DT 29534 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29534

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29534

Hints and tips by pommers

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ****

Hola from the Vega Baja on a sunny but chilly morning.  I really should be on double time today as it’s a public holiday here.  It’s San Andreas day, the patron saint of Almoradí, and normally there would be a big parade and festivities in the town but with the Covid-19 restrictions that isn’t going to happen this year.

On to the puzzle.  It’s another elegant puzzle as I’ve come to expect on a Monday. I really enjoyed it as there’s enough head scratching material to keep one on one’s toes but a few gimmes to get a start.  There’s also seven clues involving anagrams so I know many of you will be happy.

As usual the ones I liked most are in blue.  The definitions are underlined in the clues and the answers are under the “click here” buttons so don’t click on them unless you really want to see the answer.  Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a           Particular person in awkward situation after following us (7)
FUSSPOT:  Start with F(ollowing) and the US from the clue and after it put a word for an awkward situation.  I must be a bit slow this morning as I needed all the checkers before the penny dropped on this one.

5a           Doing wrong nicking a piece of jewellery (7)
EARRING:  A word meaning doing wrong is placed around (nicking) the A from the clue.

9a           Fit of pique broadcast (5)
EQUIP:  Fit here is a verb and the answer is an anagram (broadcast) of PIQUE.

10a         Band‘s rearrangement of Hart score (9)
ORCHESTRA:  Anagram (rearrangement) of HART SCORE.  As you probably know I’m not a big fan of anagrams but here I like the surface reading.

11a         Big gambler in powerful posh car (4-6)
HIGH ROLLER:  A word for powerful or lofty followed by a slang term for a posh make of car.

12a         At another time in American one (4)
ANON:  This is a lurker  It’s hiding in (in) the last two words.

14a         Express concern in the entertainment industry (4,8)
SHOW BUSINESS:  A word which can mean to express followed by a concern or company.

18a         Party fare in Cheshire, say — trifles? (6,6)
CHEESE STRAWS:  What Cheshire is an example of followed by another word for some trifles or unimportant things.  I haven’t had any Cheshire for years and it’s one of my favourites. I’ll have to try and find some.

21a         Dreadful anger shown by daughter (4)
DIRE:  D(aughter) followed by a word for anger.

22a         Examiner is current head of Eton in disguise (10)
SCRUTINEER:  Anagram (in disguise) of IS CURRENT with an E (head of Eton).

25a         One seeking post of parish priest in unfinished Spanish resort (9)
APPLICANT:  PP (Parish Priest) inserted into (in) the bit of Spain where I live but it’s missing its last letter (unfinished).  I’m not sure I’d describe this place as a resort. It’s one of Spain’s largest cities and seaports but I guess it does have a beach and a yacht marina.  The province does contain Benidorm however so that certainly counts as a resort.  Anyway here’s a picture of the castle . . .

26a         Correct about leader of commandos bringing about ceasefire (5)
TRUCE:  A word meaning correct or right placed around  (about) a C (leader of Commandos).

27a         Northern Ireland trenchermen initially go for carp (3-4)
NIT PICK:  Start with NI (Northern Ireland) and a T (Trenchermen initially) and after that put a word meaning to go for as in to choose.

28a         Stylish member introduced to neat rum (7)
ELEGANT:  Anagram (rum) of NEAT with a member inserted (introduced to).


1d           Plump folk tale character turned up — Bashful? (6)
FLESHY:  A character from a folk tale is reversed (up in a down clue) and followed by a word meaning bashful.

2d           Plant, rush, shown across page (6)
SPURGE:  A word meaning to rush around (across) a P(age).

3d           Outdoor pursuit? (5,5)
PAPER CHASE:  Cryptic definition of a type of cross-country run.

4d           Ring about river monster (5)
TROLL:  The ring of a bell around (about) an R(iver).

5d           Former auditor, from what we hear, in the Treasury (9)
EXCHEQUER:  The usual two letters for former, usually a former partner, followed by a word which sounds like (from what we hear) a word describing an auditor.

6d           Lively dance in part of film (4)
REEL:  Double definition.

7d           At home, nursed fiancé? (8)
INTENDED:  The usual “at home” followed by a word meaning nursed.

8d           Variety of slogans on top of that Gorbachev initiative (8)
GLASNOST:  Anagram (variety of) of SLOGANS followed by a T (top of That).

13d         Listen with unusual instrument (3,7)
TIN WHISTLE:  Anagram (unusual)  of LISTEN WITH.

15d         Knowing excellent gag (9)
WISECRACK:  A word for knowing or sage followed by another word for excellent.

16d         Form of pollution — a constant one associated with sewer (4,4)
ACID RAIN:  Start with the A (from the clue) followed by C (constant, the speed of light) and I (one) and follow with (associated with) a sewer and then split the result (4,4).

17d         Short order over mine, dilapidated (8)
DECREPIT:  A word for an order or edict without its last letter (short) followed by another word for a mine.

19d         Sturgeon playing a bugle (6)
BELUGA:  Anagram (playing) of A BUGLE.  I now have a strange mental image of Nicola playing a bugle. I must be cracking up!

20d         Passionate study aboard craft (6)
ARDENT:  One of the usual studies inserted into (aboard) another word for craft or skill.

23d         Free, the BBC? Ignore article (5)
UNTIE:  A nickname for the BBC but without the A (ignore article).

24d         Car in showroom in Ipswich (4)
MINI:  Another lurker hiding in the showroom in Ipswich.

I’ve picked out a few clues for the blue treatment but it’s a bit unfair really as the whole puzzle could be blue.  As favourite I’ll go for 25a simply because I live there.

Quick crossword puns:

Top line:          HYPE     +     ROW     +     TEEN     =     HIGH PROTEIN

Bottom line:     LICK     +     WEE     +     DYES     =     LIQUIDISE

81 comments on “DT 29534

  1. All pretty straightforward for a Monday. Completed in ** time, but 2d was a new word for me. 22a took a lot of head-scratching to work out, and so gets my vote for COTD.

    Many thanks to the setter and Pommers.

  2. My rating is 2*/4* for another in a long line of very entertaining Monday puzzles.

    Although I knew P was an abbreviation for “priest”, I was going to comment that I couldn’t find any reference to P also being an abbreviation for “parish” as required for 25a. Then I looked up PP in my BRB, which revealed all.

    I enjoyed the topical 22a and smiled at the image of Ms Sturgeon playing the bugle. Perhaps understandably, 27a was my favourite. :wink:

    Many thanks to Campbell and to pommers.

  3. I’m surprised at Pommers difficulty rating on this as I found it a breeze to say the least. However it was good fun while it lasted, I thought some of the anagrams were excellent in particular.
    Podium places to 9a, 17d (great word) and 23d.
    Many thanks to Campbell and Pommers (enjoyed The Corrs) for the entertainment

  4. Nothing troublesome this morning even with my sluggish brain. I don’t have a particular favourite today. No penny dropping or huge smiles!

  5. Short but sweet fun today so now no excuse not to get on with outstanding chores. NW last corner to give in and not helped by my not having come across 2d name for the shrub. No real Favs but plenty of neat clues. Thank you Campbell and pommers.

  6. Campbell back on top form after what I thought was a slightly lacklustre offering last week. Light & breezy but full of super clues & particularly so in the south. 2d new to me also but otherwise no difficulties & all over in a shade over 1.5* time. A toss up between 25&27a for my pick amongst any number of worthy contenders. Currently struggling with 4 to go at Rookie Corner where Zorro has given us a fine puzzle well worth a look at.
    Thanks to Campbell & to Pommers.

  7. I thought it was me .. after a swift start , got bogged down so this took longer than i would expect for a Monday…so agree with Pommers ***/**** So many good clues but my favourite 23d – i just couldn’t parse as I’d forgotten the affectionate nickname for the beeb- so was left hanging until the hints were published…thanks Pommers. Did the rookie for the first time while I waited. Some excellent clues there as well. Thanks to Campbell for the exquisite crafting.

  8. This was a gentle introduction to the week but with plenty of good clues. The NW corner took the longest because It took me a while to see that 9a was an anagram. **/*** Favourite 25a. Thanks to all.

  9. Enjoyable puzzle to lighten a grey, misty, morning in Surrey. I like a few anagrams to get the thing going.

    The new table and chairs were delivered shortly before the Chelsea match kicked off yesterday so all was well, and we ate a fantastic supper (H is a goddess in the kitchen, which is handy for a 1a like me) to christen the new furniture.

    Thanks to Campbell and pommers.

  10. Great puzzle thank you, so far no one has made my rookie bung in of ear trumpet at first pass. These days for some very strange reason I find I do better the greater number of stars. Thanks to the setter and pommers. Tilsit I do hope you are on the mend.

    1. You are not alone in finding *** and **** easier than some * . I always find it disheartening when I have struggled to finish a puzzle and come here to find it classed as * or ** and the posters saying it was easy, finished at a gallop, with the setters in a very benevolent mood. In the end you get to know that with some setters you will always struggle while with others you tune into their wavelength almost immediately.

    2. Ear Trumpet was my first thought and gave it a star for a good clue. I had to think again when peace wouldn’t work for 26a

  11. After the horrors of the weekend this was a welcome breath of fresh air. No obscurities, no misdirection, no inaccessible wording, and some good smiles along the way. Many thanks for this Campbell and thanks to Pommers for his blog and parsing 23d where I didn’t see the relative connection but still solved it as obvious with the checkers. 22a although an anagram is my clue of the day. I have done the job several times in my life and wouldn’t recommend it as a life choice.

  12. Another in the long line of most enjoyable Monday puzzles and I have to admit trying to fit one of Snow White’s little family into 1d. That one gets a tick from me along with 1&27a plus 16d.

    Thanks to Campbell and to pommers for the review and the clip of The Corrs. May I recommend Mrs Appleby’s Cheshire cheese – you wouldn’t be disappointed.

  13. I was heading towards a speedy finish, then got completely unstuck on 22a. Didn’t realise I’d parsed it incorrectly, so needed Pommers’ hint. I liked the anagram at 10a, it gave a very smooth surface, so that’s my COTD. Thanks to Campbell for a very enjoyable puzzle, and to Pommers for the review.

  14. A very straightforward, elegantly clued puzzle for a miserable Monday morning. The mental picture of the SNP leader blowing her own trumpet elevated that clue to close to the top of the pile, but my favourite was the neat anagram at 10a. Great fun.

    Many thanks to the Double Punner and pommers.

  15. Found this very straightforward so, unusually, I differ from pommers’ assessment. Perhaps the extra couple of hours sleep I got yesterday afternoon helped.
    A 27a I guess, but I thought 3d weak in what was a fairly typical enjoyable Monday offering.
    19d my COTD The thought of the Ginger Whinger blowing a bugle will add amusement when I watch her news bulletins from now on.
    Thanks to Campbell & pommers for the review.

  16. I think the image of Nicola playing a trumpet is a bit better than her playing with a fish…..but that’s just me.

    Lovely start to the week.

    Thanks to the setter and to Pommers.

    Hope Tilsit is feeling better.

    1. It was interesting to see her with Andrew Marr yesterday morning and again on BBC breakfast on the Alex Salmond business – she just talks everyone down.

  17. Typical Monday Puzzle and an amusing start to the week with excellent surfaces all round like 13d and 14a, going for a **/***,
    Thanks to Pommers for the PP in 25a-my favourite clue and the 24d pic-my first car was a mini 705 PLG with bumper removed ,red leaded wheels ,go faster stripes and a Peco twin exhaust, 65 mph flat out and 0-60 in about l37 seconds -what fun!

    1. Mine was a Mini Cooper in a horrible mud brown colour and might just have done 65mph downhill. The brakes were terrible and the roof leaked so had to park on a slope and leave it in gear. Can’t imagine how it ever passed an mot.

      1. My father’s first car was a Mini with the registration plate PEE 8. A policeman did not believe it was an actual registration number and questioned my father about where the car came from and how long he had had it.

    2. I had an old Mini in which only 2nd and 4th gears would engage. After driving it like that for a year or so I discovered that one of the engine mountings had corroded through. Once that was sorted all four gears could be selected.

    3. I’ve had 4 minis: a lovely navy blue G reg 1000 which was stolen, a 750 with the long dog-leg gear lever, a Clubman and a Metro which was a Cooper under the bonnet.

    4. My little red 1960 mini was the most fun car I have ever had one. Got pulled over one day by a policeman on his bike, who started ranting at me (they always seemed to pick on red minis then), until he noticed my knitting on the passenger seat, and my advanced pregnant state, when he changed his tune completely. Thank you number one daughter!

  18. That’s the fastest I have ever done it an absolute breeze 0.5*/4*
    Must have been on the right wavelength.
    Lots to choose from 18a,27a and 15d.
    27a COTD for me.
    Thanks to Pommers and the setter.

  19. Excellent start to the week, I am a fan of anagrams as they give me a good start. I liked 27a and 17d but of course many other good clues.
    Thanks to Pommers and Campbell.

  20. What a joy! A breath of fresh air on a gloomy Shropshire morning. My COTD is 25a with 18a a close second. I don’t understand the first part of 17d but, given the checkers, it could be nothing else.

    Many thanks to Campbell for a great puzzle and also thanks to Pommers for the hints, which I will look at now.

      1. Thanks, pommers – I did get it in the end. I just forgot that particular version of order.

  21. It’s Monday, it’s Campbell – 2*/4.5*.
    Candidates for favourite – 11a, 25a, and 23d – and the winner is 23d.
    Thanks to Campbell and pommers.

  22. I agree with the *** rating, it took a bit off starting and although it was a Curates Egg, the tricky parts were quite difficult I found.
    I was pleased to find the anagrams to get me going. Overall a good puzzle that asked a few questions and had some clever misdirections.
    Thx to all

  23. Very gentle start to the week. I am a big fan of 18a the mastery of which contributed to my Boys Brigade cookery badge; not so sure about the trifles synonym though. Thanks to the setter and Pommers.

  24. I’m with the majority. All went in very nicely with bottom half followed by NE. The NW was definitely the slowest. I needed time to get the anagram at 9a and the first half of 1d but last three in were 4d 1a and 2d. Favourites 1 9 13 and 18a and 5 16 and 23d. Thanks Campbell and Pommers. I don’t think there will be any complaints today but I’m not holding my breath.

  25. I went through at a steady clip…and then there was 22A. It held me up for quite a while, but finally fell. Good puzzle! Thanks to Pommers and Campbell ( a new setter?).

    1. Campbell has been our regular Monday setter for quite some time. I think, prior to that, he was one of a group who set our weekend puzzles.

    2. Campbell has been providing us with Monday fun for several, not sure how many, months and is easily identifiable by his two, top line and bottom line, Quickie puns.

  26. Yup. I agree with everyone and everything. A great puzzle to start the week, so thanks to the setter and to Pommers. Too many good clues to single any out. Joy on a grey, wet day.

      1. How kind jane. The knee is going very well I think – I have a Zoom physio session tomorrow (the mind boggles at that) but I shall be very glad to get the heart problem fixed – they’ve given me an appointment to see a cardiologist next April!

        1. Surely you jest, you have to wait five months to check a heart problem? Oh, Daisy, I hope they’ve given you a list of symptoms to watch out for.

  27. Most enjoyable. COTD 18a although can’t really imagine Boys Brigade making them – they’re quite tricky. Last one in was 19d. Had Nicola playing the bugle for far too long!

    1. Just like the crosswords, one person’s *** can be another’s * or *****. Personally I rate them **/****.

  28. As I often say on Mondays- today’s puzzle was very Mondayish which is as it should be. Unlike the weekends Rugby which was extremely boring. Pommers, think of it like this. Twice nowt is nowt. You can claim triple time on that basis

  29. Only the second one I have managed unaided this year but perhaps trying and failing each day is beginning to pay off ? Anyway very enjoyable for me to finally crack what seems impossible at times

  30. I can’t believe it. I have actually managed to complete the crossword by early afternoon! I have been waiting to do my first blog but usually I am never finishing until really late at night and not always successfully.

    I have been entertained by this site for a good while and feel as though you are all one big family. Following the trials and tribulations of many of you and sometimes not getting to sleep for worrying about those who have needed urgent medical care. Likewise being dog owners I always enjoy news of our 4-legged friends (incl cats!). I always do the Quickie with my mid morning drink to get the grey cells going!

    I won’t be popping up very often as I try to persevere beyond the 12th hour without electronic help thus most of you have retired at a more sensible hour. Just want to say a big thank you. You all deserve a star Inc BT and his merry helpers.

    1. Welcome to the blog

      Please don’t let the fact that you finish the crossword later than others stop you from adding a comment – the person who has posted the blog always receives the comments by email and there are also a number of ‘night owls’ and people in different time zones who will read your comments. I always look at the ‘late’ comments over breakfast.

      1. Thank you for that useful piece of info. crypticsue. I’ve just got 2 left to finish in today’s but had to break off several times, washing, dog-walk and weekly trip to the supermarket. Now time for evening meal! Hope to post later!

  31. Like some others, the NW corner was the last to fall otherwise straightforward.
    Didn’t think much of the top bad pun in the Quickie.
    Hvladimir the beluga whale was in Hammerfest when I was there last year. A Russian spy they thought as it had a harness and seemed used to people.

  32. I enjoyed this as a steady solve. I appreciated the 4 word anagram clues- not hard but concise and amusing. Even my other half got the sturgeon one….
    I was OK with 13d as it is one of the instruments I like to play.
    Many thanks to setter and Pommers.

  33. Whoa, I think my horse finally showed up. Dare I say I did at the proverbial gallop today, well a fast canter then. I almost didn’t put that, as I confess to getting irritated when others say that and I am still struggling to get my foot into the stirrup. But I must have been right on wavelength today, and was very surprised to see the *** rating. I’m old enough to remember 8d. Last in was 17d as most of my life I have misspelt that, ending with a d instead of a t. COTD is shared between 5d and 16d. Thanks to setter and Pommers.

  34. A really nice start to the week on a particularly dark and damp Monday 😃 **/*** Favourites 1 & 23 down. Thanks to Campbell and to Pommers, I particularly enjoyed the “Corrs” 🤗 Finished early so now I have time to ponder what I am going to do with my 0.25p increase to the OAP 🤔

  35. A nice puzzle to start the week. **/**** It is a cold, wet windy day here on the west coast of BC, but with promise of a couple of days coming up with no rain and and some sun.
    Clues of note for me were 1a, 11a, 14a, 5d & 24d with winner being 1a followed closely by my first two cars I owned in 24d. My second one I bought brand new in 1975 … all cash for $2645. Still have the car promo brochure (double sided leaflet) and the bill of sale!

    Thanks to Campbell and Pommers

  36. A grey day here but a sunny delight of a puzzle. lots of nice anagrams to get going and a few that required a bit more thought. I Hmmed a little at the trifle synonym too. We had a red 24d as well and it was good fun to drive. The modern Mini is gargantuan in comparison and nowhere near as much fun to drive IMO. I do like a nice crumbly Cheshire but have selected a nice bit of Wensleydale to go with our cake.
    22a LOI here and it was a well-disguised anagram
    I did like 27a but agree with pommers that there were many equally good clues that got his blue nod.
    Thanks to pommers and Campbell

  37. **/****. The usual enjoyable start to the week. 22a was my favourite from a packed podium. Thanks to Campbell and Pommers.

  38. Enjoyed this while it lasted; had never heard of an 11a (obviously need to get out more) and am rather puzzled about where the first word in 2d comes from, can anyone put me out of my misery? With thanks to Campbell and to DT.

  39. A good start to my week with a * for difficulty but very enjoyable nonetheless – 23d as my COTD and very topical too! Thank you Campbell and Pommers

  40. As ever, unable to finish. All but the NW corner was simple enough, I have never heard of the plant, and assumed 9a was a homophone.
    Thanks all.

  41. A bit late but just popped in to say ‘hello’ as I knew that by now it would all have been said.
    A nice crossword – my Dad would have said, ‘Damning with faint praise’. I never really knew what he meant – still don’t – should have asked him, I suppose!
    I’ve never heard of 11a but it had to be what it was.
    I particularly appreciated 1a and 1d. My favourite was 27a.
    Thanks to Campbell and to pommers.

  42. Very enjoyable went along nicely. I was tempted by ear trumpet but resisted. And Pommers, thanks for the hints, though managed without today, and good news I believe you will be on double your normal fee today. 🤣

  43. I solved this earlier today but had to do something else and I’ve only just got down to commenting.
    I never did get 9a or 1d, but the rest was not at all tricky, so thank you pommers for the hints there.
    There was so much to like, I really had no problems. I call Phoebe Cat 1a, she is one with knobs on.
    We’ve had 2d before, with a little coaxing my brain retrieved it from its darkest recesses, the BBC nickname too.
    No faves, I’d only get in trouble with Kath by choosing too many.
    Thank you Campbell for the fun, and pommers for your help.

  44. We must have seen so many different wordplay for 10a but I never get bored with this old chestnut.
    Good anagrams in 8d and 22a also.
    Favourite is the charade in 16d. I like charades and haven’t seen a good one for a long time.
    Thanks to Campbell for this very enjoyable crossword and to Pommers for the review.

  45. A very enjoyable puzzle for the evening, where I found the clues and be near brilliant. For some reason NW held me up & pushed me over time.
    Many thanks to Pommers for review & Campbell for a superb head scratcher

  46. As with others NW last to go in. Already joined in with gripes about 3d, never heard of 2d and thought 19d was a whale, Mr. G put me right on both. Favourite was 22a. All in all a good puzzle. Thanks to Campbell and Pommers.

  47. Hey, stragglers. The place in 25a was presumably described as a resort to confuse people like me into spending time trying to re-sort the letters of ‘Spanish’ into something which could have the priest inserted. I felt so pleased to’ve spotted that and not fallen into the trap of thinking of an actual Spanish resort …

    3d (or at least its first word) confused me because I hadn’t encountered that meaning before; I only knew its “excessive bureaucracy” usage, which is definitely an indoor pursuit.

    Anyway, I filled this unaided (and needed one hint to understand an answer), but it took much longer than last Monday’s, or indeed Saturday’s. My favourite was 23d with the BBC nickname.

  48. I don’t understand 3d even after the hint. From the extent of the underline, I suppose outdo is supposed to be a synonym for paper. Is that right?

    1. The whole clue is a description of an outdoor PURSUIT (chase) – I don’t know whether they happen any more, but paper chases used to be a quite common way to get people to race across country

      We have a long-standing commenter called Brian and so in order to avoid confusion, it would be helpful if you could add something more to your ‘alias’

  49. No comment from Robert Clark today? I hope he hasn’t been put off by Big Dave having got out of the wrong side of the bed yesterday. Come back, Robert! I for one enjoy your erudite contributions. Hope all is well.

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