DT 29474 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29474

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29474

Hints and tips by pommers

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

Hola from the Vega Baja where summer appears to have returned since my last blog a couple of weeks ago.  The temperature has climbed over 30°C every day for the last week and it’s forecast to stay the same for the rest of this week.

Today’s crossword isn’t as easy the last one I blogged but I don’t think these hints will be needed much. There’s a couple of meanings of words which I hadn’t come across before but the wordplay is fairly clear so a quick look in the dictionary to confirm is all that’s required.

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.


8a           Troupe member very wealthy participant on stage, ageless (9,6)
STROLLING PLAYER:  This is a member of a troupe of itinerant actors. Start by removing the AGE from the word stage (ageless) to leave ST.  Follow that with a word meaning very rich (often followed by the words IN IT) and lastly another word for a participant on stage or actor.

9a           Long period in Spain, working (3)
EON:  The IVR code for Spain followed by a word meaning working or in operation.

10a         Technique used to clear a bar in cowboy film part, we hear (7,4)
WESTERN ROLL:  An old technique used in high jumping, before the straddle and later the Fosbury flop were developed, is a word for a cowboy film followed by a word which sounds like (we hear) a part in said film.

11a         Composer in hotel entertained by humorist (5)
LEHAR:  Insert H(otel) into (entertained by) a well known humorist called Edward to get a composer best known for operettas, including The Merry Widow.  Not a composer I’m very familiar with but he turns up in crosswords from time to time so is worth remembering.


12a         Police officer caught on fast? (9)
CONSTABLE:  C(aught) followed by the ON from the clue and a word meaning fast as in stuck fast.

15a         Some raita, or chutney, over in republic (7)
CROATIA:  It’s a lurker (some) hiding in RAITA OR CHUTNEY but it’s backwards (over).

17a         Craft departs to enter rippling lagoon (7)
GONDOLA:  Anagram (rippling) of LAGOON with D(eparts) inserted (to enter).

19a         I managed during tricky stint going from place to place (2,7)
IN TRANSIT:  Start with the I from the clue and then an anagram (tricky) of STINT.  Into that insert (during) the usual three letter word for managed.

20a         Ring about daughter’s cycle (5)
PEDAL:  The ring of some bells is placed around D(aughter).

21a         Neat handler depicted wrongly as uncivilised (11)
NEANDERTHAL:  Anagram (depicted wrongly) of NEAT HANDLER.  When I saw the word  NEAT my initial thought was that it would be something to do with cattle, d’oh!

24a         Buffet voucher (starter not included) (3)
HIT:  Buffet as in jostle or bash is a word for a voucher without its first letter (starter not included).

25a         Tired and emotional, and shabby? (3,5,3,4)
THE WORSE FOR WEAR:  Double definition.  Tired and emotional as in a bit drunk.


1d           Outdoor garment technocrat ordered (6,4)
TRENCHCOAT:  Anagram (ordered) of TECHNOCRAT.  You’d think this anagram would be a bit of a chestnut but I don’t recall seeing it before.

2d           Mature female let down (6)
FLOWER:  A word meaning to mature if F for female followed by a word meaning to let down.

3d           Excellent form for one starting school? (5-5)
FIRST CLASS:  This could be viewed as a double definition.  The phrase meaning excellent could also describe the form you go into when you start school.

4d           Monster therefore keeled over (4)
OGRE:  The Latin word for therefore reversed (keeled over).

5d           Board to name organisms drifting at sea (8)
PLANKTON:  A board or piece of wood followed by the TO from the clue and finally an N(ame).

6d           Printer’s error in quality poem (4)
TYPO:  Another lurker (in) in the last two words but this one’s the right way round.

7d           Screen restaurant, English (6)
GRILLE:  A type of restaurant, there’s a famous one at the Savoy Hotel, followed by E(nglish).

8d           Rings up about the man’s record (7)
SHELLAC:  A word meaning rings, on the phone perhaps, is reversed (up in a down clue) and placed around a two letter word for the man.  The answer is a type of resin but it’s also a word for a gramophone record made of it.  A meaning I’d never come across before.

13d         Near end of August transfer part of the workforce? (5,5)
NIGHT SHIFT: An old word for near followed by a T (end of AugusT) gives the first word and the second is a word meaning to transfer or move.

14d         General having these treated daily, perhaps (10)
BROADSHEET: A word meaning general or widespread followed by an anagram (treated) of THESE will give you a type of daily newspaper.

16d         Vampire in corner — cross raised (8)
TRAPDOOR:  A word for to corner or ensnare followed by a reversal (raised in a down clue) of a word for a cross or crucifix.  This is a theatrical term which I’d never seen before.

18d         Containing only celebrities, the whole side initially on pitch (3-4)
ALL STAR:  A word for the whole or everything followed by S (Side initially) and then some pitch that’s used for road surfaces.

19d         Light indefinite number in current French holiday home (6)
IGNITE:  Light as in to set fire to.  It’s the letter used in physics for electric current followed by a French holiday home with the letter for any number inserted (in).

20d         To have a go after friend’s not worth considering (6)
PALTRY:  Start with a friend (3) and follow with a word for have a go or attempt.

22d         Top primate put on crucifix, finally (4)
APEX:  A primate such a gorilla placed on an X (crucifiX finally).

23d         Reckless forward, not British (4)
RASH:  A word for forward or cheeky with the B(ritish) removed.

Favourite for me was 3d with the two that were new meanings up on the podium, i.e. 8d and 16d.

Not sure about the top line quickie pun.  I’ve got it as the city in Indiana, USA but there could well be something I’m missing.

Quick crossword puns:-

Top line:     FOUGHT     +     WANE     =     FORT WAYNE

Bottom line:     HEIR     +     BREAKS     =     AIR BRAKES

84 comments on “DT 29474

  1. A great start to the crosswording week. Fairly straightforward but with a few head scratchers. The two long ones at 8a and 25a were satisfying solves but I’m not sure I have the correct answer for 16d. I will now look at the hints to check it.

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

    PS – just looked at 16d and found I had it wrong!

    1. I only got it because of the “cross”, what else could it be so bunged it in. Never thought to look up vampire in the dictionary.

      1. I missed it. A rood to me is a screen not a cross but I see others have said that it often had a cross on the top.

  2. Typical Monday puzzle for me, mainly enjoyable, if quite dated, with a sprinkling of obscurities such as 16d that took the shine off it.
    I did like the clever 2d and that’s today’s favourite
    Many thanks to Pommers for the review and to the setter.

  3. Enjoyable time before getting back to the garden. Lovely day forecast so should get a lot done.

    Thanks to Pommers and the setter for their good services.

    1. A curious mix of very straightforward clues and some quite obscure synonyms for vampire and record, which were gettable from the wordplay but a bit puzzling. Like Stephen L, I felt that reduced the enjoyment (2*/2.5*). I’m afraid 25a and 2d didn’t seem to work very well to me but 14d was a good clue. Many thanks to Pommers for the hints and to the setter.

  4. A nice beginning to the solving week. Just what I want on a Monday morning. The last one in was 16d. I don’t know why. I used to test one before every performance of Aladdin at The Coventry Theatre way back when. Thanks to Pommers for the review and to Campbell for the puzzle

  5. All over in **/*** time. I didn’t know the term at 16d, but having spotted the ‘cross raised’ there wasn’t much left to work out.

    No stand-out favourite today.

    Thanks to the setter and Pommers.

  6. Very enjoyable crossword, though I was foxed by 14d……doh!
    8d and 16d had to be what they were, but I had to look both up to

    Beautiful day again here in Angus.

    Thanks to Pommers and to the setter.

    1. I was an Angus before I was married and have the tartan sash though heaven knows what we shall be allowed to do NYE or Burns Night!

  7. 2*/4*. I enjoyed this a lot. Only 14d & 16d held up me slightly, the latter being a new meaning for me.

    3d was my favourite.

    Many thanks to Campbell and to pommers.

  8. I got hopelessly stuck on this one. Thanks for the tips. I declined to put in 16d because I still don’t get it.

    1. It’s a term used by the backstage crew in a theatre for the device that makes the genie appear from nowhere by thrusting him through a trapdoor on stage. They can be quite dangerous

  9. Yes, 16d was a new use to me too, though it does somehow seem to lurk in my old teaching mind. Never mind. This was a pleasant, enjoyable Monday offering, with a few really nice clues, especially 14d, 8a, & 10a. I also thought that the overall tone of the puzzle was fusty and rather fogeyish, if you’ll pardon my saying so, and perhaps a lot like me these days. Thanks to pommers for the review and the waltz from The Merry Widow, an old childhood love of mine, and thanks to our setter. ** / ***

    200,000 now gone in the States. It didn’t have to be this tragic…not at all.

    1. That is rather a lot, even taking into account your much larger (than UK) population. Nobody knows what it is here really. Many will have succumbed to covid weeks later so it’s not recorded as cause of death. The increases announced in cases each day can only be counting care home and hospital admissions. Nobody in my area (Kent) can get a test. So figures are very likely much higher than stated. We can go out to anywhere that has a till pretty much, cynical but accurate, but can only have 6 people in our homes. Doesn’t make any sense to me either, Robert.

    2. I agree that it felt really old fashioned, with almost none of the answers being terms in common use these days. “Fusty” a good word for it, maybe a 1950s B film noir with detectives, spies, pawn shops and theatres. Wet pavements and a bit of harmonica music…

      1. I was The Worse For Wear on Saturday evening after visiting a food festival in Coventry Old Cathedral. My mate and I did the rounds of the drinks stalls and by the time we had done that there was no time left to get food. I blame Saint Sharon who managed to get herself both dinner and pudding

          1. I met him twice during the 1970 election campaign – let’s just say he was quite jolly. And very far removed from his GB colleague from the 2010 campaign.

  10. Straightforward for me with few hold-ups. LOI 16d took me into ** time. Not familiar with the usage but seem to vaguely recall it coming up before . 10a did not immediately come to mind as it’s a long time since I heard it.
    14d COTD for me.
    Thanks to Campbell & pommers for the review.

  11. I will join the 3d fan club and also admit the vampire was new to me, otherwise plain sailing. A hugely enjoyable start to the puzzling week and very Mondayish as CS often says.

    Thanks very much Campbell and pommers.

  12. For me, one of the most straightforward, but still very enjoyable, puzzles for quite a while – completed at a (very) fast gallop – */****.
    Candidates for favourite – 8a, 10a, and 19d – and the winner is 10a.
    Thanks to Campbell and pommers.

  13. Took a bit of thought to string together the correct combination of composer/humourist and also to unearth the vampire and the record – only familiar with ‘vinyl’ for the latter.
    Plenty to enjoy though with my top three comprising 10,17&25a.

    Thanks to Campbell for the Monday entertainment and also to pommers for the review and the waltz.

    1. Hi, Jane. Robert here. Well, my hopes and predictions about the Booker prize were quite thoroughly dashed (over here, one could say ‘shellacked’!) by the new shortlist, weren’t they? No Mantel, no McCann, no Tyler, though I did note that the Scottish novel, Shuggie Bain, that John Bee has been reading made the list and has just received a nod by our National Book Award panel. Perhaps it is now the favourite to win the Booker and maybe a good idea for me to order it. I’m just about to finish Elena Ferrante’s Lying Life of Adults, which is something of a letdown after her Neapolitan Tetralogy. Male American octagenarians don’t do well with female adolescent Neapolitans.

      1. Must admit, I’m not surprised that Hilary Mantel didn’t make it this time, I’m still making very heavy weather of The Mirror and the Light. In fairness, I have been somewhat pre-occupied with crosswords, must get to grips with getting back into reading mode. Still have a stack awaiting my attention and my conscience is pricking me………..
        Let me know how you go on with Shuggie Bain.

  14. Monday-ish with a slightly old-fashioned feel to it. Add me to the people who had to check the ‘vampire’

    Thanks to Campbell and Pommers – enjoy the sun – apparently our ‘last day of summer’ is tomorrow – they are promising us rain later in the week but as we’ve only had about half an inch all summer, I’m not optimistic that the poor old garden will get watered any time soon.

  15. The crossword didn’t pose too much difficulty. **/**. I really didn’t understand 16d either. I worked it out from the rood part but I still don’t know where the vampire comes into it. The best clue is 8a. Thanks to all.

    1. Greta,
      If before you post you remember to read the review and those that have posted before, you almost invariably find what you don’t understand has been clarified. See #6 & reply to #10.

      1. Sorry, I agree with Greta, I’ve googled trapdoor and vampire and I can find no reference that relate to both of them. I know what a trapdoor is and how it makes things appear, but is that called a trapdoor?

        1. I referred Greta to #6 because the redoubtable MP clearly had first hand experience of using one.
          As Senf observes “Stage trapdoor” is also in the BRB.

  16. The puzzle was OK, so thanks to Campbell for the atmosphere and to Pommers and others for knowing the 16d term, although there are probably only a couple of words that would actually fit. Like others I never connected 8d with gramophone records, although I knew the word in connection with French polishing and it bunged in quite correctly.
    None of those high jump manoeuvres make any sense to me at 5’2” and a big believer in the power of gravity.

    Thinking of 5d, I’ve been trying to remove green from the roof of a tall vehicle in our drive. I used to climb on its roof, but that’s probably a bad idea now, so I’ve been wrestling with a strange multiply extending pole with a variety of endings. I need one of those Perspex visors they’re all using now, to avoid a face full of algae.

  17. Great fun to solve. With a background in theatre/arts I knew of the use of 16d, but 10a and 11a were new to me but solved ok nonetheless.
    Gorgeous day in Surrey. I learned this morning that on Thursday I have to make my fifth visit to a garage to fit an Apple CarPlay system. The original garage are paying for me to take it to a new place as they confirm they don’t have the knowledge or skill to install it themselves. It is becoming an epic saga.

    Thanks to Campbell and pommers.

  18. I enjoyed this whilst it lasted. New learnings from 10a, 11a, 8d and 16d today although the word play at least got me to all the right answers. Thanks to today’s setter and pommers.

  19. Yes as 3D says, first class. The vampire had to be what It was once I spotted the rood and I put in 14d before I had realised the cleverness of ‘these being worked on’. 10a was last in although I had the western bit earlier. The news is SO grim I urge all of you setters and hinters to take care. We are going to need every bit of diversion we can grasp in the month ahead. Thanks to all of you.

      1. Apparently, there is a social media campaign in Bolton promulgating the view that Covid 19 is a fiction concocted by the government in order to control us! It beggars belief.

          1. Are they the same shower, who were holding “Covid’ parties and thought it was all being exaggerated until one 20 something person died?

              1. Then there are those destroying 5G masts because apparently the theory is they are the “cause of COVID-19”. Really?

                Mrs C and I are staying isolated until there is a vaccine. That was our decision but it was backed up by a telephone call from the Professor at the Liver Unit in the QE Hospital in Birmingham, who is monitoring me.

                Put in a nutshell, he told me to continue to shield despite what the government said.

  20. Nice start for the week, still not sure about 8d though, still hints gave me assistsnce. Social distancing here in NC is pretty good, luckily my local has a terrace overlooking the sea.
    Thanks to Pommers and setter.

  21. North was slightly more challenging than the South but the whole was a 3d conundrum the solution of which brought a few new word meanings (10a, 8d, 16d) to my attention which I always appreciate. Joint Favs 17a and 14d. Thank you Campbell and Pommers.

  22. Thanks to Pommers for explaining 11a and 16d. Never come across either but have made a mental note. The rest was very pleasant. Thanks to all.

  23. Enjoyed this challenge, just frustrated by 16d where, IMHO, the setter made the clue unnecessarily difficult. There were lots of ways to lead us to the answer without the confusing vampire. Same for 8d. 11a was new to me, and although I could figure out the first word in 10a, I didn’t know the second. Thanks to setter and Pommers.

  24. Relatively straightforward for start of the week, with a couple of head scratching clues, like 8d and 16d. Seemed to me that 12a was barely cryptic. No matter.
    1.5*/**** for me today with favourites 20a, 25a, 3d & 13d with winner 3d.

    Thanks to setter and pommers for hints

  25. Thanks Campbell and Pommers. I got the second part of 16d as we had a screen of this name over which hung the crucifix at my village church when I was a child. I then got the rest of it but like most of was unable to parse. Bottom half much easier than the top. The composer at 11a was not known to me but the humorist was well-known so made it solvable without help. I don’t mind obscure words so long as they do not follow obscure clues! Favourites 10a and 5 13 and 14d

  26. Pleasant start to the week EXCEPT for 16d which is just plain stupid relying on the reader to know an obscure slang term. Very very very poor. The setter should hang his/her head in shame.
    **/** (because of 16d)
    Thx for the hints

    1. Apparently 16d isn’t a slang term – obscure, possibly but I don’t think that the setter is relying on us lot to know it. I think he’s relying on us all to have the nous to put a few bits together to arrive at the answer and then look it up – no hanging of the head in shame at all – well, I don’t think so anyway.

      1. Couldn’t agree more, Kath, and I quite enjoyed learning about the answer. Amazes me that Brian has always been such a fan of Giovanni’s puzzles when you consider how many obscurities turn up in those!

    2. Brian
      I do not expect to know all words in the puzzle & some I will consider obscure even esoteric. However as long as the wordplay is not obscure that is not a poor clue. Rather the reverse, as with 16d.
      For me 16d balances an uncommon synonym with a fairly straightforward wordplay that lead me to the answer. That is the very reason that makes crosswords attractive to me.

      1. Quite agree, particularly that an ‘oddity’ clearly clued is a pleasure to work out and discover
        I really don’t see how a clue can be ‘plain stupid’; setters are by nature erudite and precise, as is our Mr Ed
        I do object to the audacity of taking that tone with any setter

        1. Totally agree. Whether an answer is archaic, obscure or simply not known to the solver is immaterial. A good clue gives the parsing and surface to get to the answer. If it has to be checked in the BRB, so be it. I would never tell a setter that he or she should “hang their head in shame”, Brian. If I cannot solve a clue the fault is with me not the setter.

  27. Like many others commenring today, the “vampire” bit of 16d was a new term to me. And Old Dopey here reversing the middle two letters to 4d by mistake rather spiked my guns on 8a until I realised the error of my ways

  28. An interesting crossword 😳 but eminently solvable ***/*** My favourites 10 & 17a with 19d in bronze position 😃 Thanks to Pommers and to the Setter 👍

  29. 10a and 16d had me checking the dictionary, otherwise an enjoyable Monday solve. Thank you Campbell and Pommers. Heading off to make Sunday dinner. No, I haven’t got my days wrong.

  30. I enjoyed this a lot, though, as Robert called it, it was a little fusty! I did find the vampire trapdoor in my Collins online dictionary. I didn’t know 10a but could work it out; thanks pommers, I’ve made a note of the others and will look them up, you know we’re bound to come across them, sooner rather than later! I worked out 8d early on, having the s…l.c, but had no idea how it made record so didn’t write it in until I had all the checkers. I didn’t know the French holiday home.
    You get the picture, many clues solved by instinct rather than reason, much to be grateful to pommers.
    I rather liked 3d and 5d, but there were many others.
    Thanks Campbell for the fun and to pommers for the enlightenment.

  31. Well, all went in quite nicely and despite my difficulty with 16d (understanding it) the answer was obvious once I had the reversed cross. I enjoy learning new words anyway. Awful news today. Can’t understand why everyone is getting so upset about testing. We have done double both France and Spain and a quarter more than Germany. I really believe everyone is doing their best in chaos. Every single country is blaming their government in these terrible times. Just what are they meant to do in this unknown situation?

    1. I don’t envy any government at the moment, Manders. They are damned if they do and damned if they don’t. Poor old Boris won the election to sort out Brexit. He did not expect COVID-19.

  32. As others I enjoyed the puzzle but was tripped up and fell through the 16d trapdoor. also put a question mark beside 2d Thaat synonym of mature didn’t come to mind readily. 3d 14d best of a long list here.
    To respond to Jane and Robert, Shuggie Bain is a good read and well worth the Booker nomination at least. I agree that this time the Mantel is not as good as her earlier books. Can’t comment on the others mentioned as I am yet to read them and I am also behind on my reading as I have been distracted by the Tour de France, the EV and other puzzles, and a family visit yesterday. Gazza is reading the Richard Osman mystery and that is next on the pile.

    1. I want to read the Richard Osmond mystery too. I saw it in a bookshop window yesterday, and googled it when I got back. I hope it’s not too scary.

      1. I don’t think it will be scary – I haven’t started yet but reviews suggest it is fun and a good read.

        “TV presenter Richard Osman’s debut novel is a charming and delightful cosy mystery composed of interesting characters and infused with wit and a sense of fun.”

        Oops I forgot to thank Pommers and Campbell and do so here

          1. Thanks for the reassurance. Sounds like a must read. I might even get the paper version rather than put it on the kindle. Nothing beats turning the page over. It adds to the suspense.

        1. Thanks for letting me know about the Osman book, all of you. I have just ordered The Thursday Mystery Club. 4.6 out of 5.0 reviews on Amazon, with rave comments!

  33. All very straightforward other than 16d, which was last in, & like others the theatrical connection was new to me but the answer was easily gettable from the wordplay. All over in ** time & not quite on a par with recent Mondays though I did like 25a, which I’m ashamed to say is a state I’ve been in on any number of occasions.
    Thanks to the setter & Pommers

  34. I enjoyed this one quite a lot and am not sure why others seemed to think it had a bit of an old-fashioned/fusty/fogeyish feel about it – hope it doesn’t mean that I’m becoming all of those things. :unsure:
    I didn’t know 8d with that meaning and had never heard of 16d, again with that meaning, and didn’t know 10a either.
    Like pommers, I instantly thought that 21a was going to be something to do with cows. – wrong, yet again.
    Enough – I’m rambling – brain is full of oxygen having been gardening all day.
    I think my favourite was probably 25a but 21a was pretty ‘neat’ too.
    Thanks to Campbell and to pommers – at last my predictive text has stopped making you ‘pommels’.

  35. Enjoyable and generally pretty straightforward BUT foxed by 16d…..needed electronic help to get the answer but still couldn’t understand it until I read the hints…..

  36. All perfectly straightforward apart the one ones that weren’t. 11a, 8d and 16d but I got them all so I can’t complain. It would be too unkind to say no particular favourite so I’ll go for 21a. Thanks to Campbell and Pommers.

  37. Didn’t present too many problems, apart of course from 16d, and 14d which was an “ah of course” moment. Some nice clueing, but I can understand what others mean about the slightly “veteran” feel to it. 8d took me right back to my dad’s garage workshop and 10d to my sporting youth. 😊
    COTD 3D closely followed by 13d.
    Thanks to setter and Pommers

  38. 3*/3*….
    liked 14D ” general having these treated daily, perhaps (10)”
    ….a senior officer with a nagging medical problem ??

  39. I try 2 or 3 cryptics per week but complete, or not, over two or three days o always read these Blogs when most have moved on…..

    I must say that my completion rates have greatly improved by reading your comments and explanations. I usually get between 70 to 100% complete without assistance electronically or personally, other than to check spellings or word meanings if they are new to me.

    For this one I have never heard of 8d, 16d or 11a. Other than missing a bit of a sitter at 2d I was otherwise successful.

    Thanks to all for excellent explanations and occasional banter.

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