DT 29460 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29460

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29460

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Good morning from South Staffs where the sun is trying with limited success to break through the clouds.

One or two slightly obscure words in today’s puzzle, but nothing particularly difficult for me, so a ** marking.

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.


1a           Clash between boxers perhaps that Sky would stage? (8)
DOGFIGHT – Cryptic definition of something which may be a clash between (canine) boxers, or may involve a fight in the sky.

Charles Schulz Peanuts Snoopy vs. the Red Baron Sunday Comic Strip | Lot  #94204 | Heritage Auctions

5a           Some radical politician, revolutionary having calm demeanour (6)
PLACID – Hidden in reverse (revolutionary) in the clue.

9a           Criminal rules a con could be light-fingered (9)
LARCENOUS – Anagram (criminal) of RULES A CON.

11a         Little bit of dessert Alex essentially leaves (5)
CRUMB – A cooked dessert which may involve apples, plums, or rhubarb, minus the middle letters (essentially) of ALEx.

12a         Debate about working to cover case of asbestosis (6)
REASON – The Latin word for ‘about’ or ‘concerning’ and another word for ‘working’, placed either side of the outer letters (case) of AsbestosiS.

13a         Paper coverage connected with unions? (8)
CONFETTI – Cryptic definition of the little bits of paper thrown at newly-weds.

15a         Accidents fail to restrict Ray following United beyond pre-Christmas period (13)
MISADVENTURES – Put together the name of the liturgical season covering the four Sundays before Christmas, an abbreviation for United, and the sol-fa note which sounds like Ray. Then wrap a word for ‘fail (to hit the target)’ around the result.

18a         At sea, certain ensign displays stubbornness (13)

22a         Discharge of firearms consisting of fine lead shot (8)
ENFILADE – Anagram (shot) of FINE LEAD.

23a         Cleric said to be one that’s loaded? (6)
CANNON – A firearm which sounds like a senior cleric.

26a         Handle European making complaint (5)
GRIPE – A verb for ‘handle’ or ‘grasp’, followed by European.

27a         Treatment applied to man’s right leg tendon (9)
HAMSTRING – Anagram (treatment applied) of MAN’S RIGHT.

28a         Property close to collapse, say (6)
ESTATE – The last letter (close) of collapsE, followed by ‘say’.

29a         Meat dish from a top store, not quite fresh (3,5)
POT ROAST – Anagram (fresh) of A TOP STOR(e) without the final letter (not quite).


1d           Musical instruments to entertain elderly in low spirits (8)
DOLDRUMS – Another word for ‘elderly’, with some musical instruments wrapped round it.

2d           A trail going north for police officer (5)
GARDA – A (from the clue) and a slightly obscure word for a trail or road (as in ‘the main —-‘) are reversed (going north, in a Down clue) to get an Irish police officer.

3d           Bitter personal description of one issuing reprimands, reportedly (3-4)
ICE-COLD – The definition is a word applied to weather conditions, It sounds like (reportedly) a phrase (1,5) which people handing out reprimands could use of themselves.

4d           Catchy phrase of pantomime villain (4)
HOOK – Double definition, the second being a pirate captain.

6d           Match official on pitch current couple occasionally upset (7)
LUCIFER – Put together a short version of the word for the person in charge of a football match, the physics symbol for electric current, and alternate letters (occasionally) of CoUpLe, then reverse (upset) the result.

7d           Tune Oscar composed for mistress (9)
COURTESAN – Anagram (composed) of TUNE OSCAR.

8d           Gentleman keeled over, supporting girl coming out with rubbish (6)
DEBRIS – The short form of the word for a young woman making her entrance into society, followed by the reverse (keeled over) of a form of address for a gentleman.

10d         Nationality of extreme independent socialists’ leader visiting school (8)
SCOTTISH – Put together a three-letter acronym of a phrase meaning ‘extreme’ or ‘excessive’, Independent, and the first letter of Socialists, then wrap an abbreviation for ‘school’ round the result.

14d         Terrace view intermittently over river with a hotel below (8)
VERANDAH – Put together alternate letters (intermittently) of ViEw, River, another word for ‘with’, A (from the clue), and the letter represented by Hotel in the NATO alphabet.

16d         Tightwad from Welsh town discovered begging previously (9)
SKINFLINT – Remove the outer letters (dis-covered) from another word for ‘begging’ or ‘requesting’, then add the name of a North Wales town which gives its name to a historic (and present-day) county.

17d         Top name, keen ultimately to enter female party (3,5)
HEN NIGHT – Start with a word for ‘top’ or ‘altitude’, then insert Name and the last letter of keeN.

19d         Most remarkable trial absorbs everyone (7)
TALLEST – A trial or examination wrapped round another word for ‘everyone’.

20d         One working hard cleared out gutter subsequently (7)
GRAFTER – Remove the inside letters (cleared out) of G(utte)R, then add ‘subsequently’.

21d         Group of people a guerrilla captures (6)
LEAGUE – Hidden in the clue.

24d         Nigerian ready to broadcast in North America (5)
NAIRA – This Nigerian currency (ready, as in ‘ready money’) is made up of another word for ‘broadcast’ with an abbreviation for North America wrapped round it.

25d         Something to shoot unlimited meat (4)
AMMO – Remove the outer letters (unlimited) from a joint of cured pork to get the answer.

The Quick Crossword pun CYGNET + ATTUNE = SIGNATURE TUNE

93 comments on “DT 29460

  1. 2.5*/5*. What a lovely puzzle to finish off a superb week of back-pagers. Last Friday I was wide of the mark with my guess as to who might have compiled the puzzle, so this week I am going to keep my powder dry other than asking the setter to pop in and take a bow for his excellent handiwork.

    There was a nice mixture of clue types, some clever disguises, and super-smooth surfaces – although I can’t quite make sense of the surface of 25d.

    22a was new word for me and needed a quick check in my BRB.

    My podium comprises 1a, 27a, 3d & 8d, but many more clues came into consideration plus a special mention for the Quickie pun.

    Many thanks to the setter and to DT.

  2. Another top puzzle to end the working week I thought. My only problem was parsing 10d (must remember OTT in the future!), and I had to guess and check 22a from the checkers and wordplay. I seem to remember 7d appearing in last week’s Jay puzzle where it was less accurately clued than today.
    Some nice misdirections, I particularly liked 13a&24d plus 1a&1d.
    Many thanks to the setter (going to stick my neck out and go for Silvanus again) and to DT.

    1. Hi Stephen.

      This week you are correct, good call! I’ll pop back later to thank blogger and commenters as usual.

  3. A tricky puzzle with some very wordy clues, which were made up of a plethora of letters, letters lost, synonyms and abbreviations in some cases (6d). On the positiive side it was an intellectual challenge and I liked16d but it was a bit of a slog (***/**). 25d was not to my taste. Thanks to DT for explaining the parsing of a half-dozen clues and thanks to the setter.

  4. 2/4. A steady solve and completed without assistance although had not known the words for 22a and 24d. I for once was nearly able to parse everything but needed Deep Threat to enlighten me on 13a, 10d and 16d. The last one in was 4d as have never been to a pantomime and the only catch phrase I know is Look behind you!
    Many thanks setter and DT

    1. 4d is a catchy phrase or piece of music in general, which is also the name of a pantomime villain Kiwiman.

  5. I’m with RD & SL in that I thought this very good indeed & pretty challenging in places. Both 22a & 24d were new to me but easily gettable from the wordplay & needed an ok from Mr G. The SE was the last to yield & fell quickly once the cleverly disguised anagram at 27a was twigged. Lots of lovely clues to choose from but I’ll opt for 1a&d which were nice ones to set us on our way.
    Thanks to the setter & DT

  6. My comment all week is that I have found the puzzles on the tricky side and today was no different. Most of it was very enjoyable but 22a was a new word for me as was 24d. 1a and 1d my favourites. Thanks to all.

  7. 1a started me off on the puzzle in a really good humour which lasted throughout the solve. I thought the lurkers were well hidden, love the descriptive word at 18a and laughed out loud at 13a. Like others, I had to verify 22a & 24d but both were ‘gettable’ from the clues so nothing to 26a about with those.
    Podium places went to 1&13a plus 1d and the best Quickie pun I’ve seen in quite a while.

    Many thanks to our setter and to DT for the review.

    1. Certainly is the best Quickie pun for ages. Yesterday’s was appalling. Do I get sent to the naughty chair for this? Wait and see.

      1. The naughty step/chair/corner only functions on prize puzzle days so you’re quite safe. However, it also means that you don’t get any of the delicious cakes that are sometimes on offer there!

  8. Lovely puzzle today, completed over a rather excellent coffee just outside Leeds Station (Laynes Espresso out of the station turn right and it is on your left just before Albion St – Don’t settle for Starbucks or Costa rubbish)
    22a and 24d were today’s learning moments but the answers were deduced from the clues easily enough and checked with Mr G after the event. I need to check 15a too I am not sure I know what Ray is doing in the clue but see from DT that a homophone is required. 6d 14d and 11a pleased me the most today.
    With 5a did anyone else see Calpol and think of the calm demeanour of a well dosed teething child! I had to look again when revolutionary told me to seek a reverse lurker.
    It has tried to put a plus in my Name let’s try and delete it and see if I go into Moderation.
    Thanks to DT and setter Silvanus it is worth admitting to this as it was a cracking puzzle Gromit

      1. Calpol was the first thing I saw too and I thought, “No it can’t be, can it?” Then I looked again backwards.

    1. In my day it wasn’t Cal poly but Gripewater, which I believe had a sedative in it. It was very tasty !

      1. Gripe water used to be very alcoholic. A kid on Calpol or Gripewater would be basically stoned out of his or her gourd!

        1. My MIL said she put gin into formula bottles for my fractious BIL.
          Actually it was probably pink gin.

    2. Yes, I also thought Calpol! And for 28a I thought the property wasclose to collapse because it was in ‘a state’! Fun puzzle, greatly aided, for me, by Big Dave’s hints, underlinings & illustrations! Thank you to both Silvanus & Big Dave!

  9. A very pleasant and enjoyable end to the work week completed at a gallop – 2.5*/4.5*.
    The only problem I had was with the pantomime villain which, on reflection, I am sure must be an oldie but goodie which couldn’t find room in my memory.
    Candidates for favourite – 1a, 1d, 6d, and 17d – and the winner is 1a.
    Thanks to Silvanus and DT.

  10. At first sweep I thought yesterday was being repeated and wondered if a trip to a certain clinic in Switzerland was becoming necessary. Refusing to believe I could manage to solve a Jay this week I persevered and finished the puzzle in ** style for me with at the end a **** for enjoyment.

    1a and 1d my favourites among many good clues.

    Thank you to DT for the blog and to Silvanus for a challenging and, after a gloomy start, a great puzzle.

  11. As others have said, a very satisfying puzzle giving one a good sense of achievement when finished. Many lovely clues but the charades of 6d and 14d especially appealed to me. I think DT your hint for 29a is missing an A. Thank you to all involved as always.

  12. A very enjoyable puzzle today with a good mix of clues. I also had to check mr.g for 22a and I didn’t know the Nigerian currency although the answer was clear enough. 3D was quite clever (took me a while) likewise 23a. Having mentally run through a list of clerics, the penny finally dropped. I liked 14d. A well constructed clue. Favourite is 16d. ***/**** Thanks to all.

  13. Silvanus matches Jay! Two masterful puzzles this week, and this one really pleased my palate, throughout, beginning with the witty and clever 1a and ending with the yummy 29a. So many excellent clues to choose from for the podia: 1a, 15a, 22a (an old NYT chestnut for us in the States), 27a; as well as 1d, 8d, and 6d. But my COTD, which was my LOI–and also made me laugh, as it did Jane–is 13a. What a marvellous puzzle! Thanks to D.T. and to Silvanus. 3* / 5*

    Re: Le Tour de France–Phil Leggett is one of two commentators for the American coverage, on NBCSC, which I am watching right now. I remember that several of you earlier commented on his absence from British coverage this year. Well, somehow, he is ‘here’, though physically still ‘there’. Stage 7 has begun.

    1. Under the stunning Millau viaduct – I must make the effort and go there one year. It looks like the wind is going to split the field today and it looks like it will go in Peter Sagans favour today! Poor Sam Bennett is off the back. I don’t expect much to happen in the Maillot Jeaune but the Maillot Verte is up for a change today

      1. I’ll tell you one AMAZING thing about the Millay viaduct – at the visitor centre there are displays and models and photographs etc but not one mention of Norman Foster !!! I went up to the information desk and asked in French who designed it and they ignored me. Entente cordiale?

      2. That viaduct is just incredibly stunning: I’ve always been a sucker for bridges and such engineering feats as the Millau viaduct, and I wish I could be there in person. This is country I’ve driven through, once (in late August 1969) about this time of the year, during my first-ever trip to Europe. How glorious it all was.

        1. Just watched a YouTube clip of its construction – talk about needing a head for heights! It certainly seems to be an object lesson in how to create a transport link without creating a blot on the landscape, wonder what those who live in the vicinity of the supporting structures have to say about it?

          1. I seem to remember one of the facts being that you could stand the Eiffel Tower under the central span!

  14. Bit of a mixed bag for me. Enjoyed most of it, but had to use the electronic anagram gizmo for the gunfire…..then had to look it up to check. Didn’t know the Nigerian currency either, but could get it from the clue…then look it up.
    Also needed a bit of help with some of the parsings.

    Thanks to Deep Threat and to the setter.

  15. What a lovely puzzle! Just what was required after my almost total failure to get anywhere with yesterday’s offering! Like Corky, I thought I’d never be able to cope with a DT crossword ever again so this has restored my faith in my (albeit) limited ability. Very grateful thanks to Silvanus and to DT for the hints which weren’t actually needed but which I enjoyed reading.

  16. Another to add to this week’s collection of rather gnarly but satisfying puzzles. 22a and 24d new to me. Started with a party for 17d and then failed to completely parse correct solution. 11a is a bit flimsy. I come out for 8d as Fav. Thank you Silvanus and DT.

  17. Another lovely puzzle done mostly whilst waiting for George to have a biopsy. Addenbrookes almost deserted so why can’t they do my knee☹️ On 22a I couldn’t get palisade out of my head and then I thought of fusillade but when I did 21d it fell into place. And I did not know the Nigerian ready tho’ I put it in and checked afterwards. Dear old 1a taking me back to jumping up and down on top of the chicken coop in Banstead in 1940 we had a perfect view of the battle going on over London. 1d was brilliant as was the paper coverage, so clever. Thank you to Silvanus and Deep Threat.

    1. I’ll do your knee for you Daisygirl. Just tell me what you want doing and I’ll look it up on google and watch a few YouTube clips. It can’t be that hard and I once removed my own appendix to relieve the boredom in a traffic jam on the M5. I still have the scars on my shoulder where I stitched myself up. I’ll ask Saint Sharon and Kath to assist.

      1. Oh, you are a star, would tomorrow do? I could have a bottle of gripe water to deaden the pain. Your place or mine?

  18. Very enjoyable. Deep Threat, you might consider Sky Masterson for 1 across (after all, it is capitalized). See Guys and Dolls.

  19. An excellent day in iPad puzzleland via the newspaper app. Started with the wonderful Toughie. Then the Codeword . The Quickie and this masterclass from Silvanus. All very enjoyable. A very nice start to the day. Thanks to all concerned. Shed building time today.

  20. Very enjoyable with some great clues. SE corner held me up a while today pushing into *** territory. I liked 11a. Thanks to DT and Silvanus.

  21. Thanks Silvanus for rounding off so successfully a good run of puzzles this week, and also thanks to DT of course.! I don’t fully understand the ray part in 15a but though 24d and 25d were really neat finishers

    1. Think Sound of Music and sing the song (Doh a deer etc etc) to yourself! The clue does lack a homophone alert – I think but then is it needed?

  22. Managed to get all but 8 before reaching for the books, ( and no need for any hints this time, but I still appreciate the hinters efforts) so feel acquitted myself well and shows a improvement in skill. Particularly pleased I worked out 15a , 10d and 14d from a first reading. Needed the BRB for some new words 22a; I thought 2d was the word for the force not the men and women. 24 d was just plain ignorance but worked out from the clue. 6d was also a revelation. My first week to complete all the puzzles ( not all the toughies yet) and be welcomed to the blog. Am I alone in I feel I have to complete the quickie , codewords and Suduko for that day after the cryptics before allowing myself to tackle the next days offerings?, so it is sometimes after lunch before I can start. Being still quite slow there aren’t enough hours in the day!

    1. I do make myself do the quickie before I’m allowed to start on the cryptic – today’s took ages and had to have several goes, with quite a few of the clues requiring lots of rubbing out. What a good thing I use a pencil with a rubber on the top.

      1. I’m with you on this, Kath. I found the quickie much harder than this. In the end I gave up with it.

    2. What a lovely first week you have had! But don’t beat yourself up about having to do every single puzzle in the paper – you’ll never have time to help with the washing up..

  23. What a good crossword but jolly difficult, I thought.
    It must be something to do with Fridays – I always used to struggle when Giovanni set the Friday ones.
    This one took me quite a long time – like most others I didn’t know the Nigerian currency and if I’ve met 22a before then I’ve forgotten it.
    27a had to be what it was but I missed the anagram indicator – dim.
    Getting the two long answers across the middle was a big help.
    Lots of good clues including 1 and 13a and 8 and 16d. My favourite was 1d.
    Thanks to Silvanus and to DT.

  24. Yes John, CALPOL (5a.) leapt out at me and the memory made me smile. It’s probably illegal now!

    1. You can still buy Calpol although they may have changed the formula a bit. I think you can buy something called gripewater too,I am sure there was booze in it when I was a bairn but I am pretty sure all the alcohol was removed before my little sister took it.

      1. Calpol still exists, and now comes with plastic syringes for squirting directly into the target’s throat, rather than trying to get them to take it off a spoon.

        Though ours both like it: one morning I discovered it written on the shopping list in childish writing. “That’s good, being helpful to Mummy when she wanted something adding to the list,” I naÏvely thought … until checking with Mummy, who knew nothing about it. We found the bottle they’d finished between them, and a swift call to 111 ensued. (They were fine.)

    2. Having been looking after a two year old I can assure everyone that Calpol is very much alive!

  25. I’m another who completes the quickie before attempting the cryptic. I see the quickie as the starter and the cryptic as the main course.
    Good puzzle today – thanks to silvanus and DT.

  26. A great end to a good puzzle week apart from yesterday, all done before bedtime in Ontario. Last one in 11a despite having made a peach one this week. 22a a new word for me, was trying to fit fusillade. 1a COTD with 1d close second. Thanks to Silvanus and Deep Threat also to all the people who recommended Hamnet

    1. Hello, Kate. I was one of those ‘Hamnet’-philes and am pleased to hear that you apparently found it worthwhile. I found it extremely moving, quite credible, and a wonderful journey into the realms of one’s ‘informed’ imagination.

  27. Thank you for the crisp, clean fun, Silvanus, and gratitude to DT for sorting out the mysterious Ray for me 😊.

  28. I have tears rolling down my face. Tears of laughter. Some off you might join in, in a minute. Elbong was a dead cert. for 8d. I keeled over “noble” then added the “g” for girl. To be fair, I already had the “b” from 11a, so I convinced myself that I was going in the right direction. Only googling it to find that it didn’t exist saved the day. I will call all rubbish “elbong” from now on. The sound of it just seems to fit. I doubt that it will make next year’s Oxford dictionary as a new word. Despite getting 8d wrong, I have lots and lots of ticks for clues that I was able to fathom out, so no overall favourite. It was lots of fun. Many thanks to Silvanus and Deep Threat.

    1. Well, you certainly got me laughing, Florence! I will now start applying the “elbong” touch to all of my fiascos.

  29. That’s more like it 😃 A nice solvable puzzle to end the week ***/*** Favourites 1a & 13a Thanks to DT and to the Setter 👍

  30. I found this hugely enjoyable and quite friendly, until I got to the NE, where I struggled mightily to finish, even though I had 7d. We had that fairly recently and remembered it. I had to get the hint for 5a and I was off!
    I didn’t know 22a but solved with the anagram, but I knew the Nigerian ready.
    There were so many candidates for fave, 1a was my first in, but I think 14d beats it, like the sound of it.
    Thanks to Silvanus for the fun and DT for unravelling a couple.

  31. Having driven down to Cornwall and checked into our hotel I am rather late both solving and commenting on this terrific puzzle. It was an absolute delight and a pleasure to complete the grid.

    Congratulations and thanks to Silvanus for a superb puzzle and to DT for his review.

  32. Late on parade today, great puzzle not quite straightforward ( nor should it be for me on Friday).
    Great start with 1a & it just kept going. 1a gets COTD.
    What with Setters and Boxers Biggles feels Labradors, not having a name that easily misdirects, are being overlooked by crosswordland.
    Thanks to Silvanus for the enjoyment & DT for the usual concise appraisal.

  33. Many thanks to everyone who took the trouble to comment and to Deep Threat for his “hints and tips”.

    Comments are always read with great interest and greatly enjoyed, a very wide range of subjects were covered today!

    1. Thanks for a great puzzle today and I hope our off topic comments don’t distract from your great puzzles

  34. I found this tougher than Ray T’s from yesterday. Needed some hints to get back on track. 1a went straight in, which some some strange reason means the rest will be a struggle, but getting 18a was encouraging. Never would have come up with 22a across, and was reluctant to pen in 9a. Guess I should have started with the downs. Thanks to Sylvanus and Deep Threat. Off to try the fourth set of LED bulbs to see if the color is right. Who knew buying light bulbs could be so difficult.

  35. For a change i was bang on wavelength/form and I rattled this off in record time. Kath’s comment from yesterday regarding wavelength is bang on.
    Even though I found it fairly easy, no denying it was a lovely puzzle with many great clues.
    Just watched the ODI, boy did the Aussies chuck that away.
    Thanks DT for the hints and Sylvanus for the puzzle.

  36. For me a challenge of two halves, the north returned to this morning.

    Are the clues for 3D and 11A to be read in conjunction? Was this auto suggestion? Whatever, a great film and a great crossword. Thanks.

  37. I’m sure someone has mentioned this but I read drag reversed in 2 down as a synonym for trail as in being behind . To trail along or drag behind . 22 across impossible word needed help with that loved 13 across . Tough but fair xword I thought

    1. You’ve gone for your proper name rather than the alias you used previously

      Both should work from now on

  38. Thanks to the setter and to Deep Threat for the review and hints. I enjoyed this one very much, a really nice puzzle. Had never heard of 22a, but got it from the fodder. Just wondered if the word’s origin had anything to do with Enfield rifles? Probably not I suspect? Also had not heard of 24d, but the wordplay was clear. Favourite was 13a. Was 2* /4* for me.

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