for COTD, 5a, 15d and 25a. Thanks to DT and setter!

  33. I found tough in places, and doubt if I would ever have finished without several hints from Deep Threat. Sometimes I already had the right answer but didn’t understand why, i.e. 5a. Wasted time at 14a trying to make a word starting with the reverse of sir, rather than lord. Oh dear. But mostly enjoyed the workout, with 18d winning the COTD prize. Thanks to Sylvanus and Deep Threat.

  34. My earlier comment seems to have disappeared into the ether so I just record that this was for me a pleasant if unexceptional solve. I particularly liked a couple of clues viz. 9a and 13d. Thank you to the unmasked silvanus and DT.

  35. Hello, and thank you to both Deep Threat and Sylvanus for their respective tips — the ones for solving the clues I was stuck on, and the 13d cooking ones.

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