DT 29454 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View comments 

DT 29454

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29454

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Good morning from South Staffs where we have a cloudy and damp start to the Bank Holiday weekend. My thanks to Big Dave for stepping in last week while I was off running a croquet tournament.

I found this week’s puzzle reasonably straightforward, with no real hold-ups. It will be interesting to see what others make of it.

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

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.

Across

1a           Veterans formed square (3-9)
OLD-FASHIONED – A characteristic of veterans followed by another word for ‘formed’.

9a           Well-armed character that squirms when caught (7)
OCTOPUS – Cryptic definition of a creature with eight arms.

Octopus CAUGHT in South Africa! - YouTube

10a         Music, hackneyed stuff that’s supposed to enhance a film (7)
POPCORN – A type of music, then a word for things that are hackneyed, giving us some stuff which the setter seems to like about as much as I do, sold in buckets at inflated prices in cinemas.

11a         Bands that bring things to a close with a bow? (7)
RIBBONS – Cryptic definition of what you might use to tie up a gift-wrapped parcel.

12a         Undeterred by discharge in river (7)
DESPITE – A Scottish or Welsh river wrapped round a bodily discharge of mucus or saliva.

13a         More than one kind empress or tsarina’s captured (5)
SORTS – Hidden in the clue.

14a         Distance when flying to check carbon disasters (9)
ACCIDENTS – Anagram (when flying) of DISTANCE wrapped round the chemical symbol for carbon.

16a         Musical group or artist’s carrying case (9)
ORCHESTRA – OR (from the clue) and the usual crossword artist, placed either side of a solid case.

19a         Place I mentioned in communications (5)
INDIA – Double definition, the second being the word used for the letter I in the NATO alphabet.

21a         Transport pilots in waterway linking delta and sierra (7)
DRIVERS – The letters represented in the NATO alphabet by Delta and Sierra are placed either side of a natural waterway.

23a         Criticised houses neglected at first on a slope (7)
SLANTED – Put the first letter (at first) of Neglected inside a word for ‘criticised’.

24a         Crying out for reconditioned engine to tour Germany (7)
NEEDING – Anagram (reconditioned) of ENGINE wrapped round the IVR code for Germany.

25a         View from Llandudno — I nip out with a backward look (7)
OPINION – Hidden in reverse (with a backward look) in the clue.

26a         Amounts of beef and lamb maybe needed with certain chaps in (12)
MEASUREMENTS – Put together a word for ‘certain’ and a word for ‘chaps’, then wrap what beef and lamb are examples of around the result.

Down

1d           Nothing odd about order book tycoon presented over part of year (7)
OCTOBER – Take the even-numbered letters (nothing odd) of the 4th, 5th and 6th words of the clue, counting from the back (presented over), to get the name of one of the months of the year.

2d           Crossing East, old spy changes stations (7)
DEPLOYS – Anagram (changes) of OLD SPY, wrapped round East.

3d           Stubborn and industrious types securing first and second (9)
ASSISTANT – The archetypal stubborn animal and the archetypal industrious one, placed either side of three letters which look like an alphanumeric version of ‘first’. The definition is a noun.

4d           Had a dream — was skipping half-heartedly (5)
HOPED – Another word for ‘was skipping’, with one of the pair of letters in the middle removed (half-heartedly).

5d           Stood up to work, then sat (7)
OPPOSED – The Latin abbreviation for a (musical) work, followed by ‘sat’ like an artist’s model.

6d           Deterioration rising, no one angry (7)
EROSION – Put together NO (from the clue), the Roman numeral for one, and another word for ‘angry’, then reverse the result (rising).

7d           Relative sending a postcard? (13)
CORRESPONDING – Double definition, though the second might more fully be the act of sending and receiving postcards.

8d           Considerate but grasping (13)
UNDERSTANDING – Double definition, the second being a reference to solving a problem rather than to being tight-fisted.

15d         In which we learn about young woman going to space (9)
CLASSROOM – Put together the Latin abbreviation for ‘about’ or ‘approximately’, a young woman, and space to move about.

17d         Unsettled, since he is from a far country (7)
CHINESE – Anagram (unsettled) of SINCE HE.

18d         They are 5 twisted men, involved in scuffling I see (7)
ENEMIES – The ‘5’ is a reference to the answer to 5d. Anagram (scuffling) of I SEE wrapped round the reverse (twisted) of MEN (from the clue).

19d         This person, volunteer with upturned collar, kind of European (7)
ITALIAN – Put together the pronoun for ‘this person’, the letters denoting the former name of the Army Reserve, and the reverse (upturned) of another word for ‘collar’, where both are informal verbs for ‘catch’ or ‘arrest’.

20d         Makes team tea, possibly? Specific info needed! (7)
DETAILS – To make ‘team’ into ‘tea’ we have to remove the last letter. If the first letter is the head, the last letter could be the —-, to which we need to add a prefix indicating removal, and an S on the end to make the putative verb answer match case with ‘makes’ in the clue.

22d         Beloved newspaper — American, from the South (5)
SUGAR – Put together a pejorative word for a newspaper and an abbreviation for ‘American’, then reverse the result (from the south) to get an informal word for ‘beloved’.


The Quick Crossword pun DICK + SHUN + AIRY = DICTIONARY

97 comments on “DT 29454
Leave your own comment 

  1. Unfortunately, I found this puzzle a really tough slog and had difficulty finishing it (5*/1*). The clues were often very wordy and difficult to fathom and there were 5 bung-ins which I was unable to parse. Altogether not a particularly enjoyable experience for me although others will undoubtedly enjoy it. I am not on the right wavelength. Thanks to DT for your much-needed explanations and to the compiler.

  2. Some slightly skewed definitions–just what we expect in cryptics!–held me up a bit, but I thoroughly enjoyed the wordplay throughout. Having spent too much time on the Toughie, I found this a breeze, relatively speaking. My winners: 7d, 8d, and 20d. Thanks to Deep Threat and today’s setter. 3* / 3.5*

    Still working on the Toughie….

  3. This was right up my street, fresh clever and cryptic, with no obscurities. What’s not to like.
    Only problem was parsing 19a and 1d, the latter I knew had to involve removing some of the odd letters somewhere!
    My favourite was probably 5d but I liked 1a plus 4 and 20d too.
    2.5/4.5 *
    Many thanks to the setter ( Silvanus?) and DT for the entertainment

        1. Well i got there eventually but sometimes worked out the solution without fully understanding why it was the answer to the clue!!! I worked them all out eventually but thankfully no cricket, football or golf to trip me up!

          BTW must have been a good puzzle as haven’t felt motivated to comment for a long time – I did however get stymied by yesterdays – not sure why as haven’t been back to check – sometimes it just doesn’t click

    1. I found this one really annoying as I was trying to do it in a hurry and had to resort to some hints. Too many double definitions. I had rejected the answer to 9a as being too obvious and had looked for something more cryptic. And to boot the Quickie decided to go cryptic with Smoky mountains.

  4. Contrary to CC at #1 I found this relatively straightforward apart from the NE corner which took as long as the rest of the puzzle. It didn’t have much fun about it, and some of the definitions were somewhat contrived, not smooth or comfortable. 14a was my favourite.

    Thanks to our setter and to DT.

  5. I found this initially slow to get going and without checkers would have struggled. 9a and 15a were ones I got once I had the first and third letters and was slightly miffed that I had missed them on my first run through. I completed it reasonably quickly once I got a few in. 2*/4* for me with COTD 26a .
    Overall thoroughly enjoyable due to the excellent surfaces throughout. I see it is an Elgar today and so will struggle as I find his surfaces a pain. Cheers to setter and DT.

  6. Think I’m more with CC than Stephen & Robert. Not quite sure why but somehow it didn’t quite do it for me. Perhaps it was my irritation with the time it took to clock that I had the incorrect first two letters in for 3d which made 1a impossible. I did like 10a however. A failure to finish the Quickie today – was sure the Smoky Mountains were the Appalachians….
    Thanks to the setter & DT

  7. Some tricky ones here that needed a lot of thought. Unusually for me, I could actually understand all the answers bar 20d. I can’t see where the L comes into it although the answer has to be what it is. The twisted men in 18d took me a while to unravel and spit for discharge is not the first synonym that comes to mind in 12a. But it makes you think harder! ***/*** today. Favourite 6d. Very ingenious. And to Robert who recommended “The greengage summer”, many thanks. A little gem of a book. I’m currently working through Mary Wesley’s books. Both writers offer a window onto another world and time. Thanks to all.

        1. I see it as DT says that to get “tea” from “team” you take off the last letter (you de-tail it). Remove the hyphen then & you get there. (Hence the 3 Blind Mice clip)

    1. Glad you enjoyed the Godden novel, Greta, but it really is Merusa we have to thank: she was the one who inspired Jane and me, and now you, to read Greengage. I wonder if others have been so inclined? My latest “Big Read” is Maggie O’Farrell’s HAMNET. Powerful and deeply moving.

      1. I do hope that others have been inspired to read ‘Greengage’ as a result of Merusa’s recommendation. I’ve just ordered Hamnet but am well behind with my reading at the moment so it could be waiting in the queue on the bookshelves for a while. Not to worry, at least by ordering it now I won’t forget about it with the passage of time!

  8. It’s a good job we don’t all like the same thing. I was much more comfortable with today’s offering than yesterday’s. It may have been just a mindset thing. I only had a slight problem with 18d. Despite 5d being one of the first one’s in, I didn’t go back to it when I got to 18d. I was convinced that the “5” in the clue meant that the answer started with a “v”. I should know what to do by now. 6d was my favourite clue. Thank you setter and Deep Threat. A neighbour has invited me across for my first game of croquet next week. Any tips very much appreciated.

        1. Trying to work that one out…… Funnily enough, it is just something I can do – even now with a VERY dodgy knee, I do the splits every morning
          as part of my sort-of-yoga routine. I was no good at croquet, in the days when we had a croquet lawn, unless I cheated. Came the day when we were
          asked by one of my bridge four to have afternoon tea and a game of croquet. My heart sank, but I knew that if I stood near to the ball and nudged it with
          my foot when no one was looking, I would be OK. It wasn’t cheating, as I never won, it just prevented me being left 6 hoops behind. Anyway, after my
          first dreadful shot I was ordered off the lawn! Horror. Evidently in Hurlingham Rules, no one else is on the lawn when a shot is being played, so my chances
          of a subtle nudge were scuppered. I was abysmal and we never got asked again.

    1. I discovered croquet in my first summer at university and loved it. The inter-college tournament was played on college lawns, many of which had extra rules to allow for local hazards such as drain covers! At the end of my second year I estimated the time I’d spent playing it during the summer term and to my horror found it was rather more than I had spent studying.

      1. Owdoo, the surname shown in your email address (the blogger gets a copy of all the comments by email) is one attached to a distinguished former croquet player and administrator. Any relation?

  9. I found this to be one of the hardest back-pagers I have ever completed. It took me *****+ time. But, it kept me hanging on the line, allowing me to solve just one more every time I was about to give up. I got there in the end, unaided, and was even able to parse them all. COTD most definitely was 8d, one of the last to go in.

    Many thanks to DT and the compiler.

  10. I’ll go along with Stephen L. on this one with a 2.5*/4.5* rating and I suspect that his guess at the setter is correct too.

    My favourite was 20d even though it made me wistful for the cricket teas that I have missed out on this season.

    Many thanks to the setter for a very enjoyable puzzle and to DT for the review.

  11. A tricky back pager today ,especially the SE quadrant and in particular the parsing of 20d and 19a which took ages!
    Anyway a proper Friday ‘toughie’ as of old which I really enjoyed, a ***/**** for me,
    Yesterdays proper toughie was like pulling teeth and I understand that todays is my nemesis Elgar, see how I feel later

  12. Funny old world, especially Crossword Land 😳 I really enjoyed this one and found it quite straightforward 😃 **/*** my Favourites were 10a & 8d. Thanks to DT and to the Setter, enjoy your Bank Holiday everyone and don’t forget the sun screen 😬

  13. A little tricky in places, but this was the DT puzzle I enjoyed the most this week.

    Many thanks to the setter and to DT for the write-up.

  14. Hello, compiler here. Just a quick note. Thanks for the discussions today and yesterday (for the Toughie). Hope you enjoyed them. Have a great weekend (Tour de France starts tomorrow — fingers crossed!). All the best.

    1. Always nice when the setter pops in, particularly when he/she has set such an enjoyable puzzle, so many thanks Zandio.

    2. Thank you for a lovely puzzle. I started out thinking it was a stinker, but I persevered, and ended up really enjoying it.

  15. I had a few pauses for thought where some on the right hand side were concerned but not sure why with hindsight.
    Top three for me were 10a plus 7&20d.

    Thanks to Zandio and apologies for not particularly enjoying yesterday’s Toughie! Thanks also to DT for the review and the soothing tones of Harry Belafonte.

  16. Enjoyed this one &, contrary to many, found it to be at the easier end of the Friday spectrum. Made steady progress with no major hold-ups.
    20d my COTD. Quite clever to my simple mind.
    I had “correspondent” for 7d is this not valid?
    Thanks to Zandio & DT for the review. Should imagine social distancing fairly straightforward in croquet.

  17. I found this one hard and needed a few hints to help me finish. As a consequence, I didn’t enjoy it much but if all puzzles pleased all solvers it would be a dull world. One of the many joys of crossword solving is the anticipation as to what today’s will be like. This was just one of those days when the puzzle didn’t suit me.

    It was a very clever puzzle so many thanks to Zandio for the challenge and to DT for the hints.

  18. I found this offering fairly straight forward except for a few sprinkled around the grid. Last to go in, 18d. Took a while for the relationship with 5d to twig. COTD contenders, 1, 19a and 1d. I’m giving it to 1d. Thanks DT and to the setter🦇

  19. I completed this without help but found it odd. I don’t usually do bung ins. I have to know its right before I put it in but today was an exception. I did about 6 which made it feel very unsatisfactory.
    Thanks to Zandio and DT.
    **/**

  20. Very do-able for my talents for a Friday Which makes a rare change, initially wrong footed in NE corner having opted for warhorses which gave me a wrong answer for 5d but still passed for sat after a fashion. Back to the decorating.
    Thanks to Zandio and DT.

  21. Managed the right hand side eventually but the rest was cloud cuckoo land for me.
    Way above my capabilities I’m afraid, would make a good Toughie.
    ****/*
    Little fun when they are this obscure as far as I am concerned, I do like to able to at least understand the clue even if I cant solve it.
    As I have observed ad nauseam why put a very tricky puzzle in the usual cryptic when that is what the Toughie is for, it leaves us lesser mortals with no puzzle to enjoy.
    Thx for the hints
    PS Its not the Ass that is stubborn but the mule, bad clue!

  22. Parsing many of the answers (unaided for once!) took longer than filling in the grid but I enjoyed the sense of achievement when I finally completed this. Favourites were 26a, 7d, 8d and 20d.
    Many thanks to Zandio and to DT.

    1. Manders – Eureka, light bulb moment. I woke this morning and I had it. The chemist had never heard of a schnauzer and thought it was a euphemism. Right? Very good. I laughed albeit some 48 hours late. There are still lots of things I don’t know. When younger grandson was staying with me many years ago, I was urging him to get on with cleaning his teeth. Mummy makes me clean my teeth with soap. Don’t be silly Jeremy, of course Mummy wouldn’t make you clean your teeth with soap. Yes she did. When I called William a xxxx! I later had to ask my daughter what that was as I thought it just meant silly person. Horrified to think I had used it unwittingly in polite circles but possibly polite circles would not know gutter slang either. Life is SO complicated.

      1. Well done Daisygirl! It’s much more simple than it first appears. I’m glad you found it funny. You are not alone in not knowing the meaning of certain ‘adult’ words. In my 20’s a large bunch of us were camping in SA and I was reading a book and came across a very long word and asked what it meant. Everyone looked very embarrassed and said ‘the opposite of ……….’! Well, I didn’t know that word either! It’s amazing what you learn. When I was still working back in Cambridge I went on to the internet to find masks (very apt today) for a masked ball my company was holding. I was aghast at what popped up and as IT monitored our internet activity, promptly logged off. Still, glad you enjoyed the schnauzer tale.

        1. I have a hookah pipe that my uncle sent us from Shanghai when he lived there. I went online to read up on it, but not being able to spell, I googled “hooker”! I was so embarrassed, luckily I live alone.

      2. Assuming your xxxx is what I think it is, I didn’t know until relatively recently that it was a ‘rude’ word either but I asked my Lambs and they did know.
        Since I found the blog, which is very many years ago now, I have been ‘educated’ and have discovered that words in every day use have other meanings – such as ‘jugs’ are not necessarily containers for water or flowers, and ‘hotties’ don’t have to mean things that you warm your toes on when it’s cold in winter – there are lots of others which I can’t remember at the moment but will come back to me – I seem to have led a fairly sheltered life too – how can that have been possible when training as a nurse in a hospital with medical students?

  23. Many thanks for the crossword by the way, since this IS a crossword blog. I got a bit misled with 3D and had angst over 20d – I knew the answer but did not appreciate at first how delightful the clue was! Anyway, got there in the end and then read the hints. Feels good to do it that way round! It has poured with rain all the morning so my gardener didn’t come and there’s possibly no hope at all of a decent dahlia for Sunday! Have a good weekend. Bank Holiday !!!!! Hmmph.

  24. This was an nice challenge which I was pleased to complete. Lots of good clues but I will pick out 10a and 20d for special mentions.

  25. PPS. I did last night’s toughie (in the Badedas bath with one chocolate) and thought it was a beauty. Particularly liked Python Meat – my girls knew all the words of their skits by heart!

  26. Took a while to lift off but then much gratification from a pleasantly challenging solve. SE brought up the rear. Like Chriscross and Huntsman I toyed with different first two letters for 3d but realised that would mean a spelling mistake. Too lazy to suss out parsing for 20d bung-in. Thank you Zandio particularly for revealing yourself and also to DT.

  27. Not on wavelength today and needed a lot of help.When the pennies finally dropped l did admire both the cleverness of the clues and the ability of D.T. to spread light onto dark areas.Sincere thanks to both.

  28. Little to enjoy in this puzzle. Too wordy, too stretched, too obscure. But reading everyone’s posts I have learned some more about solving. Liked 10a which was far and away the best clue of the day and a very good clue in its own right. For amateurs like me.

    Thanks to the setter and to Deep threat for the enlightenment brought to several clues.

  29. Really really difficult for me today. :phew: I think I enjoyed it but haven’t recovered from doing it yet.
    Not many anagrams and quite a few references to the phonetic alphabet which is something I mean to learn but never have so always have to look up.
    I thought I was missing something with 9a but apparently not.
    1d had to be what it was and I knew it was to do with weeding out letters but just couldn’t find the right ones.
    My favourite was either 10a (even though I loathe the stuff) or 8d.
    Thanks to Zandio for the crossword and for calling in and to DT.

  30. I did this one post solving and drafting the Elgar blog so my mind was a little what’s known in our house as ‘tiredies’

    I did, however, recognise the work of Zandio and my favourite was 9a. Thanks to him and DT

  31. At first pass I thought this was above my pay grade, but at second pass it all began to make sense, and I only needed a couple of hints to finish. Great stuff. I’m with Deep Threat on the awful stuff in 10a. When we first arrived in South Florida I was disappointed to not be able to get a choc ice at the cinema (remember the usherettes who used to come round with their trays and a torch?). Instead it was buckets of this stinky stuff. I can’t even go to the movies as I can’t stand the smell of it. Thanks to Zander for a very enjoyable puzzle that got my brain cells working and Deep Threat for hints. That’s four good days in a row…

  32. I don’t think I was quite on wavelength and found this anything but straightforward, but it all fell into place eventually.
    1d was rather cleverly hidden I thought, and gets my vote for favourite.
    Thanks to Zandio for the challenge and DT for the review.

  33. I needed hints for a number of clues so thanks for the hints. I don’t like 9a – why the reference to squirming? Am I missing something? I never got round to starting yesterday’s crossword so may do that now….

  34. It’s fascinating to pop in late in the day and see that as many say it was the hardest crossword ever printed as those that report they breezed through it with the ease of a David Gower cover drive. I enjoyed this one very much, but I was grateful to DT for helping understand how I reached a few of them.

    Talk of books above… I finished ‘A Durable Fire: The Letters of Duff and Diana Cooper’ yesterday, and was so entranced that I bought ‘Darling Monster: The Letters of Lady Diana Cooper to her son John Julius Norwich’ and began it today. I only read autobiographies, biographies, and diaries, and recently completed just about all of those related to Patrick Leigh Fermor – with whom I started off in great admiration but my ardour cooled the more I ‘got to know’ him.

    Thanks to Zandio and DT, of course.

    1. Diana Cooper was such a character. I’ve read a couple of books about her. Remember when she queued up in the middle of the night to be able to fly to NYC on Laker Airways when they offered flight for ridiculous sums. As for Laker, that was another character! His ads were a riot, “I’m Freddie Liker, this is my airline, see, me nimes on the tile.”

    2. Thanks, Terence, for reminding me that I want to re-read P. L. Fermor. The things we forget that we were going to DO in our retirement! I hope that you and Lola are doing well today and that your gazebo will soon become a fixture in your ‘garden’. Have a good weekend.

  35. Re 10a. Having eaten it for about 20 years I’ve recently realised that I don’t like it either. Similar thing happened with red wine. But great puzzle, although couldn’t quite work out 20d and put in the wrong word in for 6d so not surprisingly, I couldn’t get it to work with the clue. Thankyous to Zandio and DT.

  36. Oh, forgot, the crossword! It took me forever to get on wavelength, but when I did, I found it pretty straightforward. I did have a problem unravelling some of them and confess to bung ins, so very grateful to DT for that.
    My fave was that tricky but clever 20d. I liked 19a as well.
    Thanks to Zandio for the puzzle and, again, to DT for explaining pretty obscure answers.

  37. A slow start for me, thank goodness for a few lurkers and anagrams to get me going. Lots of lovely clues but like others I found I wasn’t always sure I’d got the right answers. I had 20d but couldn’t parse the clue; I thought it was very clever, once I’d had Deep Threat’s explanation for why I was right! I also had trouble with 3D wondering if it was “insistent” and 19a thinking it might be “media”, so those diversions slowed down the East side.
    Once I’d got the answers in I couldn’t work out why I had struggled over some of them as the clues were all fair enough in my opinion. As with all quizzes, it’s easy if you know the answer!
    Thanks all

  38. Needed loads of hints today so for me the hardest for weeks. Strange how some can rate it ** and others (like me) *****. Obviously some new skills needed. And as for reappearing words – isn’t this at least the third time we have seen 16a lately?

  39. Oh dear another unsuccessful puzzle for me. Worse than yesterday. Perhaps I’m just having a bad week. I do like to go through the hints to see how it all comes together, in the vain hope I’ll improve, mmm well we’ll see!
    What I have enjoyed is reading all the comments and as I come on late in the day, there are plenty to read.
    Thanks to all

  40. I had a good run but then the wavelength changed. Even with Big Dave’s hrlp I was left bemused by the logic or lack of it.

  41. We’re always amazed that there are so many ways of writing a clue for 16a.
    Enjoyable puzzle to solve for us with plenty of smiles along the way.
    Thanks Zandio and DT.

  42. Managed to (eventually) solve all of this except for 6d where I needed the hint.

    Tend to agree with Brian about mules being stubborn and asses being silly.
    Not my cup of tea today…but you cannot like everything.

    Thanks to the setter and to Deep Threat.

  43. Most unusually for a Friday finished unaided in **. Very enjoyable whilst listening to the first part of the Proms. 26a was a nice one to piece together. Thanks to all.

  44. I must have a funny brain – breezed through, 1 down I thought was contrived and a bit messy but the rest very straightforward. No GK or Obscurities. Thanks to all.

  45. Found this on the trickier side and almost a *** for difficulty. Some obscure clues I thought. But was better puzzle for solving than yesterday for me.
    Clues of note 1a, 9a, 21a, 3d & 20d ( also last in) And the winner is 1a

    Thanks to setter and DT

  46. Oh dear. Only **. I haven’t read the comments or the hints but only did three clues over my evening meal. l started late after too much beer, imbibed during an important meeting, and decided to play my guitar instead. Unless I decide to have another go tonight, unlikely, it will be tomorrow afternoon before I try again. Hey ho! Good night.

Join the Conversation, Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.