DT 29438 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29438

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29438

Hints and tips by pommers

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Hola from the Vega Baja where the Spanish summer is in full flow,  38°C on Saturday and not much cooler yesterday.  Phew about sums it up!

Today’s crossword is a very pleasant start to the cruciverbal weeks and not too tricky, even though there’s a bit of rather arcane general knowledge required at 23a. At least the answer is fairly obvious so it shouldn’t hold you up too much.  I’ll be interested to hear your opinions of that sort of clue. 

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           Cheese bun deli has made up (6,4)
DANISH BLUE:  Anagram (made up) of BUN DELI HAS.  A nice straightforward one to start but I can’t say I’m keen on the cheese.

6a           Shower  coat (4)
PELT:  Double definition.  It’s shower as a verb and the coat of an animal.

10a         Speak of hesitation by official in game (5)
REFER:  Start with the abbreviation of the official in a football match and follow with two letters for expressing hesitation, not um but the other one.

11a         Rogue in favour of splitting money returned (9)
REPROBATE:  Take a word for some money that has been returned and insert (splitting) a word meaning in favour of or for.

12a         Climbing aid in hamper by leg (7)
CRAMPON:  A word meaning to hamper followed by the other word for the leg side of a cricket pitch.

13a         Grow profusely in enclosure — impressively large display (3,4)
RUN RIOT:  The first word is an animal enclosure, for chickens perhaps, and the second is a word which can mean a dazzling or impressive display, often used to describe an amount of colour.  Took a while for the penny to drop here. I had WILD for the second word for a while, d’oh!

14a         Awfully frail, he hates some of those practising alternative medicine (5,7)
FAITH HEALERS:  Anagram (awfully) of FRAIL HE HATES.  I’m not normally a great fan of anagram clues but I’ll make an exception for this one.

18a         Psychiatrist‘s ploy with pushbike rider (5,7)
TRICK CYCLIST:  A slang term for a psychiatrist is a ploy or prank followed by a word for someone riding a bike.

21a         Very foolish person, the head, facing trial (7)
NUTCASE: A slang term for the head followed by a trial in a court of law.

23a         State papers collected by Ms Poste, say (7)
FLORIDA:  You need the first name of Ms Poste, the heroine of the book “Cold Comfort Farm”, and insert two letters for some papers, which show who you are, to get the Sunshine State in the USA.  A bit obscure if you ask me.  I just guessed the answer from the papers bit and a couple of checkers and then had to investigoogle to find out who Ms Poste is.

24a         Gundog inflamed compiler (3,6)
RED SETTER:  A word describing something which is inflamed followed by another word for a crossword compiler.

25a         Feature of bird stuffed by artist (5)
TRAIT:  Take a small bird and insert (stuffed by) the usual two letters for an artist.

26a         Toy taken from Tokyo youngster (2-2)
YO YO:  A lurker hiding in (taken from) the last two words.

27a         Tearful, Charles, upset about my rejected love (10)
LACHRYMOSE:  Start with the MY from the clue but reverse it (rejected) and follow with an O (love).  Around this (about) put an anagram (upset) of CHARLES.


1d           Outspoken, shocking court (6)
DIRECT:  A word for shocking or terrible followed by two letters for court.

2d           Certainly not included in population of Earth (2,4)
NO FEAR:  Another lurker.  It’s hiding in (included in) the last three words.

3d           Narrow piece sailor uncovered in game (5,4,5)
STRIP JACK NAKED:  A word for a narrow piece followed by a term for a sailor and finally a word for uncovered or unclothed.  Apparently this game is also known as beggar-my-neighbour.

4d           A peer may have one, high tea with Corbyn (9)
BARONETCY:  Anagram (high) of TEA with CORBYN.

5d           Superior meal, no seconds required (5)
UPPER:  A late evening meal without the S (no Seconds required).

7d           Former pit worker holding a marker (8)
EXAMINER:  Take two letters for former, often clued as a former lover, followed by someone who works in a pit or colliery. Into that lot insert (holding) the A from the clue to get someone who marks test papers.

8d           Paper in stand is European (8)
TREATISE:  Another word for stand, as in pay the bill, followed by the IS from the clue and then E(uropean).

9d           Juliet has long rambles with notable novelist (4,10)
JOHN GALSWORTHY:  Start with the letter represented by Juliet in the phonetic alphabet and follow with an anagram (rambles) of HAS LONG.  After that you need another word for a notable person and when that lot’s split (4,10) you’ll get the chap who wrote The Forsyte Saga.

15d         Speak at length from keep on Scottish river (4,5)
HOLD FORTH:  A word for keep or hang on to followed by a major Scottish river.

16d         Mean to imbibe half of raki and fish (8)
STINGRAY:  Another word for mean or miserly with the first half of RAki inserted (to imbibe).  I think I might have used this clip before . . .

17d         Time for a celebration by a third at sea? (8)
BIRTHDAY:  Anagram (at sea) of BY A THIRD.

19d         House housing a fierce woman (6)
VIRAGO:  This house is a House of the Zodiac covering August to September.  Into it insert (housing) the A from the clue.

20d         Large building left in order (6)
CASTLE:  Insert L(eft) into (in) a word for a social order.

22d         Run  further (5)
EXTRA:  Double definition.  The run is a run in cricket not scored by the batsman.

No real favourite for me but I did rather like 26a for its elegant simplicity.

Quick crossword puns:

Top row:          SPECK     +     TATE     +     AWE     =     SPECTATOR

Bottom row:     INN     +     TURN     +     KNEES     =     INTERNEES

73 comments on “DT 29438

  1. It’s blooming hot here too – but I’ve found a shady spot in the garden and I’m going to spend the day testing crosswords – well if you can’t move, you might as well do something both entertaining and useful

    Today’s DT was very straightforward until it wasn’t, not helped by, like Pommers, writing the wrong second word in 13a. I did know who Ms Poste was but even if I hadn’t, there aren’t that many states to choose from!

    Thanks to Campbell and Pommers – now back to the shade

  2. 2*/4*. Perfect Monday fare.

    Give me 23a as written every time rather than “state papers collected by girl”. Full marks from this solver to Campbell.

    I agree with pommers about 14a and that one makes it onto my podium alongside 18a & 19d.

    Many thanks to Campbell and to pommers.

  3. I found this a bit of a mixed bag, where the West went in very quickly but the East presented quite a few problems, and I had a couple of semi bung ins. Wasn’t keen on 23a or 9d, both rather obscure in my opinion but I did like 11 and 27a plus 4 and 15d. All in all had a bit of a dated feel to me.
    Many thanks to the setter and to Pommers for his top blog…..was in the “wild” group too I’m afraid!

  4. I enjoyed this crossword but got stuck at the very end with 8 d until I realised my mistake in 13 a(but I felt my answer was correct until
    Pommers enlightened me.) I liked 23 a and discovered who she was once I had completed the crossword. Thank you pommers and the setter, a good start to the week.

  5. Hi Pommers
    I make the quickie puns top and bottom both x3.
    The first 3 across clues make a word and so do the last three across clues ( I’ve a different answer for that Italian dessert…..)

    1. Thanks for the tip, I’ve put it right. I never see the paper so I don’t have the benefit of the italics to see how many words are in the pun so if the first two work I don’t look any further.

      1. No worries. I don’t have the paper either, at the moment, bit I couldn’t make the bottom two work with my answer to 12d, so I was fiddling a bit more than usual. Most of the time I don’t even notice the bottom one……

  6. I liked all of it, especially all the fun long answers and possibly because I’m in a bit of a theme mood.
    Not exactly a complete theme, but quite a few duos and trios that might be related…
    …the novel referred to in 23a has been published, or reissued by 19d.
    …18 and 21 are a bit of a pairing or even a tribunal if you include 14a, and 9 whose protagonist in his saga should probably have been on the couch.
    Glad to see Pommers included that lovely nostalgic clip in 16d. I was hoping he would…..
    Thumbs up to the setter…it was a laugh.

  7. A very gentle start to the week. It’s too hot to do much – even think. */*** for me today. I only knew the answer to 3D from one of Ian Rankin’s early novels about Rebus and a fictional Scottish MP. I’ll nominate that as favourite although there’s plenty of competition. Thanks to all.

  8. Agreeable crossword for a Monday morning. I have to say that GK in clues never bothers me. I either know it or learn something new. There are derisory few GK references that are obscure and most should be in people’s filing system even if they are organised on The Beezer’s Numbskulls system.

  9. I was watching The West Wing director, Tommy Schlamme, talking about directing Yo Yo Ma in one of the episodes, in which he played the Bach piece put up by Pommers. He strolled onto the set, with his Strad in a backpack, having come by public transport and wearing jeans and old trainers. They had to shoot several takes for editing purposes and the director was a bit worried about whether they would all splice together from a timing point of view. He put it to Yo Yo Ma, who said…….”Don’t worry, everything will fit together as far as tempo is concerned”. And of course it did – perfectly. The director had underestimated the professional musician’s internal metronome.
    I thought it was a great story.

  10. I did very well, even with 23a, except for the game at 3d, which I’d never heard of–but sussed it out from the checkers. I had forgot about the humorous ‘euphemism’ (as a Google source calls it) for 18a. The novelist’s ‘Saga’ made for one of the best BBC adaptations in memory–but a long time ago, it seems now. A pleasant puzzle, with my favourites being 19d, 27a, and 9d. Thanks to pommers and Campbell. 3* / 3*

  11. I did enjoy this crossword and was not troubled by the plethora of GK in. the clues (**/****). As Corky said, if you don’t know it , at least you learn something new and thanks to Pommers for telling me something new about Ms Poste. My favourite clues were 11a, 3d, 4d and 9d. Thank you to Campbell for the puzzle.

  12. This one gave me a nice break in the ironing over a cup of coffee. Sadly, I didn’t finish it over one cup, but decided that a glass of water in this heat would be better for me than another coffee. I have a lot of ticks on my paper, so this crossword obviously floated my boat. I didn’t know the 9d novelist, however I remember watching the original Saga on television. It became a weekly family event. I hadn’t a clue who Ms Poste was in 23a, but checking letters led to the answer. Thank you to Campbell and Pommers.

  13. A delightful puzzle to start the week. I did know of Robert Poste’s child so thought 23a an enjoyable solve but I have no COTD today because there were so many good ones. There was a terrific mis-direction in 8d. I must have gone through every European country I could think of before the penny dropped.

    Thank you, Campbell and thanks to pommers for the excellent hints.

        1. That’s a very old teddy as your avatar, Merusa. Reminds me of the forgotten bear we found in the loft of a house we moved to. We were antique dealers at the time and I showed it to a teddy bear dealer. He said it was from around 1920 -30. We named him Ashford because the house was in Ashford Park. While standing at a fair in Bingley Hall, Staffs, we saw a smaller version. We had to have him and we named him Bingley. Ashford and Bingley became the mascots of the business.

          1. The teddy bear was my Dad’s. He was born in 1901, so we can only guess his age, but we do know more than 100 years. He was known only as Teddy. Alas, we were allowed to play with him and when I had my appendix out at 6 years old, so did Teddy. I still love him.

  14. An excellent diversion on my first train journey from Plymouth to Exeter post lockdown. **/**** with thanks to the setter and Pommers.

  15. A good start to the (non-)work week, completed at a gallop – **/***.
    I did have a couple of Hmms – 23a, for the reasons stated by pommers, and 4d, which was ‘saved’ by the ‘may.’
    Candidates for favourite – 11a, 7d, even though it’s an oldie but goodie, and 8d – and the winner is 11a.
    Thanks to Campbell and pommers.

  16. Just the job for a Monday and I particularly liked the simple 1d with 14&18a hard on its heels.
    Always a delight to hear the playing of 26a although I thought some of the choices used for background shots were a little odd.

    Thanks to Campbell and to our roasting pommers – I guess one advantage of having no guests is that you don’t have to toil in the heat on change-over days!

  17. Most enjoyable, with lovely reminder of Ms Poste who is possessed ‘of every art and grace save that of earning her own living’. The book is highly recommended and there have been plenty of adaptations. In my view, the best is the BBC Radio version, but the 1995 tv film is also superb.
    I have been so busy this morning with ‘tasks’ including mowing the yellowy area that calls itself a lawn, and general garden duties. Lola disappears when the lawn mower comes out but she is back now and we intend to snooze for an hour so please keep the noise to a minimum. Thanks in advance, and also huge plaudits to Campbell and pommers.

    1. H hasn’t planned a bracing walk for this afternoon then? Maybe your garden labours have earned you a reprieve, enjoy it, tomorrow could be a whole diferent story!

      1. No bracing walk today, Jane. About to have a late lunch and then an ‘exciting’ drive to the pharmacy to pick up regular meds!

  18. Sunny solve this morning here in St Mawes. Heat alleviate by the breeze. Family have gone over to a beach on St Anthony Head so having a bit of a quiet time. Very enjoyable. I encountered the same problem with 13a and took me some time to get the correct second word. I did wonder if I had 8d right but happily I did. Favourites 18 and 21a and 3 15 and 16d. Thanks Setter and Pommers.

  19. Another nice quiet start to the week, nothing much to trouble us. I had a problem with 23a but after other answers got it fight, really though I thought clue slightly off the wall for a monday. Still apart from that one pretty straightforward. Sat in garden enjoying peace and quiet until grandchildren return from the beach. Barbecue planned for tonight.
    Many thanks to Pommers and setter.

  20. Nothing to frighten the horses except for 9d, not an author I have ever heard of, I will probably get shouted at but to me he is obscure. Never come across Ms Poste either, these obscure persons rather spoil the puzzle. Having to Google names rather detracts from the crossword and shows sloppy thinking by the setter.
    Thx to all

      1. I agree. Both ruined an otherwise excellent puzzle for me. Never heard of the book, let alone Ms Poste. Suspect about .001 % f the population have that in their GK without looking up, or “ cheating” in my book.

        Not heard of 19d or 27a either, but that s my own ignorance.

        Had run wild for 13a like others and still cannot see a large display as a riot….

        Having said all of that, some great clues.

    1. Not sloppy thinking at all, Brian – if anything it does highlight your own lack of knowledge. . . . but we can all learn something fresh every day.

        1. I claim that my brain has a very useful shredder, which immediately removes all irrelevant information. Except I did recall 9d author.

        2. Oh absolutely, I couldn’t agree more; me too. The whole point of my comment to Brian is that it’s no use him, me, or anyone else for that matter of accusing a setter of ‘sloppy’ cluing or obscurity on the basis of his/our own personal lack of knowledge or understanding. Setters aren’t mindreaders and can never possibly know all our many and various weaker areas. I’m so very igorant on art and literature in particular; foreign phrases irritate me beyond words, but I’m not going to throw my teddy out the pram every time one arises. I have gained a lot of information through and from crossword puzzles, having barely read a decent book in years and I’m still happy to pick up and learn ‘stuff’. . . . . . . . . It keeps the mind active :-)

          1. I always remember as a child, Eric Porter, Nyree Dawn Porter and the lovely Susan Hampshire hamming it up in the Forsythe Saga on a Sunday night.

      1. I think the point is that it’s a cryptic crossword puzzle which is about vocabulary and wordplay, not GK
        If you said Forsyte Saga to me, I’d think you were telling me you have a long history of not planning ahead – ie it means nothing to me and why should it
        No problem with learning new words, but the use of names, especially ancient ‘celebs’, does irritate me

        OK, so I’ve Googled it and it’s a bloke who wrote some fiction books published in 1906. What use is that knowledge?
        I’ve no wish to stir up a melee Shropshirebloke, but I hope you see my point

  21. Another great puzzle today, thank you to all. I though the game was some sort of strip poker which fitted the bill for the first and last words so I googled it to see what the missing word was. I can hear Frankie Howard saying ‘Oooh, you are awful’ (or was that Dick Emery), how embarrassing, never seen anything like it! North Norfolk in a freezing cold sea fret all day yesterday but back to lovely sunshine today, wish the crowds would go home so we can go to our little beach.

    1. A freezing cold sea fret sounds delightful – there is a sea mist starting to come across the marshes but it is still 31 degrees in the shade in our garden. We desperately need rain but at lunch time Tomasz Schafernaker said it was highly unlikely that any of the promised storms would turn up in the South East :(

      1. At the risk of sounding dreadfully smug, we’ve just had a short, sharp thunderstorm here – the air is now blissfully cool and the plants have perked up no end.

  22. It’s 31C and not a breath of breeze in rural South Oxfordshire, which is about as far from the sea as you can get in the British Isles. Yesterday’s favourite clue is the nearest part of the coast to us . I would like to bask in a nice cool sea fret. After putting away a shpping delivery and taking in the dry bed-linen from the clothes line in our sun trap of a back garden I was wrung out to dry too.

  23. What a nice way to start a Monday, I did like 9 down and 18 across, but I had to look up Ms Poste in 23 across, all in all a nice way to start the week.

    Thank you to the setter and Pommers

  24. I thought this was a nice way to start a Monday, I did like 9 down and 18 across, but I had to look up Ms Poste in 23 across, all in all a nice way to start the week.

    Thank you to the setter and Pommers

  25. Nice Monday puzzle. the card game was new to me but eminently deduceable from the clue, so much so that I didn’t feel the need to google the answer. As others 13a had to wait until the checkers told me which option to use. 9d was an author known to me but Ms Poste has escaped my attention until now, but like CS how many states could it be? 4d 15d and 16d all featured highly IMO and thanks to pommers and Campbell.
    1a was a nice easy anagram to start but like pommers it is not a cheese I am terribly fond of.

    1. John, if Cold Comfort Farm has passed you by please acquaint yourself with it. There have been many film adaptations but, as ever, none of them compare to the book. It has jollity and mirth that is so subtle it creeps up and bites you. I found myself laughing uncontrollably over the cow, the dish mop and many other things.

      PS. I love Danish blue. 🧀

  26. Lovely start to the week, boh the puzzle & the weather. 8d held me up, because like others I had a wild guess at 13a.When I realised my mistake things came together.
    COTD was 14a.
    Thanks to Campbell & pommers.
    Off with Biggles for his beach run & dip with mid 70s temperature & gentle Easterly breeze – perfect for once. Don’t think he (or I) would be so keen if we were in CS territory.

  27. A pleasant puzzle to solve this morning.. After a Sunday morning at The Church of the Quivering Brethren Flora Poste has been known to visit Monday’s Cryptic puzzle before. Not sure when or how the clue worked but I remember writing about her. Thanks to Campbell for the puzzle and to Pommers for the review.

  28. I thought I was going to be writing what a delightful puzzle today, but then I ran into 23a, 3d, and 22d, which rather spoilt it for me. And I don’t exactly say 27a very often. COTD was 15d, now that’s a good cryptic clue. Other than that it was very pleasant, so thanks to setter and Pommers.

  29. **/***. I needed to google 23a and check my thinking for 9d which was lurking somewhere in my memory. Otherwise an enjoyable solve. Thanks to Campbell and Pommers.

  30. 9d Whether you know him or not, or what he wrote, his is a very familiar name in literature. After a few checkers in place it is hard not to spot the answer. The same with 20a. I know not of Ms Poste, and I had not even settled upon the answer being a state of the USA. However with the usual “papers” and one or two checkers it would have been difficult to miss this. One thing which simplified this puzzle was the number of less-used letters eg Y.

  31. I am getting round to the puzzles late and later at the moment. The quality of Campbell’s crossword is always worth the wait and this was no exception. Some clever misdirection and some thoughtful clues, of which 8d was my favourite.

    Thanks to the aforementioned and pommers.

  32. Really enjoyed this, even though I failed a couple. I’ve never heard of 3d, so gave up on that.
    On the other hand, how could I forget 23a, remember Aunt Ada who saw something nasty in the woodshed?
    I also liked 9d, I preferred the Kenneth Moore production. Yes, centuries ago, but I thought it was better.
    I’m choosing 18a for fave, only because I remembered it, can’t imagine why.
    Thanks to Campbell and to pommers for his help along the way, and Yo Yo Ma in particular!

  33. Nice start to the week 😃**/*** 13a nearly pushed it into *** having the wrong second word 😬 doh!! Favourites were 23a & 20d 🤗 Thanks to Pommers and to the Setter. Re the Quick Crossword only the top phrase is in italics so up to today the bottom one on a Monday has always been just the bottom line 😳

  34. As usual, I enjoyed this crossword although I too was stymied by 3d and 23a: online enquiries did lead me to the correct answers though. I thought there was a good blend of clues and liked 6 and 21a, as well as 2 and 15d but have chosen as favourite 8d. Concerning the discussion at 20 above, I always think you pays your money and takes your choice – it’s only a crossword. Thanks to the compiler and to Pommers (particularly for the Bach – how soothing!)

  35. Very fair clues well put together. However, I prefer more verbs in the clues so that they tell a story. Most of the clues were descriptive.

  36. Very pleasant start with the solving week, with some good clues.
    Like others I have never heard of 3D & thank goodness as my name suggests I’m jolly glad I haven’t!
    Thanks to setter & Pommers for review

  37. Made steady progress through what turned out to be a pleasant start to the week and although I’d never heard of Ms Poste the checkers slotted in nicely for the answer.
    Had to dig into the memory bank for 3d, always remember it as somewhat intriguing in my formative years.
    COTD contenders for me 11a, 18a and 7d
    Thanks Pommers and the setter!

  38. I think I’m with Brian on the author. I had to look the answer up and although I’d heard of the aforementioned writer, I wouldn’t have got the answer in a month of Sundays. And I’d not heard of 3d or 23a (although I could work that one out) , so for me, not the easiest or most enjoyable crossword ever. The Quick Crossword though was a lot of fun! Thanks to the setter and Pommers for the tips, which I most definitely needed today,

  39. My first post to the blog occasioned by my first unaided completion, though I had to look up the card game.
    I started doing the DT crosswords When lockdown began and discovered this excellent resource after a few weeks. Thanks to all contributors – you have helped to keep me sane.

  40. Loved this puzzle. The reference to Ms Poste brought back memories of driving a reluctant 18 year old about 250 miles to start uni at Edinburgh. There was no point in having a discussion with a darling daughter who was curled in a fetal position in the back of the car. Instead I played her the abridged version of Cold Comfort Farm. Within hours of arriving at uni all was well and she had a wonderful 3 years.

  41. Loved the crossword. The reference to Ms. Poste brought back memories of taking a reluctant daughter to start Uni at Edinburgh. It was a long drive and rather than discuss the merits of education I put the abridged version of Cold Comfort Farm on the car radio. Not much reaction from my daughter but I was not told to turn it off. Well, it got us all the way north and the start of 3 happy years for her in that fabulous city. Thanks to all concerned today.

  42. As usual most things have been said. Unlike some I have a favourite 27a. Many thanks to Campbell and Pommers.

  43. Too hot, too late- the crossword was the best thing in a s——— day, so many thanks to all

  44. **/*** for this Monday puzzle. SE corner held me up the most, but had to do this puzzle piecemeal, but even though it was done over 7-8 hour period, solve time was 2*. Grandchild took up a lot of time today … and that was great!
    COTD 18a, 4d, 9d &15d … winner 15d

    Thanks to setter and pommers

  45. Bah. I struggled with this one — even sleeping on it and trying to complete it this morning didn’t really help.

    I love clever general knowledge clues when I have the specific knowledge in question, so don’t mind them when I don’t. I didn’t know the author or the character, but the books of each are well-known and I think they’re fair enough.

    It’s just a little unfortunate that they crossed with each other, though. I’d prefer general knowledge clues not to do that, especially when they are both from the same field.

    For all terms which at least one commenter has mentioned above not knowing, I didn’t know them either, and to which I’m adding the 19d woman. I failed to get 13a even with the hints and crossing letters.

    Thank you to Pommers for the hints, and Campbell for the puzzle. My favourites was either the 15d speaking at length or the 8d marker. With so many pit closures, I wonder if there is an ex-miner somewhere who has retrained as an 8d?

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