DT 29511 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29511

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29511

Hints and tips by Mr K

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BD Rating  -  Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

Hello, everyone.  Feeling rather 17d today, exactly four years after my second set of hints and tips appeared on this, the Tuesday after the first Monday in November.  Good to have the distraction of a nice crossword at times like these.  I enjoyed today's offering, in part because it features some novel wordplay indicators and a few smooth and amusing surfaces. 

In the hints below most indicators are italicized, and underlining identifies precise definitions and cryptic definitions.  Clicking on the answer 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 and a hover (computer) or long press (mobile) might explain more about the picture. Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.



1a    Moral science fiction film with HAL gripping in charge (7)
ETHICAL:  Spielberg's blockbuster film about a cute alien is followed by HAL from the clue containing (gripping) the abbreviation for in charge 

5a    Brilliant headwear -- it goes with virtually everything (7)
CAPITAL:  Link together an item of headwear, IT from the clue, and all but the last letter (virtually) of a synonym of everything 

cruciverbal headwear

9a    Starts to paint roof in lockdown after a month (5)
APRIL:  Initial letters of (starts to) the next four words in the clue come after A from the clue 

10a   Happy to keep in Europe? (9)
CONTINENT:  Happy or satisfied containing (to keep) IN from the clue.  The ? indicates a definition by example 

11a   Democrat is to swear I recalled no conversation (10)
DISCUSSION:  Concatenate the single letter for Democrat, IS from the clue, a verb synonym of swear, I from the clue, and the reversal (recalled) of ON from the clue.  After you've watched the video below, click here for the English translation  

12a   Returning in pants specifically -- it attracts attention (4)
PSST:  The answer is hidden reversed in (returning in) the remainder of the clue 

14a   Made U-turn and faced ma, bewildered (12)
MANUFACTURED:  An anagram (bewildered) of U-TURN FACED MA 

18a   Launch I badly turn into dock, scratching stern (12)
INTRODUCTION:  I from the clue followed by an anagram (badly) of TURN INTO and DOCK minus its last letter (scratching stern)

21a   River fish -- it's attached to the line, possibly (4)
REEL:  The single letter for river with a long thin fish 

22a   Grew up timid? Well, unfortunately, wife's ignored (10)
MULTIPLIED:  An anagram (unfortunately) of UP TIMID WELL minus the genealogical abbreviation for wife (…, wife's ignored

rabbits do it

25a   Set up of home delayed (9)
INSTALLED:  A usual short word for home with delayed or held up 

26a   Still time for tournament (5)
EVENT:  Another word for still is followed by the physics symbol for time 

27a   Old tree likely to be hollow (7)
ELDERLY:  A tree related to honeysuckle with the outer letters (to be hollow) of LikelY 

28a   Lieutenant in complete safety (7)
SHELTER:  An abbreviation for lieutenant is inserted in complete or utter 



1d    European captures antelopes (6)
ELANDS:  The single letter for European with captures or gets 

antelope humour

2d    Harry has to bandage outbreak of spots? Not hard (6)
HARASS:  HAS from the clue containing (to bandage) an outbreak of spots with the pencil abbreviation for hard deleted (… not hard

3d    Tailor cut a collar for summer? (10)
CALCULATOR:  An anagram (tailor) of CUT A COLLAR.  The ? indicates that the definition is cryptic 

a summer could be an adder ...

4d    Is without trousers? Not at first (5)
LACKS:  Some long loose trousers minus their first letter (… not at first

5d    Character working with son getting hypocritical speech outside (9)
CONSONANT:  Working or running with SON from the clue are inserted in (getting … outside) a hypocritical speech

6d    One's caught by hammer -- agony! (4)
PAIN:  The Roman one is inserted in ('s caught by) hammer or criticise severely 

7d    Tramp almost certain to get riches (8)
TREASURE:  All but the last letter (almost) of tramp or step is followed by a synonym of certain 

8d    Trite remark with papa leaving room (8)
LATITUDE:  A trite remark minus the letter represented in the NATO phonetic alphabet by papa (with papa leaving

13d   Sky broadcast the operas, including Schumann's fifth (10)
ATMOSPHERE:  An anagram (broadcast) of THE OPERAS containing (including) the fifth letter of SchuMann 

15d   University group of students with upper-class friend, strangely (9)
UNUSUALLY:  Assemble the single letter for university, the abbreviation for a major student organisation, the single letter for upper-class, and a friend or supporter 

16d   Changing gear with Mini's a headache (8)
MIGRAINE:  An anagram (changing) of GEAR MINI 

17d   Focused attention on  having kittens (8)
STRESSED:  A double definition, the first a verb and the second an informal adjective

emphasis makes all the difference

19d   Frank shocking court (6)
DIRECT:  Shocking or awful with the map abbreviation for court 

20d   One manages The Telegraph crossword finally in competition, getting upset with nothing right (6)
EDITOR:  The last letter (finally) of crossworD is inserted in the reversal (getting upset, in a down clue) of a competition or match, and that's all followed by the single letters for nothing and for right 

23d   Ebbs and flows in government I described (5)
TIDES:  The answer is hidden in the remainder of the clue 

24d   Market  just  open (4)
FAIR:  A triple definition 


Thanks to today’s setter for a fun solve.  Top clue for me was 5a for its excellent surface and original use of virtually.  Which clues did you like best?


The Quick Crossword pun:  CAT + CHA + PLAIN = CATCH A PLANE

86 comments on “DT 29511

  1. I thought this was a brilliant crossword, fresh, vibrant and inventive, right up my street. I hope the setter (could be Donnybrook?) reveals him/herself.
    Amongst a plethora of excellent clues I’ve chosen 10a plus 3,4& 8d as worthy podium contenders.
    Many thanks to the aforementioned setter and to Mr K for the entertainment.

  2. This was a strange mixture, with quite a few very straightforward clues, a few really inventive clues and a few clues (12a and 13d), which were positively groanworthy. It was alright but not really inspiring (2*/2.5*). The COTD for me was14a, which had good misdirection. Thanks to Mr K for the review and pictures and to the compiler.

  3. 2*/3*. This was a pleasant and not too taxing puzzle. 10a was my favourite with a special mention too for the triple definition in 24d.

    The clue for 20d seemed to go on for ever and I thought it was rather incongruous with the rest of the puzzle.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Mr K – great choice of pictures as ever!

    1. I liked 24d too but cannot think when I would use it for the third word. Can you give me an example?

  4. A bit different today and none the worse for that! **/*** 18a took a bit of unraveling as did 14a in so far as it wasn’t immediately obvious which bits of the clue were part of the anagrams. 20d is pretty convoluted. I thought 8d was a clever clue but favourite goes to 22a. Thanks to all.

    1. Curate’s egg for me. About the middle of the Tuesday difficultyspectrum. ** / ***
      Go for 8d as COTD with 10a close behind.
      Unlike the clue, the less said about 20d the better.
      Thanks to setter & Mr K for the review.

  5. Great crossword to brighten the day. 2 d took a wee while for the penny to drop. Some very inventive and enjoyable clues. Have not read the hints yet but will enjoy the comments first. Thank you to the setter and Mr K.

  6. As Stephen L says above, today’s puzzle is ‘fresh’ and, to me, even invigorating, with catchy surfaces masking crafty clues. I really enjoyed this Tuesday offering, especially after last night’s clever Toughie, which also cheered me up at a time when (not unlike Mr K) I was (and still am) feeling quite 17d. Top picks today: 8, 5, 13d. Thanks to Mr K and to the setter. ** / ****

    Frost on the Carolina coast this morning. Snow in New England.

    1. I’m so 17d, I try not to pay attention but can’t ignore it. What did we do to deserve this!

  7. Some good clues in what turned out to be a very enjoyable and satisfying puzzle.3d, 5d, and 7d certainly helped with the solving and were my favourites today. Whenever I see a 22a I remember a Not the nine ‘o’ clock news comment of “Go forth and multiply”. It is as useful as ‘fetid’.

    Thank you to Mr K and the setter for today’s fun.

  8. A decent and very enjoyable Tuesday challenge completed at a gallop – 2.5*/4*.
    Favourite – a toss-up between 8d and 17d – and the winner is 17d.
    Thanks to the setter and Mr K.

  9. Feeling grumpy today as lockdown approaches & the bookies odds on the election over the pond have tightened worryingly. One more game of golf planned for the morrow & then am allowed a walk but not with sticks & a little white ball. As for the crossword not sure I got quite as much out of it as StephenL. All over fairly quickly & pleasant enough without being unduly taxing. 5,10&12a would be my pick of the bunch.
    With thanks to the setter & to Mr K for his usual entertaining review.
    Ps rather a good themed Qaos in the Graun today & their Quiptic yesterday had a couple of real beauties in it.

    1. Walking the course “without sticks” should lead to you breaking the course record H.
      I played my best rounds after my arthritis forced retirement. Amazing how easy the course looks from the middle of the fairway!

      1. The joke is that I couldn’t be more socially distanced from my regular playing chums – they all hit it 40+ yds past me. At least there’s The Masters to look forward to. Remember that you expressed an interest in the new WGH system – I’ve come out with an index of 10 & have more chance of getting a date with Lady Gaga than playing to that…….

        1. Bit more than an “interest” H
          I was on the WWH Research Group that did the stats analysis behind the system.
          Index is not really relevant to everyday play What is the Slope of your Home course H? It is the Playing Handicap there that is the handicap you will use in competitions there.

          1. Slope is 136 off whites with a course rating slightly over the par. Must say I’ve been a little surprised at some of the Hertfordshire slope ratings having been reasonably au fait with the criteria from using the system in South Africa but length is my issue rather than tight. The system is long overdue & once it settles down will be a great improvement in my view.

            1. Slope of 136 is certainly high.
              So your PH at your course will be 10.0*136/113. 12.0
              The only time you would use the Index as a PH is at a course of “standard” (not average) difficulty for the approx 20 compared to Scr. (Slope 113).
              You have to be a little careful comparing with SA as they incorporate a factor (CR – Par) into the PH; here in GB&I we do not use that.

                1. Sorry folks, the idio(t)syncracies of lockdown leads us down some strange paths!
                  Wish I had spent the last 20 years understanding the minds of setters rather than golf handicapping.
                  Back to chopping a pallet into kindling – what a fulfilling afternoon!

                  1. I hope your pallet doesn’t contain any chipboard – The glue they use is full of formaldehyde. It burns well but you will leave a well-preserved corpse if you inhale enough of it.
                    “What did Horace say Winnie” was a family saying for something beyond understanding but a brief investigoogle reveals it came originally from the Ovaltiney’s

                    The fourth child, the baby Horace, was perpetually unintelligible and had to be interpreted by his elder sister Winnie. This led to Hemsley’s familiar catchphrase: “What did Horace say, …?” The fictional family featured on Ovaltiney’s Concert Party on Radio Luxembourg from 1934 to 1939.

                    Mama Bee remembers them but not me- I am far too young to remember them (for far read slightly) East Fife 4 Forfar 5

                    1. John
                      Was going to have a chipboard coffin. Guess it won’t matter then.
                      Only thing I remember of Radio Luxembourg was Horace Batchelor from “Keynsham that’s K-E-Y-N-S-H-A-M Bristol.” Plus the pop music of course.

  10. I loved this from beginning til end and I am still smarting with the angst of not seeing 12a ( my favourite) until right at the end-I was convinced it was POST because all answers contain a vowel don’t they??, put it in early and that completely mucked up NE corner. My other favourite was 24d my first triple. Simple things please simple minds.
    **/***** for me. Thanks to the setter ( and to Mr K- even though unusually I didn’t need your help)

  11. Much to admire in this different-feeling puzzle this morning. I agree with RD that 20d stood out as the odd one out as it were, with the rest of the grid a delight. 10a and 13d share my top spot.

    Many thanks to our setter and to Mr K for his usual entertaining blog.

  12. Enjoyed this puzzle very much..particularly 4d as I am a simple soul who is easily amused.

    Solved alone and unaided and parsed all the answers, though 20d put up a bit of a fight.
    So, a hurrah day.

    Ìf Smyler is around…the rain has turned the gairden into a sea of glaur.

    Thanks to the setter and to Mr K. Loved the talking cats and the translation.

  13. It never ceases to amaze me how one week a Tuesday puzzle is a stinker for me, yet today competely on setters wavelength. This one though did not give in easily though,, but finally completed with believe it or not 12a. Favourites 1a and 17d.
    We are having some stormy times here in NC, although it is my favourite time for walking the cliffs, favourite time to watch the Ravens on the wind. Sorry waxing poetical.
    Thanks to Mr K for a great review and to the setter for not making my brain ache for once.
    Keep safe everyone.

  14. Excellent puzzle today, asked just enough questions to be interesting without being too fiendish. Last in was 12a, completely missed the lurker!!
    Thx to all

  15. A most satisfying puzzle today with many good clues. I thought the misdirections in 2d and 3d were great. In 2d I tried to fit “Hal” in and in 3d I tried for ages to fit in all words connected to the season of summer. My COTD is 1a with 12a coming a close second.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Mr K for the hints and cats. I always look forward to the Tuesday cats.

    Please excuse me if there are mistakes in tis post. I have lost my glasses and can barely see the screen!

    1. Lovely puzzle today with brilliant feline hints. Really enjoyable. I too lost my glasses earlier and after searching everywhere I realised I was wearing them !
      Thankyou all.

        1. My son is always moving his up on top of his head. He forgets he’s done this and spends hours looking for them.cthe last time I lost mine, it was after the shopping was delivered. My glasses were in the cupboard with the packets of tea and one packet of tea was sitting on the worktop.

          1. When I’ve lost mine Mrs LrOK always uses the phrase “Try to think, where did you last have them?” When I’ve just spent ages trying to do just that, talk about stating the bl***ing obvious.
            Cue deep breath & a diplomatic “Thanks I will” (sometimes)

    2. Several years ago on a Christmas Day I kept losing my glasses and eventually one of my Lambs said, “For goodness sake, Mum, get some of those stringy thingies and have them round your neck”. I said that I wasn’t going to do that because it would make me look old and their answer was, “It wouldn’t make you look half as old as never being able to find them does”.

      1. I too refuse the “stringy thingies’, Kath for the same reason. The fact my white hair and wrinkles make me look old is neither here nor there!

        I rang the optician but they wouldn’t provide another pair unless I went in to see them. I am shielded so cannot do that. So, I got a pair online for about £30. I just gave them my prescription and they should be here soon.

        1. I work for a contact lens supplier but we have a sister company that will do prescription glasses without a prescription – I used them to get the glasses I am wearing now as I don’t get on with contacts. The weirdest thing about the whole process was my prescription didn’t have the distance between the pupils ( The P.D.) To get around this they made me send a photograph with a credit card on my forehead and they could measure from that!
          If you do see a proper optician for a prescription make sure they include the PD as they often withhold that info so you don’t get cheaper glasses elsewhere

    3. Having done that too often to count, I now have mine round my neck where I can just put them on my nose.

      1. There’s nothing worse than looking for your glasses when you haven’t got your glasses on!

        1. I do that all the time TG. Recently I found myself with my handed wedged between the cushions on the sofa looking for my phone whilst talking on it. Madness or encroaching senility…..

          1. We all have moments of encroaching senility, Huntsman. I once came home from work and went to have a bath, I took my underpants off and, instead of putting them them in the laundry basket, I threw them in the loo!

            1. Sorry about the repeated word but I have no glasses!

              I did not retrieve my shreddies from the toilet!

  16. Most enjoyable – both the crossword and Mr K’s decryption and clips.
    Hard to choose a favourite but the 5a mentioned by our blogger certainly amused, I’ve seen some quite amazing ones!

    Many thanks to our setter (please pop in) and to Mr K for brightening the universal gloom.

  17. We managed it without too much angst. 1a went in straight away which is always encouraging. Glorious sunshine in Cambridge at the moment but when I walked round the house before lunch it was freezing. I loved the dog with the feline helmet and my two Somalis used to talk to each other like that, so cute. Thanks to Mr K and the setter.

  18. I found this to be one of the easiest I have done for some weeks. Whoever the compiler is, s/he must be right on my wavelength, poor sod.

    Thanks to all.

  19. I’m cold and grumpy and didn’t enjoy the crossword as much as usual – probably because I’m cold and grumpy!
    Didn’t really have any major problems so at least the brain is still working.
    My favourite was either 12a or, more likely, 17d.
    Thanks to the setter and to Mr K.

  20. I really enjoyed this, with well constructed clues and enough misdirection to be fun. COTD 17d because of today’s event happening to our neighbours in the south. Last one in 16d,used to have them in my working life but miraculously stopped on retirement. Thanks to the setter and Mr K.

  21. A ** for difficulty and *** for fun; enjoyed 1a the most – trying to make sense of the computer in 2001 until the penny dropped. Thank you MrK and setter

  22. **/***. Enjoyable puzzle with a a good mix of anagrams and lurkers. From a crowded podium my favourites were 9&10a. Thanks to the setter and Mr K for the usual quality review.

  23. I agree with all those who found this puzzle very doable, enjoyable and with a fresh feeling about it. I even liked the clues for which I needed hints due only to me being on the wrong track. Clever clues, nothing obscure and a setter who seems to want to provide something challenging but not a stinker. Thank you, and thank you to Mr K for the chatty cats.

  24. Very enjoyable puzzle but I found a couple of clues quite tricky 🤔 so ***/*** quite liked 28a & 6d. Big thanks and congratulations to Mr K on his 4th Anniversary 🤗 for his, as always, excellent blog and thanks to the Setter whoever he or she maybe 😃

  25. Hap-py times are here again! Well, crossword- wise, anyway. We have not said much for the last wee while because of the difficulties documented by so many on Saturday, but tings is lookin’ up, it seems. We enjoyed this and the two previous crosswords very much, many thanks to setters and bloggers. 😅😅

  26. That was a lot of fun. It helped lift me from an otherwise frustrating day. NE presented most challenge but not seriously so. Agree with others above re irksome verbosity of 20d ( just wondered if CL had a hand in this?). Have to admit 24d was bunged in minus full parsing. 18a Fav but 12a (chestnut?) also amused. Thank you to whomever and to MrK.

  27. I shall be sending the magnified version of the grid and the clues in 18pt to my 94 yo mother as it is a very pleasant crossword. We usually tackle the Saturday Prize Puzzle but I thought this week’s would have been a very lenghty phone call!

    Finished the olives today … milling tomorrow. It’s always a great feeling to put the machinery to bed for another year and rest the feet for a few days before wood-storing begins.

    Thanks to the setter and Mr K for the amusement.

  28. Really enjoyed this puzzle – I should receive an award for completing it whilst ‘welcoming’ a large cat on to my lap, which rendered some of my letters almost illegible on the page. Finally, she hopped off for a moment, so I went to make myself a drink. When I returned she was curled up in my chair so I am typing this standing up. I am, merely, a minor servant in Lola’s world.

    I was saddened to read of the death of John Sessions today. We worked together on various projects over forty years. He was a lovely, kind man and the most intelligent, well read person I have ever met. I shall miss seeing him out and about, with his tartan scarf trailing along behind him.

    Thanks to the setter and to Mr K.

    1. Had missed that sad news Terence. Assume that he’s been in poor health for some time as I’ve not seen or heard of him for quite some time & when I last did was somewhat taken aback by his appearance. Nice to hear that he was indeed such a lovely man as he always came across as being one.

      1. Sad news indeed he was a very funny and clever bloke who entertained in everything I saw him in.
        He was the only person who did the voices for the original spitting image who also had his own spitting image puppet!
        At his best on QI where he was able to give Mr Fry a run for his money

  29. Wotta lovely crossword, lots and lots of fun, just the right amount of difficulty for me. My only real problem was my bad handwriting, my “c” at the start of 5d looked a bit like an “s”, I had to visit it again.
    It’s so hard to choose a fave, but it might be 11a because of Mr. K’s video; that’s a treat! OK, don’t tell me that I shouldn’t choose a fave for a pic, that’s my choice, so there!
    I didn’t know the elder was related to the honeysuckle, interesting. F&S, the bindweed and the honeysuckle!
    It’s blowing a hoodie here today, reminds me of Jamaica!
    Thank to our setter, she’s done a grand job, and huge thanks to Mr. K for the hints and pics.

    1. A hoodie M? Wouldn’t have thought you lived in that sort of neighbourhood!
      Spellchecker strikes again?

  30. Thanks to the setter and to Mr Kitty for the review and hints. A very enjoyable puzzle, not too tricky. Some really good clues. I liked 3&5d and 28a, but my favourite was 1a. Last in was 17d. Was 2* /4* for me.

  31. I’m with everyone else on this, what a splendid crossword. Not much more to say really apart from favourite was 10a and many many thanks to the setter and Mr. K.

  32. I had a bit of a hard time in the SW. 25a just wouldn’t come and I wasn’t convinced that 24d was what it turned out to be, but I got there in the end with a nudge from Mr K
    There seem to be quite a few links across the grid.
    Ethical Capital sounds like a fairtrade investment, Harass(ed) and Stressed are synonyms and a discussion could include the aside Psst and we finish in an Elderly Shelter ( I hope not – at least not yet)
    Thanks to the setter and Mr K for his excellent blog I hope the 17d feeling eases soon

  33. Really enjoyable and we agree that it did feel like it was from a setter we are not used to solving. It would be good to hear from the setter to confirm or refute this.
    Good fun.
    Thanks Mr Ron and Mr K.

  34. A nice puzzle for a wet, but still relatively warm day for November (11C). Went together top to bottom. Had a little difficulty at start when I put the answer for 10a in 11a, which made 1d *really* hard to solve ….Oops!!! Once I realised the error, things went much better!
    Getting the long across clues filled out really helped the flow of the down clues as it went along. Last in was 20d. Rate this **/**** for today.
    Clues for favourites include 18a, 22a, 25a, 3d & 13d with winner 13d

    Thanks to setter and Mr K for hints

  35. Maybe 22a should read:
    Like Covid grew up timid? Well, unfortunately, warnings firstly ignored (10)
    Nice and straightforward crossword.
    Thanks to the setter and to MrK for the review
    Keep safe everyone

  36. Oh dear, I needed a lot of help on this one. But I think I am a) bit out of practice having not done a crossword for some weeks and b) also a bit grumpy, tired, frustrated, distracted and therefore giving up too easily. So apologies to the setter for not fully appreciating a puzzle that clearly was well crafted enough to entertain everyone else, and a big thanks to the Mr K as I needed you in my corner today.
    Call me a narcissist but I liked 20d!

  37. A very enjoyable puzzle for me today. Completely missed the lurker, although I knew there had to be one there somewhere.
    Loved the kitty pictures Mr K thank you, and thanks to the setter.

  38. Probably too late for you to see now, Mr K, but I loved the talking cats … and the translation – so thanks for those. Oh, and the cat sitting on the dog’s head. Enjoyed the crossword, too, although I still don’t really get the third definition of 24 down, in spite of people’s explanations. Hope you are feeling less 17 down today. Thanks to you and the setter.

      1. Thanks, Gazza. Yes … I suppose so. I’ve just looked in the SRB and they are both given as synonyms of each other, so it must be just me.

  39. Sorry to go against the grain but I didn’t find this at all challenging. */**
    I think I’ll have to start looking at the Toughies if this standard continues.

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