DT 29439 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29439

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29439

Hints and tips by Mr K

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BD Rating  -  Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

Hello, everyone.  Some smooth surfaces and nice misdirection in this uncomplicated but entertaining puzzle.  I look forward to reading what the commentariat thought of it.  I have no idea who our compiler might be, but it would be great if he or she took a bow in the comments below. 

In the hints below most indicators are italicized, and underlining identifies precise definitions and cryptic definitions.  Clicking on the answer buttons will reveal the answers.  In some hints hyperlinks provide additional explanation or background.  Clicking on a picture will enlarge it or display a bonus illustration.  Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.



1a    Els teed off, welcoming clubs chosen (8)
SELECTED:  An anagram (off) of ELS TEED containing (welcoming) the playing card abbreviation for clubs.  Apparently playing golf in Florida can be like this … 

5a    Bishop rushed to get prepared (6)
BRACED:  The chess abbreviation for bishop with rushed or ran 

9a    Secret eastern river boat (9)
PRIVATEER:  Link together a synonym of secret, the single letter for east, and the single letter for river

11a   Confess in court I'm dangerous revolutionary (5)
ADMIT:  The answer is hidden in the reversal (revolutionary) of the remainder of the clue 

12a   Difficult situations, losing first matches (6)
LIGHTS:  Some difficult situations or predicaments minus their first letter (…, losing first

13a   Motivation limits current working (8)
AMBITION:  Chain together limits or range, the physics symbol for electric current, and working or operating 

15a   Begin destroying main tent for fun (13)
ENTERTAINMENT:  A synonym of begin is followed by an anagram (destroying) of MAIN TENT 

18a   Notice blokes in a test drive spinning (13)
ADVERTISEMENT:  Some blokes are inserted in an anagram (spinning) of A TEST DRIVE 

22a   The chap's flipping rubbish and in charge? Great! (8)
HISTORIC:  Assemble a pronoun for “the chap’s”, the reversal (flipping) of rubbish or nonsense, and the abbreviation for in charge 

23a   Run off with thin, short woman (6)
THIEVE:  All but the last letter (short) of THI[n] from the clue is followed by the first woman 

26a   Quickly walk after adult (5)
APACE:  Walk or stride goes after the single letter for adult 

27a   Collected university certificate  with marks on the side? (9)
GRADUATED:  A double definition, with the second referring to a measuring device 

28a   Spain broadcasts competitions (6)
EVENTS:  Follow the IVR code for Spain with broadcasts or airs 

29a   Bound to go without food with aim to restrict energy (8)
FASTENED:  Cement together “to go without food” and a synonym of aim containing (to restrict) the physics symbol for energy 



1d    Drink used to be provided (8)
SUPPLIED:  Link together synonyms of drink and of used 

2d    Yankee catching fish? On the contrary -- fibbing (5)
LYING:  Inverting the wordplay (on the contrary), the answer is found as a usual fish containing (catching) the letter represented in the NATO phonetic alphabet by Yankee 

3d    Vessel -- and what might go under one (7)
COASTER:  A type of boat is also something that might be placed under a drinking vessel 

4d    You and I picked up the Queen's jug (4)
EWER:  The reversal (picked up, in a down clue) of a pronoun for you and I is followed by the Latin abbreviation for Queen Elizabeth 

6d    Grasp each student in lift (7)
REALISE:  An abbreviation for each and the single letter for a student or learner driver are inserted together in lift or go up 

7d    Company wasted time and met group for specific business (9)
COMMITTEE:  An abbreviation for company with an anagram (wasted, as in drunk) of TIME MET 

8d    Seeing District Attorney can lead to grief (6)
DATING:  Concatenate the abbreviation for District Attorney, a synonym of can (as a container), and the first letter of (lead to) Grief 

10d   Misrepresenting Macron -- it's soppy (8)
ROMANTIC:  An anagram (misrepresenting) of MACRON IT (the ‘s is being a link word in a “wordplay’s definition” type of clue construction) 

14d   Transporting automobile by railway and paying only 50% (8)
CARRYING:  Glue together another word for automobile, an abbreviation for railway, and one half (only 50%) of PAYING 

16d   Change locomotives, leaving one delayed (9)
TRANSLATE:  A synonym of locomotives loses the Roman one (…, leaving one) and is followed by a synonym of delayed 

17d   Took part in American bike race and finished (8)
ATTENDED:  Combine the single letter for American, the abbreviation for a usual motorbike race, and finished or concluded 

19d   Wild flower around bottom of garden (7)
VIOLENT:  A type of flower is wrapped around the last letter (bottom of, in a down clue) of gardeN

20d   A tux he's ordered to wear out (7)
EXHAUST:  An anagram (ordered) of A TUX HE’S 

21d   Style clashes, we're told (6)
PHRASE:  A homophone (we’re told) of some clashes or scuffles 

24d   Licked, not initially chewed (5)
EATEN:  Licked or defeated minus its first letter (…, not initially

25d   Information a little upsetting (4)
DATA:  The reversal (upsetting, in a down clue) of "a little" or "a bit" (including the A) 


Thanks to today’s setter for a fun solve.  My favourite today would be 22a or 8d.  Which clues did you like best?


The Quick Crossword pun:  FEW + CHA + TENTS = FUTURE TENSE

102 comments on “DT 29439

  1. 2*/2.5*. Mr K’s description of this as uncomplicated fits the bill perfectly. Many thanks to him for the review and pictures, and to the setter.

  2. I thoroughly enjoyed this, great puzzle and great blog. I was on the wavelength from the off, no general knowledge, just clever wordplay throughout providing the challenge.
    As a bit of a “hopeless 10d” myself, I liked that and thought 8d &25d clever too but my podium places go to 11a, 22a and 24d
    Many thanks to the setter and to Mr K (particularly for including my favourite Jam song) for the top notch “entertainment”

    1. I saw the Jam at Jesters in Kingston in about 1978 before they achieved fame and fortune, there were 4 other people in the audience!

      1. I remember going to a punk evening back in the 70s. Public Image Ltd were the main act but they were rubbish. The audience Pogo Danced and spat at them and they spat back. Then a support band came on. The lead singer pointed at the crowd and said, “No spitting or we go off”. The punks jeered. Then they started to play and I realised they were true musicians. So did everyone else. There was no spitting. Everyone just listened.

        I turned to my friend and said I thought this group would go far.

        This was a long time before The Stranglers became well known.

  3. Great puzzle. Enough of that though. We newspaper subscription wallahs now have The Toughie included in the puzzles section of the online newspaper. Whoopie Doo. About time too.

    1. Thanks for pointing it out Miffypops as I would never have scrolled that far along and would have missed it as the cryptic one is the first one I come to. I agree, about time!

    2. Thank you for letting us know. I hadn’t scrolled that far. How very exciting, a new challenge ahead.

  4. Straightforward today, no convoluted clues. **/*** I didn’t grasp the homonym in 21d. I thought it might be some kind of twist on shape meaning style so it was a total bung in given the checkers. I now know better. Thank you. Favourite 16d. No idea how these setters come up with such great clues. Thanks to all.

  5. Nice & gentle but pleasant enough. Also enjoyed yesterday’s Campbell, which I didn’t get round to until this morning. Loved the pic in 1a – haven’t played a shot quite that close to one but still close enough to approach the task with a high degree of trepidation.
    Thanks to the setter & to Mr K for the always entertaining review – must say I feel like that cat in this continuing heat.

    1. Yes, train and locomotive was one of the synonyms that bothered me too. I’m also in agreement with Brian about 23d. I can just about accept that phrase is a synonym of style and found it in the BRB but the homonym ‘frays’ being synonymous with clashes is a bridge too far.

  6. Another great puzzle today which, on first glance, I thought might be tricky but it was great fun. For all you cat lovers (I don’t know how to attach it to this) but google whisky drinker cat video and sit back and enjoy it. How they filmed this I have no idea but I love the bit where he struggles to get the top off the bottle. Thanks to the setter and Mr K. The freezing sea fret on the North Norfolk coast was back early on but its cleared now, hurrah.

    1. Thanks for that, Manders, it was the incident with the flip-top waste bin that had me in hysterics!

  7. If yesterday’s puzzle was heavy on the GK, this one was definitely heavy on the synonyms, some if which were over-stretched. There didn’t seem to be much variety in the type of clue which detracted from the enjoyment of the puzzle for me (3*/1*). I don’t have a favourite clue. Thanks to Mr K for the review and to the setter. I’m sure lots of people willl enjoy this puzzle but it was not my cup of tea.

  8. I thought this was easy and then I found it wasn’t. Thanks for the many tips I had to use today.

  9. Quite a straightforward crossword, I had to look up 21d in the thesaurus. I found that one a bit odd!

  10. I found this rather light and a lot of fun. My favourite clues were 11a and 25d. Thank you setter and Mr Kitty. I dropped my car off for a service at 7.30 this morning, and couldn’t believe how busy the M25 was. I see that as a good sign.

  11. Re 1a, my son is the Course Superintendent at Crown Colony Golf and Country Club in Fort Myers, SW Florida. The wildlife on the course includes: American Alligators; Florida Black Bears; Wild Boar (potentially the most dangerous of those three); Iguana and Nile Monitors; Bald Eagles; Water Moccasins (aka Cottonmouths), Diamond-back Rattlesnakes, Coral snakes, and several species of non-venomous snakes; Tarantulas and Black Widow sliders; scorpions and fire ants. The Florida panther was very occasionally sighted at his previous course some miles South.

    Most are more afraid of golfers than the other way around.

    1. Did you see the video clip the other day of a wild boar with two babies making off the someone’s bag. It contained a German man’s laptop and he gave chase despite the fact that he was completely naked in a public park!

    2. My office here in South Florida used to overlook a golf course, inhabited by one very large alligator, who would come out to sun himself on overcast days. He totally ignored those playing around him. However, I was always in awe of the diver employed to go into the lakes to retrieve errant golf balls.

    3. mate of mine played in florida and and there was a snake in the middle of the green, because they did not know if it was alive or dead, they did not know whether they were able to treat it as a ‘loose impediment’ or not!

  12. I cannot improve on our blogger’s view on this puzzle. Some excellent clues so difficult to pick a favourite but I will stick in a pun and get 24d.

    Thanks to both Misters involved in today’s production.

  13. Enjoyable but without much of a spark for me (is it because I miss the GK challenges?) but quite solid. Just that, though 21d gave me considerable pause and was my LOI. Favourites: 21d, 23a, 10d. Thanks to Mr Kitty and today’s setter. ** / ***

    1. I gather there was an earthquake in
      north of you in North Carolina at 5+ on the Richter Scale. I hope it didn’t do any harm to you in your area. You’ve had the pestilence, the hurricane and the earthquake now so hopefully things will improve. If not, it’s the locusts or the frogs next.

  14. Just a slight hesitation over 21d but plain sailing elsewhere. For some reason, I had Mr Ed down for this one but I’ve got no concrete reason for saying that so maybe it will just give him a chuckle.
    Top two here were 7&25d.

    Thanks to our setter and to Mr K for another most enjoyable feline-filled review – wonder what the restaurant cat ate for lunch?!!

  15. Quite enjoyed this but for no particular reason and have no standout Fav(s) to nominate. Soppy in 10d does jar a bit. Took ages to tumble to 23a having worked on women’s names and nearly bunged in Phoebe. Thank you Mysteron and MrK.

  16. I would like to point out that in 16d Train is not a synonym of locomotive
    A train is the whole thing including the trucks or coaches carrying passengers or freight while the locomotive is the object pulling the load.

    1. I took this literally. Meaning the change of locomotive (engine, if you will) made the (entire) train late.

  17. I set off at a great pace then came to a complete halt. It was as if my brain had said “I’ve had enough!” and stopped working. Much to my annoyance I resorted to a few hints to get me going again. Still, it was an enjoyable puzzle although I didn’t do myself any favours by putting “elevate” for 6d. I saw the E and the L and jumped to the wrong conclusion. I took ages to get 23a but once I did it became my COTD.

    Many thanks to the setter and Mr. K for the hints and cats.

  18. I enjoyed this puzzle. Of course I missed the lurker, but solved it by the checking letters; and only managed 21d by the old trick of going though all combinations of the alphabet. Grateful to Mr K for explaining that one.

    Lola’s original assistants have returned from holiday and have resumed feeding duties. I’m told she responded to them ‘haughtily’.
    After last week’s supermarket delivery debacle (all frozen food melted, including liquefied Soleros), we are going to shop the old-fashioned way and actually go to the store OURSELVES! I know! It’s all very retro.
    Thanks to Miss Terri Setter and Mr K.
    ‘The band begins at ten to six, When Mr. K. performs his tricks without a sound…’

    1. ‘Twas ever thus with felines, Terence, they don’t take kindly to dereliction of duty!
      Enjoy your retro shopping experience and don’t forget that freezer bag to get the Soleros safely back to base.

  19. More of a Monday puzzle than yesterday’s was, helped by the two long partial anagrams in the middle, perhaps Campbell and this setter should swap days. Completed at a fast gallop – 1.5*/3.5*.
    Candidates for favourite – 23a, 8d, and 25d – and the winner is 23a.
    Thanks to the setter and Mr K.

  20. Pleasant enough puzzle my favs being 9a and 12a. Found 23a rather below par and still don’t get 21d. Presumably it is meant to sound like Frays but what has that to do either style or scuffles. I know what affray means but this is very odd.
    **/** (would have been *** but for 23a and 21d)
    Thx to all

    1. Hate to do a ‘CS’ on you, Brian, but that good old BRB will set you straight on your answer – def.2 on the list.

      1. Ok i get that style is a definition of phrase albeit an obscure one but why the scuffles.

        1. Brian, Greta is correct in her comment below. One of the BRB definitions for “fray” is “a brawl”.

          1. My argument with 21d ( if that is not too hard of me, because I certainly couldn’t set a crossword like that – and I have tried!) is that as
            a fashionista (!) I would say that it is pushing it a bit to call frays a style

              1. I know that according to MP there are no rules here but I have one and that is that, if in doubt, Gazza is always right.

    2. Frays as in plural of fray, I thought having seen the explanation. “Enter the fray” = join the scuffle? Guessing a bit here too.l

    3. Thx for everyone who has tried to explain what is at best an obscure clue. Personally i could think of another adjective but …….

  21. A steady solve till only 21d remained. As what remains of my brain cells seem to have dissolved in the heat, I resorted to the hints so many thanks to Mr K. A straightforward solve was just what was required today so many thanks also to the setter.

  22. Thoroughly enjoyable 🤗 **/**** Favourites were 23a & 3d many thanks to Mr K for his usual brilliant blog and of course to the setter

  23. **/***. An enjoyable puzzle with a good mix of clues and no GK. I liked 1a as this got me off to a fast start and really liked 3&8d for their smooth surfaces. Thanks to the setter and Mr K for the hints which weren’t needed but as always were very enjoyable.

  24. The boaty clues at 3D and 9a were my faves, but mainly because I am no longer a boat owner and this gave me a reminder to rejoice at this! As they say, the second happiest day of your life is when you buy a boat; the happiest day is when you sell it.
    A steady solve on the down clues for me which then helped a steady solve on the acrosses. But I didn’t get 21d. Thanks to the setter and Mr K.
    I try to avoid funny cat on internet vids (you can lose hours!) but my favourite is the one of a cat in a shark outfit on an auto vacuum. Endlessly amusing.

  25. Having struggled with this for most of the day, and not understanding the answers even when I get them – phrase-style clashes?? I can’t say I found it ‘entertaining’ in the slightest

  26. Nice puzzle. Held up by 21d. I thought the setter had got me there, but after coming back to it a couple of times (my last one in) penny dropped! – liked it!! Hard to pick a favourite but maybe 23a just about gets there. The easier Tuesday Toughie is anything but today – or is that just me – most probably. Or maybe the cooling gins and tonics!!

  27. Well I didn’t enjoy this one much. Too many very stretched synonyms for me and I completely failed at 21d.
    Liked 3d best.

    Thanks to the setter and to Mr K ….great pictures today!

      1. I am afraid that 21d and 28a spoiled it for me. I am appreciative of the Doh! moment when I realise that the setter has caused me to miss an answer which is obvious in hindsight. On the other hand, the use of of obscure, even inaccurate synonyms (event = competition?? “vents = broadcasts”??) without even an apologetic “perhaps” is not clever cueing. It can turn any simple puzzle into a difficult one providing an unrewarding frustration rather than a pleasurable solve. ****/* for me – although I enjoyed the rest of the puzzle!

  28. I have to say I made heavy work of a perfectly good crossword which was my fault, my two stand out clues were 22 & 23 across, thank you to the setter and Mr K.

  29. It is a truth universally acknowledged by women that bed changing days come round more quickly than any other days,
    as a case in point – here we are at Tuesday again. I used to do it on a Monday but then one revolutionary day I
    thought – why do I subject myself to this Monday washday tyranny? So now it is a Tuesday instead. The reason I said all that
    is to underline the fact that I really needed the R & R of a nice fun crossword and that is what we got. Some good anagrams (I am the Anagram Queen)
    and neat clues. Many thanks to Mr. Ron and Mr. K for the delightful cat in a cafe – this is just how the aged Thompson lies – right slap bang in your path.
    I shall fall over him one day and bang will really go my knee.
    Had a dreadful weekend having read in the DT letters that the government had issued guidelines to hospitals not to do elective surgery on
    over 70’s.Gross discrimination,is that even legal? I immediately dashed off an appropriate, beautifully crafted letter to the editor but he just looks at my name and says it is that
    barmy old woman in Cambridge and what did he do? Printed three other vastly inferior letters. Hmmmph.
    That and the idea of an addition to Mount Rushmore put me into a deep depression. TGF crosswordland

    1. Daisygirl, I’m right behind you with the surgery business. I am so thankful I had my second hip at the end of last year and I was the very last person to have it done in the Spire on the NHS. First class treatment. Do have a look at the cat clip I mentioned in point 7 above, it’s very funny and the cat is so like my last dear chap.

      1. Haha – just seen it, so funny. How on earth did they do that, clever animation of course. In our pet-owning marriage (always Alsatians in the Angus family) we had 2 adorable black poodles,
        a Maine Coon cat, 2 daft inherited elderly Labradors (sorry LROK) then two Somalis. Our claim to fame with the Somalis is that out of a litter of four, we had two and Mary Archer had the other two – thus we have a feline relationship with the Archers! Now we provide a home for grandson’s Thompson whilst he is at uni. It is a wonderful thing for a child to grow up with a pet.

      2. I have just reposted the cat clip to my friends. Obviously CGI but very funny!

        We once had a cat who loved travelling on the dashboard of the car. Whenever I turned the ignition, she was immediately there wanting a ride.

    2. Don’t give up, Daisy – keep sending them in. As as for nice Mr Trump – don’t let him depress you – I’ve just decided we have to play him for laughs. Hopefully, there are enough checks and balances in their system to contain him. Will he get re-elected, surely not, or maybe… Not really my place to comment on another country’s election processes – but I don’t have a clue behind their rationale. Hope I haven’t offended anyone. Maybe not the place for these sorts of comments.

      1. You’ve just got me going! Play that idiot for laughs? What’s to laugh about that evil man. Checks and balances? Not so far, and if he gets in again it’ll get worse. Cut payroll taxes? The unemployed don’t pay payroll taxes, and I think this is a ploy to get rid of SS and Medicare altogether. I’m stopping here or I’ll go on and on. Steaming mad!

      2. There’s nothing funny about him, just one embarrassment after another. Unfortunately his supporters don’t seem to have any rationale. It’s going to be bumpy ride until the next swearing in I’m afraid.

    3. Couldn’t quite believe it when I read about Trump’s Mount Rushmore ambitions……….

      1. That has to be a joke, Jane. That clown up there with those other great men? Impossible.

    4. Daisygirl
      Your name should be Cynthia Harrod-Eagles to get a letter published I think. I wonder who holds the record, if someone even keeps count that is.
      Wonder how many bloggers have had any published.

      1. Exactly, or Frederick Forsyth ! I have, in the course of 60 years had TWO letters published – both of which are carefully preserved for posterity. But I have to admit I feel
        moved to write about once a month!!!

        1. Very interesting to note the geographical distribution of the letters. Not done it for ages but there seemed a definite southern England bias, whether that is because they submit the majority of the letters I don’t know.

      2. To answer LabsruleOK. Well one person did. Mentioning that I considered using pencils to solve anagrams was cheating. I never said that. Just that I mentally solve all anagrams and never write out the letters. Something I trained myself to do once Saint Sharon bought us both an iPad and she refused to fetch me a pencil and paper

      3. I had a letter published a long time ago. There had been lots of letters about, “When a woman know that she’s turning, or has turned, into her mother”.
        I said something along the lines of, “A woman knows when she’s turning into her grandmother when she announces, on the 22nd of June, that the nights will be drawing in soon”.

      4. I have had several published over the years on all sorts of subjects so can’t complain.

        1. I’m somewhere between Daisygirl and you, although I only write once in a Preston Guild (for non Lancastrians every 20 years)

        2. I had two published earlier this year. Also, I once won the caption competition in Punch way back. Remember Punch?

          1. Oh yes, I subscribed for years until they stopped printing. I loved the articles. Clement Freud was very funny!

      5. I had my first and only letter published last year. Dear Mr Johnson was promising Manchester wonderful buses like he’d provided for us in London. I felt I had to request that Manchester, unlike London, got windows that opened on theirs as well as air cooling. Not heard if they’ve ever materialised.

  30. For no obvious reason except, perhaps, the temperature I couldn’t get going on this one.
    I did, eventually, and it was fine – 21d took a while as did 29a.
    No particular clues stood out for me today and so I don’t have a favourite.
    Thanks to the setter, whoever he or she is, and to Mr K.
    Our bedroom is in the attic on the top floor and it’s like an oven. Husband assures me that having a fan on at night doesn’t make it any cooler – he says it just makes it feel cooler! Hello – could someone explain to me what it is that we’re trying to achieve?! :unsure:

  31. I was going great guns until I got to the NW, I needed hints to get 9a and 12a.
    I also failed at 21d, now I’m not surprised when I see how many missed that.
    I liked 22a and 23a amused.
    Thanks to our setter and to Mr. K for his needed hints, natch, I always look forward to the pics.

  32. Pleasant, if bland, solve followed by Mr K’s usual entertaining review. Re the pic for 27a – lab assistants didn’t look or dress like that in my day
    As with many 21d was my nemesis & LOI. Other than that completed in 2*
    Thanks to setter & Mr K.

  33. I’m in the “too many stretched synonyms” camp this morning, within 21d spoiling what was quite a nice crossword. A lot of the answers I got despite the clues, rather than because of them. But overall I did enjoy this one today, although nothing winning COTD prize. Thanks to setter and Mr K.

  34. Started off ok, but bogged down quickly I’m afraid. Not as straightforward as Monday’s offering. ***/** for me today. Some of the clues brought hmm’s … like 12a, 21d & 26a among others that were a bit of a stretch and parsing of no real help IMHO.
    COTD include 9a, 22a, 14d & 16d with winner 16d today.

    Thanks to setter and Mr K for hints that I needed far too much today.
    Maybe a wavelength thing.

  35. I’m in the “straightforward but enjoyable” camp this evening and finished it in time to go and play darts. I hadn’t heard of the limits in 13a but I have now. Hard to pick a favourite, lots to choose from but I’m going for 22a. Many thanks to the setter and Mr. K. Now for darts and proper beer. 🍺

  36. Very enjoyable, not too tricky.
    Many comments about 21d, I was lucky that with all the checkers in place, it jumped out at me, though I agree that its a bit of a stretch.
    When will this oppressive heat end!!
    Thanks all

  37. 16d . I don’t think “ trains “ is a synonym of locomotives . A little misleading . A more precise synonym of locomotives is “ engines “

  38. We had a slight hold up with 13a but the rest all went together smoothly.
    An enjoyable solve.
    Thanks Mr Ron and Mr K.

  39. I made heavy weather of this but got there in the end without any sense of satisfaction. It’s probably the sweltering heat here in London. I’ll never complain about being cold ever again! I’m another one who struggled to ‘get’ 21d so thanks to all those who have clarified. Still not sure I really understand it.

  40. A late comment from me to say how much I enjoyed the puzzle, the delightful review, and all the comments! Perfect entertainment for this meltingly hot weather! 21d didn’t give me any trouble, but 13a did! Oh dear! I really should have got that. Blame the heat!!!

    Most appreciative thanks to the setter and to Mr K.

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