DT 29525 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29525

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29525

Hints and tips by Miffypops

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

This is a lesson everyone who studies language eventually learns. You cannot stop language change. You may not like it; you may regret the arrival of new forms and the passing of old ones but there is not the slightest thing you can do about it. Language change is as natural as breathing. It is one of the linguistic facts of life.” – David Crystal

It’s Thursday. A day that the blogging duties are alternated between myself and Kath. The difficulty level of Thursdays puzzles was discussed recently in the letters page. Here are the letters. I hope the authors find this site soon. Your answers to the wordy clue in the last letter are welcome.

 

 

 

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought

Across

1a Ladette isn’t fussed about arty types (11)
DILETTANTES: An easy anagram (fussed about) of LADETTE ISNT

7a Vehicle in a disturbance at the back of church (7)
CHARIOT: The abbreviation for church is followed by the letter A from the clue and a civil disturbance

8a Outdoor song introduced by Frank (4-3)
OPEN AIR: Two synonyms are required here. One for song and one for Frank. Put them in the right order please

10a Citizen with home full of love in former colony (8)
NATIONAL: A short word meaning at home contains the letter that looks like the love score in tennis. This sits inside a former province of South Africa. If you ever come across a South African person, ask them where South Africa is

11a An element so unintelligent will be kept outside university (6)
SODIUM: Begin will the word SO from the clue. Add a word meaning unintelligent or not bright. Insert the abbreviation for University

13a Disturb something hard to move? (4)
ROCK: A double definition. If in doubt move on and wait for the checking letters

14a Generous person has been upset by female performer (10)
BENEFACTOR: An anagram (upset) of BEEN is followed by the abbreviation for female and a stage or screen performer

16a Hard time a coot presumably doesn’t have? (3,4,3)
BAD HAIR DAY: A coot is said to be bald and therefore cannot be described as having had the answer to this clue which cryptically clues a day in which everything seems to go wrong, characterised as a day on which one’s hair is particularly unmanageable like mine in this photo

 

18a Time to embrace a hoodie? (4)
THUG: The abbreviation for time is followed by an embrace or cuddle

21a It’s not great being slightly inebriated (6)
TIDDLY: A double definition the second being a nice state to get into

22a Feature of car that’s smart, always on the inside (8)
STEERING: The word smart here means a sharp pain. This word sits around the poetic form of the word ever to give an essential feature of control in a vehicle

24a Discharge in tips, we may deduce? (4,3)
SPIT OUT: How one might clue the word TIPS as an anagram using one of the most regularly seen anagram indicators

25a Signal left with purpose (7)
PORTEND: The nautical term for left is followed by a synonym of the word purpose

26a Lines up a mat in a particular way for massages (11)
MANIPULATES: Anagram (in a particular way) of LINES UP A MAT

Down
1d Severe doctor, endlessly moving about (7)
DRASTIC: An abbreviation of doctor. A word meaning moving about but minus its last letter. The Latin abbreviation for about

2d Provided help in half of the capital (4,2)
LAID ON: A three-letter word meaning help is placed inside half of England’s capital city

3d Strange three-D art beginning with abstract geometric figures (10)
TETRAHEDRA: An anagram (strange) of THREE D ART followed by the beginning letter of the word abstract

4d A very old name for a flower (4)
AVON: Begin with the letter A from the clue. Add the abbreviations for Very, Old and Name to find a flower that flows between banks and not a flower that blooms

5d Dry shirt on little kid (Alan?) (8)
TEETOTAL: A casual summer shirt is followed by a very small child and the shortened form of the name Alan

6d Politician wants ‘the numbers’ reduced by 30% (7)
STATIST: The numbers that make up the phrase “Lies, damned lies and **********” needs the last thirty percent of its letters removing. This clue mixes up linguistics and mathematics. There is a Sodoffku for the numerically minded or the merely bored

7d Gives Conservative accolades (11)
CONTRIBUTES: The shortened form of the word Conservatives is followed by acts, statements or gifts that are intended to show gratitude, respect or admiration

9d Go mad with regret, somehow being tied up financially again (11)
REMORTGAGED: An anagram (somehow) of GO MAD and REGRET

12d Drunk loves a spot in port (10)
SEVASTOPOL: Anagram (drunk) of LOVES A SPOT

15d Lad now in terrible fix (4,4)
NAIL DOWN: Anagram (terrible) of LAD NOW IN

17d Mother holds the stage presenting art movement (7)
DADAISM: What your mother is (if sire is your father) contains a stage or raised platform for speakers (Oraters, not Hi-fi speakers)

19d No male to succeed (7)
HEIRESS: Who succeeds to the family titles or wealth when one has no male issue

20d Almost leak what shouldn’t be leaked? (6)
SECRET: A word meaning of a cell, gland or organ produce and discharge a substance needs its last letter removing as indicated by the word almost

23d Prevent good person getting work (4)
STOP: The two-letter abbreviation for a canonised person is followed by the abbreviation for a musical work or opus. A fitting end to this puzzling malarkey

Quickie Pun: press+bitter=Presbyter (an elder of diverse churches)


 

108 comments on “DT 29525
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  1. If this was indeed the work of Giovanni, then he certainly had his fluffy slippers on when he set this crossword

    My favourites were 11a and 16a.

    Thanks to the setter and to MP

  2. An enjoyable crossword with a nice mix of clues, if not as challenging as the Thursday crosswords of recent weeks (2*/4*). I liked 12d and 17d but there were lots of other good clues. Thanks to MP for the review and to the compiler

  3. I had no problem with this crossword, it was the quick one. Although I always do it first I have never heard of a presbyter. Who knew

  4. A sound crossword today with good clues without the obscuranticism of previous Thursdays. I always like simple clues with pleasing surfaces so 11a is my favourite today.

    Thanks to the setter and MP. Do your initials suggest you are a statist?

  5. I thought this was a typical Giovanni, quite enjoyable, a couple of obscurities apart. I was unable to fully parse 24a& 17d but bunged them in from the checkers and thought 22a a bit weak with the dated synonym inside “sting” but assumed the correct parsing.
    Clues I particularly liked were 8&11a plus 2d but my favourite was the clever 20d.
    3/3*
    Many thanks to the setter and to MP particularly for the great Divine Comedy song.

    1. I was at that recording of Later With Jules Holland. I remember Massive Attack, Roddy Frame, Mrs Spectre and Blondie being there as well

      1. Wow, I’m seriously impressed MP.
        I remember seeing the brilliant Roddy Frame in concert when he was still fronting Aztec Camera many years ago. Consummate performance.

        1. 11th December 1998 for The Jules Holland. I saw Roddy Frame backing Bob Dylan in the early nineties at Hammersmith Odeon
          I’m missing gigging and missing my Rugby. Lockdown has its moments though. Did you know that a 500 gram box of pudding rice contains 17,857 grains of rice.

            1. Santana 5th July 1984 St James Park Newcastle 7th July 1984 Wembley Stadium and 31st August 1993 Pine Knob Music Theatre Michigan. All supporting Bob Dylan

              1. I should have known better than to ask! My younger brother and I first saw them at Hammersmith in the early 70’s. We made a return trip to the O2 in 2008. Carlos didn’t look much different.

                1. Mary
                  I saw the Beatles there in the early sixties.
                  I remember going to the pictures in Hammersmith Odeon. Am also old enough to remember the Broadway before it was a gyratory system. This is my first post. I enjoyed the crossword but needed hints for 5d and 14a . Thanks to setter and MP

                  1. Welcome to the blog Mary. My brother saw The Beatles at The Coventry Theatre. I was too young and never got to see them. I’ve seen just about everybody else I wanted to though

  6. Agree with MP’S **/***, nothing difficult this Thursday, just a pleasant enjoyable solve.
    Thanks also to MP for the parsing of 1d which eluded me -I was seeking a 6 letter word to have its tail docked after the usual abbreviated doctor- I ignored the about bit !
    16a brought a smile and was my favourite, followed by the 14a charade.
    Liked the quickie pun.

  7. A very gentle Giovanni today, if it his him. **/**** A good mix of clues and nothing obscure about the answers. I liked little Al’s shirt in 5d but my favourite today is 16a because it made me laugh. My mum used the expression but I don’t think I’ve come across it very often of late. Thanks to all.

  8. Well surely Phil & Bob can’t have any complaints today. Very straightforward though enjoyable nonetheless. Most annoyingly I failed to parse 6d & it’s COTD for me now that MP has explained it & also didn’t know that 12d is now with a V as opposed to a B. The Toughie took a while & helped pass some time as I stared out of the window into the Stygian gloom lamenting the fact that usually I’d be out in Jo’burg now watching the first round of the golf at Rand Park.
    Thanks to the setter & to MP

      1. Snap! By the time I noticed it was a pangram, I only had Z left. I’d heard of it (mainly from its canal) but hadn’t picked up which country it was in.

        Similarly, I’ve now learnt that 27a were from Peru.

  9. An excellent and not too difficult puzzle for a Thursday. 6d had me scratching my head until the penny dropped and, like Huntsman, it became my favourite clue. An honourable mention for 3d too.

    Thanks to The Don and MP.

  10. most enjoyable and doable. thanks to G & to MP.

    MP – btw is that a new sofa i see or does St Sharon not trust you to not make a mess while scarfing down a hard boiled egg & a pint of ale?

    1. It certainly is a new sofa Spindrift. We were still in the midst of renovation when they were delivered so the protective wrapping stayed on. That’s me toasting my mate John on the day of his funeral during the first lockdown. Now that would have been one hell of a party if we had been allowed to hold it. How is that grandchild of yours (or those grandchildren) I remember you’re first being a ray of sunshine in a gloomy time for you

      1. We don’t see much of Henry and George due to this bloody lockdown but we do have FaceTime at weekends. The boys become almost feral when they’re on camera but I wouldn’t have them any other way. As for Julia, well she has gone from a chubby and quiet baby to the most beautiful and angelic toddler anybody has ever seen but I would say that being her Gana!

  11. This is more like the Giovanni I knew and loved. Some might describe it as fluffy but I prefer to think of it as well clued (well it makes me feel better!)
    Very enjoyable and with elegant clues and lots of lovely whole anagrams rather than the dreaded part ones which seem to be in vogue at the moment. My fav clue was def 11a and learnt a new word in 6d.
    Thx to all
    **/*****

        1. Well. Now that you mentioned it. When solving they don’t bother me. They are just another clue. I’m pretty good at solving them mentally and all of today’s went straight in on my first pass. That alone provided useful checkers in all but two clues. Writing the hints for anagrams is boring. Anagram (indicator) of FODDER. Over and over again. A couple per crossword is fine. Six is over egging the pudding. Beam Toughies are perfect. Thanks for asking

  12. This one was great fun with 6d the last one in and it made me ‘grrr’ a little.

    I thought to myself a couple of days ago, “Just a few days without rain and I can give the grass a final quick mow before the wintry frosts set in.”
    Toddled along to the back door, with Lola in hot pursuit; opened the back door and… yes… the heavens opened at that exact moment and torrential rain thwarted my foolish plan.

    Thanks to the setter and Miffo with his eccentric chair coverings ‘n’ all.

  13. At last my blue patch seems to be over! While not entirely straightforward it was very enjoyable with some excellent clues. I particularly liked 16a and this is my COTD. I will also give a mention to 14a, which I had great fun building the answer from the bricks of the clue.

    Many thanks to the setter, who appears to be Giovanni, for restoring my confidence in my solving ability. Thanks, also, to Miffypops for the hints and the fabulous Divine Comedy.

  14. Had trouble with the parsing of 1d and 6d but 9ther than those, all went on well…..not a usual experience for a Thursday for me.

    Thanks to the setter and to MP

  15. Hi to the experts!! What is “the rule” on capital letters? Are they allowed as in 8a as a “mislead” i.e. Not a capital! My wife is training me! So I would love to know for future “discussions”
    Ian

    1. Yes, capitalisation is allowed as a “mislead” as described by our esteemed editor on page 119 of his excellent book How to Solve a Cryptic Crossword.

  16. A lot of “doh” moments with this one which I struggled with more than perhaps I should have. I shared the view of the first letter in the DT above that Thursday had become hardest of the week and I would not like to see the DT making this crossword much harder – as others have pointed out there is always the toughie. 16a eventually leapt out at me and made me laugh – another “doh” moment.

  17. Surely it can’t be Thursday 😳 Really enjoyed this one **/**** Favourites 16a & 17 and 4d 😃 Thanks to Giovanni and to MP. Failed on the Quicky kept wanting a “Y” for Presbetry 😬

  18. I managed to finish this, but have no idea of the time, as I had to break off to buy a horse.

    I didn’t know the Quickie pun, and my COTD goes to 21a.

    Many thanks to The Don and MP.

      1. Long story short, a friend of mine, in a country far, far away, saw a horse tied up at the roadside, all skin and bone, with little to eat and no water. She took it back to her place and fed and watered it. It didn’t stop eating for 24 solid hours. Three days later the owner turns up and threatens to call the police and report her for horse-theft unless she paid him a large sum, much more than the horse was worth. Clearly a con, so she called their version of the RSPCA, Animal Welfare, who looked at the photos from the roadside and immediately slapped a huge fine on the owner. With the con busted, he was stuck between a rock and a hard place, so offered to sell the horse for the value of the fines. She didn’t have the money, I did. His name is ‘Basti’, apparently, and perhaps I’ll meet him someday.

        1. Oh – what a story – made me cry but so does everything at the moment – you’re a star.
          I will look at the link shortly but, in the meantime I think you’re amazing.

        2. That almost restores my faith in human nature. Not much good will around to people or animals at the moment. Thank you on behalf of Basti.

  19. Quote, “Your answers to the wordy clue in the last letter are welcome “. CONTORTED?

    I’d only solved a few clues before I thought that today’s puzzle had Giovanni written all over it. It brought back fond memories of past Friday puzzles. I don’t always agree with Brian’s comments, but today I’m 100% with him in agreement. Well clued and very enjoyable – much to smile at too. I could list many clues as my personal favourites, but for me 16a take the gold medal. Thanks Mr M if you were today’s setter and thank you Miffypops too

  20. I am surprised by the fluffy comments as I expected there to be more grumbling. I liked most of it which did not present problems and some very good clues. I actually thought I was going to have to change 16a to Bum hair day as the mother who is not a Ma or a Mum hadn’t occurred to me. This held me up with the art movement until I fetched the correct one from the back of my brain. I struggled with the first word of 24a as I was looking for a synonym of deduce which gave me a lot of choices. I was only left with 6d. I deduced what I was meant to solve it but was trying to reduce the politician rather than the numbers. 16 and 21a and 5 7 19 and 20 appeal.

  21. I usually find Thursday’s difficult not on same wavelength, but today’s easier, except 6 down and parsing 3 down. Thank you. Read letters and agreed.

  22. This was a mixed bag for me. Definitely easier than most Thursdays lately, but I definitely didn’t find it gentle or straightforward as there were a few that held me up until I read the hints, including 1d, 6d and 17d. Did have a chuckle at 16a, and that was before I saw the picture 😊. Thanks to Giovanni and to Miffypops. Off to see if the garden center has any geraniums yet. As you are all putting your gardens to bed, it’s time to put in the annuals here. And it’s actually cool enough to have our windows open for a couple of days.

  23. I couldn’t download this from the puzzle’s website this am so I am just about to start on the dead tree
    I am logged into the telegraph website ok and the puzzle’s website is logged in too but whenever I try to download a puzzle it invites me to subscribe? any help gratefully received.
    Re pic for 16a It is hard to have a 16a when it disappeared down the plughole many moons ago :)

    1. I hope you don’t go through what I did. I jettisoned the last two months of my sub and renewed it in order to access the puzzles. This morning it did it again, two days after paying again, but I did manage to get it after a couple of tries.

  24. I didn’t find this particularly straightforward which probably means that Giovanni did set it. I’ve always struggled with his crosswords and think I always will.
    Just for a change I can’t really think of much to say.
    Oh yes – there is something (there usually is) – I’m still stuck with 1d. The answer had to be what it is but what on earth is the last bit of it – moving about without its last letter? I can’t think of that word and it’s driving me loopy!! Oh dear!
    I did quite like 11, 16 and 24a.
    Thanks to Giovanni and to MP.

      1. Thanks – how couldn’t I see that? Stupid, just plain stupid, that’s what I am today.
        As to the second bit of your reply – I think you must be having a laugh!!

          1. No need Kath. I’m happy enough as it is. If it weren’t for the present situation I’m sure we’d have swapped about but everything is consistent at the moment. Deep a threat hasn’t spent the summer in France so no standing in there.

  25. Shucks, I just lost my long comment about wasting my substance in riotous living–like the Prodigal Son–by spending too much time, energy, and substance on today’s Toughie. I must learn to husband my resources more efficiently. Maybe I’ll reverse the order of working puzzles on Thursdays and Fridays! Anyway, I very much enjoyed today’s Giovanni, even though it took me a moment to ‘deduce’ what ‘deduce’ meant in 24a. Podium winners: 17d, 11a, and 3d / 12d (a tie). Thanks to Miffypops for the always entertaining comments, and to Giovanni. ** / ****

  26. I enjoyed this one – lots of clever misdirection, and enough anagrams to get me going. Still took me some time, and I needed the hints in order to parse 1d. COTD was 16a – hilarious!
    Thanks to Giovanni and MP

  27. Galloped through this but did need a couple of MPs hints to work out the parsing on the clues alluded to above.
    Perhaps the secret Kath of getting on Giovanni’s wavelength is to read the Chambers Crossword Manual 5th Edition written by the Don, particularly the chapter where he takes us through the process of the blank grid through to the clue writing lets us get into the setters mind and see the cogs whirring.
    Thanks to MP and the setter.

    1. I don’t think that I’ll ever get on Giovanni’s wavelength – it’s a bit like so many people having trouble with Ray T and I don’t, usually! I think we’re probably all allowed at least one setter who we just don’t get on with and Giovanni is mine!

      1. I’m with you, Kath, regarding Ray-T and DG.
        I find a Beam Toughie easier than an easy Giovanni puzzle. DG’s clues are just way beyond me.

  28. Found this Thursday offering a little tricky but not as hard as the last couple of Thursday puzzles. 2.5*/*** for me with left side easier than right with SE last area complete with 19d last in.
    Clues of note include 13a, 16a, 21a, 4d & 5d with winner16a and 4d runner up

    Thanks to setter and MP for the hints

  29. As in the toughie, the NW was last to yield.
    Forgot that the Don was on but pleased about the lack of obscurities.
    A very enjoyable solve and review to follow.
    Does the picture refer to 16 or 18a?
    Thanks to Giovanni and to MP.

    1. Ha ha Jean-Luc. You do crack me up. Have you watched Schitt’s Creek on Netflix yet. We are getting through it now and really enjoying it. So funny and so uplifting

      1. Without a paddle I’m afraid.
        Waiting to be connected to optic fibre network in order to link everything. I still have a land line, an old internet box and a cathodic tube TV.

  30. Such a joy to have a puzzle from the much-missed DG who always avoids the far-fetched. It went in happily in two sittings and I was sorry when it ended – here’s to the next time. One or two of my parsings needed MP confirmation of their veracity. My ‘O’ Level geometry had not introduced me to 3d! We seem recently to be facing several elements many of which I have to admit are unfamiliar to me but I appreciate BRB listing, however no problem with 11a. Fav was 16a. Many thanks indeed Giovanni and MP.

  31. I did enjoy this, Giovanni being like he used to be. I only needed e-help for two, 3d and 6d; never heard of 6d, have heard of 3d but couldn’t think of it.
    Lots to like, but 16a takes the prize, worth a giggle! I think 5d deserves honourable mention.
    Thanks to Giovanni for the fun and M’pops for his hints and tips.

  32. I really enjoyed this one. 16a made me laugh, and for the first time I remembered that a flower doesn’t have to be a plant. I only had to look at the hint for 6d, but please someone tell me where the B disappears to in 11a.

  33. Miffypops, thanks so much for including those DT letters which have been the subject of so much commentary in past blogs. Those of us in the New World who subscribe to the puzzles but not to the newspaper are in the dark in this as in so many other ways. As to “the Don,” I always wondered what he does in addition to the tweets and am reassured to know he sets cryptics.

    1. Giovanni’s real name is Don Manley hence ‘The Don’. He sets the cryptic on alternate weeks with RayT. I put the letters up because I am aware that a lot of people subscribe to the puzzles site and never see the actual newspaper. I subscribe to the newspaper app and don’t see the puzzles site

    2. You’re kidding, of course! If it’s the same Don I think you mean, he doesn’t know any words more than one syllable, much less 3d.

  34. A quick look through after breakfast and I thought I may as well put this one straight in the recycling bin….anyway after a long walk in the Lancashire sunshine with cracking views to the Lake District, the puzzle was mostly dispatched without any trouble and enjoyed too. I’m afraid I had to look up 16a which I couldn’t see for the life of me. Thanks to MP and the setter.

  35. I am apparently alone in finding this frankly awful. I have spent ages struggling to get a third of the clues.

    It is getting to the point where I abandon the crossword without even being interested in the answers I have failed to get.

    Ho hum, at least everyone else seems to have enjoyed it.

    1. I’m with you (go back to comment 27) – I didn’t enjoy this one either – I’m glad to have a little bit of company.
      I’m sure Giovanni’s crosswords are really well set so I’m not criticising him as a setter (I wouldn’t dare) but I just don’t ‘get’ them – I really miss any kind of humour. I need something to make me laugh like we see in Thursday Ray T’s and Jay on Wednesdays.

  36. Thanks to Giovanni and to Miffypops for the review and hints. I enjoyed this one very much, but found it very tricky. Was puzzled by the explanation for 11a, surely unintelligent is dumb, if so how does the “b” get dropped? Needed the hints for 25a and 6,12,20d. Favourite was 3d. Was 3* / 3* for me.

  37. Struggled with this, and didn’t enjoy it as much as I normally do for a Thursday. But then, it was very “Friday a while back” like, so shouldn’t complain. Rather offended by 18a as I solved this wearing said article of clothing, and didn’t think much of 13a. No real stand-out clues. Just glad it was better than yesterday’s slog.

  38. I’m with some of the later contributors in that I found parts of this very difficult. But hey ho! I got there in the end. Favourite was 24a. Thanks to Giovanni and MP.

  39. The highlight of this puzzle was when Mrs LJ caught my eye while completing it and pointed out she hadn’t seen me with a face like a bulldog licking p**s off a thistle since Giovanni stopped writing on a Friday!! I hated it, I have never enjoyed his style of cluing and loathe GK in cryptic crosswords but even at subscriber rates for the DT now, I can’t afford not to see it through, hence the grumps!!

  40. I found this tricky. Yes, 1A – it has to be, but this word is not in BRB. It is an American spelling but this is not clued. Maybe this is an example of the quote at the top? :)

  41. I’m with bananawarp and Kath, I’m afraid. Not a happy bunny. Never head of the answer to 6d and no idea how I’m meant to get ********** from ‘the numbers’. And no idea how the answer to 24a relates to the clue – presumably ‘we may deduce’ is some sort of code known only to everyone else. I really don’t like clues when you know what the answer must be but you have no idea why. Ditto 1d. Therefore I smiled at 16a (bald as a coot etc.) through gritted teeth. Hey ho. Onwards and upwards.

    1. You are pulling our collective legs of course re 24a? Spit is an anagram of tips = spit., in turn = spit out = discharge . As for numbers in 6d, take the word statistics (numbers) and remove 30% of the letters. Seemples!

  42. To be fair to DM, he has reigned in the ancient obscure religious references and the clues are always fair – better than some of the nonsense found in the Graun
    Having said that, I do solve his puzzles with a hint of ‘I’m not letting you beat me!’ so I don’t care how difficult it is; admittedly he is not my favourite setter either, but they can’t all be
    Respect to Giovanni and thanks to MP for the blog

  43. Could do very little of this, but then Giovanni’s puzzles have always been a mystery to me. I think I got 4 answers.
    Thanks all.

    1. Having read the hints, thank Heavens I gave up after 5 minutes, that would have taken me the rest of my life.
      Thanks for the hints.

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