DT 29475 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29475

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29475

Hints and tips by Mr K

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BD Rating  -  Difficulty *** Enjoyment ****

Hello everyone, and welcome to Tuesday.  In my blog for DT 29457 a few weeks ago I said that it was the best crossword that I'd solved for months.  The Clue of the Week section in the following edition of the Telegraph Puzzles Newsletter revealed that the compiler of that fine puzzle was our regular Sunday setter John Halpern.  In my view, today's puzzle delivers similar levels of enjoyment.  There are a few echoes of DT 29457 in it, but I'm not sure enough that it's Dada to stick my neck out and assign it to him.  Perhaps our compiler or our editor could enlighten us?  Reader speculation is of course welcome.

In the hints below most indicators are italicized, and underlining identifies precise definitions and cryptic definitions.  Clicking on the answer will be here buttons will reveal the answers.  In some hints hyperlinks provide additional explanation or background.  Clicking on a picture will enlarge it or display a bonus illustration.  Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.



1a    Looked good, grounds outside church (7)
GLANCED:  Follow the single letter for good with some grounds or property containing (outside) the abbreviation for the Church of England 

5a    Mother's boxes manage to be places for keeping curiosities? (7)
MUSEUMS:  An informal word for mother's contains (boxes) manage or operate

9a    Cross after European craft turned over (5)
EXTRA:  The single letter representing a cross comes after the single letter for European.  That's all followed by the reversal (turned) of a synonym of craft 

10a   By a lake on front of grassy bank (9)
ALONGSIDE:  Concatenate A from the clue, the map abbreviation for lake, ON from the clue, the front letter of Grassy, and bank or edge 

11a   Prisoners beat leaders in the lock-up's yard night and day (10)
CONSTANTLY:  Link together some usual prisoners, beat or flog, and the initial letters of (leaders in) The Lock-up's Yard 

12a   Drink? Bar in Montenegro, perhaps (4)
PORT:  An alcoholic drink is also what Bar in Montenegro defines by example (perhaps

14a   Regent's man ordered to follow a king's plans (12)
ARRANGEMENTS:  An anagram (ordered) of REGENT'S MAN follows both A from the clue and the Latin abbreviation for king 

18a   Speech about granny oddly is generating concern (12)
ORGANISATION:  A speech or address containing (about) both the odd letters (oddly) of GrAnNy and IS from the clue 

21a   Sound of a bird -- lark (4)
HOOT:  The sound of an owl, for example, is also a lark or amusing situation 

22a   Horror -- is one stuck in road in Dartmoor? (10)
IMPRISONED:  A horror or mischievous child is followed by IS ONE from the clue inserted in (stuck in) the abbreviation for road 

25a   Straightens out leg -- suntan's irregular (9)
UNTANGLES:  An anagram (…'s irregular) of LEG SUNTAN 

26a   Bishop with final curse (5)
BLAST:  The chess abbreviation for bishop with a synonym of final 

27a   Former lover referred to getting tickled (7)
EXCITED:  The usual former lover is followed by a verb meaning "referred to" 

28a   Slim student in poster (7)
SLENDER:  The usual single letter indicating a student or learner driver is inserted in another word for the poster of a letter 



1d    Country clubs supporting mostly environmentally friendly energy (6)
GREECE:  The playing card abbreviation for clubs follows (supporting, in a down clue) all but the last letter (mostly) of a word meaning "environmentally friendly", and the physics symbol for energy is stuck on the end of that lot 

2d    Ham might be this cold after a bit, almost (6)
ACTING:  The single letter for cold comes after A from the clue, and that pair is followed by all but the last letter (…, almost) of bit or trace or hint

3d    Gossiping about milliner -- one no good (10)
CHATTERING:  Glue together the single-letter Latin abbreviation for about or roughly, a simple synonym of milliner, the Roman one, and the abbreviation for "no good" 

4d    Empty out shower at end of day (5)
DRAIN:  A shower from the sky comes after (… at end of …) the single letter for day 

5d    Low luminescence initially in hours of darkness? This might help (9)
MOONLIGHT:  The wordplay is low like a cow followed by the first letter (initially) of Luminescence inserted in another word for the hours of darkness.  The definition is formed by the entire clue 

6d    Groan from US soldier keeling over in southern hospital (4)
SIGH:  The reversal (keeling over) of a usual US soldier is inserted between (in) the single letters for southern and for hospital 

7d    Places for learning about something old-fashioned: mythical beasts (8)
UNICORNS:  An informal contraction for some places of higher learning containing (about) something old-fashioned or hackneyed 

8d    Consider swallowing whiskey sample -- most pleasant (8)
SWEETEST:  Consider or understand containing (swallowing) the letter represented in the NATO phonetic alphabet by whiskey is all followed by a synonym of sample 

13d   Hopeless sob implies upset (10)
IMPOSSIBLE:  An anagram (upset) of SOB IMPLIES 

15d   Put together bed Selma's broken (9)
ASSEMBLED:  An anagram (broken) of BED SELMA'S 

16d   Location of disgraced setter? (8)
DOGHOUSE:  A cryptic definition.  Think of a four-legged setter 

17d   One who doubts cats go in flaps (8)
AGNOSTIC:  An anagram (… flaps) of CATS GO IN 

19d   Advance nothing new, fighting Germany (6)
ONWARD:  Chain together the single letter for nothing, the single letter for new, serious fighting, and the IVR code for Germany 

20d   My boss considered it ordinary, to an extent (6)
EDITOR:  The answer is hidden as part of (to an extent) the remainder of the clue.  The definition is from the perspective of the compiler 

23d   Republican employs stratagems (5)
RUSES:  The single letter for Republican with a verb meaning employs

24d   Insect's smell picked up (4)
GNAT:  The reversal (picked up, in a down clue) of a pungent or characteristic smell 


Thanks to today’s setter for a fun solve.  Top clues for me included 9a, 10a, 11a, 12a, 25a, 28a, 1d, 4d, 6d, 13d, 16d, 17d, 19d, and 20d, and I also liked the Quickie pun.  Which clues did you like best?


The Quick Crossword pun:  POE + LOW + MINCE = POLO MINTS

88 comments on “DT 29475

  1. All went well today, with most completed at the first pass. Grid filled in ** time, but I did have reservations about 12a. I couldn’t see the ‘bar’. And after Mr K’s explanation, there is no way I would have!

    COTD is 8d for me.

    Many thanks to the setter and Mr K.

  2. Definitely a puzzle of two halves for me, the bottom went in in virtually the time it took to write it but the top took a fair bit more teasing out, due to some nice misdirection from our setter. Still, all good fun, fresh and very enjoyable.
    I particularly liked 1a plus 5&16d but top spot goes to 10a
    Many thanks to the setter and to Mr K.

  3. Thanks to Mr K and setter – smooth solving today with enough time left for a good walk in the Dales! 16 and 20d were my favourites .. but sorry did not take to 12a.

  4. A **/*** from me. Although I finished in good time wasn’t quite sure of how I got there. I couldn’t see the bar in 12a either, in fact still can’t and why Montenegro? But an enjoyable start to the day so thanks to all. Have struggled and struggled to get my car radio out to try and find the code to no avail, in fact broke a piece off it! Still it did start first time after being in our garage for 9 years.

  5. Yhis is certainly wily enough for Dada and was very enjoyable with clever misdirection and a variety of clue types (***/****). I liked 12a, 5d, 16d and 17d, the latter having made me laugh. Thanks to Mr K for the usual fine review and to the compiler.

  6. An excellent puzzle today as Mr K commented. Slight hold ups for me came with the bar in Montenegro and the help in 5d – I was fixated on ‘nightlight’ despite the fact that it was too long to fit!
    Impossible to isolate one favourite but I’d add the smiles from 21a&26a to the list of those already mentioned by others.

    Many thanks to our setter and also to Mr K for another great blog and the very appropriate feline frolics hidden behind the main pictures.

  7. Just back home after playing squash. I wonder how long it will be before that becomes a prohibited pastime again? :unsure:

    This was a cracking puzzle and my page is littered with ticks, any of which could very easily have been given the accolade of favourite. After due consideration, I am going to settle for the wonderful 17d, especially when combined with the hidden picture in Mr K’s excellent review.

    My rating is 2.5*/5*.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Mr K.

    P.S. I recommend today’s not too tough Toughie from our very own Silvanus which I found equally enjoyable.

  8. Quite tricky in places e.g. 12a, until using Mr K’s useful link, was unknown to me 😳 Still very enjoyable ***/*** favourites 1 & 22a Thanks to Mr K and to the unknown Setters 🤗 ( which ever of the two it was 🤔)

  9. I raced through this with the exception of 12a. I thought I’d leave that to the end and go back. I went back, and still couldn’t get anywhere. I put the clue into a crossword solver which gave me the answer, but I was none the wiser. I had to google Montenegro to see why the answer was what it was. I always feel a bit sad when there’s one clue I just can’t fathom. The setter has obviously been to the place, whereas I have not. If the words Bar and Montenegro come up again, at least I’ll understand what’s required. I enjoyed the rest of the puzzle, but really disliked 12a. I do appreciate the effort put in by the setter and reviewer, so thanks to all.

  10. The less said about 12a the better. Lisbon might have been more appropriate than Montenegro. No particular difficulty **/*** I needed the hints for 1d and 2d to understand the answers and both are a little tenuous to my mind. 16d made me smile but 5d is my favourite. Thanks to all.

    1. Re 12a, I stand to be corrected but I’m not aware of a port called Bar in Lisbon so it wouldn’t work Greta.

      1. Nor am I Stephen but it’s a fair bet there is one! Possibly more likely to serve the answer than a bar in Montenegro.

        1. Sorry Greta, Stephen is right. The answer is a drink. Bar is a town in Montenegro which is by the sea and has ships visiting. Drink? Lisbon in Portugal, perhaps – as an alternative would not work. I may be at a slight advantage as I did take the ferry to Bar from Bari in Italy in 1970. However in those days it was in Yugoslavia so I had to Google Montenegro to check its whereabouts

      1. I simply got the drink first ( by testing the second letter O against what the first letter might be) then checked to see, by googling, whether there was a place by the sea of that name.

  11. Middle of the Tuesday spectrum for me. Excellent enjoyable solve with little to cause problems (although, for reverse reasons to yesterday, 12a might not be acceptable in some quarters).
    The dog misdirection made 16d COTD for me but there were others that were as good.
    Thanks to setter and Mr K for the entertaining (as always) review. However the illustrations for 16 & 17d need reporting to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Dogs.
    The video reminded me, we had a particularly dominant cat & if we put the dog’s bowl near the cat flap the dog would not go for his food in case the cat came through the flap.

    1. Many years ago some friends of ours had a Great Dane and a very small but highly spirited tabby cat. In winter evenings when the cat was out, the dog would regularly settle his enormous frame in front of the log fire in the lounge. As soon as he heard the sound of the cat flap, you could almost hear him sigh before standing up and shuffling off reluctantly into a corner just before the cat came into the room to snuggle up on the rug by the fire.

      If the dog ever failed to react, a quick tap on the nose from the cat achieved the desired effect. Size is not important!

      1. Always the poor dog finishes as runner-up. A “tap on the nose”, always with claws protruding is the precursor to cat dominance in my experience. I can see the dog’s body language as it slunk off!

      2. We had a 12lb cat who was very much the boss in our house, completely intimidating our 75lb yellow lab. On a whim he would herd him into a corner and keep him there until he got bored and let him free.

    2. My bearded collie learnt as a puppy that cats play by cuffing him round the ear. Now aged 7 cat (aged 15) cuffs him so he cuffs cat back. Best of friends really

    3. Sadie loves her cats. I found Phoebe cleaning out Sadie’s ears yesterday, if Sadie could purr she would have!

    4. When we first got our collie she was only six weeks old (much too young to leave her Mum really) and we already had three five year old cats – two sisters and their brother. They were very much of the, “who on earth do you think you are and don’t even think about messing with us” kind of cats. They were all bigger than her and used to chase her round the garden – quite good for her as it certainly taught her to treat all cats with respect.

  12. What a cracking puzzle! Mind you, I too had reservations about 12a but have clicked on Mr K’s link, I now realise the significance but whether or not I will remember it is debatable. I spent ages trying to find out if the was a drink called “rope”! Loads of excellent clues but my favourites are 11a, 5d and 16d with the latter being my COTD. Like LROK I loved the misdirection in it. It has the feel of a Dada but I’m not sticking my neck out.

    Many thanks to the setter, whomsoever he or she might be, for an enjoyable challenge. Thanks, also, to Mr. K for the hints and the oddball cats. We inherited a cat from our daughter and son-in-law when they went to live in Australia from Athens. She and our Lab at the time did not get on. Then one day the cat brought in a mouse, which escaped and hid behind the dresser. The cat tried to get it and waited at one end. Our dog watched the saga with great interest then got up and went to the other end of the dresser and gave a loud bark. The mouse shot out the other end into the clutches of the cat. They were both very firm and close buddies after that.

    1. I wondered if 12a was a lurker, and if there was a drink called rope too, before I put the clue into a solver.

  13. Been to Montenegro but missed the port called Bar. A clever clue – perhaps too clever? It seems to be the one sticking point in a otherwise enjoyable puzzle.

    Talking of enjoyment, my COTD has to be 16d

    1. I got all but 12a. Ended up putting Mout which I think can be a malt. Bar = out following “in” the capital M from Montenegro.

      Fat chance perhaps….. but it’s all I could come up with. Could have guessed Port in hindsight as I had the O and the T And I’ve drunk enough f it….

  14. Hmm. Not sure about this one, perhaps it was because I did not have my usual Monday routine, delaying my 25 laps of the ‘Y’ pool from morning to afternoon, that it did not have the sparkle of a typical Tuesday puzzle and took me a little longer than usual. Completed at a gallop (just) – 2.5*/2*.
    However, some good candidates for favourite – 1a, 11a, 5d, and 16d – and the winner is 16d.
    Thanks to the setter and Mr K.

  15. Really enjoyed today’s puzzle with no hold ups COTD has to be 16d certainly brought a smile to my face with podiums for 1a and 5d **/****
    Thanks to Mr K and the setter.

  16. Thanks Jane, didn’t realise that was a link! Bar apparently has a population of some 20000 only, so not high up on anyone’s list of well known places.

    1. Hi Manders, in my blogs text that’s blue and underlined is a hyperlink to some sort of additional information. Perhaps I need different formatting to make such links stand out more from the surrounding text. I shall ponder.

  17. Very enjoyable. I have found some difficult recently but most of this was straight in. I thought there may be too many anagrams for some – but not for me. The long ones were quick to spot. Favourites were 11 and 22a, 5 and 16d and also the Marmite clue 12a. I admit 12a took me longer than it should as I am not familiar with the various countries which are in the former Yugoslavia. I marvel at setters who can think up clever, witty questions which are easy to solve if you happen to be on the right wavelength. As well as 12a my other pauses for thought were 8d and 1a and 2d. With 1a it took me a long time to split the first two words of the clue. I thought of the right ham for 2d and put it in without parsing, so thanks Mr K. Similarly did not parse 8d as I veered between urine tests and wee for something Scottish and small. C’est la vie! Once again Setter thanks – you are not in the doghouse. Come out and take a bow.

  18. We thoroughly enjoyed this, **/**** for us. 12a was not a problem since, being used to not entirely understanding some clues, we spotted the definition and bunged it in without worrying our little heads about the rest. Mr K’s link gave us a new appreciation for a clever clue and a fact we will not now forget. Thank you setter and Mr K, this was fun! 😀😀

  19. I thought this was a great puzzle with well constructed clues. Upper half in very fast except 2d which was last one in. COTD 16d I too tried to find a drink called rope but then looked at a map. Beautiful fall day with trees beginning to change colour. Thanks to the setter and Mr.K for the fun cat pictures,

    1. Hi, Kate. The other day I cautiously ‘recommended’ Elena Ferrante’s new novel to you, but today (having now finished the book) it saddens me to say that it is nowhere as brilliant as My Brilliant Friend or the three novels that followed it in her Naples epic. It’s probably because the young girl who narrates the novel is such a troubled and tormented soul for whom I could never develop much sympathy, and the fault lies more within my own advanced age versus her natural, youthful, angst-ridden outrage at the world. The book has much going for it (there’s certainly nothing else like it in literature these days), but for me it lacked control and charm.

  20. My stars, what a puzzle–and what a blog! (I’m very late today because I fell asleep after finishing the lovely Toughie and the NYT’s crossword tribute to Chadwick *Boseman (‘Black Panther’, anyone?), who just recently died at age 43.) Don’t know which is more wonderfully enjoyable, today’s cryptic or Mr K’s double-reveal of theme-related pictures of those incredibly gifted cats. (Move over, T S Eliot!). Like many of you, I was stumped by the ‘bar’ in 12a (even though I answered the clue correctly, and even though I googled a map of Montenegro but never saw the port on the map), which was my LOI. I agree with Mr K that today’s puzzle is among the best of the Tuesdays’ in some time; my favourites are mostly in the NE–10, 5 & 12a–but I also liked 16d & 21a. Many thanks to Mr K and today’s crafty setter. ** / *****

    *Mr Boseman was a native S Carolinian and one of the most gifted, and generously spirited, of the young generation of actors; his death is a tragic loss to the artworld.

  21. I thoroughly enjoyed this puzzle despite being marooned off the coast of 12a. I, too, pondered upon ‘rope’ for some time before going through the old a-z method of possible letters and then the answer docked into the harbour.

    Another lovely day in Surrey. Taking in Mr Johnson’s update from the HoC it looks like we’re all going to be 22a in lockdown once again. 26a is my response, but it must be done.

    Thanks to the excellent setter and Mr K

  22. Lovely crossword – not a doddle by any means but I don’t think it was difficult enough for Dada although it took me a long time to get started – a day for doing the down clues first.
    I bunged in 12a without having the first idea why.
    I really liked 22a but it’s a toss up between 15, 16 and 17d for favourite.
    Thanks to whoever set this one and to Mr K.
    Off to the garden as it looks as if it might not be the best place to be for a few days – might have a go at Toughie later.

  23. I only have positive things to say about this beautifully-crafted puzzle; concise clueing, thought-provoking and comfortable to solve. I cannot pick a favourite from the grid as all were worthy of the podium.

    Thanks very much to our setter (please show yourself) and to Mr K.

  24. Not really my cup of tea but appreciated stimulation of grey matter in solving it. NW was last corner to complete. 12a and 12d were unparsed. Fav was 16d after wasting time working around today’s cruciverbal setter. Thank you to that setter and MrK.

  25. Found the south a good deal easier than the north. Progress in the NE was hampered by initially bunging in lamp rather than moon for 5d & like others was perplexed by 12a, my last in, but the answer couldn’t really be anything else. Very enjoyable without perhaps being quite as impressed as others seem to have been. Favourite today was 16d & also really liked 2d.
    Thanks to the setter & to Mr K for the review

  26. I really enjoyed today’s puzzle. Thanks to the setter and Mr K, I laughed out loud at the picture at 10a.

      1. I didn’t notice it until I read Jaydubs comment. I’ve had another look now, very, very funny! Thanks

  27. Back from a trip to civilisation, what a brilliant puzzle. Made up of two distict halves the bottom half went in quickly, burt after a couple of gimmies the top half surrendered. I might say one of the best puzzles of late.
    Thanks to Mr K and setter

  28. Thanks as every, Mr K and the setter. I loved 17d for its surface, and 16d; my favourite is 5d’s low luminescence.

    If it is Dada, he probably isn’t even aware. He said on a video chat recently that generally he batches up the puzzles, say getting into a Telegraph mindset for several days and producing maybe a year’s worth in a row, then switching to a different paper (with a different culture, conventions, and rules) and writing theirs. This leads to puzzles printed a year after they were written, and Dada not knowing they have appeared.

    1. Chalicea once said that it was so long since she had written a puzzle that she had to look at my review for some answers

  29. We kept looking for a lurker in 12a until we googled Montenegro, saw the map and name of the port. We struggled to parse 2d even though we had the right word. Favourites were 11a, 14a and 8d. Held up for a while in the SW corner as we had 24d in upside down! Thanks to the setter and to Mr K. Still have the toughie to look at over dinner …..

  30. A port called Port? We live and learn. I would have sworn Montenegro was in the Caribbean though. All very gettable today either from the clues or the checkers. Thanks to the setter and to our reviewer

        1. Capital of Uruguay which is in South America! I think it is the furthest south capital in S America.

  31. This was an enjoyable crossword from start to finish, like a lot of people 12 across puzzle me but after reading the blog all became clear, there were to many clues to enjoy but as always Thsnk you to Dada (I think) and Mr K.

  32. Lovely puzzle today, with South East corner going in last. Thanks to setter and Mr K. I did love the Bertrand Russell quote at the 17d hint. Thought it about sums up governmental response all over the world to the coronavirus.

  33. After 35 entries I don’t think I can add anything except to say thank you for taking my mind of the news and the fact that it is Tuesday again.
    Deeply depressed, but with a puzzle to get your teeth into AND a sunny day here – all is not lost. Thanks to everyone.

    1. Oh no, Daisygirl! Please do not be depressed. Can’t you just for once say “Sod Tuesday” and take some time for yourself? Love to you because I have been down on many occasions but you know what? It always gets better given time. 🥰😘

  34. Liked this puzzle for a dull Tuesday and first day of autumn. I would be curious to know if it was a Dada puzzle … seems to have some of his trademarks in my opinion. Rate this 1.5*/**** with no real hold ups.
    Clue favourites today include11a, 22a, 28a, 16d & 19d with winner being 16d

    Thanks to Dada (??) and Mr.K for hints

  35. Wotta treat for a Tuesday! Not, I may say, a walk in the park but much enjoyment. South of 14a was much easier and went in readily, but, oh my, I sweated bullets in the north.i never did get the Montenegro port, the cross or the ham. Also, 5a took ages, I was trying to use “ma” forgot the other one. I got there in the end, almost, loved it all.
    Fave was 16d, but lots to like. The cat pic at 26a top of the pops.
    Thanks to our setter and many thanks to Mr. K for unravelling not a few.
    Just had to nurse drop in to give me my ‘flu shot and I’m already feeling grotty! I cannot take medication of any kind.

  36. Agree with the comments that I’ve read – good fun. Had no idea about 12a but the rest went in without a hitch. Fav clues were 10a and 3d. Thanks to setter and to Mr K. Greatly enjoyed the kitten photos.

    1. Hello, Derek. But Chambers says that the plural is formed with an s, and the BRB’s ruling is what counts in crosswordland.

    2. There was a discussion about this in an earlier blog. One erudite member explained when “ium” became “ ia” in the plural and when it became “iums”. I can’t remember who it was but it was quite recent.

  37. I’m in the “straightforward and continued to be so” Camp this evening. Re 12a I simply ignored the word bar until Mr. K pointed out that it was significant. It obviously wasn’t that significant because I didn’t need it. I thought the picture in 10a was hilarious. All in all a lovely crossword, favourite being 5a. Many thanks to the setter and Mr. K foot the review and the picture in 10a. I’m still chuckling.

  38. I loved this. I hope it was dada because I love his puzzles. No help needed but always thanks for hints.

  39. Sorry for this, my friends but the temperatures are due to go down to single figures over the next few days. Autumn is arriving and the leaves are falling so time for Justin Hayward from Jeff Wayne’s “War of the Worlds”.

    Cosy winter days by the fire with a crossword puzzle and Hudson curled up at my feet beckon. With a glass of amber liquid of course! 🥃

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