DT 29501 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29501

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29501

Hints and tips by Miffypops

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Good morning from sunny Barrel with sunshine all day according to Saint Sharon. I hope so because several days of rain are forecast from tomorrow.

By all means ask if you don’t understand something (or we haven’t explained it well) and please be generous with your praise to the setters and careful with any criticism, the setters are usually right.

The blog is riding on a high at the moment. We have an interesting set of people commenting. When the crossword doesn’t get in the way real life takes over with all of its ups and downs. It is this part of the blog that I warmed to when I first discovered it. Please feel free to join in. The more the merrier.

Today’s puzzle mostly went in quite easily thanks to a couple of obvious answers and the long anagrams which offered plenty of checking letters. I say mostly because 11, 23, and 27 across and 24 down refused to yield at the end until I had written the rest of the blog. They then tumbled one by one as if they had been obvious all along.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a Good walk may be a chancy thing (6)
GAMBLE: The abbreviation for good is followed by a synonym of the word walk

I enjoy ABBA Poker. The Winner Takes It All

5a Troubled city sure gets protection (8)
SECURITY: Anagram (troubled) of CITY SURE

9a Diana, a butcher, chopped up piece of beef (13)
CHATEAUBRIAND: Anagram (chopped up) of DIANA A BUTCHER


10a Model getting drunk to refrain from participating (3,5)
SIT TIGHT: A verb meaning to pose is followed by one of the many words used to describe being drunk

11a Who may want lover? Men going to clubs? (6)
SUITOR: The abbreviation for nom commissioned servicemen or women follows what clubs made be known as in a deck of cards

12a Add this to make a foot visible! (6)
INCHES: I have no idea what the setter is getting at here but you need twelve of these to make a foot. Perhaps it is referring to the markings on a ruler

14a Lying back in sports field marked out for game? (8)
RECLINED: A three-letter abbreviation for a recreation ground is followed a word describing how a recreation ground might be marked out for a football or rugby match

16a Firm with locations in Germany producing kitchen item (8)
COLANDER: The abbreviation for a firm or business is followed by a German word meaning the federal states. My online English dictionary has a wonderful definition for this word

19a A university facing outburst when undergraduates are down? (6)
AUGUST: Begin with the letter A from the clue. Add the abbreviation for University. Add a sudden outburst of wind perhaps to find a period of the year when undergraduates are not up at university but on holiday or down

21a Fate of idiot — how interminable! (6)
CLOTHO: The name of this fate who spins the web of human life (Lachesis draws it out and Atropos cuts it) can be made by adding drawing out an idiot and cutting the last letter from the word how

23a Despot in car, more or less despicable type (8)
AUTOCRAT: Begin with a four-letter term for a car. Finish off with a three-letter despicable type. Betwixt the two words that you have bung in a single letter deduced from the Latin word meaning more or less, appropriately or about

25a Rough hobo, I end wandering around a particular area (13)
NEIGHBOURHOOD: Anagram (wandering around) of ROUGH HOBO I END

26a Limits reported for those getting on plane? (8)
BOARDERS: The limits of a country perhaps sound the same as those getting onto an aeroplane to leave that country

27a Insecurity giving daughter temper? (6)
DANGER: The abbreviation for daughter is followed by a synonym of the word temper


2d Place with lots of goings-on — you, we hear, joined in (7)
AUCTION: The lots here are for sale. Take a word meaning goings on or a deed. Insert a letter that sounds like the word you

3d Bishop meets model — a very pleasurable experience (5)
BLAST: The abbreviation for Bishop meets our old friend the model used by shoemakers and cobblers

4d Fired up, seeing red, going crazy (9)
ENERGISED: Anagram (going crazy) of SEEING RED

5d Speak with difficulty, say, when following holy person (7)
STUTTER: A word meaning to say something follows a the abbreviation for a holy or canonised person

6d Eccentric characters offering greetings by post? (5)
CARDS: A double definition, the second definition usually preceded by the word greetings

7d Discovering almost all the region, I celebrate (9)
REALISING: Begin with the region overseen by a king or queen minus its last letter (almost all). Add the I from the clue and a verb meaning to celebrate

8d On perch spot larva (7)
TADPOLE: Place a word meaning a little bit (spot) above (on in a down clue) a word meaning a perch

13d The man needing to change — hospital one enters, becoming this? (9)
HEALTHIER: Begin with the personal pronoun for a man. Add a word meaning to change something. Insert the abbreviation for hospital and the letter that looks like the number one. A do as you are told clue

15d Gossiped as mad person in church before start of devotions (9)
CHATTERED: Place the mad person who gave a tea party inside the abbreviations for the Church of England and finish off with the initial letter of the word devotions. A word which will no doubt be offered in the toughie comments today to RayT in his Beam persona. It’s because Beam set today’s Toughie that I can rule him out as the setter of this puzzle

17d US city established in moorland originally (7)
ORLANDO: The answer lies hidden within the words of the clue as indicated by the word in

18d Are wayward boys to be found in grounds? (7)
REASONS: An anagram (wayward) of ARE is followed by what boys are to their fathers

20d Wrap up little son before toddle (7)
SWADDLE: The abbreviation (little) for Sons is followed by a verb meaning to toddle (like a duck)

22d Ornamentalist’s first job — getting rid of old colour (5)
OCHRE: The first letter of the word ornamentalist’s is followed by a word describing a domestic job but minus the abbreviation for old

24d Boast when finally getting top award? (5)
CROWN: A four-letter word meaning to boast is followed by the final letter of the word when

Quick Pun: fought+knight=fortnight


119 comments on “DT 29501

  1. I will admit that I had to use a couple of electrons to finish today.

    My mind was a little distracted by the phone call that I got during my solve saying “You know that non-urgent matter you spoke to your GP about 48 hours ago? You’ve got an appointment with a specialist this afternoon”!

    I didn’t get the ‘visible’ in 12a either, nor could I fully parse 23a. Otherwise a good time was had by all.

    Many thanks to the setter and MP.

    1. I agree. Whilst I got the solution to 12a, I do not see how the solution naturally resolves itself from the clue. Apart from anything else the clue seems to be misleading as “this” implies a singular answer whereas the solution is actually plural. Hope all goes well with your appointment

  2. A very enjoyable and rewarding puzzle to solve with no real delays in completion. 25a was my favourite and rather oddly 13d my final entry. Great fun.

    Thanks to our setter and MP.

  3. This took me a little while to get into but (a couple of slightly bizarre clues apart) I really warmed to it as I solved it. I’m guessing the setter isn’t in the first flush of youth, just an observation not a criticism! I needed to confirm 21a but it was derivable from the wordplay but the rest fell into place nicely if not rapidly.
    I particularly liked 10a plus 3&13d but top spot goes to 8d.
    Many thanks to the setter and to MP for a top notch puzzle and bog.

  4. Good luck Malcolm, I’ve had that sort of week too. “You know that blood test we did last week, when you had your flu jab…..”. I really enjoyed this crossword (2*/5*) and loved the two long anagrams 9a and 25a. However 21a was my favourite clue, with its great misdirection. Thank you to the compiler and to MP, whose help I needed to parse 11a.

  5. I too needed the hints to understand 11a and 22d. I missed the getting rid of old bit completely and just thought ochre was an “old” colour. Feeble brain this morning, clearly. The anagram at 9a is very good. I started out thinking it would begin with di for Diana and a word meaning butcher before that penny dropped. ***/*** Favourite 13d. Thanks to all.

  6. Thanks to MP for the revealing pic for 12a and also Jezza for a different explanation, there could only be one answer but the parsing was unclear.
    I agree with MP’s ***/***, the SW quadrant took a while to solve ,21a was my favourite for the clever usage of interminable to complete the fate accompli !
    An excellent puzzle all round.

  7. This is what I would term a classic crossword, a mixture of all that gives the brain a good workout. Especially in these times, I always have a little dufficulty on picking favourites but 21a got me puzzled out came Roget yes still refer to the printed word. Never heardcthe term before. Even at 70 plus you keep learning. Also 8d really good.
    Thanks to MP and setter.

  8. Like others I struggled to make sense of 12a. Otherwise I thought it was OK while it lasted although today’s Toughie is far more entertaining. Thanks to the setter and MP.

  9. Solved alone and unaided but needed help with parsing 2d , 22d and12a. So no hurrah for me today.
    Thanks to the setter and to Miffypops.

    Sunny here today after a wet night…..but the storm clouds are gathering.

  10. A good Thursday teaser, I thought, with plenty to enjoy. Seems like a new compiler to me, but I said as much once before, and was I ever wrong! 12a & 11a gave me enough pause to push me into 2.5* time, but the pennies soon dropped and I finished with a flourish. Highlights: 10, 21, & 23a. Thanks to MP and today’s setter. 2.5* / 3.5*

    Two unsolved on the Toughie….and my coffee percolator just quit working. Rats.

  11. I finished it! Remembered chateaubriand and learned a new word Clotho. Not so ga-ga at 90 after all. Merry Christmas if as a vulnerable person I make it. Take care.

  12. Curate’s egg for me with just 4 clues left I had crept into ** time. Finished in 3.5 *.
    12a was a bung-in & when it leaves MP flummoxed I don’t feel so bad. Perhaps the setter will enlighten us later.
    Otherwise a couple of clues I found quite tricky.
    Pleasant diversion with no real COTD favourites.
    Thanks to setter & MP, reviews are always entertaining.
    Biggles 6 today – doesn’t seem yesterday we went to Hereford to pick up this tiny little bundle of energy. What pleasure he has brought to us. Dog lovers should read Andrew Cotters book Olive, Mabel and me. Not a Bookercandidate just a collection of canine tales we can all relate to.
    Enter the last chance saloon tomorrow. Can only hope that 13d is an omen.

        1. Thanks you don’t know how much support from people I have never met, but feel I know through this site , means to me at the moment.
          BD has created something that is much more than just a cruciverbalist’s chat room.
          The postings about our first cars the other day were typical of the random meanderings posts have a habit of taking.
          CS, Rabbit Dave, et al provide the serious reviews that all respect. For me the whole has a acquired a roundness that would be difficult to create by specification.

          1. Well said, so true for all of us.
            All good vibes coming to you for tomorrow, I hope all goes well.
            Finally, wishing Biggles a very Happy Birthday from Sadie.

            1. It’s Biggles’ birthday? Hudson sends licks and bones! Pardon, Hudson? Oh! Sorry, Biggles. Not the bones.

            1. Aye, ta lad.
              “Thatch” – I played a lot of crown green bowls in my early years. One of the characters was a “Thatch” – Thatch Martin. Some of the stories about his competitiveness & fondness for a bet were legendary.
              Unless tha’s aboot 110 tha’s not him.

          2. Hear, hear and three cheers and :good: to BD not just for having the idea such a long time ago – eleven or twelve years ago, give or take, I think – but also for keeping the whole thing running so well. Thanks too to Mrs BD as I know what it’s like to have a husband who’s always doing something else! Some :rose: for her.

            1. I like to think that Mrs. C is the air that allows me to fly and is there for me when I crash land.

          3. My very best wishes too to you, and I hope all goes well. As you say we have never met but nevertheless I feel very invested in everybody on the BD blog. Bon courage.

            1. Late good wishes from me too. I was only discussing quick non-urgent appointments yesterday with the skilled nurse who put my leg back together and stemmed the flow after I had thrown myself down the stairs at Marks & Spencer. My husband and I have had the same fears during the pandemic as appointments for blood tests, X-rays, other visits have been made within days due to the fact that the usual customers are staying away.

      1. No my son got some sort of first day copy.
        One thing he does say is that the virus has taught him to be “more Labrador” (essentially laid back) in his approach to life’s problems.
        No bad philosophy I guess.

        1. It really is not a bad philosophy, LROK. Labs take life as it comes. Yes, we should all be more “ Labrador”.

    1. Wishing you all the best for tomorrow. Will definitely look for the book. We have Marley and Me by John Grogan on our bookshelf, another great read, especially for Labrador fans.

  13. I found this one difficult to start but, once into it, it gradually revealed its secrets. A most enjoyable tussle and just the right level for this part of the cross wording week. I thought 10a quite a neat clue but 14a gets my vote for COTD with 18d worthy of a mention.

    Many thanks to the setter, whomsoever he or she might be and thanks to MP for the hints. I really don’t know how you and all the others who write the daily hints actually manage it. Respect and thanks to you all.

    1. I don’t know how I managed to write the hints when I first started and was daft enough to volunteer to do so but it has got easier to do as the years have passed. Most clues follow set patterns so most of the hints are easy to write. Sometimes there is a clue like 12 across which I don’t get at all, or 23 across that proves trickier. The other bloggers are there to help if necessary but we rarely trouble one another.

        1. All done on the iPad. I use only my index finger on the letters and my thumb on the space bar. Regular visits to the Google dictionary. No notes. No annotations. Occasional but rare input from Spain Sharon

            1. I presume it is the Spellchecker version CS.
              I don’t know whether it uses the Poundstretcher edition but it certainly comes up with some weird insertions

              1. I have tears running down my face. Good one Miffypops. Best joke I’ve heard all lockdown.

  14. A nice steady solve with some fine clues. Not entirely convinced by 12a, the twelve needed are not implied by the clue, are they?
    My top clue today is 2d. Many thanks to the setter and Miffypops.

    1. I can see 12a with “these” and not “this”. Adding 12 inches would make a foot [visible].
      I cannot see how “this” can refer to a plural at all.

            1. Light bulb now on. Now have a COTD, 12a.
              Chriscross & Maurice each deserving of a slice of cake of the day.

            2. That’s seriously clever. Got it now. Well done the setter! Can’t get one across you, Sue.

  15. For my part not a lot of fun to be had today with most problems in the SW mainly due to my having wrongly entered/“typoed” the homophone for 26a. 11a and 12a baffled me but having sought help think they’re both quite ingenious. No particular Fav(s). Thank you Mysteron and MP.

  16. Tricky. Very tricky. 12a proved problematic for me, as with many others. I needed Miff’s help for 21a as it is a new word for me.

    I seem to spend much of my life waiting for phone calls. Today I still await news of my car which has been at the T*y*t* garage for two and a half days while they try to establish whether the work needed is covered by warranty. At this rate it may as well stay there for next year’s MOT as well.

    Thanks to Miffy and Miss Terri Setter.

      1. Excellent, but not quite right unfortunately – ‘returns’ *before* the word to be turned is ungrammatical; ‘returned’ or ‘sent back to’ would be correct
        ‘Plaything returns’ clues YOT as the subject performs the verb / verb acts on the subject
        Sorry, I’ll get my coat…

        1. Thank you, LBR. I understand your point. You will now understand why I haven’t yet sent you a crossword!

          1. Good job it wasn’t a Messerschmitt, SC – I think even LbR might struggle with cluing that!

  17. I realised as soon as I’d solved the north-west corner that this was no RayT puzzle and that solving may well be an easier task than might be expected on a Thursday. In the end it really did prove to be so and for me something of a ‘Senf-esque’ gallop. Once I realised what kind of ‘fate’ was required, 21a slotted in quite nicely, having seen it a couple of times in back pagers before. It took a while for the penny to drop when trying to parse 12a, otherwise a very pleasant and straightforward solve . My favourite clue was 2d closely followed by 19a. Thanks to today’s setter for a most enjoyable puzzle and to Miffypops for your efforts :-)

    1. Thank you. The pesky thing we use to create the ‘Click here’ option has a mind of its own. Now correctly hidden

        1. I’m better than I used to be – expert instructions from Gazza, clear enough even for me, sorted it out.

    1. Welcome to the blog

      I thought of that this morning but what with typing the Toughie blog, going for a lovely walk and then my monthly visit to collect Mr CS’s BP pills, I’ve only just remembered that I was going to read the hint and then comment if necessary.

  18. Certainly easier than a Ray T, but I still didn’t find it a walk in the park. 12a, 21a and 23a were my downfall. Having already got the two long clues, 9a and 25a, I hoped I might nail it today. 13a gets my vote for COTD, with 10a and 2d getting honourable mentions. Thanks to setter for an enjoyable puzzle and to Miffypops.

  19. I seem to have had a very similar experience as others 12a a bit of a bung in but explained above. 11a and 23a needed a nudge from MP.
    I don’t think we will be having 9a here any time soon, Mama Bee is a bit old school and wants her meat cremated and served in an urn, I would rather have it so rare that a good vet could get it back on its feet!
    Thanks to MP, setter and Santo Sharon

  20. It was all going so well until 11a! Thanks to the excellent MF and of course the setter whoever you are

  21. I think I’d probably describe this one as ‘tricky in places’ and ‘certainly had its moments’.
    I had the same trouble as most others with 12a but it couldn’t have been much else and I also took ages to get 11a although I can’t quite see why now.
    19a was also a problem caused by no-one other than myself – my first letter looked like an ‘H’. :roll:
    The 14a ‘sports field’ always flummoxes me – one day I’ll remember it – it’s a bit like ‘keys’ can be ‘esc’ and ‘alt’ – they’re in the memory now.
    I didn’t know the German word in 16a but it’s in the BRB.
    No particular clues stood out for me today but that doesn’t mean that there weren’t some good ones.
    Thanks to the setter and to MP.

    1. PS – I wonder when we’ll hear from Daisygirl – I do hope that all has gone well for her.

        1. I echo that sentiment. I hope DG is ok but we may hear in a day or so. They don’t allow staying in bed for too long these days. Also, best of luck to LROK for tomorrow and I do hope MalcolmR got on OK.

    2. Hi Kath. Solving on the iPad rather than the paper halved my solving times overnight. No mistaking one letter for another any more. For those who don’t understand how bad it could be – the letter N written as a capital looked more like the letter I

    3. Yes, my “M” and my “H” often look the same. If I write “A” too quickly it looks like an “H”.

      The other problem I have is covering up clue numbers when writing in answers.

  22. Was doing really well and enjoying until i hit 21a which was just a daft clue and 24d which just didn’t work for me.
    Shame that setters spoil their work by introducing clues like 21a.
    Thx for the hints

    1. I predicted that comment before I even looked at the blog, Brian! With respect, it’s not a ‘daft’ clue simply because you don’t know the answer. Some years ago, to help with solving crosswords, I started keeping a little notebook containing unusual words (in alphabetical order) and lists of useful items such as The Furies, the Gorgons, the Fates, the Graces, the Muses, Biological Taxonomic Categories, International Call Signs, the Greek alphabet, the Hebrew calendar and the Hebrew alphabet. It often proves very useful. Maybe you could do something similar?

  23. Lovely sunny day and an easy solve **/*** 😃 Favourites were 19a & 22d. Thanks to MP and to the benevolent Setter 🤗

  24. I realised this was no RayT when I was doing quite well, not easy, but not brain twisting. I had problems unravelling a few, natch, I didn’t get 12a, way too clever for tiny brains. I had to use a little e-help, I had a rubbish bung in at 21a, but I missed the “fate” completely.
    Thank you setter, a fun puzzle to solve on a soaking wet day. Thanks also to M’pops for sorting a few for me.

  25. Late on parade again after a day playing golf not particularly well but taking advantage of a lovely balmy autumnal day. As for the crossword (done very early this morning) all bar 4 answers yielded in just over *time albeit with a bung in at 12a. That left 21&26a with 22d connecting them plus 11a & for the life of me I couldn’t see an answer. By the time the pennies finally dropped it all added up to a 3.5* time solve. As per the 26a homophone took a while to twig & the crafty wordplay got me to 21a & Mr G confirmed. Last in was 11a which I failed to parse correctly. Enjoyed it nevertheless & I suppose 9a has to be my choice because if cooked well & with a nice bottle of Meerlust Rubicon or a decent claret it’s hard to beat.
    Thanks to the setter & MP (must be overdue for a new alias)
    Ps Hoping DG is doing well, Malcolm’s appointment went ok & wishing LBROK the very best tomorrow.

  26. Welcome to the new setter( if so it be). Where others found it difficult, this was right on our wavelength, which makes quite a change for us.

  27. I didn’t have a problem with 12a. It was 21a that threw me. I had to put it into a crossword solver, then google the answer it gave me. I did manage to parse it once I’d understood the answer. Thank you setter and Miffypops. Best wishes to those seeking a diagnosis and to those recovering.

  28. Well this was a bit of a slog but worth the effort. Got 12a but didn’t see the connection to the clue number. The anagrams helped but overall a 3/3. Thanks to the setter and MP for the hints and the predictive text joke.

  29. Late start to this one today due to early appointments to attend. When I did get round to this puzzle, found it a relatively straightforward and good fun ***/**** for today.
    Favourites for clues include 10a, 16a, 26a, 6d & 13d with winner 10a and close second with 19a

    Thanks to setter and MP for hints

  30. A slow start for us in the NW corner but once we were under way it flowed smoothly enough with a bit of pondering about 12a. Looks like we were not alone in that.
    Pleasant solve.
    Thanks Mr Ron and MP.

  31. Word usage as in 2d is a very particular usage and one I have never used. 21d is parsable but it meant nothing to me. Obscure classical references may be fine for Boris but if he is an example of someone who has that knowledge then I have to say I am glad I don’t.

  32. Phew – a tough one for me, though I got there in the end….like others, unconvinced by 12a…..

  33. I was in the “if Miffypops doesn’t understand 12a then I’m in good company” camp this evening, but others have explained it. I wouldn’t have parsed that in a month of Sundays. Mainly straightforward until it wasn’t, but got there with a couple of bung ins. Favourite was 7d. Thanks to the setter and MP.

  34. Damn! I can hear mice running around in the loft! Weather gets a bit colder and in they come! Wouldn’t mind if they could help with the crossword! 🐁 🐁 🐁

      1. I know, Kath. We have asked our vet to find us a kitten. A full grown cat would freak Hudson out but he would warm to a kitten. So far, no luck. 🐕

    1. Wait till you here squirrels they drive you bats, or bats – they drive you battier.
      Getting rid of the fluffy-tailed rats is a nightmare.
      Bats are even worse as you can’t think about getting rid of them!

      1. I don’t mind bats but I have a deterrent for the grey rats with fluffy tails. It’s called a shotgun.

        You are a Lancastrian, LROK. Did you ever visit Formby where there are loads of red squirrels? Wonderful creatures.

  35. Late as usual. I didn’t know 21A but got it from the clueing and got 12A because it couldn’t be anything else. Thanks to MP for helping me parse them. Good brain workout today. Thanks to all.

  36. Started this late last night and i thought i was going to complete it without any problems at all. Then i hit them buffers …needed MP’s hints at breakfast and was overjoyed that I was in good company as we all seemed to be telling the same stories. Thanks as always to the setter and MP. Now for Friday with a fresh cup of coffee.

  37. Only two favourites 14a and 2d. For the first time I agreed with Brian re: 21a but saw nothing wrong with 24d. Inexplicably could not get 11a which is actually straightforward but find many were in the same boat. I certainly could not get past sailor! Last two in were 1a and 10a. Why I got stuck on 1a I have no idea. Thanks setter and MP.

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