DT 29517 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29517

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29517

Hints and tips by Mr K

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BD Rating  -  Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

Hello, everyone, and welcome to Tuesday. It’s been a nerve-racking week of downs and ups - thank heavens for Malbec. Fortunately today's solve involved less drama and less trauma, and a political thread running through it provided opportunities for some topical illustrations. I look forward to reading what everyone thought of it. And of course our setter is most welcome to drop in and take credit for it.

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    Went to see short recording -- entertaining plot (7)
VISITED:  An informal short name for a type of recording containing (entertaining) a plot or location 

5a    Appropriate female posing topless (7)
FITTING:  The abbreviation for female with a synonym of posing minus its first letter (topless)

 Appropriate sign bearing Trump's catchphrase outside the White House

9a    Guide  animal (5)
STEER:  Double definition.  A lower animal 

Don't feed the cows sign

10a   A sign of hesitation over uniform one could be taking off (9)
AEROPLANE:  Concatenate A from the clue, a short word of hesitation, the cricket abbreviation for over, and uniform or flat 

11a   Draw a trainer, initially with grip (10)
ATTRACTION:  Link together A from the clue, the first letter (initially) of Trainer, and grip or friction 

12a   Prime minister grave and tense (4)
PITT:  A noun synonym of grave with the grammatical abbreviation for tense.  Read about the PM here or here   

14a   Cuckoo nestles here, keeping very still (12)
NEVERTHELESS:  An anagram (cuckoo, as in crazy) of NESTLES HERE containing (keeping) the abbreviation for very 

18a   Prisoners frequently leaving France because of this (12)
CONSEQUENTLY:  Some usual prisoners followed by FREQUENTLY minus an abbreviation for France (leaving France) 

21a   Be scared of loud organ (4)
FEAR:  The musical abbreviation for loud with a bodily organ 

22a   Crack bone with feather duster? (3-7)
RIB-TICKLER:  A torso bone with another word for a feather duster

25a   Excitement surrounding leaders in Ebbw Vale getting promotion (9)
ELEVATION:  Excitement or joy containing (surrounding) the first letters of (leaders in) Ebbw Vale 

Promotion at work

26a   One rodent with tail in snare hacked off (5)
IRATE:  Assemble the Roman one, a common rodent, and the last letter of (tail in) snarE 

Hacked off cat

27a   Uproar's about holding second meeting (7)
SESSION:  The reversal (about) of uproar or din with its 'S from the clue containing (holding) the single letter for second 

28a   Bowlers with no power -- they do no good (7)
SINNERS:  Some slowish cricket bowlers have the physics symbol for power deleted (with no power) 



1d    Odd bits of scum in phial able to be seen (6)
VISUAL:  The odd letters of SCUM inserted in a synonym of phial 

2d    Becomes aware of shilling and other coins (6)
SCENTS:  The single letter for shilling is followed by some possibly American coins 

3d    Warned of temperature on earth changing -- aim to conserve energy (10)
THREATENED:  Cement together the physics symbol for temperature, an anagram (changing) of EARTH, and an aim or goal containing (to conserve) the physics symbol for energy 

4d    Plan day on vessel (5)
DRAFT:  The single letter for day is followed by (on, in a down clue) a simple aquatic vessel 

5d    Neglected  roof gent fixed -- about time (9)
FORGOTTEN:  An anagram (fixed) of ROOF GENT containing (about) the physics symbol for time 

Forgotten cat

6d    Goes over  summits (4)
TOPS:  A straightforward double definition, the first a verb and the second a noun 

7d    I am in front of a trap, Edward supposed (8)
IMAGINED:  Join together the contraction of I AM, A from the clue, a cruel type of trap, and a contraction of Edward 

8d    Fattest -- most swell (8)
GREATEST:  A simple double definition 

13d   Turn and notice reforms -- it's what most leaders want (2-8)
RE-ELECTION:  A verb synonym of turn with an anagram (reforms) of NOTICE 

Shown the exit

15d   Learning routine I'd adapted (9)
ERUDITION:  An anagram (adapted) of ROUTINE I'D 

16d   People who mock son about proposals (8)
SCOFFERS:  Chain together the genealogical abbreviation for son, the single letter for about or roughly, and another word for proposals 

17d   Those who keep people occupied? (8)
INVADERS:  A cryptic definition of those responsible for an occupation 

19d   Want prayers to be heard (6)
PLEASE:  A homophone (to be heard) of some prayers or entreaties 

20d   Information's trapping soldiers and politicians (6)
GREENS:  An informal word for information with its 'S from the clue containing (trapping) some usual soldiers

23d   Drive fast, small military vehicles (5)
TANKS:  An informal verb for drive fast is followed by the clothing abbreviation for small 

24d   Artist locked up in jail -- a delinquent (4)
DALI:  The answer is hidden reversed in (locked up in, in a down clue) the remainder of the clue.  Click here to read about the image 

Dali (and three cats) in Philippe Halsman's Dali Atomicus


Thanks to today’s setter for a fun solve. My favourite clue was 13d. Which clues did you like best?


The Quick Crossword pun:  BOO + BEE + PRIES = BOOBY PRIZE

96 comments on “DT 29517

  1. I cannot remember the last time I completed a puzzle in * time. In fact, I had both this and the quickie completed before I had time to finish my breakfast.

    A wonderfully constructed crossword, that could be used in “How-to” manuals for years to come. Double meanings, anagrams, even a reverse lurker to be found.

    The synonym at 1d, I felt was a bit stretched, but Mr Collins agrees with the setter.

    I needed all the checkers to get 14a, so it is my COTD.

    Many thanks to the compiler and Mr. K.

  2. I found this quite straightforward with the North being a virtual write in but the South being of better quality and offering slightly more resistance, and it’s from there where my podium places come. I’ve gone for 26&27a with top spot going to the clever and amusing 22a
    Many thanks to the setter and to Mr K.

    Re the letter in today’s paper from Chris Davies I offer “contorted”

      1. I agree and it looks as if the DT editor, or whatever he or she (so as not to be sexist), is called didn’t appreciate either of the letters sent to him, or her, by me or Senf! Oh well – too bad – we did try.

  3. Very straightforward today but enjoyable nonetheless,time wise *, quickest for a while. Nice to see 14a appearing again after been used on a weekly basis. I particularly liked 11a,18a and 22a with 18a COTD for me, so for enjoyment I’am giving it ****.
    Thanks to Mr K and the setter.

  4. An enjoyable and entertaining puzzle that was very comfortable to solve. 18a was my favourite although there were many candidates this morning.

    Many thanks to both Misters. The Toughie is also very user-friendly.

  5. Excellent puzzle, not difficult but well clued. My fav was 18a but lots of others very good.
    For those who wondered I am not responsible for the letters regarding the problems with Thursday crosswords but I am in 100% agreement with the writers.
    I have have for more time than I can remember gone on ad nauseam about the provision of the Toughie for those who relish a challenge and leaving the back pager for those of us who prefer our puzzles to not require hours in a darkened room with a wet towel around our heads. I do realise that this only applies to the dead tree version as the DT does not have the wisdom to treat the electronic readers in the same way. I am sure that one of the interminable features pages could be sacrificed for the Toughie.
    Thx to all

      1. Today’s p158 would be right enough for Brian methinks.
        However I don’t think he is an “iPad solver”
        Further, I am probably mistaken but I thought Brian was starting to tune into Ray T’s wavelength these days.

        1. I choose to believe that Brian was referring to the setter of alternate Thursdays but perhaps he can’t deal with either of them!

          1. Ray T – 50% of the time. The other is apparently Giovanni and is far more difficult which is odd as his previous Friday puzzles were usually well clued and were always my favourite.

        2. … and I always thought that Giovanni was Brian’s favourite setter?

          Yours, Puzzled from Tunbridge Wells.

    1. Much apologies, I usually finish with the Sudoku and I hadn’t realised there was a further page. Well done DT.

  6. 2*/3.5*. I enjoyed this undemanding but fun puzzle with nice cluing and smooth surfaces.

    The clues were all good but I had no particular favourite.

    Many thanks to Messrs R & K.

  7. I didn’t find this quite as straightforward as Stephen L and Malcom R. Possibly had a glass too many of the Malbec last night. I needed the hints to explain 1a and 27a. Vid for a short recording would have eluded me forever. Should have seen the reasoning behind (literally) 27a. I particularly liked 11a and 17d. It took me a while to work out what we were looking for. Favourite is 14a because it’s nicely disguised. Thanks to all.

  8. A pretty ordinary, straightforward puzzle with mo bells or whistles, (2*/2.5*). Nonne of the clues really stood out and it was all pretty run of the mill. Thanks to MrK for help in parsing one of my bung-ins and thanks to the compiler.

  9. 17d was my last one in and it took a while for that particular penny to drop. Not very convinced by 19d as it stands but no problems elsewhere.
    22a conjured up an amusing picture so gets my vote for favourite.

    Thanks to our setter and to Mr K for the totally non-political review! Bet that Malbec’s going down well as the celebrations continue.

      1. Yes, that would have been an improvement – or even the addition of ‘I’ as the first word of the clue.
        By the way, I agree with you that 3&16d were worthy of mention alongside my favourite of 22a.

        1. Hi, Jane. People can say what they please, but Gazza is correct. The SRB agrees, as does Google Search.

  10. I enjoyed this puzzle too, but thought the synonyms were a bit stretched in 22a, 26a, 8d.

    I put in tips for 6d and engagers for 17d which I think fit as well as the answers given…..Ora Meringue?

    Thanks to Mr K….loved your pictures as always……and to the setter also.

      1. I was for engagers in 17d. I had fleetingly thought of occupied forces but got no further than E when going through the alphabet.

    1. Re 22& 26a, just because the synonym is unobvious or imaginative doesn’t necessarily mean it’s stretched Ora.

  11. 95% of this went in straight of the bat but in what seems to be becoming the norm of late I then struggled with 2 remaining – 19&20d. Not sure why really as neither were particularly difficult but perhaps it had something to do with the fact that I was doing the crossword at 4am so perhaps wasn’t at my best. Perfectly pleasant without being anything to write home about. No real stand out clues though I quite liked 12a & when I eventually fell back to sleep dreamt that I was in a life or death quiz that involved naming PMs of 4 letters.
    Thanks to the setter & to Mr K.

    1. I struggled with the same 2 as you today but still finished in a fairly fast (for me) time. I did also have a question mark against 10a – I had the A from the clue + the usual hesitation and the over then I had pla(i)n without the 1 for uniform which left me a spare E ?? Mr K’s explanation makes much more sense but I bunged in what turned out to be the right answer anyway
      Thanks to setter and Mr K – pass the Malbec this way we have a vaccine to celebrate!!

      1. I’m another one who had trouble with 19 and 20d and agree with you both that they weren’t even very difficult.

  12. Like Greta, I didn’t find this as straightforward as some other commenters, completed at a gallop, just – 2.5*/2*.
    Candidates for favourite – 22a, 3d, and 16d – and the winner is 3d.
    Thanks to the setter and Mr K.

  13. A pleasant accompaniment to my morning coffee with slight delays on 18a and 17d, the former because France is leaving frequently rather than the other way round.

    1. Hello, Mikey. As an alternative to Bluebird’s fine suggestion, “leaving France” can mean “leaving France behind”, which implies deletion in the sense required.

  14. Pleasant, fairly bland, typical Tuesday. Held up a little by SW corner but only just into 2* time.

    LOI and COTD was 17d: clever but no doubt a chestnut that I haven’t remembered.

    Thanks to setter & Mr K. What are the odds that Desperate Don will try to do a Grover Cleveland!

  15. I thought that this was pretty straightforward – thanks to setter and Mr K.
    I’m not really convinced by 6d – aren’t the two definitions just the verb and noun forms of the same word?
    The clues I liked best were 18a and 26a.

    1. Agreed. I spent a while thinking that there must be more to it, wondering if SPOT could somehow equate to “goes”.

  16. This was a crossword of two halves the top half completed witn only a few head scratching moments, I thought oncorrectly that the bottom half would be a doddle but as usual it proved much trickier. I finally sorted out 14a and 18a which helped considerably. A couple of fabourites 15d and my last one in 28a.
    Thanks to Mr K and setter.

  17. Quite easy for me today but 17d gave me two answers – – I plumped for the correct answer but engagers keep people occupied too – or am I being stupid?

  18. I really enjoyed this one, especially Mr Ks pictorial valedictions to the Petulant One. Even though I thought that 9d was a bit ‘off’, I found the rest of this clever gem quite exhilarating and amusing, with 18a, 13d, and 14a the cream of the crop. Thanks to today’s setter and to Mr K for the considerable merriment. ** / ****

    Lovely Toughie today too.

    1. Sorry, I meant 19d, but Gazza’s suggestion (‘Do as you want’) works for me now. (As you please = as you want?)

      1. I see that, Robert, but don’t think just using ‘want’ in the clue covers it. Maybe I have to simply rest my case and grumble off-stage!

  19. Any particular reason why clicking on a picture turns it upside down — or replaces it with one of Trump?! 😝

    1. Its not upside down but flipped. Is it so that we don’t breach copyright by saving and sharing it? I’m guilty of that ……..

  20. A most enjoyable puzzle, which I rattled through until I didn’t! I put the wrong ending to the word at 18a and that brought me to a halt. With that ending the only second word to fit 13d was “reaction”. I also put “orders” in for 20d and I have no idea why because it just didn’t make sense. Another example of my entering an answer without fully looking at the clue. If I hadn’t made these errors I would have finished in a record time for me.

    Lots to like with loads of good clues and it is difficult to choose a favourite but I do like 27a

    Thanks to the setter and Mr. K. for the hints and pictures of the baby throwing his toys out of his pram.

    Now to try the Toughie.

  21. I really enjoyed tackling this one – and Mr K’s visual representations were a lovely bonus.
    Tuesday’s lockdown highlight – bringing the bin back in after the visit of the refuse truck. It’s a very full life, I can tell you.
    Thanks to the setter and Mr K.

    Here’s the gorgeous Joni Mitchell performance to which Miffy referred, yesterday:

    [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f7MbmXklj3Q&w=420&h=237%5D

  22. A pleasant stroll through this enjoyable exercise with the North providing a cushy start. For once I fully parsed all my answers. No particular Fav but several well-composed clues. Thank you Mysteron and MrK.

  23. That went very nicely with a bowl of soup in the sunny conservatory, last one in 20d for some reason eluded me. A kindly neighbour just brought round a parsnip, apple & walnut spiced cake, very tempting. George called the paramedics in to me last night, very impressed they then sent a young doctor and the upshot is I have a face-to-face actual meeting with my doctor at 5. Hope it’s not in the car park. Haven’t heard cries of joy about the vaccine? I thought it would be the main topic today! Thanks to the setter and Mr K

    1. I don’t mean to be a pessimist but… (this sentence had to have a ‘but’) usually, as I understand it, vaccines need to go through years of tests before it can be clearly established that there are no awful side effects, and that it actually works on a long term basis. So expectations that this one will work straight out of the box are stretching the experience of recent history. I sincerely hope I am completely wrong.

      Apple and walnut? Yes. Parsnip? No!

      Good luck at the docs, Daisy x

      1. I agree Terence! It all seems strange that they now have a 90% effective vaccine after being told it takes a year to prove it, but Fauci seems impressed and I have a lot of respect for him. I’m sure of one thing though, if it isn’t “right”, Fauci will speak up loud and clear.

      2. I understand your hesitance Terrence, I am a bit worried about whether the testing will be rushed. Over here the FDA is notorious for dragging its heels until well satisfied. So while I will be thrilled to have a shot available to me, I will need to be reassured that it is indeed safe. And like Merusa, I have complete faith in Dr. Fauci. Now if the Petulant One tells us that it is safe, I will run a mile.

        1. Merusa, Lizzie – I too have a lot of faith in Dr Fauci. I would be guided by his advice for sure.

    2. It seems there will be logistics to overcome like the very low storage temperature required, the fact that two injections will be necessary and a delay of several weeks post injection before full immunity is achieved. After NHS workers we golden oldies will apparently be first out of the blocks. Nevertheless it all makes for encouraging news at last.👏 💐
      DD, do hope your GP will come up with some solutions to your problems.

      1. I don’t think there’s going to be such a thing as full immunity. All immunisations are likely to lose potency over time, but this doesn’t matter as long as base rates of infection in the community are low (e.g. TB etc). Where base rates are high (in the developing world) we all require extra immunisation, because the organism is more prevalent (e.g. yellow fever, typhoid, encephalopathies etc).
        It also depends on how the vaccine works, which is why we have several types on the boil, made by different research teams and their pharmaceutical company partners. Some work by disabling or hobbling the virus directly, so transmission is less of an issue. Some work by training up your own immune system.
        I think in the case of Covid 19, we will need several types of vaccine, monitored over time for relative effectiveness and also, like flu, we will need, either a different one each year, in case of mutations, or boosters every 6 months for a few years, until base rates are extremely low in the population.
        In general I’d be optimistic, but with a realistic managing of expectations.
        In the meantime, keep on taking the Vitamin D3!

        1. We’ve been taking D3 for years because it helps your body absorb calcium, and thus helps your bones. So all us oldies should be taking it anyway. You couldn’t get it years ago in South Florida, as they thought we would all overdose in the sunshine. Then they realized sunscreens negated that.

    3. Hi, DG. Hope all goes well with the doctor. I’d say the vaccine news is very promising, but it’s going to be many months before it can have an impact on coronavirus restrictions.

      1. I was immunised along with everyone else for polio etc. and sent to play with children who had mumps and measles so I caught them. I doubt if I have any of those antibodies left in me but I’ve never caught them again. As I’ve had Covid 19 I won’t be rushing to have the vaccine. I don’t have the flu vaccination as I’ve never had the flu, nor have any of my siblings. Just my personal opinion.

        1. As a child, I was sent to play with any child who had measles within a 50-mile radius but I never did catch it. Then, when I was 25, living in London, I caught it and was very ill, had to be off work for a month.

          1. When my brother caught chicken pox, my parents made me sit in his bedroom all day so I would catch it. Looking back, I think they wanted to get “chicken pox” out of the way.

            I didn’t catch it.

            Not then nor since.

            1. I was at boarding school when I was five when one kid came back from half term with chickenpox. My Mum, a nurse, recommended to keep all the children, 16 in all, to stay at school and all catch it, which we did. Mum helped with the nursing. When we all recovered we were given some magic pumpkin seeds by “fairy godmother” which we planted with great ceremony. The story was told that the pumpkin vine grew overnight and invaded the windows and doors, covering the floor of the front room, and each child had a present on the vine. This goes to prove that fairy stories still live and fairy godmothers do exist.

  24. Everything went in consequentially until 17 and 20d. I don’t mind if I have a slow day with stop/starts but the conclusion was therefore disappointing for me as I could not see the wood for the trees. Certainly for me yesterday was smoother and more satisfying. Favourites were all across clues 11 18 22 27 and 28a. Thanks setter and Mr K.

  25. */***. Well constructed puzzle which fell into place quite quickly for once. Difficult to choose a favourite from a very strong field. Thanks to the setter and Mr K.

  26. Perfectly pleasant and nothing wrong with this one but I didn’t find it very exciting – probably just me.
    I did get stuck a bit in the bottom right corner but I nearly always get stuck somewhere.
    I’m not terribly sure about 20d being politicians – they’re a political party but I don’t think anyone would necessarily call Conservatives or Liberals politicians – again, probably just me since no-one else has questioned it.
    My favourite was either 22 or 26a.
    Thanks to the setter and to Mr K.

  27. I didn’t find this a walk in the park but I did finish it with much enjoyment.
    I couldn’t get 17d and was about to concede when I had my Road to Damascus moment, and lo, I had finished!
    There was much to enjoy, not least of which are Mr. K’s pics; the sub-pic at 13d takes the gold and is classic.
    Thanks setter for the fun, and huge thanks to Mr. K for his masterly review.

  28. Found this one a little tougher today. ***/*** my rating for today. Bottom half was more tricky and needed some hints today.
    Last area done was SW with 24d last in
    Clues for favourites were 10a, 11a, 22a, 3d & 17d with winner 10a

    Thanks to setter and Mr K (for the needed hints for the bottom half!!)

  29. An enjoyable solve that all went together without major hold ups for us.
    Thanks Mr Ron and Mr K.

  30. I too didn’t find today’s puzzle that easy. In fact dare I say that Mr K’s pictures were the best part? It was a bit of a mixed bag for me, with half the answers slotting in nicely. The others not so much. I could get the answers but wasn’t confident enough to pen them in until I checked the hints. But it kept me out of mischief so all is well. Thanks to setter and Mr K. 5d looks so adorable.

  31. I’m afraid I didn’t find this as easy as most, well done to those who did, but my first run through revealed 5 answers. I continued to make progress slowly, a lot of my answers coming from “it looks like that word” and to my amazement it was. Hey ho! I got there in the end. Favourite was 2d, you’d think having gundogs I’d have got it sooner but I didn’t. Thanks to the setter and Mr. K. Now to comment on the vaccine thread.

  32. Thought that 17d had something to do with employment too until the penny dropped.
    Didn’t know that term for driving fast in 23d.
    14a is, imho, the best wordplay I ever saw for this old chestnut.
    Thanks to the setter and to Mr K for the review.
    Malbec is just too strong for me and whenever I drink Cahors, my lips turn deep purple… and start singing Smoke in the Water…oh I hate losing it.

    1. I had engagers for 17d, but other than that I managed to complete the puzzle. A rare event for me.

    2. When I have had a couple of glasses, Jean-Luc, I plug my guitar in and play the riff to Smoke on the Water.

      It never sounds right!

      Actually, John Lord of Deep Purple has written some very good classical pieces. I think a lot of the great musicians of our time started in pop and rock.

      Although, Brian Cox went into science.

  33. Excellent puzzle – I enjoyed it. Not at all bland. I also admired 14a.
    Is it unfortunate that a clue has more than one possible fit? Thinking of employing people to be occupied, I also went for ‘engagers’ in 17d (though I can now see that ‘invaders’ is much more satisfying!).
    Roll on Thursday???!

      1. RayT. My favourite setter. He used to batter me black and blue but you cannot bully somebody who won’t be bullied and I win most of the time now. As always

  34. I found this fairly straightforward. I did check thesaurus for 19d confirmation.

    A couple were stretching “cryptic” but I put in the obvious expecting to change later like 17d – I had in mind the old TV series with David Vincent :)

    Did not realise the toughie on electronic version. Headed there now – fully awake.

    I did last Thursdays last night. Yes it took me quite a while. I did complain about these here a few weeks ago.

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