DT 29489 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29489

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29489

Hints and tips by Miffypops

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ****Enjoyment ***

I enjoyed solving this puzzle despite spelling 2 down incorrectly, placing an ant in the wrong place elsewhere and conning instead of retreating to my lair. On newspaper this would have been a disastrous mess. On my iPad once sorted it a looked neat as ever. An excellent little Thursday puzzle. A little more difficult than the start to the week but doable with a little extra effort.

It is raining here in Barrel. It started as we got down and dirty with digging out paths and a hard standing for the car. My boots have never been so muddy. We are nearing completion and that will be the end of the hard graft. All that remains will be minor titivation in comparison

I rather like Elizabeth Clarke’s letter in today’s paper. Please be gentle with me.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Sponsor sporting venue in the circumstances (10)
BACKGROUND: A verb meaning to sponsor or second is followed by a name for an outdoor sporting venue. Oh for a visit to such a place to enjoy the battle on the pitch, the banter with the opposing sides supporters and a pint or three catching up with my pals

6a    Some reckless pedestrians belted along (4)
SPED: The answer lies hidden within the words of the clue as indicated by the word some

10a    Image conjured by small literary house (5)
LITHO: The abbreviations of the words literary and house will provide a word which is itself a shortened word normally followed by the word graph

11a    Basic assumptions when housing soldiers in accommodation units (9)
TENEMENTS: These basic assumptions are fundamental principles or beliefs. They surround a three-letter synonym of soldiers

12a    Like climbing plant barely covering study (8)
SCANDENT: A word meaning a study or retreat (Not study as in read or mug up on) is covered by an adjective meaning barely sufficient or adequate. A new word for me

13a    Smell getting round — grim! (5)
ODOUR: The roundest of round letters is followed by an adjective meaning relentlessly severe, stern, or gloomy in manner or appearance

15a    Shine as good little creatures in a group (7)
GLITTER: The abbreviation for good is followed by a group of little creatures born to the same mother

17a    Synthetic material shown by model in illustration (7)
PLASTIC: A model used by a shoemaker or cobbler sits inside a shortened form of another word for an image

19a    Not entirely calm, one rushed old hospital worker (7)
ALMONER: The answer lies hidden within the words of the clue as indicated by the words not entirely

21a    See clan destroyed in purge (7)
CLEANSE: Anagram (destroyed) of SEE CLAN

22a    Stories told originally when having drinks in pubs? (5)
TALES: The initial letter of the word told is followed by some drinks in pubs. Amber drinks sold in pint glasses to be savoured and enjoyed

24a    Members’ entrances (8)
ARMHOLES: The members here are limbs. The entrances are those in clothes for said members

27a    Giant also represented in a longing for things past (9)
NOSTALGIA: Anagram (represented) of GIANT ALSO

28a    Leader of theatre wanting famous playwright maybe to provide material (5)
TWILL: Begin with the initial letter of the word theatre. Now add the name of a famous playwright. England’s most famous playwright. Not his surname. A shortened form of his Christian name is all you need

29a    Kind of drunk hanging round end of bar (4)
SORT: A three-letter drunk surrounds the end letter of the word bar

30a    Angry bit of writing making one beam (10)
CROSSPIECE: Two synonyms are required here. One meaning angry and one for some writing


1d    Fierce animal? Nonsense! (4)
BULL: A double definition. The animal is not always fierce, hence the question mark. Beware of it anyway.

Here is a nonsense I witnessed recently in a city park.

A council van pulled up and two chaps got out and quickly set to work. The first measured out and dug twelve holes. The second followed him along filling them in. I commented upon how quickly they had accomplished their task.
“We are a good team together. One of the best. Especially when Harry is with us”
“And what does Harry do” I asked
“He plants the trees but he phoned in sick this morning”

2d    Religious instruction that could be schematic (9)
CATECHISM: Anagram (Could be) of SCHEMATIC

3d    Noise of complaint increased in the auditorium (5)
GROAN: A homophone. Two words that sound alike. One meaning a sigh of dissatisfaction and one meaning increased in size. It is a regularly commented on in the blog that entering the wrong answer to a homophone offers incorrect checking letters to other clues. That won’t be the case here as no checkers are affected by the single letter difference between the two words. Accurately sorting the definition in the clue from the wordplay should provide the correct choice

4d    Survive in garments designed for all winds and weathers? (7)
OUTWEAR: A double definition, the second being the more accessible to me

5d    Vessels, any number operating to the north day and night (3-4)
NON-STOP: Begin with vessels used for cooking. Add a letter used in mathematics to indicate any unknown number. Add a word meaning operating or engaged in. Now reverse what you have (to the north)

7d    Yearn to have little old Christmas show (5)
PANTO: A verb meaning to yearn or long for something is followed by the abbreviation for old

8d    Woman’s essay has editor bemused (10)
DISTRACTED: A three-part charade in order. 1 Something belonging to a woman named Diana (don’t forget the possessive), 2 An essay, usually with a religious theme, 3 The abbreviation for editor

9d    I am needing bit of time, behind schedule — sacrifice to be made (8)
IMMOLATE: The contraction of the words I am is followed by a short period of time and a word meaning behind schedule or not early

14d    Rows in which insect may hide at the bottom of e.g. plants (10)
EGLANTINES: A word meaning rows contains an insect. This all sits below the letters E and G which our benevolent setter has gifted to us in the clue

16d    African in short garment meeting girl from Cardiff? (8)
TUNISIAN: A loose fitting sleeveless garment loses it last letter and is followed by a Welsh girls name which means Gods gift

18d    Point when bug penetrates fruit tree (9)
TANGERINE: The point on the end of a fork is penetrated by a verb meaning to bug, annoy or rile

20d    Mineral not fake guy brought up (7)
REALGAR: A simple synonym of the words not fake is followed by the reverse (brought up) of a verb meaning to guy or tease

21d    One offering news in separate bits! (7)
COMPASS: The letters of the word news are abbreviations for the cardinal points. The answer is an instrument which offers these

23d    One missing out — gets nearer, but not number one (5)
LOSER: Remove the Initial letter (not number one) from a word meaning nearer

25d    7 freely available (2,3)
ON TAP: Anagram (freely) of the letters provided by the answer to 7 down

26d    Escape is fast with little time wasted (4)
FLEE: Remove the abbreviation for time fro a word meaning fast or rapid

Quickie Pun: chops+hooey=chop suey


118 comments on “DT 29489

  1. When I get an email with ‘backpage’ in the subject line, I know not to open it until I’ve finished solving the crossword in case whatever the message says influences my solving. I hadn’t got very far with this crossword when I realised exactly what my correspondent was going to say as it was obvious very early on that this had to be the work of Mr Manley

    We have a couple of bits of deja-vu – with the solution to 21a which we had twice yesterday, and a solution related to one in today’s Micawber

    Thanks to Giovanni for the crossword and MP for the blog

  2. I was progressing quite nicely with this, before coming to 9d, which I thought was in shockingly bad taste. After that I lost all interest in completing it.
    Many thanks to MP for the review.

  3. This was quite tricky, particularly in the NW but it was quite enjoyable (2.5*/3*) and not such a lengthy slog as some Thursday crosswords. The clue of the day for me was 21d, although 12a was pretty good too. 30a was a new word for me but easy to get from the wordplay. Thanks to the compiler and to MP. Ms Clarke’s letter definitely wins the Whinge of the Week Prize on the Telegraph letters page and against stiff oppostion too.

  4. Still 3 shy in the cryptic but popped in to say the Quickie pun is a belter & to ask if anyone knows if Michael Deacon got the push as the sketch writer. I did wonder if he was getting a bit critical for the paper’s tastes. Shame as I thought he was excellent.

    1. He was in my dead tree version yesterday on page 5 doing the Sketch.
      Today he has an article in Features that I have not had time to read yet.
      There is another Sketch writer now…they seem to share it out between them.
      I agree with you…I rather like him and would not be surprised if they pulled him for being a bit too critical.

    2. I liked the quickie pun, mainly because working it out from the second word helped me untangle after I’d put in ‘probabilities’ in for 2d, ‘Chances’ — which fits fine with 3 of the crossers, 4 if you also put in the wrong spice!

      I enjoyed Madeline Grant’s sketch today (not sure if she’s done it before), though it’s better online than the abridged version in the paper paper — particularly this episode:

      Sir David Amess got the ball rolling with a shameless plug disguised as a sincere question.

      “Next month a book I have written, called Eyes and Ears, a Survivor’s Guide to Parliament, will be published,” he announced, only just stopping short of the sign-off “available in all good bookshops”.

      “Would the PM agree with me that the last election was categorically about ensuring the result of the 2016 referendum was implemented in full?” he added, in lumbering non-sequitur.

      1. Excellent – I shall read the full sketch. I very much doubt Amess is capable of penning a riveting read if his woeful parliamentary contributions are any guide.

  5. Enjoyed todays well clued puzzle and going for a ***/****.
    12a was a new word for me-no matter how older you get they keep on coming !
    Last in was 21d and it seemed like ages before the penny dropped- I think I visited the previous universe, this has to be my favourite clue.
    [Redacted – please refrain from political comment BD]
    Thanks to our setter for the fun.

  6. Phew! This was tough and not much fun either (with 21a again, for the third puzzle in a row, for me anyway). 12a also new to me. I did like 21d and 5d. Thanks to Miffypops for the hints and to the setter. 4.5*! / 2*

    The Toughie is a real gem.

  7. This one certainly had its moments. It took me a while to understand the why of some of the clues, notably 17a and 18d. The penny dropped in the end. Not sure still where the plant comes into 12a. Anybody?? Had to check google to ensure 20d was actually a word and not something I made up! Favourite 16d. ***/*** Thanks to all.

      1. Thank you. Probably time I got a new dictionary. It’s not listed in mine at all. An ancient concise Oxford dictionary.

          1. My letter to Father Christmas in 2019 was very successful, helped by the number of hints dropped to members of my family!

  8. This stretched the grey matter just nicely but for some reason I didn’t recognise it as a DG product although I have missed him. North came in first. 12a and 20d added to my vocabulary. Not sure about abbreviations as per 28a, 7d, etc. Fav was 21d. Welcome back Giovanni and thanks MP.

  9. This was at the very limit of my abilities but l loved the tussle.Did not know 12 a and 14 d required my wife’s horticultural knowledge.Thanks to all.

  10. Not my cup of tea at all today.
    Struggled to the end with very little pleasure.
    You can’t win them all, I guess.

  11. 12a & 20d also new to me but gettable from the wordplay & required confirmation from Mr G. My last 3 to fall were 20&21d along with 24a which doubled the solving time but once I’d twigged sleeves the other 2 fell into place. I thought this one the toughest of the week thus far & enjoyed it despite taking over **** time to crack it. Another vote for 21d as COTD. Onto the Toughie while watching proper golfers do battle at Wentworth, where it will be lovely to see the course in it’s autumnal splendour – reminiscent of the days of the World Matchplay that used to be played there every October.
    Thanks to Giovanni & to MP.

  12. Delightfully tricky and convoluted which was a genuine tussle throughout. It was also rewarding to complete and fun to solve. Perhaps tomorrow we will get away without seeing 21a again. My favourite of many was the inventive 21d.

    Thanks to The Don and MP.

  13. Good puzzle but needed help from our MP for 12a and electronics for 20d. Otherwise a rough crossing with plenty to enjoy despite all the winds and weathers.

    Thanks to MP and the setter.

  14. Phew, that was tricky. I needed MP’s hints for 30a for some reason – it was obvious really but I was fixing on the wrong kind of beam. My absolute favourite clue and my COTD is 24a. I got the members immediately but I then went through every entrance I could think of.

    Many thanks to the setter for the tussle and to MP for the much needed hints.

  15. Tricky but enjoyable except for words that were new to me in 12a and 20d plus a plant that was definitely new to me but the wordplay was good. I vaguely recall coming across the 3 letter word for tease but had to look it up to be certain. I agree about 9d, bit macabre in the present time. Bit of a curates egg really.
    Thx to all

  16. Steady, if a little plodding at times.. Excellent clues, my ignorance of words meant I didn’t find 9d offensive.
    21a, yet again. Mr K will no doubt be able to say what the astronomic odds are for a word to appear in 3 consecutive puzzles.
    Would think anyone who needs help would find it in MP’s succinct review.
    LOI & run- away COTD 21d, probably chestnut to some, but lead me up a long garden path.
    Thanks to Giovanni & MP..

  17. Another day when, for me, the Toughie was easier and more fun.
    What is it about 21a? By now we’ve dealt with the Augean stables!

  18. How I agree with Miff! I miss the routine of finding a parking space (hooray!), having luncheon, heading to Stamford Bridge, finding out the team news, watching the players warm up, the highs and lows of the game, the shared joy or misery, chatting to H during the walk back to the car, the ‘ahhh’ of settling into the car on a chilly winter’s evening, the sports reports on the radio on the journey home. Will we ever experience it again?

    I enjoyed the crossword; like others 12a was new to me. Overall a tricky assignment but good fun to undertake.
    The weather has turned again; cold and showery. I’m glad I trimmed the ivy back yesterday.
    Thanks to Giovanni and Miff.

  19. Tricky for me today – I should have guessed who the setter was – I always did find him tricky.
    Like nearly everyone else I’d never heard of 12a and having ‘outdoor’ for 4d didn’t help anyway – should have known it was wrong as I couldn’t explain it – back to one of BD’s principles – if you can’t justify your answer it’s probably wrong.
    I was pleased to see the clue for 19a was old hospital worker.
    My favourite by a very long way was 24a.
    I don’t understand how 9d can be seen as being in bad taste – can someone explain please, or am I being dim?
    Thanks to Giovanni and to MP.

    1. I think 9d is considered bad taste because it refers to sacrifice, especially by burning. However, I agree with you, Kath. You might consider the word “torture” to be in bad taste but it wouldn’t make me give up on the crossword as Stephen L did unless he had another reason.

      PS I’m making steady, if slow, progress on Micawber’s Toughie.

      1. I agree, answers in crosswords are merely words (or should be in a DT backpager)
        I now wonder though if there is list of words, other than words with a sexual connotation,that setters cannot use? Or (probably more likely) is it left to their own judgement.

        1. In this week’s Telegraph Puzzles Newsletter, Chris Lancaster praised Prolixic’s entry to the cluing competition, “Shoot nurse right in front of the Italian (7)” — but said it couldn’t be used in the paper “in case the surface reading of the clue coincides with a similar news story”.

          1. Blimey! No such problems back in the 1940’s on D Day when all the landing beaches in Normandy appeared in the DT crossword!

    2. I’m with you all the way, Kath. Nothing offensive about it, whatsoever.

      I would understand if the prefix self was included but it ain’t.

      1. Agreed, Gordon, self- immolation seems an offensive practice to me, whilst sacrifice of meat or other comestibles just an archaic religious practice.

    3. Glad you asked the question Kath. I was tempted to respond to SL but feared I may be missing something obvious.

      1. Me too, Huntsman. I just thought SL had other reasons so I decided to make no comment.

  20. Could I just gently say, Miffypops, that if you have a pencil to hand and there is a clue about which you are doubtful – use it to lightly enter the word. THEN if you are wrong you can easily go over it with your Biro (or Mont Blanc pen). Now is that or is that not teaching your grandfather to suck eggs?
    That was another jolly good crossword and 24a by far the funniest clue I thought. Who remembers the good old Almoner, like Sister, the force that ran the hospital. 12a is a gardeners word and I was very surprised that 2d was quietly accepted! Many thanks to Giovanni as I am told you are the setter and to MP for the parsing which I needed for one or two. I did about 3/4 of last nights toughie in the bath but ran out of steam.

      1. Hudson certainly does not need to be told how to scoff food. He stayed in kennels recently and the owner was amazed at the speed at which he gulped down his food. She put a rock in the bowl to slow him down!

        1. Steve we have an anti-scoff bowl for Biggles. It is a normal bowl with a mushroom thing in the centre. It is quite amusing for us to watch him chase the last remaining biscuit or bit of carrot round the mushroom.
          Certainly everything that was devoured in 0.5* time now takes 3* time. In both cases satisfaction is 5*.

            1. T’interweb, will send you the link.
              Watching Bigsey pushing the biscuit round when his nose gets there before his tongue is funny, you would think after 3 years his brain would have worked out a strategy.

                  1. Oh, I’m used to that, LBROK! When I put biscuits in Hudson’s Kong it ends up all over the place! 🤣

                    Thanks for the link. 👍

      2. Sadie, on the other hand, is a perfect lady, it takes her forever to eat her dinner and I have to sit beside her for the entire meal, “eat up, Princess,” “who is the most beautiful girl in all the world,” and so on.

        1. I understand that. My first dog was a Border Collie and he would take food from his bowl as and when he wanted it. I would fill his bowl in the morning and it would last him all day.

          With Labradors, I think it’s a survival thing. Their ancestors came from cold climates where food was scarce. If the dog needed to survive the harsh conditions, he had to gulp down more than the rest of the pack – meaning “Eat fast”.

          Rather like the time I first visited my uncle and aunt who worked a farm in Yorkshire. My parents had always taught me to wait and be asked before eating at table. I sat at the huge oak table in the kitchen with my uncle and four cousins. My aunt placed hams and pickles and freshly baked bread on the table. My uncle and cousins dived in. Polite little me waited to be asked to eat. My aunt leaned over and whispered in her broad Yorkshire accent. “If tha don’t dive in, lad – tha gets nowt!”

          I immediately elbowed everyone out of the way and grabbed my share.

    1. I don’t have a pencil to hand Daisygirl. Or a pen. I’m only allowed crayons. But not the red ones.

      1. I must get a pencil. I’m forever making mistakes with my pen with no way of erasure. Chris Lancaster advises the use of a pencil in his book.

        1. We get packs of propelling pencils that have little rubbers at the end – we get them in packs of ten from Amazon – we need them in large numbers as husband has a nasty habit of chewing them – think he must have a bit of Labrador in his ancestry somewhere!

        2. I am using one of these at the moment;

          It has 0.7mm lead so not as fragile as some and a huge propelling eraser for the numerous errors I make

    2. I certainly remember the old Almoners (Social Workers now) and I was a ward sister but can’t claim to have run the hospital – just my ward! I really only mentioned the old bit because quite often in crosswords the outdated nursing qualifications are used. Don’t start me . . .

      1. Mrs. C was a sister of the old school. She was hands on and insisted on cleanliness and order and believed that good nurses were made following a long period of study but, more important, hands on work with patients even the nasty jobs. She was horrified when nurses had to get a university degree before they could work. As far as she was concerned, you learned how to nurse first. If you wanted a degree you could do so but the nursing basics had to be learned first.

          1. She wasn’t actually on a ward. She was in charge of the gastroenterology unit in Shrewsbury. She trained at Stracathro in Scotland and then spent two years at Birmingham General before joining the RAF as a nursing sister. She was posted to Ely Hospital, which no longer exist. This was back in the late sixties early seventies.

            1. I wonder if she knew Jane Bloor who was in charge of maternity at Shrewsbury hospital I think. She was my husbands second cousin

              1. I have to admit that the name rings a bell. However, it is so long ago but I will ask her, Toni.

        1. The large intakes of student nurses were rapidly thinned out once the new girls went out onto the wards after their induction week and faced the realities of nursing. Nowadays they study off the wards but leave once they join the wards and face the realities of nursing. There you are Kath. A supportive post and not one mention of bed making or chair counting

          1. Oh dear!
            For those of you who weren’t around a few years ago I’ll explain. One Friday crossword a long time ago (about four and a half years ago, I think) there there was a clue where the definition was clearly a nurse – the answer was ‘bedmaker’. As I’m sure you can all understand I wasn’t best pleased about it, and that’s putting it very politely.
            MP – I don’t get your reference to ‘chair counting’.

            1. Kath, nurses were the very best bedmakers! Mrs C was always going on at me about “hospital corners” when we made our bed after we were first married.

              Mind you, I do agree nurses did far more than make beds.

            2. Two visitors per patient. Therefore nurses had to learn to count to two. Make beds and cups of tea. Say “there there” at regular intervals. Nurse Ninepence aka Saint Sharon gets annoyed with me too

      2. I loved seeing that word. Conjured up images when ward sisters ran the show, and excellently may I add.

    3. Like Miffypops, I always use a pen (preferably black gel, bold) to ink in my answers. So I try to be really sure before I open something in. Husband always uses pencil for the reasons you state. I guess I like to live dangerously 🙂

    4. I really miss solving the crossword with pencil & paper but sadly I’m plagued with (thankfully task specific) focal dystonia which makes it both painful & laborious to do so. It was the main reason I switched to a digital subscription. You’d be amazed at how inconvenient in life an inability to effectively put pen to paper is. Unfortunately the treatment is pretty hit & miss & in my case wasn’t effective. They inject you with botulinum (Botox really) to calm the muscles but it made zero difference. It really is the oddest thing – no problem shaving, sewing on a button or putting a golf ball but ask me to write & the muscles cramp & the pen shakes.

  21. Took a while and needed hints to parse 17a which is annoying because I distinctly last coming up before and not knowing then either. Favourite clue was 21d. Thanks to the setter and MP.

  22. Belatedly many thanks for the good wishes on my forthcoming wedding, no, sorry- operation. Wednesday 21st if I pass all the tests and if the powers that be don’t decide to cancel me again. I shall not believe it until I am on the trolley. A load of bumff came in the post this morning, I note that I am not allowed to chew gum – as if! Do they not know to whom they are writing!!

  23. Best wishes to DG also. I have just had a delayed cataract sorted on my only working eye. My biggest worry was whether Crosswords could continue as they continue to be such a sanity saver. Today was brilliant…not only could I see it but also solve it.
    COTD 21d.followed by 14 d. Thank you all so much in the BD blog, especially Miffypops and today’s setter.

    1. I am waiting for a cataract op on my left eye. Had the right done but Covid stopped the second op. Rather strange having one eye seeing clearly while the other is blurred.

      1. I can see clearly now Lorraine has gone…..

        I’ve had both cataracts done – brilliant results. Do hope they sort you out soon.

        1. I had the first cataract op whilst teaching and for the last few years of my career the other eye declined to the point that I couldn’t read. Marking was very tricky. Strangely, I could still see well enough to drive a car between sites at the multi- site comprehensive, where I taught.

        2. Thanks, DG but I hope you get your knee sorted. That is far more important than a cataract.

  24. Quite enjoyed this one, despite falling down at 12a and forgetting 14d. Did have to double check spelling for 2d. And put in glisten for 15a which held me up as I couldn’t make 4d work. Thanks to Giovanni and Miffypops. Can I say that I 100% agree with Miffpops re Elizabeth Clarke’s letter, or will that get me into trouble?

  25. Another head scratcher today with a couple of words I didn’t know. but very enjoyable all the same. Cold and miserable day so it was nice to have something to curl up with. Mr Manders has acquired this horrible rash all over his face so I don’t want to curl up with him! Thanks to all.

    1. In sickness and in health! It sounds like he could use a good curl up right now Manders

    2. Manders, am I dreaming or did you mention the photo of the wet owl? Coincidentally the lovely Gary came to do my hair yesterday and he is a keen bird photographer, haunting the nearby bird sanctuary for photos. I showed him the photo, which he liked very much – but then told me that a photo he had taken of a Little Owl with a worm had won the photograph of the year competition at the Cambridgeshire Bird Club. I looked it up and it really is cute – the worm is enormous. I used to be a very keen photographer but now I just seem to use the iphone and they do not have the finesse of a good camera.

      1. I went back to the dead tree for yesterday and looked at the pic of the working dogs. The poor thing 2nd from the right looks like the parent of the younger ones, he/she has a salt and pepper muzzle and the exasperated air of a parent run ragged. A brilliant photo nevertheless

  26. This was a very enjoyable crossword for me that took some thought and time to complete. I liked the variety of vocabulary used today in the clues and solutions. I didn’t find 9d offensive but each to their own I suppose. My favourite clue was 14d. Thanks to the compiler and to MP for his review.

  27. I would never have guessed that was a DG composition. My only real delay was 24a I knew I needed a limb but not which one and as the mineral and the separate bits of news eluded me I had no checkers. 12a was a bung in from the components and was looked up after the event.
    I couldn’t parse 15a mainly because I went with the Shakespeare original “All that glisters is not gold”. and deprived of access to BRB or similar I wondered what a baby ister looked like.
    Thanks to MP and DG for the explanations of my bung ins and the botanical education

  28. Well this was an interesting puzzle for me. 4.5*/*** my rating as it definitely was on the tougher end of the scale.
    On top of that 12a, 19a, 9d, 14d & 20d were all new words to add to my vocabulary. Not quite sure when I would use them in conversation, though, but will store aside for another **** or ***** puzzle in the future.
    Only a couple of favourite clues today with 27a, 2d & 7d with 27a winner

    Thanks to setter and MP for the much required hints I needed today for not only the 5 new words for me, but some other clues too.

  29. Thanks to Giovanni and to Miffypops for the review and hints. I enjoyed this one very much, it was very well clued. I remember thinking about halfway through, this looks like the work of an experienced setter, I would never have guessed it was DG. Needed the hints for 12a, had the correct study, but couldn’t sort out the rest. This one was last in. 21d was very clever, but my favourite was 16d. Was 3* / 4* for me.

  30. Got there in the end, personally it was redolent of my schooldays and a double Latin period with a lifeless master and trying to look interested (rather than be caned) while fighting to maintain the will to live. If I was not in The Pub With some stirring music on the headphones and plenty of real ale it would have gone in the bin after 12 across !!

  31. Not my cup of Golden Monkey, this one. Well and truly beaten, I’m afraid. Thanks to Miffypops for the answers which I’m just about to look through!

  32. We found this quite tricky and must admit we did not pick who was the setter.
    Pleasant solve.
    Thanks Giovanni and MP.

    1. Welcome to the blog Mikelaid

      There’s no such thing as cheating – if everyone solved every puzzle without problems there would be no need for this blog!

  33. Difficult but mostly enjoyable.

    Quite a few new words for me today, but only 12a required the answer, as even the hints didn’t help me. With only the checking letters, the study could have been con or den. Once my brain started dribbling out of my ears trying to work out the answer, I conceded enough was enough, and clicked on the answer.

    As with others, favourite was 21d. I work in the geo world, so it especially appealed to me.

    Once again I agree with the rating of ****/***

  34. This is so helpful! I love cryptic crosswords, especially the daily telegraph cryptic crossword, but in the past I have been so frustrated as I could not work out how the clue led to the answer. The explanations are so informative. I am learning new words with every crossword I do. I’m loving it. I can’t thank you enough.

    1. Welcome to the blog – I’m delighted you are enjoying your crosswords and the blog

    2. Welcome, James. I learnt a lot by joing this blog. You will as well. Hope to hear from you again.

  35. Well I found this a lot more difficult than most, but if Miffypops rated it as **** then I’m in very good company indeed. Far too many obscure words and obscure clues for my liking, I highlighted 11 though I could have added more. I had to use a lot of electronic help, which I hate doing. No favourite. Thanks to Giovanni and Miffypops for confirming even my wildest guess were right. I wonder if I write the words ************* I’ll go into moderation [you nearly did! BD]?

      1. If you want to be blocked you are going the right way about it! For the time being I am granting your wish and any future comments of yours will be subject to moderation.

    1. TG
      To allow only 2 minutes before thinking something has not been moderated does not appear to appreciate that the site is a labour of love for the people who provide us with so much pleasure,. So far as I know it does not have some robot controlled editor system.
      Given your next provocative remark I think it clear that it should have been moderated, & mention of POTUS be confined to cruciverbalist reasons.
      You would know very well from previous comments that many on this site CAN help but like him. In my view the remark only re-opened the Pandora’s box I thought was closed the other day. Whatever the hour it was posted.

      1. I agree – to expect one of the people who can moderate comments to be looking at the blog 24 hours a day and redact comments within two minutes is just ridiculous. I wonder if anyone here read the very long chain of comments on a post on 15sq about off-topic comments – and that site only has one moderator to read every single thing!!

        1. It was an attempt at humour as the smiley face was supposed to indicate. I’ll consider myself severely slapped on the wrist. 😔

  36. I don’t say this often. It I am afraid I did not like this one at all. I did most of it without aids but lost the will…. I needed some of MPs excellent hints to convince me my bung in was right. Must confess I thought 21d was excellent once I read the hint. I have been caught out by News before. 5d also excellent but only got it after I had looked up 12a. Thanks to Giovanni but I need something to make me smile at the moment.

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