DT 29477 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29477

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29477

Hints and tips by Miffypops

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Good morning from Barrel where Saint Sharon and I now spend our days in glorious retirement building sheds, landscaping the garden, erecting fencing, laying paths and seeding one half of a lawn and turfing the other half (Green side up Sharon, green side up) Eight face panels to go, one last stretch of paving, the shed roof to felt and that he said is that. Possibly. At least I get a couple of beers in the late afternoon as a reward, usually at The Barn in Willey.

I’m not a great fan of the telly but am really enjoying the remake of All Creatures Great and Small on channel five catch up. (Less adverts) It is head and shoulders above the original with a far better cast and a much-improved script. The sainted one likes it too which is a bonus as it keeps her quiet for an hour.

I always like food and drink in a puzzle and our setter today has done us proud. We have steak and mango chutney to eat and ales and beer to wash it down. Jack Sparrow turns up with some rum to finish off with. Good lad that he is.

Hidden words or lurkers

If all else fails look for a lurker

If the clue doesn’t suggest something to do, look for a lurker

If the clue has the words some, in, or wrapped. Look for a lurker

If all of the above fail look for a reversal indicator and a reversed lurker

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Damned awful dogs set on journalist (6)
CURSED: Aggressive and unkempt dogs (aren’t they all) are followed by our usual leading journalist. What fun to throw a curve ball in at one across as he lights the fuse and stands well back

5a    Plants gone wild within slanted line (8)
BEGONIAS: An anagram (wild) of GONE sits inside an inclination or prejudice.

9a    Tradesfolk start to supply drinks for church (5,5)
SALES FORCE: Begin with the initial letter of the word supply. Add the plural of a fine drink much loved by your blogger. Use the word for from the clue and finish off with the abbreviation for the Church of England

“Only a pint at breakfast-time, and a pint and a half at eleven o clock and a quart or so at dinner. And then no more till the afternoon; and half a gallon at supper-time. No one can object to that.” — Richard Doddridge Blackmore, Lorna Doone

10a    Prohibit nothing following check (4)
VETO: A word meaning to check is followed by the letter that looks like the symbol for nothing

11a    Dogs, about fifty — they have arrived in new homes (8)
SETTLERS: A large long haired breed of dog sits obediently around the Roman numeral for fifty

12a    Usual line taken by operatic woman (6)
NORMAL: The abbreviation for line follows an opera by Vincenzo Bellini

13a    Box no longer wanted with side missing (4)
SPAR: Something extra to requirement and no longer needed has a side removed. East or west? The one that suits the clue

15a    Players supporting children without parents? (8)
FORWARDS: A word synonymous with supporting is followed by children under the care and control of a guardian

18a    Worker so very loud? Keep away! (5,3)
HANDS OFF: Start with a manual worker. Add the word so from the clue. Add a musical term for very loud

19a    The lady died in Slough (4)
SHED: A personal pronoun for any female joins the abbreviation for died. I’m sure many ladies have died in Slough

21a    Criminal at sea getting cross at stern of ship (6)
PIRATE: A word meaning cross or angry follows the final letter of the word ship

23a    Botswana — the magician comes with this imprecation (8)
ANATHEMA: The answer lies hidden within the words of the clue as indicated by the words comes with.

25a    Something to eat and drink quietly (4)
RUMP: An alcoholic drink distilled from sugar cane residues is followed by the musical notation for quietly

26a    Favoured worker collecting garment for resident (10)
INHABITANT: A short word meaning favoured and an insect worker are split by a long loose garment worn by a member of a religious order

27a    Embarrassed performer? One may have changed the text (8)
REDACTOR: The colour of embarrassment is joined by a player of parts on stage to give a neat description of Big Dave’s role at the weekends

28a    One who will say prayers in correct order (6)
RECTOR: The answer lies hidden within the words of the clue indicated by the word in


2d    Accepted practice in America failing people ultimately (5)
USAGE: The initials of the United States are followed by the last letters of the words America failing and people

3d    Herd suffering with sleet to be put in barn? (9)
SHELTERED: An anagram (suffering) of HERD and SLEET

4d    Stupid person presenting pudding to the Queen (6)
DUFFER: A type of suet pudding precedes our wonderful monarch

5d    Bad forefathers I worked out to be group of similar type (5,2,1,7)

6d    Good indoor workers maybe heading off to be field workers (8)
GLEANERS: Remove the initial letter of a group of workers who wash, wipe, mop and tidy and add what you have left to the abbreviation for good

7d    Some preventing upset with word of denial (5)
NEVER: The answer lies hidden within the words of the clue indicated by the word some. It is hidden in reverse as indicated by the word upset

8d    Get right into a seat — with legs thus? (9)
ASTRADDLE: Begin with the letter a from the clue. Add a seat. One on a horse will do nicely.insert the abbreviation for right to find a word which describes how one sits on a horse

14d    Map finally needs east-west indication? That is obvious! (9)
PLATITUDE: The final letter of the word map is followed by a line on a map. I know better than to question setters (which to my mind is also questioning the puzzles editor) but surely the line in the answer indicates the position above or below the equator. It is longitude that gives the east or west position. Plongtitude now there is a word.

16d    Stylish and unusual tea chest seen around India (9)
AESTHETIC: Anagram (unusual) of TEA CHEST which sits around the letter suggested by India in the phonetic alphabet

17d    Author has month with priest, someone very holy (8)
NOVELIST: Pick a month and shorten it. Pick a biblical priest. Pick an abbreviated very holy person and abbreviate him or her. With the right month, the right priest and the right holy person you should have a writer

20d    Composer in pub having drink half-heartedly (6)
BARBER: A word for a pub is followed by what a pub sells minus one of its two central letters

22d    First letter to the Corinthians (5)
ALPHA: The first letter of the Greek alphabet must have something to do with the biblical book Corinthians but I’m not sure what

24d    Fellow on journey finds fruit (5)
MANGO: A word for a fellow or chap is followed by a verb meaning to travel

Quickie Pun: carets+hoop=carrot soup


126 comments on “DT 29477

    1. Hi Aust, welcome from here in Shropshire too. My take on it is that the abbreviation for right is ‘RT’, if that helps you :-)

    2. Welcome from me in Shropshire as well, Aust. Constancetilly has given an explanation of 8d at #26, which works well and is feasible.

      1. Thanks for the heads up Steve – one that’s completely new to me – but am still happy to learn. Makes sense for sure. :-)

  1. This was pretty straightforward for a Thursday and quite enjoyable, with some good misdirection. I liked 14d and 21a best. Thanks to MP and to the setter.

  2. I too questioned the validity of 14D. I guess the lines concerned do run from east to west on the map, but it’s definitely longitude that gives your ‘east-west indication’.
    A nice challenge today though.

      1. (Belatedly). It has been discussed at length, for sure, but for me the rogue T has not been explained definitively. Does anyone really know?

  3. Nice looking establishment, The Barn and very reasonably priced menu.

    By the way, where does the T come from in 8d or am I being stupid again?

  4. A ***/*** for me. I had the same thought as MP about 14d. I wasn’t too sure about 22a but took it to be because the Corinthians were Greek it followed that the first letter of their alphabet would be the Greek one. Or not. I needed the hints to understand 15a, I couldn’t see the wood for the trees obviously. 17d was a good clue but 21a is my favourite. Simple but clever. Thanks to all.

  5. Today’s task was enjoyable and reasonably uncomplicated with the exception of SW corner which slowed things down a bit but looking back I can’t think why. No standout Fav. Thank you Mysteron and MP.

    1. Angellov, Look East still have Stuart and Susie – I occasionally catch it on this little machine which is ridiculous but there again half my village get Look East but the rest of us get look North.

  6. One of the more straightforward puzzles. Last one in 25a, even looked up to see if food called supp before penny dropped.
    Not sure about 8d, nothing to invert the right.
    Favourite 6d. Thanks to all involved with the blog, it has enhanced my solving ability.

  7. Solved before and after a visit to the 20d.
    I think this could well be the work of a former regular setter, it has all his hallmarks.
    I quite enjoyed it and would agree with the ratings given by MP/BD.
    I have the same reservation as MP on 14d plus 22d was a semi bung in.
    I particularly liked 5d, the amusing 18a and the fine lurker at 23a.
    Many thanks to the setter and to MP for his usual excellent review.

    1. I thought about 14d and concluded that the setter must mean that lines of latitude run from east to west, although they are numbered to show distance north or south of the Equator.

    1. I’m reading Chris Lancaster’s book at the moment and he definitely states that using a thesaurus, dictionary, anagram solver or any other aid is definitely not cheating. That is good enough for me. Mind you, it is good to solve a puzzle totally on your own but I tend to say I did it without help. :grin:

  8. Pleasantly straightforward this morning, with only the extra letter in 8d spoiling the fun. That aside, a fun puzzle to complete, with 12a my favourite.

    Thanks to our setter and MP. Now for the Toughie.

  9. A***/*** for me too and an enjoyable solve with a wide variety of clues.
    Started slowly and I reverted to plan B , a ‘scattergun’ approach to fill in some checking letters which came in handy.
    Last in was 25a , I wanted to put in supp on the shaky grounds of a possible alternative spelling until the penny dropped !
    Took a while to parse.20d
    Not sure about 8d, the ‘right’ would appear to be a reversal ie TR in a saddle or am I missing something?.

  10. A couple of hmmms but an enjoyable solve nonetheless. As a ‘navigator by trade’ I endorse MP’s comments re 14d. I’m not sure if the definition either. In Oz trades folk are brickies, sparkies, chippies etc, not sales folk but the word play gave it away. Thanks to MP and the Setter🦇

    1. Not sure why your pseudonym didn’t work but both it and your ‘identity’ should work in future

  11. Another delightful puzzle – we are being spoilt this week! Plenty to like in this one with many misdirections and the one at 21a had me going down the wrong route for ages before the penny dropped. I agree with the comments about 8d and cannot see where the T comes from. I suppose it could be the two letter abbreviation for “right” reversed but there is no indicator for it.

    I wonder if our friends across the Pond will know of the pudding in 4d?

    Many thanks to the setter and also to MP for the hints.

  12. Needed the electronic gizmo to help out today, but only with my last 3….14d, 25a (I too put supp) and, shamefully 21a.

    Corinthians are Greeks, so their first letter would be 22d. I rather liked that clue.
    No idea where the extra T comes from in 8d….is RT an abbreviation for right ? It has always struck me a daft to abbreviate short words to 2 letter ones, like Rd for Road or St for Street…..but maybe someone will tell me why it is useful or necessary to do so. (Other than in Crosswordland).

    Thanks to the setter and to Miffy.

  13. 8d problems notwithstanding, this was a pleasant solve, and I settled for ‘supp’ (American slang: like it or not). (Then I sought a letter and got the right answer.) Nothing particularly outstanding for me today, though I rather liked 14d and 18a. Missing Ray T. Thanks to MP and today’s setter. ** / ***

  14. Thought this was pretty average and with 8d & 14d not the best clued either.
    With 14d: yes lines of latitude run parallel to the equator ie East /West. However the clue said E/W indicator and, as MP pointed out, that is longitude as all mariners & those familiar with Dava Sobel’s book on the Harrisons will know. Incidentally, if you haven’t read it, the book details a fantastic British achievement – we seem to be ignoring that side of our past these days.
    ***/** for me, sorry I would get out of bed on the other side tomorrow except I would tread on Bella.
    Thanks to setter and MP

    1. Agree with you about Harrison, LROK. What a fantastic achievement and the Establishment refused to recognised it at first because he was an amateur clockmaker. However, what an amateur! For those who have not read Sobel’s book it is called “Latitude” and is fascinating.

      1. The sun is well and truly up here in Brisbane Steve and you’re probably ready for bed but as I mention above I am a navigator by trade. Actually I’m a pilot but we have a lot of help from internal reference devices and satellites so traditional navigation techniques have all but disappeared. On my first visit to England in the ‘80s I made the pilgrimage to Greenwich to view the ‘Harrisons’ at the Observatory…and have a pint or two at the Cutty Sark🦇

    1. Unfortunately if all setters had to comply with all of the idiosyncrasies of all solvers their task would be unenviable. One man’s meat is another man’s poison.

  15. Re 8d – a Staddle is a ‘base’ (as in Staddle Stone) – could that be the answer to the missing ‘T’ ?

  16. Another great puzzle again but quite tough. Started very slowly but got there in the end. Got 9a without knowing why. So agree that this version of All Creatures Great and Small vastly superior to the last. Isn’t Sam West just a chip off the old block – looks and sounds just like his Dad! Thanks to all.

    1. Welcome to the blog

      That’s what made the clue so wonderfully misleading and not religious at all

  17. It’s been a good week. Another fine puzzle. 5d went in quickly giving loads of checkers straightaway. I too will join the club with reference to 8d otherwise it would have been my COTD. Perhaps the Setter will pop in and explain? 17d in second place.

    50% through the Toughie and struggling.

    It doesn’t sound much like retirement, Miffypops!

  18. I liked 21a and 25a. Add me to the ever increasing list of people not quite getting 8d without a reversal indicator or other reference to the source of the T. Thanks all.

      1. I thought about that this morning before asking MP but I don’t think a staddle or a staddlestone can be a synonym for a seat.

        And do you not think the compiler presumably meant to refer to a saddle in order to give meaning to the definition?

        1. A ‘staddle’ is a ‘base’ so by definition something must sit on them – or astride then

          1. You may be right, but I’m more inclined to think the clue should have read ‘Get right back into a seat …’ and either the Setter made a mistake (I’m ducking) or the typesetter did (or whatever a typesetter is called these days).

            1. right back into a seat makes perfect sense to me. I suspect it was the editor or the proof reader who changed it thinking that he was simplifying the clue

  19. Miffypops, just realised you called all dogs “aggressive and unkempt” in the hint for 1a. Hudson has taken great offence! :grin:

    1. PS I agree with your comments about All Creatures on Channel 5. It is wonderful escapism and just what is needed in these dark days.

      I think the fuse you lit is rather slow burning so I think you can feel safe now. :good:

      1. I did not call any dogs anything. I merely asked an innocent question. Butter wouldn’t melt and all that

        1. MP
          Simple answer to simple qustion then “No”.
          I remember visiting your hostelry and seeing the regulars, including a definitely kempt black labrador in the bar.

  20. Found this on the tricky side today, but probably because I read too much and slept too little last night. I normally only allow myself to look at the picture clues, but had to deviate from that rule today. First in was 19a – I went to school there but, thankfully, did not die there. Thanks to setter for keeping me occupied and to Miffypops for several needed hints.
    Welcome to the world of retirement MP. We spent the first three years of ours completely renovating our house. The biggest benefit, apart from the savings, was the time and ability to change our minds as we went along.

  21. A Thursday well spent and I read 8 down a few times and when it sank in it was a PDM moment I am still puzzled with 14 down and the latitude/longitude bit, never the less it was enjoyable, 26 across was my COTD. Thank you to the setter and Miffypops

  22. This was a pleasant romp until it wasn’t. I supped at 25a and I didn’t even consider it a bung in sup = drink +P gives an admittedly old fashioned word for supper that and 14d and 27a messed up the SW and I had to turn to the hints for that corner. I didn’t notice the superfluous T in 8d either.
    Thanks to MP and setter time to go and Supp!

  23. Completed this early this morning but it’s the first opportunity I’ve had to read the blog. Amazing how many comments a little old T can provoke & can’t say I even noticed it as I was simply glad to get the answer – 8d & 15a were my my last pair in & neither came quickly. 6d was also new to me & needed confirmation from Mr G. Other than these it was pretty straightforward & not my favourite of the week to be honest.
    Thanks to the setter & MP – agree C5 ACG&S remake has been a joy

  24. Well managed to finish a Thursday pack pager 😃 🍾 ***/*** Favourites 11a & 14d 🤗 Thanks to the Setter and to MP for the blog 👍

  25. Completed this puzzle in 2.5*/**** time. A few head scratchers requiring some electronic searching to delve more into the possible answer, plus the use of several of the hints needed today too.
    Some nice clues including 11a, 13a, 15a, 19a, 5d & 14d with winner being 15a

    Thanks to setter and MP and I will seek out the remake of ACG&S

  26. Not at all easy but very enjoyable. I had to use copious e-help. I didn’t notice the missing T at 8d. The anagram at 5d was first in, it solved itself on first read.
    I rather liked 12a, another one that went in readily. Fave was 23a, well-hidden lurker.
    Thanks to whomsoever set this, and to M’pops for his unravelling of several for me. Love the avatar, a most glamorous saint!
    Going out today, only the second time I’ve left the house in seven months.

          1. A common word that the great educated masses we have assembled here have never heard of before. Only you seem convinced. I am in the word back was missing from the clue camp.

      1. C.
        BRB: “staddle” support esp for stack of hay, the bottom of a stack. That is stretching “seat” beyond its elastic limit for me.

        1. Of course it could be the answer but the odds are so long that the compiler meant that.

          I’m amazed some of you are entertaining the idea.

          Madness, I tell you. Madness.

          1. You mistake me, I am not supporting staddle, rather the opposite I was supporting your view, hence “stretched beyond its elastic limit”. Sorry but In the circumstances to be accused of madness I think is completely uncalled for.

              1. You sound just like Mrs LROK, I start off a sentence & after the first few words she finishes it with whatever she thinks I should be saying. Makes for a peaceful life.
                Anyway no problems, it’s only a storm in a “t cup”, we all solved it & it has promoted a lively blog

  27. I could begin by being really irritating and asking, “Hey – about that ‘t’ in 8d…” but I am not so mischievous…
    This puzzle was ok. I needed help with 8d of course.
    We had a berserk spell of hailstones in Surrey this afternoon – I was driving back and had to pull in to a minor road as visibility was almost zero.

    Lola is here with me. She is lying on one of her many cushions; she has the free run of the house with the exception of the bedroom, and she is content with that. She understands that I could not go through another night of constant kneading and face to face purring.
    I love her to bits.
    Thanks to the setter and Miffy.

    1. We had to ban the cat we inherited from Faye from the bedroom. One night of being head-butted at 5.30am soon made our minds up!

        1. Steve, Miffy – I wouldn’t begrudge her a single 5:30am head butt, however Lola keeps the routine going all night. The very slightest twist or turn on my part and she sprints from the foot of the bed to entertain me for an hour of ‘inch from the face’ purring, kneading, licking, and pawing. Later on that woeful night she wedged herself between the pillows and jammed all four paws into my back in a ‘loving gesture’.
          Consequently she received a red card and no appeal to VAR allowed.

          1. Guys, let them in around 6.30 am. Believe you me when they are not here anymore you will yearn for that contact no matter how annoying it was. Our dear Smudger was put to sleep in 2008 and was such a one-off we still cannot bear to replace him. The vet just casually rang and said what the problem was and he needed to do the worst. Fine, but he had to wait for us to be there to hold him for the terrible deed as he was always there for us. Please cherish for the present! Sorry to be a bit maudlin (is that a word?). Stay safe all.

  28. Coming in late because I thought this was a stinker! One of those days when the Toughie was easier and more worthwhile.
    Is the setter going to come out of hiding and explain 8 and 14d?

  29. It took me a while to get going with this one but I managed to finish it off in the end. Very enjoyable. There were many good clues I thought, in particular 13, 21 and 25a, and 5, 6 and 20d: 5d was a great help. My favourite clue was 8d but hard to choose really. Thanks to the compiler and MP for your usual amusing review. I never know the difference between latitude and longitude so the answer to 14d went in and I moved on. I also didn’t notice the t in 8d – to find the answer was good enough for me. Currently lots of thunder in Leeds even though it is distinctly chilly – how odd!

  30. Bit late on here – busy day at charity shop. Miffypops – best prog on tv is Joy of Painting – BBC 4 -Mon to Thurs, 7.30pm….not saying
    it’s relaxing, but I start yawning before he has even started on his first happy cloud…………………

    1. I tried watercolour painting once. Managed to get quite good flower studies – I have a couple on the wall – but my attempts at landscapes were daubs!

      I have to admit it is very relaxing.

  31. I’m in the “I didn’t notice the spare T in 8d either” camp this evening and I justified 14d by E/W meaning width anyway it had to be the answer. I too thought 25a a bit of a stretch but hey ho I got there. Re 1a curs can also mean any dog with a docked tail, which includes my Spaniels and I don’t think they’re that awful. Favourite was 9a. Thanks to the setter and MP.

  32. Totally missed the problems with 8d and 14d so they didn’t interfere with our enjoyment of this puzzle.
    Thanks Mr Ron and MP.

  33. Just realised that the only way to save Christmas this year is to kill the turkey and invite thirty family and friends to the funeral. 🦃🎅🏻

  34. Okay – not sure if this has ‘already been discussed’ – lots of comments to read, if you have the time! – the opinions about the latitude rather than longitude clue — maybe the ‘?’ mark showing there indicates the ‘unspoken’ question as to ‘surely you mean the other way round?!’ – in which case, this is a good clue!
    Love to finish the week off with the DT after I get home, so looking forward to a real (not too hard though) challenge tomorrow night!

    1. The Friday back pager should be the hardest of the week if the DT cryptic crossword book I bought is anything to go by. In the preface it said the puzzles in the DT started easy at the start of the week and became more difficult as the week progressed. I’m not sure that is true anymore. Either that or I am getting better at solving and that I do not believe.

  35. Thanks to the setter and to Miffypops for the review and hints. A really enjoyable puzzle, I didn’t even notice the missing T in 8a, and also didn’t see anything wrong with 14d at the time. I put “supp” as my answer to 25a. Ah! Ignorance is bliss 😁. Good lurker in 7d, nice misdirection in 21a had me looking for an anagram of “at sea” & X. Liked 17d, but my favourite was 27a, original. Last in was 6d, BRB said they followed the harvester. Was 3*/4* for me.

  36. I enjoyed this crossword and seem to have found it more difficult than the rest of you did.
    It’s been a long day the upshot of which is that I’m now in London with the Elder Lamb, her partner and our three year old grandson – it’s a very long story but basically I’m here for the weekend on my own (apart from their cat) no telly (can’t work theirs) and, as of tomorrow, no car (theirs has ‘broken’ so they’re all going off in mine for a couple of days). The things we do for our kids . . .
    I didn’t notice the stray ‘T’ in 8d and didn’t really question 14d once I’d stopped trying to fit in an E[ast] and a W[est].
    My favourite was the long 5d anagram.
    Thanks to the setter and to MP.
    Not sure I’ve ever been the last to comment but suspect I could be today. :unsure: Night night all.

  37. I came here especially as we have been tearing our hair out with the extra ‘t’ in * down. Still not sure what is the verdict?? We looked up ‘straddle’ but remained unconvinced.

  38. I had a busy day yesterday, including having to fit in my flu jab, so only managed to complete this about 3.00am this morning during a bout of insomnia. My only problem, like others was wondering where the ‘t’ came from in 8d, and if it was meant to be “tr” for right, but there was no reverse indicator. The long 5d anagram was a helpful start to solving. Thank you setter and Miffypops. I wasn’t sure whether to sign in at 3.00am or not, but thought better of it. I didn’t know if anyone was notified, and didn’t want someone’s phone pinging in the middle of the night.

    1. Hi Florence. I do get notifications but my phone is not allowed to make any noises unless I ask it to. I think we can put the missing T down to an error somewhere in the system. I keep a bottle of Black Mountain apple and blackberry brandy by my bed in case I wake in the night.

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