DT 29450 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29450

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29450

Hints and tips by pommers

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **  –   Enjoyment ****

Hola from the Vega Baja where summer is continuing big time.  Very hot and sticky and I only bother to put my T-shirt on if I’m going out, and that’s not often in view of the increasing incidence of Covid-19.  Fortunately Alicante province seems to be relatively safe but I’m not risking any more than I have to.

Today’s crossword is pretty straightforward.  Maybe I’m just being a bit slow this morning but I only got five of the acrosses on first pass  but the downs came to the rescue and it all fitted together nicely in the end..  There’s a few anagrams for those that like them and one of them is the best &lit I’ve seen for quite a while. That’s the clue that got the fourth enjoyment star.  

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           Expect head to back social worker here in Paris (10)
ANTICIPATE:  A word for the top of your head placed after (to back) crosswordland’s usual social worker and the French word for here (here in Paris).

6a           One maintaining discipline in women’s joint (4)
WHIP:  He who maintains discipline in a political party is the abbreviation of women followed by the joint at the top of your leg.

9a           A woman may wear this headgear round Ireland, almost new (7)
HAIRNET:  Something worn on the head is found by placing something else worn on the head around two letters for Ireland and NE (almost NEw).  I don’t think it’s only women who wear these. In certain jobs men have to wear them too.

10a         Dish returned books to male teacher (7)
RISOTTO:  Take two letters for some books of the bible, the TO from the clue and the usual form of address to a male teacher and then reverse the lot (returned) to get an Italian rice dish.

12a         Having rung from bar, behave improperly (4,3,2,4)
STEP OUT OF LINE:  Another word for the rung of a ladder followed by two words meaning from and finally a bar.  

14a         Accomplished players seen as dull (8)
OVERCAST:  A word for accomplished as in finished followed by the players in a play or film.

15a         Highlight  mental pressure (6)
STRESS:  Double definition.

17a         Italian knocked back sensible herbal drink (6)
TISANE: Reverse (knocked back) the abbreviation of Italian and follow with a word meaning sensible or not mad.

19a         Mad joke, finest around (8)
CRACKPOT: Start with a word for a joke or quip and follow with a reversal (around) of a word meaning best or highest.

21a         Dire prospects affected morale (6,2,5)
ESPRIT DE CORPS:  Anagram (affected) of DIRE PROSPECTS.

24a         Black Sea country in a state (7)
GEORGIA:  Double definition.

25a         Don’t disturb English bishop during holiday (5,2)
LEAVE BE:  E(nglish) and B(ishop) inserted into a holiday, from the army perhaps, and then split (5,2).  Strange that the holiday that you need to insert the E and the B into turns up as the first word of the answer.

26a         Speed of old car heading off (4)
RATE:  A word for an old car or aeroplane without its first letter (heading off).

27a         Watch out for developments as we detain criminal (4,3,3)
WAIT AND SEE:  Anagram (criminal) of AS WE DETAIN.


1d           One ringing hospital in pain (4)
ACHE:  The playing card with a number one placed around (ringing) an H(ospital).

2d           Hears them, oddly, in Italian city (7)
TRIESTE:  A word meaning hears a case in a court of law followed by the alternate letters (oddly) from ThEm.

3d           Supercilious cheat going down (13)
CONDESCENDING:  A word meaning to cheat or swindle followed by a word meaning going down.

4d           Meat dish in earthenware vessel on top of range, by oven (3,5)
POT ROAST:  An earthenware vessel followed by R (top of Range) and an oven used to dry hops.  Split that lot (3,5) and you get a meat dish.  We had some pork cooked this way for dinner yesterday, yummy!

5d           Oscar on board cutting set of cards (5)
TAROT:  The letter represented by the word Oscar in the phonetic alphabet inserted into (on board) a word meaning cutting or acidic.

7d           Special phone service arranged in hotel (7)
HOTLINE:  Anagram (arranged) of IN HOTEL.

8d           Inclination to show compassion about poorly person (10)
PROPENSITY:  A word for compassion placed around (about) an anagram (poorly) of PERSON.

11d         A nasty fire cut off — by this at the Old Vic? (6,7)
SAFETY CURTAIN:  A very neat all-in-one. It’s an anagram (off) of A NASTY FIRE CUT.

13d         Kick on, ahead of German runner (10)
BOOTLEGGER:  This runner is a smuggler.  He’s a word for kick followed by the on side of a cricket pitch and then the three letter abbreviation of German.

16d         Had a wager about people initially liking band (8)
BRACELET: Another word for “had a wager” or just a wager placed around (about) a word for people or nation and an L (initially Liking) to get a band worn around the wrist.

18d         Drink wine in comfort (7)
SUPPORT:  A word for to drink followed by some fortified wine from northern Portugal.

20d         Have groups of searchers succeeded? (7)
POSSESS:  Some groups of searchers often seen in Western films followed by S(ucceeded).

22d         Wee drink before start of adapted play (5)
DRAMA:  A wee drink of Scotch followed by an A (start of Adapted).

23d         Heard offspring give up (4)
CEDE:  This word meaning to give up sounds like (heard) a biblical word for offspring

There’s some really good stuff in this puzzle but my stand-out favourite has to be the rather splendid 11d.  On the podium with it are 25a and 1a.

Quick crossword puns:

Top line:        CULL     +     HERB     +     LINED     =     COLOUR BLIND

Bottom line:     DEARS     +     TALK     +     CURS     =     DEERSTALKERS

88 comments on “DT 29450

  1. Almosr as much pleasure in this as l get from very nearly being able to see and read again.Thanks to all

    1. Pleased to hear your sight is getting better, Willieverlearn. May it continue to do so.

  2. This was a little trickier than most Monday cryptics, although I still completed it in 2* time. There was good misdirection in some clues and the anagrams were intriguing.so all in all it was very enjoyable (4*). I particularly liked 3d, 8d and 13d. Many thanks to Pommers for the review and to the compiler.

  3. I thought this was nicely challenging for a Monday with a few gimmes and a few that needed teasing out, but was beautifully clued throughout.
    I was a little surprised that 21a didn’t have “in Paris maybe” or something similar tacked on the end but with checkers it was a simple enough anagram.
    I have an 8d for appreciating nice words so I liked that, 19a plus 18 and 20d. Top spot goes to 11d though.
    Many thanks to the setter and to Pommers for the entertainment.

    1. I think the expression is well enough known in English and with “a French hint” the anagram would be too obvious?

  4. 2*/4*. This was a very enjoyable but not too taxing offering for a Monday with 11d my favourite.

    Many thanks to Campbell and to pommers.

  5. Very enjoyable – thanks to setter and pommers.
    11d must be a strong contender for clue of the week if not the month. I also liked 14a and 13d.

  6. **/**** today. Very enjoyable while it lasted. I like 1a, 8 and 11d but my favourite goes to 13d. Thanks to all. Missed yesterday’s comments and hints as the Internet was down.

  7. I too found this very slow to start, but got there in the end. I was unable to parse 9a and 12a, so thanks for those. Finished in *** time.

    Pommers, I would advise you to wear more than a shirt if you go out, trousers or shorts at the very least.

    Thanks to all.

  8. An enjoyable solve with one or two head scratchers that made it slightly more difficult than normal for a Monday. Favourites were 25a and 3d but no real COTD.

    Many thanks to the setter and thanks for the hints, Pommers.

  9. Nicely challenging if not a barrow-load of laughs. South came in first. Failed to twig 5d cutting or to fully parse 10a short of recognising inclusion (once again) of biblical books. 13d was my Fav. Two crafty Quickie puns today. Thank you to setter and pommers.

  10. Thought this was a very good offering from our Monday man giving us plenty to smile about.
    Podium places handed out to 1,14&25a plus 3&11d with a nod to the Quickie puns, particularly the top one.

    Many thanks to Campbell for a pleasurable solve and to pommers for the review – don’t blame you for not venturing too far afield, we’re all somewhat jittery when we have to leave the safety of our homes.

  11. Most enjoyable Monday fare. I’m with Gazza today, with my three winners: 11d, 14a, 13d. Have a good week, everybody. Thanks to pommers and Campbell. 1* / 4*

  12. This was slightly trickier than the last few Monday’s. I struggled a bit with 17a although I think we might have had it a few weeks ago. I liked 22a for no other reason than I like to have a “wee drink” before I sit down at the theatre. Oh to be back doing what we normally do. My son has just sent me an old notice re. The Proms. In 1942, it stated that the concert would carry on regardless and if the air raid sirens went off, the audience could choose if it went into the shelter or not. That’s the spirit. Many thanks to Campbell and to Pommers.

    1. I understand that in the revamped Proms they are going to scrap the jingoistic triumphalist songs which have been traditional for years – someone might be upset!!

      1. There will be many upset people, Daisygirl including me. I’ve been listening to the Last Night for years and love it. By the look of the audience, so do many others from different countries.

        I’m getting more than a little bit fed up with all this “woke” stuff.

        1. I think most sane people are fed up with it. Trouble is, there are more of ‘them’ than there are of us! I sometimes think the world has gone mad. We were in Maastricht some years ago staying with our friends and they just had to listen to the Last Night of the Proms – it was about a week later that it was being shown on Dutch TV. There we were surrounded by Dutch people
          who knew all the words to all the songs, singing at the tops of our voices and no one was worrying about an underlying message!

          1. I loved the Proms, we had so much fun singing all the patriotic ones, Rule Britannia, so, what’s wrong with that?

          2. You are wrong Daisygirl, there far more of us than them but they make more noise. Most of them are complete hypocrites and don’t understand and don’t even want to understand anyone else’s view. You cannot rewrite the past but you can shape the future. Funny how ex colonies all queued up to join the Commonwealth headed by our own amazing Monarch. Even St. Meghan seemingly didn’t understand the difference between Empire and Commonwealth!

        1. No it won’t, we won’t let it! These Woke people will move on and we will take the sensible world back! Yeah!

            1. In Antwerp in about October 1992 We saw a flyer for Last Night of the Proms when in the bank. I rang for tickets expecting it to to a small affair. It was a pop concert with some stars but a variety of rousing music and all the Last Night favourites. There were coachloads of people from all over Belgium in the huge sports stadium. It was exhilarating and a great surprise.

  13. Mondays have become as enjoyable as they were when Rufus was the incumbent, completed at a fast gallop – 1.5*/4.5*.
    Candidates for favourite – 1a, 24a, 8d, and 13d – and the winner is 13d.
    Thanks to Campbell and pommers.

  14. Very slow progress as I made heavy weather of this. Took 3* time for what was a fairly “standard difficulty” Monday puzzle I thought.
    Once my mind got working I found this a pleasing & satisfying solve. 23d LOI my achilles heel of 4 letter words with two checkers won’t go away
    Not come across 17a so needed Mr G. to confirm.
    11d my COTD with nothing to cause concern.
    Thanks to Campbell for brightening a bad day & pommers for the review.
    Braved Inverness this morning where they’ve put barriers in the road to widen the pavements – only for people to walk 2 or 3 abreast meaning they are within a foot or so, breathing right into your face. No wonder CV infections are rising here. More Infections in 4 days last week than there were in 4 weeks in July.

    1. They’ve done the same ‘joined up thinking’ regarding barriers here in Beaumaris. Result is that those of us with diminished mobility can no longer park to collect prescriptions and the pharmacy doesn’t have the facility to deliver out to us. Just hoping that the restrictions will be eased once the main tourist season is at an end.

      1. Wasn’t he the train driver on the Orient Expresss? Never read any Agatha Christie. Books were a distant also ran to sport in my “youth”
        With a son who lives in Edinburgh Ian Rankin & Rebus more my cup of 17a now. Though he seems to be struggling a bit now he”s retired Rebus.
        Sor Merusa.I’m just a philistine

        1. Count me as a philistine too. although for Scottish writers I would like to include Iain Banks especially The Crow Road and Complicity. his Sci Fi as Iain M Banks is maybe not quite so good for me but more serious sci fi fans swear by them.
          He also wrote an excellent travelogue around Scottish distilleries that is re read every time I plan a visit to Scotland.
          Raw Spirit (2003). London: Century. ISBN 1-84413-195-5 – a travelogue of Scotland and its whisky distilleries.

        2. I didn’t mean to label you a philistine, I’m sorry! I liked Rebus too, he’s very good.
          Richard went to school in Edinburgh, Loretto, lovely city. Once went to the EDI Festival and camped on a golf course outside the city. Came home after the tattoo and found our tent blown away and our “spot” in two inches of water! Oh to be young again.

          1. Son’s flat is right next to Stewart’s Melville College.
            Re Agatha C. don’t know why I never got to read her books.. Certainly not going to start now though.
            .I labelled myself M. .Just about to have it confirmed when I watch U diversity Challenge on catch-up.

            1. The first Agatha Christie I read was The Mysterious Affair at Styles. Half way through I had worked it all out. That, however, was the one and only time I did so.

  15. Very good Monday puzzle with enjoyable clues including the anagrams. Favourites today we’re 1a, 1d, and 2d where I spent too long listening before the penny dropped with a loud clatter.

    Thanks to Pommers and the Monday setter.

  16. Excellent for a monday I fairly whisteld through it for once, except for misspelling 21a and then not noticing! Have to thank Poirot for 17a. Favourite clue 19a 3d.
    Thanks to Pommers and setter.

  17. We managed to finish it over lunch in the garden – I think it is the lull before the storm if the weather men are right. I had got the wrong 3 letters at the end of 19a – ERS – which messed me up a bit until I saw the error of my ways. 10a was a good old stalwart and if I were a brave soul I would slightly raise an eyebrow at the synonym for cutting. But a nice start to the week so thanks to everyone. Glad to see Willieverlearn’s eyesight is improving, my two cataract operations were hugely successful. Stay safe everyone, so easy to let your guard down.

    1. Slightly raising an eyebrow is akin to a hmmn or whatever else bores. However because the rest of your posts are so interesting you may be allowed some leeway.

  18. My mind was a little boggled at first (nothing unusual there) but, happily, after I found the first two or three the rest followed reasonably well, though I have never heard of a 17a. It has been a sheltered life. Speaking of which, it feels odd sitting in the garden with no cover. The parasol is in a shed due to last week’s gales, and the new gazebo still remains untouched as we have further gales forecast for this week. Lola prefers the lack of sunshade as she may lie on the garden table in direct sunlight.
    I feel the Proms issue is one of those with no solution: yes, some of the words celebrate Britain’s colonial and invasive past which has some awful aspects to it. On the other hand, the songs/hymns have their place in tradition; some may agree with my first point yet also (like me) adore the music of Parry and Elgar. If they are banned, some will sing them anyway; if the words are changed, many will still sing the original. There is no workable compromise and no ready solution.

    Thanks to pommers and the setter (not convinced it is Campbell, but what do I know?)

    1. Of course this year will be different anyway, but I wouldn’t mind betting that when normal audiences are reinstated, you will get a
      spontaneous singing of the songs at the end anyway – in defiance! You cannot rewrite history, just learn from mistakes and move forward.
      Glad Lola is happy, Thomson really did not appreciate the heat.

      1. If only learning from past mistakes worked. Every day would be a better day than the one before and the world would become perfect

        1. ‘The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.’

        1. To avoid making mistakes over and over again, we need to remember what we did in the past, not sweep it under the carpet because it’s politically incorrect or isn’t ‘woke’.

    2. Terence,
      Two puns in the quickie, becoming a Campbell trade mark.
      Your remark the other day re Millwall fans & pain. Don’t worry, they all have to be masochists so enjoy it!

    3. Of course songs and hymns have their place, enjoying them does not insinuate that you also advocate slavery or whatever. The norms of yesteryear do not in any way apply to us now. Even up to the 19th century, if you were married you were your husband’s chattel and everything you brought to the marriage belongs to him.

      1. Never mind the 19th century. When we married in 1972 our John Lewis monthly account had to be in my husband’s sole name. I was allowed a card to spend on it but not allowed to undertake any other transactions or queries. Apart, of course, from the fact that my payment was accepted every month.

  19. Whilst I appreciate the clever 11d, my favourite was 8d. The whole puzzle was a light delight and a pleasure to solve.

    Many thanks to Campbell and pommers.

  20. Dear me, I hope this isn’t going to set the standard for the week. It’s a tricky little devil.
    Too difficult to enjoy.
    Not one for me at all.
    Thx for the hints

  21. I enjoyed this and rattled through. Thought 11d was very clever. Thanks to Pommers and the setter.

  22. A very enjoyable puzzle and I seemed to be on the right wavelength throughout. I liked 9 and 12a, as well as 2 and 18d but my favourite is 11d. I must say I’m missing my trips to the theatre and concerts – those were the days! Thanks to the setter and Pommers, especially for the Ray Charles music: he has such an effortless style and I like it. I’m going to cut the grass now while the going is good, can’t say I’m feeling enthusiastic about it though.

  23. I had what looks like a completely different quickie 618, with 1a as remain(4).
    Anyone else?

  24. Thank you, Campbell, for stretching my poor brain to its limit this afternoon. Although I achieved a full grid eventually, needed Pommers’ help to explain no less than 6 of the answers (12a,19a, 24a,1d, 5d,13d) — how embarrassing, so grateful thanks to him! Favourite clue was 8d, but hats off to 11d too.

  25. Rattled through this before 2nd Coffee break. I liked lots of this. All my faves have been mentioned above, and I won’t argue with COTD for 11d but note it was by a nose from a large field. LOI was 23d a 4 letter word with 2 E’s for checkers!! but reasonably sure I have plumped correctly.
    Thanks to pommers and setter Campbell?
    I am enjoying the rookie too but only 2/3rds done so far.

  26. A nice start to the week but trickier than recent Mondays 😳 ***/**** 17a was new to me 🤔 Favourites 1a and 19a. Thanks to Pommers and to the Setter 👍

  27. A little more difficult than the usual Monday fare, but not overly taxing. **/***
    Had to resort to Google for 23d, though. Just could not see the answer.
    Clues of mention … 1a,19a, 25a 3d & 11d and winner 11d by a nose over 25a

    Thanks to setter and Pommers

  28. Woah, this is the hardest crossword to start† that I’ve found for as long as I can remember: after one pass, I’ve got exactly one of the across answers and zero of the downs. (And the crossing letters of T, E, and S from my one answer aren’t going to help much!) Not what I was expecting, especially on a Monday.

    That’s so ridiculous that I presume it’s me: I’ll put it away and come back later and give it another go before resorting to hints. But thanks in advance to Pommers: I think I’m going to need you — and it’s the knowledge that the hints exist that gives me the confidence to persevere.

    Hopefully I’ll post later with a more positive update.

    † I know that many (most?) here measure difficulty by how long it takes to solve the final clue, but given I need assistance more often than not, for me it’s more how much of a struggle it was to get started or fill in a decent number of answers.

    1. Bah, the break didn’t help. I ended up using Pommers’ hints for 11 answers; there were a further 3 where even with the hint I couldn’t get the answer; and 2 where I had the answer but needed the hint to understand it. Which is way more assistance than I’d need for a typical Toughie.

      Maybe I’m just in a grumpy mood today, but my reactions were more “Oh, there’s no way I’d’ve got that without help” than “Wow, how clever”. A few times, I’d parsed a clue correctly but just hadn’t been able to conjure up the required synonym. I did like 3d, 11d, and 16d.

      Now back to reading the new Anthony Horowitz, Moonflower Murders. Currently one of the characters is reading a (fictional) crime novel — at which point that novel’s entire text is included (so despite being fictional, it actually exists). For several hundred pages, there’s a separate whodunnit, with different characters, embedded within the outer whodunnit!

      1. PS: In 26a, please could somebody tell me what the missing letter is? I have the answer, but I haven’t been able to work out what the old car is. Thanks so much.

  29. Thanks to the setter and Pommers for the review and hints. I enjoyed this one very much, a great start to the week. I liked 11d, but my favourite and last one in was 13d. Was 2* /4* for me.

  30. Once I realised propensity is spelled with an ‘s’ not a ‘c’ I finally relieved my “‘mental pressure” 15a. All done then for a still alert 90 Yr. old. Just my level I can finish it eventually.

  31. I rather enjoyed this one today, as I sit here waiting to join a virtual meeting with my ortho doc. Nothing tricky or obscure, just the one little bit of cricket in 13d. Right up my street. Thanks to
    setter and Pommers.

    1. What? Cricket in 13 d – what am I missing? I thought 13d was someone who sold illegal spirits. Notch this one up, Huntsman.

      [You are inserting ‘man’ into your email address, which is sending your comments into moderation. Gazza]

  32. I just loved 21a. It reminded me of when I was at work and we discussed team spirit..”You know,“ said one bright spark ”what xxx doesn’t have”. How right they were!

  33. I thoroughly enjoyed this, no problems at all. Just what I like, solving a clue and have no doubt that your answer is right.
    My fave was that perfect 11d, but I also liked 13d. Overall, so much to enjoy.
    Thank you Campbell and thanks to pommers for the hints and pics.

  34. I found this really hard to get started but once a few clues were in, it all started to fall into place. An enjoyable solve and the double pun in the quicky made us a smile. Thanks to Pommers and Campbell.

  35. I’m in the “slow to get started but finished at a Senf like gallop” camp this evening. Somewhere in the dim and distant past I had heard of 17a, I Googled it to make sure though. The 2 letter word beginning with D in 21a alerted me to it being a foreign phrase. I thought there was going to be a sting in the tail but that proved not to be the case. Favourite was 12a because it took me so long to think of the first word. Many thanks to Campbell and Pommers. I think I may wander down to the pub, obviously only to give the boys a bit more exercise.

  36. Far too late to even bother commenting really so just a quick one from me.
    I thought it was a bit trickier than 2* but in Cardiff with sister-in-law so totally out of routine which always messes crosswords up for me – well, it doesn’t’ really mess up the crosswords at all – just means that I can’t do them!
    11d was brilliant so that’s my favourite.
    Thanks to Campbell and to pommers.

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