DT 29523 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29523

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29523

Hints and tips by Mr K

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BD Rating  -  Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

Hello, everyone. I'm solving and hinting on the first day of our new two-week state-wide lockdown. I found nothing complex or esoteric in this solid puzzle. It's typical of what we've been getting on recent Tuesdays. 

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    Rock singer repelled servant on first of December (7)
DIAMOND:  Link together the reversal (repelled) of a female servant, ON from the clue, and the first letter of December 

5a    Stand in for Royal Engineers and be outside base (7)
RELIEVE:  The abbreviation for Royal Engineers is followed by be or exist containing the single letter used for the base of the natural logarithms 

9a    Dough -- and what it might become (5)
BREAD:  What dough is slang for is also what it becomes after some time in the oven.  Here's one I made earlier 

Mr K sourdough bread

10a   Wrong criminal I corner in front of court (9)
INCORRECT:  An anagram (criminal) of I CORNER comes before (in front of) the map abbreviation for court 

11a   Machinery moving the only cog (10)
TECHNOLOGY:  An anagram (moving) of THE ONLY COG 

12a   Celebrity to begin but not finish (4)
STAR:  A synonym of begin minus its last letter (… but not finish

14a   Running newspaper, say, is a flipping fool, grasping nothing (12)
ORGANISATION:  Chain together what a newspaper defines by example (say), IS A from the clue, and the reversal (flipping) of a fool or twit containing (grasping) the single letter for nothing 

18a   Fashion models prevent Romeo departing events (12)
DEVELOPMENTS:  An anagram (fashion) of MODELS PREVENT minus the letter represented in the NATO phonetic alphabet by Romeo (Romeo departing

21a   Assistant back in bed, I assume (4)
AIDE:  The answer is hidden reversed in (back in) the remainder of the clue 

Advice from iPhone's virtual assistant Siri

22a   Turn and check part of car (10)
WINDSCREEN:  Join together synonyms of turn and of check 

Broken windscreen

25a   One knows the score? (9)
CONDUCTOR:  A cryptic definition.  The score is musical 

26a   Pull out cleaver, cutting off both ends (5)
LEAVE:  CLEAVER with its outer letters deleted (cutting off both ends

27a   In gear? (7)
DRESSED:  A cryptic definition, with gear being used informally 

28a   Son attempts to grab king's socks (7)
STRIKES:  The genealogical abbreviation for son is followed by attempts or has a go containing (to grab) the chess abbreviation for king 



1d    Discuss lifting the sack with a little time and energy (6)
DEBATE:  Concatenate the reversal (lifting, in a down clue) of another word for "the sack", A from the clue, the physics symbol for time, and the physics symbol for energy 

A timeless observation by Socrates

2d    Company  vehicle (6)
AGENCY:  A double definition. Force would be another 

3d    Normally in library -- do without book for a change (10)
ORDINARILY:  An anagram (for a change) of IN LIBRARY DO minus the single letter for book (without book) 

4d    Train doctor poorly (5)
DRILL:  An abbreviation for doctor with poorly or sick 

5d    Identify Corgi seen barking (9)
RECOGNISE:  An anagram (barking) of CORGI SEEN 

Royal corgis

6d    Laugh from boat on lake? On the contrary (4)
LARK:  On the contrary instructs us to put the map abbreviation for lake before (on, in a down clue) a biblical boat 

7d    Select rice, keeping stirring (8)
ELECTRIC:  The first two words of the clue are hiding (keeping) the answer

Electric storm

8d    Going in jeans, then? Not oddly something a bride will put on (8)
ENTERING:  Even letters (not oddly) of JEANS THEN are followed by something that a bride will put on 

Bride wearing jeans

13d   Demanding  favourite drink (10)
PARTICULAR:  A double definition. Detail would be another

15d   American, quiet and keen, is given the job (9)
APPOINTED:  Assemble the single letter for American, the musical abbreviation for quiet, and keen or sharp 

16d   Daughter in cave and bats moved closer (8)
ADVANCED:  The genealogical abbreviation for daughter is inserted in an anagram (bats) of CAVE AND 

17d   Proof I've picked up study on the church (8)
EVIDENCE:  Glue together the reversal (picked up, in a down clue) of I'VE, a study or retreat, and the abbreviation for the Church of England

101 Proof bourbon

19d   Comment with reference to book in the bible (6)
REMARK:  Follow a usual short word meaning "with reference to" or concerning with a book in the New Testament 

20d   Drives crazy, decrepit cars? Not at first (6)
ANGERS:  Some decrepit cars minus their first letter (not at first

23d   River with small rushes (5)
DARTS:  A river in Devon is followed the clothing abbreviation for small 

24d   Touched  heads (4)
NUTS:  A double definition.  Touched as in crazy 


Thanks to today’s setter.  No standout favourite for me this week. Which clues did you like best?


The Quick Crossword pun:  MUD + ALL + THREW = MUDDLE THROUGH

99 comments on “DT 29523

  1. I thought this was very straightforward this morning with no hold-ups, obscurities or any deep thought needed to complete it. Probably too many anagrams to be truly enjoyable, but it was fun while it lasted. I liked 22a the best.

    Thanks to both Misters involved.

  2. I found this very straightforward, dare I say it almost too much so, with only a handful of clues giving pause for thought, mainly in the NE, where I liked the excellent lurker at 7d plus 6d&5a.
    Many thanks to the setter and to Mr K.

  3. There were a lot of very approachable clues in this puzzle (1*/3.5*) and just a few teasers but it was quite enjoyable. I liked 14a, 22a and 8d best. There were a lot of anagrams but I l9ve an anagram so it was no bar to enjoyment. Thanks to Mr K for the review and to the compiler.

  4. I must be having an off day. That said, the last two in held me up the longest because I didn’t understand the answers: these being 2d and 14a. 2d is rather a loose definition to my mind and the newspaper part of 14a is misleading and could be replaced by any other form of the answer. ***/** Favourite 22a. Thanks to all.

      1. Thanks Stephen, I’ll try to remember that. I can’t recall coming across that definition before but that may be my declining memory!

  5. I didn’t need to go to the Naughty Corner to enjoy today’s ‘slice’ of cake which didn’t last long. North went straight in followed quite swiftly by the South. 13d Favs were 14a, 25a (probably chestnut) and 8d. Thank you Messrs. Ron and K.

  6. Am afraid I’m with YS & SL on this one. Nothing to write home about. Perfectly pleasant but a straightforward solve with no head scratching needed. Not sure I’d class Neil as a rock singer – Cracklin’ Rosie was about as rocky as he ever got. Dada’s Toughie looks a different proposition given the time it’s taken me to complete a quarter.
    Thanks to the setter & to Mr K for the review.
    Ps What odds Brian declares this a total horror ?

    1. I agree with you about Neil Diamond – pleasant but not “rock”. I did wonder for a moment if it was a double definition of diamond (Rock / Singer) plus wordplay, but that would be rather convoluted.

      1. I agree too, but I’ve seen Mr Diamond describe himself as a rock singer and I support his right to self-identify!

        1. Jim Diamond was an immensely talented musician sadly no longer with us. Be was the mainstay of PHD, perhaps best known for “I won’t let you down”. And his solo song ” I should have known better” which I think made it to no.1.

    2. I think 1a would perhaps have been better as double definition with just the first two words of the clue.
      Oops our comments crossed in the ether RD!

          1. If it’s such a loose definition that different people mean different things by the term ‘Rock and Roll’, perhaps it is best omitted from things like crossword clues.

  7. 1.5*/2.5*. Nothing here to frighten or to excite the horses.

    The second definition in 13d was new to me. It’s not in Collins online but it is in the BRB. I had no 13d favourite today.

    Thanks to the setter and to Mr K, whose reviews can be relied upon to be consistently excellent.

    1. I had the same thought, RD. The only thing that kept coming to mind was ‘Old Peculiar’ although I know that’s spelled rather differently!

    2. I’d never heard that either.
      I only really know “usual” for favourite drink. Or maybe “poison” but that wouldn’t be a favourite, just “ what’re you having?”.
      Is it regional or even international, does anyone know?

        1. I believe it was also the name given to the smog London used to get before the introduction of smokeless zones.

          1. I’m beginning to see the derivation – like that stuff you have to clear from diesel vehicles by driving like hell for 10 minutes?

  8. Any crossword that starts with that particular 1a is fine by me!
    Nothing that really held me up in this one, just a slight pause where the 2d vehicle was concerned, I should think Senf’s horse had a good gallop this morning.

    Thanks to our setter and to Mr K for another enjoyable review – loved the assistant cat and smiled at the wisdom of Socrates. Looks as though you’re quite a dab hand when it comes to making sourdough, Mr K!

        1. Mrs RD and I saw Neil Diamond at the London O2 about 10 years ago. He was brilliant – but it certainly wasn’t rock music.

          1. Essentially MOR, I would have thought.
            Not my thing. Better songwriter than performer probably.

  9. The best thing today? Mr K’s illustrations. I did like 6d and 1a but no podium winners, alas. Dada’s Toughie, however, is something else again. Thanks to Mr K for the always enlightening review and to today’s setter. 1.5*/***

    Cold here in Carolina: 38F. Brrr.

  10. Not worth saddling up today, very straightforward and good fun and complemented by a very enjoyable Dada Toughie – 1.5*/3.5*.
    Candidates for favourite – 9a, 14a, 28a, and 14d – and the winner is 9a.
    Thanks to the setter and Mr K.

  11. Now that I have finished the back page and the toughie, I am really bored.
    Don’t have much to say about this crossword except that I didn’t know the second meaning in 13d either.
    Thanks to the setter and to Mr K for the review.

  12. I must be going through a bad patch because I didn’t find this as easy as others seem to have done. Still, it was quite an enjoyable workout that took me a lot longer than normal. My COTD is 9a with 28a close behind.

    Many thanks to the setter and Mr K’s amusing hints.

  13. There is never a blog when I finish the crossword quickly. Early because we are going out. So instead of being in the top five I often end up in the teens or twenties. So after a visit to Jewsons, the greengrocer, and the baker here I am.

    An enjoyable puzzle whatever anyone else says, principally because it was a ** solve. Liked 28a and 8d. No favourite today.

    Thanks to the setter and Mr K.

  14. If Neil Diamond is a rock singer, I’m Ozzy Osbourne. Apart from this Middle Of The Road/Rawk ‘N’ Roll misjudgement I found this great fun.

    I’m off to bite the heads off some random bats. Thanks to Miss Terri Setter and Mr K.

    1. In these days of odd viruses, it’s probably a bad idea to get intimate with bats, I would say, Terence….
      Unless they’re made of rubber, of course.

        1. So is Amalia, aka Ginger, but she prefers to bring them inside first and play with them – mostly huge lizards!

  15. Short and sweet. It left plenty of time for the Toughie which wasn’t required. I took 1a to be a triple definition. Thanks to the setter and Mr. K.

  16. Nothing to get too worked up about today. My only gripe was 13d, to give the answer as your favourite drink is really very weak, needed a bit more thought by the setter in my opinion.
    Still not totally sure I understand 5a but then logs were always completely beyond me. Off to try the Toughie.
    Thx to to all

      1. Sorry, thought it was 5dn as opposed to 5ac.

        I thought Mr K’s hint was good enough, but anyway “be” = “live” and “E” is “Euler’s number” – a mathematical constant that regularly crops up in crosswords as “base”, being the base of logarithmic numbers.

  17. Many thanks to Mr K, as always.
    The puzzle might have been a bit more enjoyable had 3 or 4 of the solutions been within waving distance of the clues, but thanks to the setter.
    The temperature is higher today, but the gloom doesn’t invite. Need to shred last of leaves and get in tulips. Probably won’t …..

  18. I quite enjoyed this one – more than the rest of you by the sound of it.
    A few at the end held me up – don’t think I’ve ever done a crossword when that hasn’t happened.
    2d is such a funny word – seems to have so many different meanings and uses – don’t get it really.
    I’ve never seen 13d with the second meaning – the boozy one.
    Spent too long trying to find a synonym for ‘cleaver’ with each end chopped off.
    Everyone seems to think that there were a lot of anagrams – is six really a lot?
    My favourite was either 20 or 24d – they both made me laugh.
    Thanks to whoever set this and to Mr K.

    1. Oh – forgot to say that I had another email from Daisygirl this morning. She’s back in Addenbrookes because of some kind of arrhythmia – heart going bumpety-bump quite fast by the sound of it. She says hello to everyone.

      1. Thanks for the update, Kath, but how worrying for Daisy. Please pass on our good wishes when you next communicate with her.

      2. Oh dear, DG is certainly having a hard time of it, do hope all will soon be well for her. I join everyone else in sending her very best wishes.

      3. As I’m sure Kath has told you there’s a whole lot of good wishes from the community. Hopefully they work for you DG and you are back with us soon.

  19. I was really enjoying this puzzle, not too difficult for my half awake brain (I am five hours behind most of you), but 2d and 14a did me in. Otherwise it would have been a hole in one. Thanks to setter and Mr K. Off to let dermatologist chop a couple more bits off me.

  20. Came here to understand how the answer to 8d fitted with the clue, and what sheer delight the rest of your blog was, Mr K! Many thanks for the entertainment ♥️ loved it.

  21. Apropos earlier banter I took 1ac to be triple definition and people of my age probably remember Lord Gnome’s Organ aka Private Eye

  22. I don’t think this will have worn out Senf’s horse. All in all a pleasant distraction just right for a Tuesday.
    Reference the Quickie Puns – this is from this week’s puzzles newsletter

    The undisputed king of the Quick pun, however, was Steve Race, who compiled our Quick crosswords for 11 years between 1998 and 2009. We will leave the final word to Steve, with a famous (infamous?) offering from January 19, 2009, which was not appreciated by some denizens of Warwickshire:


    Or, in other words, ‘Leamington Spa is really dull nightly’.

    Leamington Spa may have been dull back then but it’s a lot different nowadays.

    Thanks to today’s setter and to Mr Kitty

    1. Re L Spa, it’s marginally better than the 70s, but it’s not exactly Broad St or the Northern quarter is it?

      1. Could need a while to cogitate, Cephas, but are you laying claim to today’s back-pager? If so, many thanks, I very much enjoyed it.

  23. I prefer puzzles where it is possible to find the answer from the clue rather than bung in the only word that fits and struggle to work out what the setters reasoning can be. This was a fairly easy solve and quite enjoyable but definitely in the second category. For instance, 11a is an easy anagram to spot and solve but can anyone tell me a sentence where “machinery” can be substituted for the answer and still make the same sense?

    1. I wasn’t very keen on machinery = 11a either. Machinery, to me anyway, is more basic than the answer and sounds more like tractors and diggers etc whereas the answer is more, well, ‘techie’.

      1. Yep, I agree with that. It was definitely one of those I felt was some distance apart, synonym-wise.

  24. Plodded through this one.
    2d was where I failed and had to use both the electronic gizmo and check with the hints.

    Not to my taste I am afraid.

    Thanks to the setter and to Mr K

  25. An alright sort of crossword, I got bogged down for some time in the NE 😬 ***/*** Favourites 22a & 28a. Thanks to Mr K and to the Compiler 😃

  26. A typical Tuesday puzzle … fun solve and a couple of hints required to finish today. Had difficulty parsing 2d as well as 14a, but they had to be what they were as they were the only words that fit the rest of the letters.
    Overall **/**** with a few favourite clues. These include 1a, 22a, 6d, 17d & 24d with 22a the winner.

    Thanks to setter and Mr K

  27. I’m with Kath, I quite enjoyed this, translated: I could solve it except for one. I have no idea why, but 14a couldn’t come to me. I did take a while to find the wavelength, but when I did it flowed quite smoothly. There were some devilish red herrings, e.g. 13d, but in the end I bunged it in.
    I solved 26a on reading the clue but thought, nah, can’t be, so left it until the end. Fave was 22a.
    Thanks to our setter, and huge thanks to Mr. K, I always look forward to the pics. I looked like 8d at my wedding, minus the veil and top, substitute a T- shirt.

  28. Delayed today as initially I thought this not u to recent Tuesday standards but didn’t want to be too negative. Especially having a fuzzy head after a bad nights sleep.
    After reading Mr Ks review & the posts I was probably over harsh, but as Robert, I got more entertainment from them than the puzzle.
    Of course if it weren’t for the puzzle there wouldn’ t be reviews or posts so thanks to the setter ( you’ll never win them all) & Mr K for the weekly amusement. And everyone for the usual trips to nowhere in particular.

  29. I’m afraid I was somewhat uninspired by today’s offering. However, I can’t set a crossword, so I still respect the setter for his/her effort. Sometimes it just goes like that.
    I may have to attempt Dada’s Toughie, expect me to be back in 30 minutes having been unable to get a single answer.
    Thanks Mr.K and the setter

  30. A sleepless night sent me rattling through this before lights out, at a speed that wouldn’t have disgraced a sprinter at the Nunthorpe Stakes. 2d was my LOI and I agree that as Double Defs go that was a bit of a leap. I did like 13d and I do like a pint of Old Peculier too – A bit strong for a session beer but 2 or 3 are a good way to take the edge off a chilly Saturday night.
    The sleepless night left me plenty of time to stare at the Toughie where I have managed a whole 3 clues. I will retire to the hints to see if I can throw any light onto the lights.

  31. Well I rather enjoyed this. Re 1a I’m with the Jim rather than Neil camp. Hard to pick a favourite but I’m going with 20d as I own a decrepit car, that said it gets me everywhere off road. I nearly got stuck this afternoon however when I slewed sideways into a deep rut, 2 wheels barely touching the ground if at all, as I had all diffs locked I hit the accelerator and managed to snake my way out. I don’t need life to be this exciting. Thanks to the setter and Mr. K.

  32. Last two in 1a and 2d. Don’t know why but it took me a long time to find the servant. I thought diamond could refer to the rock, the singer, or the rock singer. I had no problem as agency as a vehicle once I thought of a vehicle as not necessarily being something one drives. Nothing wrong with any of the synonyms. I only had one favourite, oddly for me, which was 25a. There are always occasions when the answer jumps out and the the clue is worked out afterwards but I am sure that all these were capable of being worked out. Unlike 1a it did not sparkle for me but many thanks to Cephas and Mr K for giving me something to do when awake in the middle of the night.

  33. Because of an electrician’s call (and finding the job more complicated than he expected) I have only just got around to reading all the comments, and was very sorry to learn of Daisygirl’s new problem. I have been interested in the outcome of her knee surgery because Mr. Th recently had the same after a year’s wait because of Covid. He was virtually unable to walk prior to the surgery but is now doing very well, and I do trust that Daisygirl will soon be doing very well too. My best wishes to her.

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