DT 29448 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29448

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29448

Hints and tips by Big Dave

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Deep Threat is otherwise involved this week, so I have taken a rare opportunity to fully review a back-page puzzle.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Salt’s ruined important meal with terrible consequences? (4,6)
LAST SUPPER: an anagram (ruined) of SALT’S followed by an adjective meaning important – I tried to put a meal after an anagram of SALT before I realised that would mean the meal was doing double duty

6a    Lead in flue depressed sweep (4)
FLOW: the initial letter (lead) in F[lue] followed by an adjective meaning depressed

10a    Significant lack of furniture? (7)
NOTABLE: split as (2,5) this means an item of furniture is missing

11a    Keeping rook away, rip off bit of bread (7)
CROUTON: R(ook) and a three-letter word meaning away inside (keeping) a cm to rip off

12a    Bit of goofiness essentially clever tricks (8)
FINESSES: hidden (bit of) inside the clue

13a    Good leg exercise? Not beginner’s messy stuff (5)
GUNGE: G(ood) followed by a leg exercise without its initial letter (not beginner)

15a    Amused; second was in first place (7)
TICKLED: a second or short period of time followed by a verb meaning was in first place

17a    Retold novel about origin of pearl bead (7)
DROPLET: an anagram (novel) of RETOLD around the initial letter (origin) of P[earl]

19a    Rabbit with talent contracted 20% of stomach (7)
GASTRIC: a a colloquial verb for to rabbit followed by the first four of a five-letter word (contracted 20%) for talent

21a    Those people hiding potentially valuable mass proposition (7)
THEOREM: a pronoun for those people around (hiding) a valuable mass

22a    Sheep and rats emptied water containers (5)
EWERS: a female sheep followed by R[at]S without its inner letters (emptied)

24a    Small pressure against early locomotive wheel (8)
SPROCKET: S(mall) and P(ressure) followed by an early locomotive

27a    Offering time, kid starts to unplug the earphones (7)
TRIBUTE: T(ime) followed by a verb meaning to kid and the initial letters of (starts to) the last three words in the clue

28a    Entering affair, former lover’s yielding (7)
FLEXING: an affair around a former lover

29a    Scoff about son’s bearing (4)
EAST: a verb meaning to scoff around S(on)

30a    Single international agency regularly examined art trends (10)
UNESCORTED: a six-letter international agency followed by the even letters of (regularly examined) of the last two words in the clue


1d    Big cat in golf course reported (4)
LYNX: sounds like (reported) a golf course that is near the coast

2d    Pawns or knights for corners? (3,6)
SET PIECES: pawns or knights are examples of these chessmen – corners are a definition by example (indicated by the question mark) of these rehearsed team manoeuvres in football

3d    Dark sword changing hands (5)
SABLE: start with a sword and change the letter representing a particular side for the other one (changing hands)

4d    Happy, place got calmer (7)
PLEASED: PL(ace) followed by a verb meaning got calmer

5d    Covered new trial described by top journalist (7)
ENCASED: N(ew) and a trial in court inside (described by) a top journalist – if you wasted time trying to make an anagram (new) of TRIAL fit the wordplay then you were in good company!

7d    Involved old Communist having change of heart (3,2)
LET IN: change the middle letter (heart) of an old Communist leader

8d    Men wittier when drunk — that includes Noel (10)
WINTERTIME: an anagram (when drunk) of MEN WITTIER gives a period that includes Christmas

9d    Ten gathered in mist admire flower (8)
FOXGLOVE: put the Roman numeral for ten inside a mist and add a verb meaning to admire

14d    Leg beast broke tackling alien insect (4,6)
STAG BEETLE: an anagram (broke) of LEG BEAST around (tackling) Spielberg’s alien

16d    Birds half-destroyed purple plant (8)
LARKSPUR: some birds are followed by PUR[ple] without (destroyed) its second half

18d    Criminal material about Republican brought up in street (9)
LARCENIST: put some material around R(epublican) and add the reversal (brought up in a down clue) of IN and finally ST(reet)

20d    Revolutionary in charge with tough-looking tank (7)
CISTERN: the reversal (revolutionary) of the abbreviation for In Charge is followed by an adjective meaning tough-looking

21d    Arguments involving a king’s duties (7)
TARIFFS: some arguments surround the A from the clue and R (rex / king)

23d    Leaves are not imaginary, with tons to pick up (5)
EXITS: start with a five-letter word meaning are not imaginary and move the T(ons) up one place

25d    Belief constant over consuming wine (5)
CREDO: C(onstant) and O(ver) around a type of wine

26d    Old man greedy now and then (4)
AGED: the even letters (now and then) of two words in the clue

I found this got easier as I progressed.

The Quick Crossword pun: perry+feral=peripheral

87 comments on “DT 29448

  1. 2*/4*. I have no doubt that this fun puzzle was the work of Mr 4X, which I found at the easier end of his range.

    I spent most time trying to parse 30a because it took me quite a while to see beyond UN for the international agency.

    I need look no further than the “rabbit with talent” in 19a for my favourite today.

    Many thanks to proXimal and to BD.

  2. Rated purely on enjoyment this was the best of the week for me, thought it was a gem. Not too difficult, save for the tricky NE where I couldn’t get “crowman” out of my head for 11a. All came good in the end for an unaided finish in about 2.5* time.
    I liked 13,15 and 19a plus 2d in particular but could have mentioned several more.
    Many thanks to the setter and to BD for the top notch entertainment.

  3. As usual, with this compiler, I finished this by reverse engineering the answer to try to unravel the clues. Nevertheless, there were 5 clues I couldn’t parse and 2 that I wasn’t sure of. Somehow it isn’t a very satisfying way of doing a crossword so I’ll call it 2.5*/2* today . I did however, enjoy 9d and 18d. Many thanks to BD for some much needed help and thanks to the compiler.

  4. Three quarters of plain-sailing but then held up in the NE mainly due to my failure to work out 9d because I was working on a waterway rather than a bloom. Altogether a fun exercise. 6a was obvious but not sure about it. Thank you ProXimal and BD for your rare mid-week commentary.

  5. Right up there in Jay Territory, this superb Friday cryptic. Creative, clever, witty clues with smooth surfacing–if this is proXimal’s handiwork, I am not at all surprised. Podium stars: 17a, 19a, 30a–all three tied for 1st; 1a/1d; 9d/16d.
    Many thanks to Big Dave (nice to see you here) and to today’s crafty compiler. 2.5* / 4.5*

    Today’s Toughie is well worth the effort, though it ultimately defeated me at the end. Still, classy and fun.

      1. It’s one of his quirks, Hoofit, either there are no Xs or there are four of them. I suppose he has to use them up somewhere!

  6. Very enjoyable.
    Very few write-ins and all the better for that.
    Like RD, I couldn’t get think beyond UN as the starting point for 30a.
    Thanks to our eXcellent setter and to our esteemed blogger!

  7. I go along with 2.5*.
    It took me ages to do 5d and it’s crosser 11a.
    I too, like RD, got the UN of 30a and then fiddled for ages, eliminating early possibilities- unassisted, unassorted etc before the down answers blocked my path…….the middle bit of that word, although written in, remained unparsed until BD exposed it! Ta to him.
    And thanks to setter, generally I admired it.

  8. Good morning, one and all.
    I have to confess to being a lurker on the site for many a month and thought it was about time I owned up and participated nicely.
    I too spent a long time staring at 30a having assumed the international agency was just UN. The blindingly obvious so often eludes you!
    Think my COTD is the brief but clever 3d.
    Many thanks to all the setters and solvers for a highly interesting and informative site.

  9. Thanks to Big Dave as although I got this out I found it ***/*** and couldn’t for the life of me work out why 11, 19 and 20 ac were all what they were – even though I got them. So extra satisfying to read Big Dave’s analysis today. My only excuse was I did most of it whilst ironing which I hate so I was quite grumpy!

  10. Laughed out loud at 19a which became my favourite, followed by 13&15a plus 2d – mirroring the choices of Stephen L.

    Thanks to our brewer of Australian beer and to BD for the review – yes, I messed about in both the blind alleys you mentioned!

    1. Great minds Jane…
      I did a tour of the Brewery in Brisbane that manufactures the beer your refer to many years ago that ended with a “complimentary bar”. Needless to say, no one declined the offer!

      1. I should think the free bar was the main reason why people took the tour! Having, many years ago, done a stint of temp secretarial work close to a brewery I can confirm that the smell emanating from there was truly awful.

        1. Back in the day, as students hitchhiking through Europe, you got to know the places to go where you got free food and drink. One of them was the Lowenbrau brewery in Munich, where we had free tickets and they gave you a litre of beer, bread and sausages after the tour. We met and sat with two Canadian girls who didn’t like beer (work that one out……) so we had double the beer ration. We underestimated how much 2 litres actually amounted to and had to sleep in a park for a couple of hours. Another place was the Sorbonne student cafeteria…you could blag free lunch vouchers and get 3 courses……

          1. Oh Bluebird, you’ve brought back lots of memories. We used to go to the Heineken Brewery in Amsterdam for breakfast when I was a student. For a couple of guilders you got a lot of nibbles and lager. It set you up for the rest of the day.

      1. Aussies rightly refer to their beer as the after-product
        Having lived near the XXXX brewery, I can wholeheartedly back Jane up that it stinks and that there is no point in drinking Oz beer
        As Josh Widdicombe said ‘No-one drinks beer because they like the taste – I like the taste of milk, but I don’t have glass after glass’

        1. When we visited our daughter and son-in-law in Melbourne a couple of years ago, the draught beer was ok, kind of. What I couldn’t find was a decent cider.

            1. Well, I was able to get pints but it was great to get back to UK and have a decent one. :good:

    2. When we lived near Reading, you always knew when you neared that end of town, the stink from the brewery was awful.

      1. You should have been in Canterbury in the days when the tannery was operating – now that was a proper stink

        1. The abattoir within a stone’s throw of the school, where I taught in Canning Town, East London, was particularly whiffy on bone processing days.

        2. Haha, CS, you’re absolutely right! I was at school in Canterbury in the 60s. The tanyard as we called it was truly bad!

          1. How strange. I too was at school in Canterbury in the 1960s, but have no memory of a tannery smell.

    3. When I first went to Dublin the Hop Store at the Guinness Brewery gave out unlimited complimentary pints of the Black Stuff after only the briefest of lectures on how the stuff is made. Regrettably the last time I was there you had to endure an interminable “display” and lecture on the process and as a resident of Tadcaster home to Coors brewery and the Smith’s (John and Samuel) I know wayyy too much about all the ingredients noises and smells of your average brewery. To add insult to injury when eventually you were allowed into the bar all you got was a voucher for a couple of Halves and shown the door!

      1. When I was a student at Guy’s there was an “inter-hospital Stroll” from London Bridge to Brighton. It took place at night and students from all London teaching hospitals took part. Why did we do it? Because it was sponsored by Guinness and those who completed the “stroll” (54 miles) were treated to a free lunch at the Park Royal Brewery a few months later with all the free Guinness you wanted. Travelling back to London on the Tube was often memorable!

  11. What a most enjoyable Friday puzzle from Mr 4X completed at a gallop – 2.5*/4.5*.
    Candidates for favourite – 10a, 24a, 3d, and 20d – and the winner is 10a.
    Thanks to proXimal and BD.

  12. Like many of you, 30a gave me the most trouble today. ***/** There were many good clues but I did spend quite a lot of time trying to unravel them and then doubting myself. Just a wave length thing most likely. 10a made me laugh. How do the setters come up with something so simple but effective? Favourite 17a. Thanks to all.

  13. Got on fine with this puzzle with clues falling slowly but steadily. Then I hit a brick wall in the SE corner. I eventually had to give in and admit defeat. BD’s excellent hints showed me the right direction and I manages to reach the finishing line.

    A really lovely puzzle to finish a week of lovely puzzles. There were some great clues today but my favourites are 10a and 24a.

    Thanks to the setter and to Big Dave for the much needed hints.

  14. NE corner took me well into 3* time, just about to take Biggles out when 11a came to me.
    Like Chriscross there were quite a number where I fitted the clue to the answer rather than get the answer from the clue. Except for the 2nd part of 19a I could parse them all without BD’s help but I don’t feel I have done the setter justice.
    30a my COTD as it mislead me and others down the UN route so simply.
    Thank you setter for the test and super-sub for the review.

  15. Like LROK, the NE corner took up most of my solving time. Overall this was a superb puzzle with a great clue mix and some lovely humour. 19a was probably the pick, although 30a ran it close.

    Thanks to the X Man and to BD.

  16. Thank you to the setter and Big Dave, for a fun puzzle and explanations.

    My favourite was 24a — mainly because it’s a fun word to say, but also because it was the name of the dog in Jim Henson’s Fraggle Rock (belonging to the lighthouse keeper, inventor, or baker, played by different human actors depending on which country you watched in).

  17. A case of more haste less speed with this one. Completed in just outside of a personal best time only to be told by the iPad that it was incorrect. Back through all the answers & clocked my Ts & Ss were the wrong way round in 23d & 29a. Still incorrect so repeat with more care this time when I spotted I was um instead of em at the end of 21a. Anyway thought it a super crossword with favourites being 1,17& 19a just trumped by 30a.
    Thanks to the setter & BD

    1. There is a misconception that I’m anti Sporty Clues, I’d like to put the record straight – well, you would, in my shoes.
      In truth, I’m pretty ignorant of aught to do with balls – tennis, netball and lacrosse are where my knowledge falls.
      George’s sports are quite elite, he croquets, fences, rows – but apart from oars and epees, we don’t see much of those.
      I can just about do cricket, LBW and the rest, and Byes and wides and wickets and I’ve ‘got’ the Runs. (I jest !)
      But Sporty, G.K., Arty – bring on all of them I say
      Because I know if I get stuck BIG DAVE WILL SAVE THE DAY!

  18. Like Chriscross & LROK, many of the answers came before the parsing which often happens with this setter which I suppose is one of those wavelength things. But there were so many great clues to enjoy – 1a, 12a,19a, 21a, 30a and 16d as well as11a (for which I needed the hint).
    Many thanks to the setter and to BD for stepping in.

  19. Crossword completed indoors today as even four paperweights would not have contained the paper on the garden table. I’m glad the gazebo has not been erected, it would be halfway to Dorking by now.
    A very enjoyable romp; 30a was last in. I thought the setter might get some flak for the niche sporty nature of 2d but so far, no complaints have been posted. There are two types of corners that set me groaning – the ‘short’ ones where the taker and the recipient fiddle about and lose the ball, and the high looping corner that the opposing goalkeeper leaps up to grasp, inwardly saying, “Well, thanks very much!” to the corner taker.
    Thanks to the setter and Big Dave.

    1. I hate to say it, Terence but I don’t like any corners in football. In fact, I don’t like football at all. I know that will alienate me from many of the football fans on this blog but there it is.

      1. Steve et al,
        The famous quote:
        “All I know most surely about morality & obligations, I owe to football”
        Albert Camus
        Must say those deeper observations have always passed me by by for the last 60 years!

            1. Maybe Eric Cantona but the best he came up with was some ramblings about seagulls, trawlers and sardines.

            2. Not a very kind generalisation Kath
              Keep an open mind. Some players have brains in their heads as well as their feet. However it is also true that some have brains in neither.
              Did you not read in the DT the other day about the ex Premiership International footballer who is making more as a motivational speaker than he did as a player? He gets about £15K an hour speaking on “the high performing mind” to the likes of Microsoft, Cisco systems etc.
              Current President of Liberia is an ex soccer player

    2. I had no choice with football. My father carried me in to Stamford Bridge when I was a tiny toddler, and thus a passion was born. Supporting Chelsea is a bit like being permanently in purgatory.

  20. Like many others I end up seeing the answer and then working backwards to parse the clue…..but very enjoyable nonetheless.
    NE corner held me up a little particularly 11a but penny dropped eventually.
    Plenty of good clues 1a, 19a, 24a (probably my favourite) 27a and 16d
    Thanks to setter and BD!!

  21. Whilst some thought of the UN for the agency in 30a, I immediately thought of NATO. Enough said. The crossword was an enjoyable challenge today. Thank you Jay, and many thanks BD for stepping into Deep Threat’s reviewing shoes today. This site has brought so much pleasure during lockdown.

  22. Another very fine poser. Naturally 2d went right over my head but I did a disclosure in the hints and that was OK.
    Favourite was 10 a – my best friend from school went to work for UNESCO and so it is always the first to spring to my mind.
    Many thanks to all for another week of puzzles. I did the toughie in the bath last night, too late to comment, but I thought it was brilliant.

  23. I found this became easier as I went along and found it very enjoyable. I spent time on 18d trying to make an anagram of material and r until I saw the light. I also fell for 5d, looking for a non existent anagram. I liked 15a (send for Ken Dodd) and 28a, along with 9d but the favourite is 2d. This could apply to hockey which I enjoyed playing well into my 40s, and have the scars to prove it! Thanks to the setter and BD for his review.

  24. For me the first unaided solve this week. I am with Smylers on 24a as fave clue.
    Thanks to BD for the hints which enlightened me on a couple of parsings and also for the bonus Suzy Q clip – Hi from me too
    and thanks to 4X for the puzzles (Wadsworths 6X is at least half as good again as the aussie brew)

  25. Solved alone and unaided and understood the answers, so a Hurrah! Day for me .
    I found the NE corner the hardest and my last one in was 13a.
    Very satisfying.

    Thanks to Big Dave and to the setter.

    1. That was my first clue in! Funny how different brains find different things obvious or flummoxing. I’d been to a Legs, Bums, Tums class today so I had those dreaded exercises on the mind. It had to be those or Squats and that word didn’t fit!

  26. I fell into every single trap that’s been mentioned already – sorted out all the problems except for the UN bit in 30a so I confess that why it was what it was remained a complete mystery – dodgy grammar there, I suspect – never mind.
    If this was proXimal then I didn’t find it quite as difficult as I usually do with his crosswords.
    I also confess that I thought 2d was just where pawns and knights get plonked on a chess board – can’t ‘do’ chess sport or chess.
    13a caused trouble too – another one which had to be what it was but it took ages to see why.
    Lots of good clues including 11 and 28a and 16d. My favourite was either 10a or 1d.
    Thanks to proXimal and to BD.

    1. PS to all those talking about the pongs from breweries, tanneries and abattoirs – try living in rural Worcestershire when the muck spreaders are out.

      1. I’m on the faithful city outskirts and I didn’t think it had been as bad this week 😂 but it was pretty powerful one day last week 😊

      2. I will trump all mentions of breweries tanneries and abattoirs with a Fellmonger between Leeds and Bradford. I worked nearby for a few months and vowed never to go near the place ever again. Pleas don’t look up what goes on in a Fellmongers as it is tea time.

        1. I remember seeing one of those places on a travel documentary some time ago. It was in a hot climate (can’t recall which country) and the presenter really had his work cut out to remain composed.

        2. The worst smell I recall was the fishmeal factory at Pyewipe just outside Grimsby where I grew up. If the wind was in the wrong direction the town became swamped in a foul smell. That trumps all. 🥴

  27. I’m with Kath here, if this was, indeed, proXimal, he was pretty benign today. I usually find him very tricky.
    As with everyone else, I found 30a almost impossible, until rechecking some answers I found I had the wrong answer at 25d. Once I corrected that, my word searcher got it.
    Another one that flummoxed me was 14d; rap me over the knuckles please, the insect is not spelt like a lads’ band!
    Apart from those, I found this hugely enjoyable and lots to like, I loved it all.
    Thanks to proXimal for the fun and to Big Dave for unravelling a couple

  28. That was a first class puzzle, hugely enjoyable. Looking forward to reading the hints and the blog.
    Thanks all.

  29. As with many I too fell into the UN trap on 30a which was my last one in. I personally found this tricky – maybe my mind was elsewhere. Hope everyone has good weekends.

  30. Three days in a row now of enjoyable crosswords! On a roll. Not sure if I dare risk it breaking by buying tomorrow’s DT.
    Like others I struggled with a few in the NE and SE corners but still enjoyed it thanks to clear parsing and lots of lovely smile raisers (oh, and feeling smug spotting the proXimal, if indeed it was proXimal!). My fav was my first in at 13a, lovely word, but enjoyed 10a and 8d too.
    Thanks setter and BD!

  31. What a nice way to end the week 😃 **/**** Favourites 21d & 16d Thanks to Big Dave and the benevolent Setter 🤗

  32. Took a while to see the correct international organisation for 30a too.
    Thoroughly enjoyable clever puzzle and we had noticed the signature Xs in the four quadrants.
    Thanks proXimal and BD.

  33. Night all. Had a tiring day but most satisfying. Hired a skip and got rid of a lot of dross that’s been hanging around since lockdown and way beyond.

    Have a great weekend.

  34. Just me that found this difficult then. Even when I thought I had the answer parsing them was a problem. Hey ho! Sometimes I find them easy when others find then difficult. Favourite was 10a, there were several other contenders. Thanks to ProXimal and Big Dave particularly for getting me or of the spam folder.

      1. P.s.
        Just when I thought I’d stopped the deaths in my pheasant pens by Tawny Owls and Buzzards, the high winds today brought a branch down and crushed one to death. Gordon Bennett.

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