DT 29537 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29537

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29537

Hints and tips by Miffypops

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment ***

Good morning from the drizzly independent state of Barrel where nothing of interest has happened for quite some time. Then this little gem cropped up:

That is our grandson Harrison who has been chosen as one of several virtual mascots to The England Rugby Team for their match with France at Twickenham on Saturday.

Today’s puzzle is a typical Thursday offering on a non RayT week. Those who like anagrams are well catered for and those who solve with reference books will find plenty of opportunities to use them. 

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.

Across

1a    One making big effort to produce a riddle? (8)
STRAINER: A double definition to start us off. Quite straightforward I thought

9a    Pick up in conversation what GIs were in WW2 (4,4)
OVER HERE: Split 4,4 a homophone of a word meaning to pick up in conversation usually without the knowledge of the speaker. The clue refers to the American soldiers stationed in England towards the end of WW2. Apparently they were overpaid, oversexed and **** ****

10a    Some drink needed for a bender (4)
KNEE: The answer lies hidden within the words of the clue as indicated by the word some

11a    Brought up in gutter, I’d rage when mistreated (12)
REGURGITATED: Anagram (when mistreated) of GUTTER I’D RAGE

13a    Wickedness of young girl shortly to be brought to the head (8)
MISCHIEF: Begin with the title used used for a young girl, usually unmarried. Remove the final letter as indicated by the word shortly. Add the head honcho of a tribe, clan or organised body

15a    Central element of love-song (6)
HYPHEN: Aha! This type of clue raises its head again. I’ve seen it a few times before in various guises and it always raises a smile. I suspect the sound of pennies dropping will resound around the country as the answer and the reasoning behind it become clear. Look closely at the term love-song. What do you see in the centre?

16a    Quaker writer given a hearing (4)
PENN: An implement used for writing sounds like (given a hearing) a famous Quaker who was strutting his stuff during the rule of Oliver Cromwell

17a    One attempting to be right in row (5)
TRIER: The abbreviation for right sits inside a row. Not an argumentative row. One of a series of levels in a theatre perhaps

18a    Hawk for example circling round by far edge of lake (4)
EYAS: This word of rapidly diminishing usage which describes an unfledged hawk can be worked out by reversing a word meaning for example and placing it after the final letter of the word lake. I’m not suggesting anything is wrong here but one of these is to a hawk as a baby is to a man

20a    Letting agent maybe not so great, getting nothing right (6)
LESSOR: A word meaning not so great or not as much as is followed by the letter that looks like nothing and the abbreviation of right

21a    Actress Ellen admits bit of boob in one line — really! (8)
TERRIBLY: First find an actress with the first name Ellen (Actually Alice but Alice was not her stage name so we will overlook that) born in the great City of Coventry in February 1847. Insert into this actresses name the letter that looks like the number one and the abbreviation for line separated by the initial letter (bit of) of the word boob

23a    Medical specialist providing castor oil — I’d start to get loose (12)
CARDIOLOGIST: Anagram (loose) of CASTOR OIL I’D and the first or start letter of the word get

26a    Leader of India taking advantage — he ruled 21 (4)
IVAN: The initial letter of the word India is followed by a shortened form of the word advantage to give the name of a geezer who was The Grand Prince of Moscow from 1533 to 1547

27a    Least intelligent bumpkin in exam? (8)
THICKEST: An outdated and derogatory word used to denote a person who lives in the country and considered to be of low intelligence sits inside an exam or trial

28a    Riders seem to get excited when gathered by huntsman’s instrument (8)
HORSEMAN: An anagram (to get excited) of SEEM sits inside the instrument blown by a member of the hunt when chasing its prey 

Down

2d    Island has number on lake, including female (8)
TENERIFE: A number which falls somewhere between nine and eleven is followed the name of a lake much used by setters of cryptic crossword puzzles. The abbreviation for female sits inside this lake and the whole gives the name of an island which can be found somewhere in the world

3d    Adapted to another culture, like somewhat non-U language? (12)
AMERICANISED: This clue is a cryptic definition of the term ‘adapted to another culture’. Here it means adapted to a particular other culture. That of a large country that sits geographically below Canada. The clue suggests that language that has been subjected to this culture change is non-U which means (of language) not socially acceptable to certain people. As a lover of language and the constant changes which our language undergoes, I welcome such changes which through the years has led to the rich diversity the English Language has to offer and ya boo sucks to those who resist the change

Phisheep has suggested that the Non U reference in the puzzle refers to American spellings of words like colour or odour where the American English spelling drops the letter U. I agree with him

 

4d    Treat ailing antelope (6)
NILGAI: An anagram (treat) of AILING which leads to a rather obscure antelope given a binomial name by Peter Simon Pallas in 1766

5d    Shout from nomad putting me off (4)
ROAR: A word describing a nomad based on his habit of wandering about a bit needs the word me removing

6d    Fairy’s that female type to cause trouble (8)
PERISHER: Fairies of Persian origin sit before a pronoun pertaining to the female gender 

7d    Hit from someone at the crease full of energy (4)
BEAT: The name of the cricketer at the crease contains the abbreviation for energy

8d    Matches with sides brought together by English theologian (8)
WEDDINGS: The sides (of a stage perhaps) surround the abbreviations for an English Doctor of Divinity (theologian)

12d    Unusual art piece — a VIP is showing enthusiasm (12)
APPRECIATIVE: anagram (unusual) of ART PIECE A VIP

14d    Quiet home with gross exterior (5)
FAINT: A two-letter word meaning at home is surrounded by a word meaning gross. Synonymous with the word bloated it sits a fair old way down the dictionaries list of meanings of the word gross

16d    Animals close, apt to be nasty (8)
POLECATS: Anagram (to be nasty) of CLOSE APT

17d    Money made from bakery product (8)
TURNOVER: A double definition and an easy picking of an old chestnut

19d    Dish out fantastic local tea (8)
ALLOCATE: Anagram (fantastic) of LOCAL TEA

22d    Heart of terror when assistant enters as aggressive type (6)
RAIDER: The two central letters (heart) of terror surround an assistant to an important person, usually a politician 

24d    Perch for bird? (4)
RAIL: This secretive bird favoured by setters is also a horizontal bar

25d    Round at hospital generating a few offensive words? (4)
OATH: The roundest of letters is followed by the word AT from the clue and the abbreviation for hospital

Quickie Pun: moor+aweless=more or less


 

105 comments on “DT 29537
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  1. This was an enjoyable puzzle with a lot of good clues (2*/4*). I particularly liked the 21a/26a combination, whilst 17d made me laugh and 2d was a great geographical clue i had to look up the spelling of the antelope, although it has appeared before. Tha ks to Miffypops and congratulations to young Harrison. Thanks to the compiler too.

  2. This took a bit of teasing out in places, and was certainly no stroll in the park. The anagram count enabled me to get a decent foothold in the puzzle, and the rest flowed very nicely. I liked the lurker at 10a, but the surface of 11a puts it at the top of my podium. No doubt the GK dislikers will be out in force today.

    Thanks to our setter for the fun and to MP.

    Yes, the plus sign is still appearing!

  3. An interesting solve today, which took a tad longer to solve than many recent Thursday back pagers have done. I had to check electronically for 18a, as I couldn’t remember coming across the word before. 9a misdirected me totally and so I entered the wrong ‘hear’, which slowed me down. Otherwise a lovely absorbing and very entertaining puzzle. Thanks to today’s setter and Barrel dweller.

  4. An excellent crossword but I had to resort to Miffypops – with thanks – for 18a as I hadn’t heard of that and 6d ditto. It’s always disappointing to have to throw the towel in but I would never have got those answers so just as well I did. Hopefully I shall next time! I can’t really give a difficulty rating as I couldn’t finish but enjoyment otherwise ***

  5. As ever with this setter for me it seems, a bit of a mixed bag with some excellent clues against some with obscure/dated references, and a couple of stretched synonyms.
    I didn’t think 21a was a 21a good clue referencing an actress born nearly 200 years ago, and I’d ever heard of the first element of 6d but had enough checkers to see it. Not sure about 3d either as the clue is a little too general in my humble opinion.
    I did like several others, 1,9 and 15a foremost amongst them.
    2.5/2.5*
    Many thanks to the setter and to a justifiably proud MP for the review.

    1. Ellen Terry was known to me as she was from my home city. There is a plaque to her in The Belgrade Theatre. The Persian Fairy is a cryptic regular.

        1. The Belgrade Theatre has dumbed down a lot Huntsman. More like a variety theatre now. Tribute bands, past their sell by acts from yesteryear. Very few actual plays. They still get bums on seats but we have gone from attending almost every production to almost never going. Last two visits 2009 Sunshine On Leith and 2015 The Importance of Being Earnest camped up by Nigel Havers and Martin Jarvis

          1. At least it’s still going unlike the Coventry Hippodrome/Theatre/Apollo – happy memories of some great gigs there.

            1. Deep Purple, David Bowie, Tiswas, Rory Gallagher, Supertramp, Rory Gallagher, Chris Rea, Lindisfarne, Joe Jackson.

              1. Saw Rory there at least twice. Others that stood out for me from memory were Be Bop Deluxe, Alex Harvey, Wishbone Ash, Dr Feelgood

  6. Tricky puzzle today with a few Toughie standard clues -8d last in )and 21a for example,
    Remembered in 9a where the GI ‘s were in WW2-Warrington air force base! one of those clues where the definition may have been a synonym for ‘conversation’ . This made last in 8d rather difficult, eventually the penny dropped after matches was parsed, I initially had Eridanus as a possible definition ,
    Anyway really enjoyed the solve and a ***/**** for me.

  7. I think the “non-U” language in 3D is because of its characteristic spelling of words like color and odor! Neat clue.

    1. For which we have Noah Webster to thank. The American spellings were a deliberate attempt to establish American English as a new language.

  8. I found this a trickier solve than either of the two ‘Toughies’ on Tuesday and Wednesday

    Thanks to the setter and to MP

  9. Tricky in places today. Like others, I had to check the antelope and baby hawk. Also initially put the wrong spelling in for 9a. In fairness, I should have realised that my spelling is one word whereas the answer required two. That held me up with 8d but a steady solve otherwise. ***/*** Favourite is 2d. I wasn’t too sure about the explanation for 3d. It does seem a touch generalised.

      1. I felt 3d was too generalised too but I think Phisheep has hit the nail on the head with the explanation for the non-U part of the clue.

      2. Miffipops so do I! I just thought it was being rude. By the way I can’t find a place called Barrel. Is it a synonym?!

        1. We bought our house on 19th June 2019 and declared independence on the 20th. The name is a nice link to our previous lives. Barrel is unbound by laws or rules.

      3. It’s as good an explanation as any, I grant you. However, not really what the Mitfords would have classed as non u in my opinion!!

          1. Exactly LROK. Quite brilliant and nothing whatsoever to do with the Mitfords. Phisheep did very well to spot it.

            1. There is a place not far from where I live known locally as Barrel which is a corruption of its actual name. I have several friends who live there. A big meteorite fell to the ground there in the 1960’s.

              1. I’ve seen three pieces of that Meteorite. One in Coventry at The Alfred Herbert Art Gallery and Museum. One in Hinckley at their museum. The third was in a friends house and I was lucky enough to hold it.

  10. 1 letter short of a finish & no prizes for guessing it was the 2nd letter of 18a. Ought to have twigged it from the wordplay but at least I now know the name for the baby in the unlikely event it crops up in a quiz. Enjoyed the crossword quite a lot though perhaps there was a wee bit too much GK. Hadn’t realised Ellen came from my home city of Cov & assume I’m thinking of the right fella at 16a because on reading the review I looked him up & he was only 14 when Ollie popped his clogs so he started his strutting early. Thankfully remembered the 15a device after previously having been flummoxed by it in a Dada puzzle. 9a was my clear pick of the bunch today & also liked the 21/26a combo.
    Thanks to the setter & to MP for his always entertaining review.

  11. I couldn’t download the paper onto my Kindle this morning so I couldn’t start it off from the comfort of my snuggly bed, I had to wait for the paper version. So long since I’ve done the puzzle this way I found it far more difficult for some reason. I had trouble with both the antelope and the hawk but the rest went in fairly well. Now I have removed the app and re-installed it, it all works OK. Such excitement – my WI AGM on Zoom this afternoon – all these ghastly old women looking at each other and half of them won’t have a clue what they are doing!

    1. Oy, Manders! On behalf of WI ladies nationwide I protest! Anyway, what else are you going to do on a ghastly wet, grey miserable day – I am sure you will bring a ray of sunshine to the meeting. 🥰

      1. Actually Daisygirl it was good fun and it was nice to see other members as we usually just have the committee. It’s very difficult to explain to someone where the various buttons are as they seem to be in different places on different types of computer. I hasten to add that I did include myself in the above sentence but as my webcam is off to one side, I’m not shown staring at the screen but more sideways. How is the knee?

  12. This was quite a struggle I managed to complete with only a bit of my favourite referencing, mainly Roget. Enjoyable though.
    Thanks to MP and setter.

  13. Can’t say I enjoyed this as much as recent ones but did manage to finish without aids apart from checking unknown animals and birds. I knew the Quaker but had no idea why so thanks MP. Makes sense now. Last three in were 14d 13a and 18a. I nearly gave up on the last one but glad I persisted till nearly the end of the alphabet. The actress at 21a sprang to mind straightaway and then confirmed my answer to 26a. The fairy at 6d does pop up in crosswords so no problem with this one. My top scorer is 15a. Other favourites 13 and 21a and 8d. The Doctor of Divinity is worth remembering before trawling through lists of theologians. Thanks setter and our man in Barrel

  14. Managed to finish, eventually, and agree with ***/***

    Only problem is I needed lots of digital assistance because of the number of rather obscure words and that initially took the shine off it for me. Normally I would have only given * for enjoyment, but because of all the excellent new words learned feel it has earned ***.

    Loved 9a for its simplicity, the “Central Element” in 15a had me cornered until the bitter end.

    Thanks to the setter and to MP

  15. For a change on a Thursday I found this quite straightforward and enjoyable. The only one that held out for a long time was the baby hawk. As for 3d, I left the final letters out until I had a couple of checkers. I knew which language was being indicated from the “non-U” element of the clue but the ending might have been one of two. My COTD is 15a, which gave me a huge DOH moment. 9a was also a neat clue.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Miffypops for the hints and huge congratulations to Harrison.

  16. Tough for me & might produce a mixed reaction from some regulars.
    Given Phisheep’s reasoning about 3d that is very clever & my COTD.
    Struggled with 15a until, as MP predicted, the penny dropped with a thud. Was my COTD before #7.
    Thanks to setter (Giovannni ?) & MP. Well done to Harrison, take it he will be sleeping in the kit, boots & all, until the game.

  17. A good workout today taking me into *** time last in was 15a with the penny drop moment! 3d and 18a not heard of before but gettable from the clues, lots of anagrams, a good lurker and a nice link 21a – 26a. **** for enjoyment,COTD 15a.
    Thanks to MP and the setter.

  18. Without your help miffypops I would still have been struggling at midnight. So grateful thanks. In your hint in 3 d you said how you followed changes in the English language. I would love to know what you think of the latest youngsters ideas that putting full stops in a text message is aggressive! My thanks also to the setter, but I would give it more than 3 stars for difficulty.

    1. Not just the kids Jen. Texting introducing a new way of instant messaging which quickly became even quicker as its users devised short cuts to speed up the process. Punctuation was deemed unnecessary and fell by the wayside. Now to emphasise a point a full stop can be used to make a point. That a text message has ended is obvious as there are no more words to read. To add a full stop sends a message that the whole conversation is at an end. So just as our use of language evolves so does our use of (and need for) punctuation marks. However many abbreviations or shortcuts are taken the words still need to be understood and they are. The rule book has not been ripped up. The rules have been bent and twisted to suit a new means of communication and therein lies an exciting linguistic revolution. Climb aboard and enjoy

      1. i av bi mispelin txt msgs sin da 1 an i nevr used punctuation mks unles neded to mek misen clear, burif woke snoflakes r gona get stresed by ful stops i wil mek sure i end evry txt wiv 1.
        PS Thanx 4 the revu, 2day puzel tuk me a lot longer thant tufy.

  19. What a lovely puzzle. I laughed at 11a having been thinking reared, george and I simultaneously shouted out the lovely answer to 15a, 8d was a cracker- oh, these setters are SO ingenious. Sorry, I shouted then. And very well parsed by the Honourable Member from Barrel. I bet this experience will stay with young Harrison for the rest of his life!

    1. He’s six years old, nearly seven. It may or it may not. As long as he remembers his Grandad and is kind to his Mother All will be well

      1. I’m sure he will do both. My grandsons adore George – he spent a lot of time with them when they were young,
        they don’t forget. Just make sure that in this digital age of photos on the iphone there are one or two real life
        prints of you both, I’ve done a kind of photographic family tree for the boys.

        1. We use the Photobooks app to get hard copies of our digital photos Daisygirl. It’s free plus the cost of the postage.

        2. We use Photbox but I guess it’s the same. We had a great album of our 40th wedding anniversary made by them.

  20. Not one for me I’m afraid. Too many words I have never heard of before such as 8a and a Quaker who I have no idea who he was.
    Found it very tough and no fun.
    ****/*
    Thx for the hints

      1. Brian and Terence, for future reference Pennsylvania is known as the Quaker state and the gentleman at 16a was one of the founding fathers. I spent some time visiting cousins who live there, which gave me a hint.

        1. I think it is the same setter for the Quickie as he/she has included a clue with the answer of 4a meaning lacking reverence which is not the definition in the BRB.

          1. Brian – I think the Quickie and the cryptic are always set by the same person. I also think we’ve had this ‘conversation’ many times.

  21. Hard going for me from A-Z. Required the excellent help from Miff for quite a few of the obscure answers. I rarely enjoy crosswords where one needs to know (or look up) the rarest of rare antelopes, birds, and teeny hawks. However I wish these creatures nothing but a full and enjoyable life whether ailing, perching, or circling. That is their business but I hope they will not feel I am being disrespectful if I say I hope never to come across them again in Puzzleland.

    Thanks to the setter and Miffo. Very well done to Harrison!

    1. For info rails (water) are not particularly rare, but they are shy and difficult to see. Probably as good at hiding as the bittern without all the booming.

    2. I agree about the “rare antelopes “and “teeny hawk “ but the way you wrote it had me laughing out loud. Your sense of humour or should I say humor always makes your comments fun to read.

  22. Quite tricky but satisfying when completed 😳 ***/*** No idea who the Setter is 🤔 Favourites 15 & 28a 😃 Thanks to the man from Barrel and to the Setter👍

  23. Couldn’t get the letters in 4d in any order which might make some sense so gave up on that one.
    Didn’t know the hawk either.
    The ref to 21a in 26a was quite good I thought.
    Thanks for the explanations of 3d. I like them both.
    Thanks to the setter and to MP.
    Harrison or not, good luck to France on Saturday.

  24. Thank you to Giovanni for the puzzle, and to Miffypops and his new assistant Phisheep for explaining things.

    I think 3d is my favourite, now I finally understand it

  25. I don’t do ‘Hmm’ but if I did I would.
    My complaint is not about ancient actresses or other slightly obscure stuff – it’s just that there was nothing to make me laugh.
    I did find it difficult – and I don’t mind that either – the most difficult crossword since the non Ray T Thursday two weeks ago, for me anyway – wave length and wave length again.
    I never did get 18a – spent ages trying to get a ‘G’ into it somehow – eg or for example or ‘say’ but didn’t think of that – rats and too bad.
    I did like 15a and thought that 11a was a good anagram.
    Thanks to Giovanni, I presume – it has his signature all over it – and to MP. Well done you and to Harrison.
    What a grotty, cold, dismal day. Went for a long cold and muddy walk with a friend this morning in torrential rain. It’s now down to 4C – wouldn’t trust it not to snow.

    1. Sleet and snow were forecast as likely tonight and tomorrow morning in the local forecasts for Southern England, Kath. Hope they’re wrong.

  26. Tricky, but I thought I did quite well. I missed 13a but that was an own goal. I knew the antelope, knew it was an anagram, but bunged in the answer the way I thought it was spelt and it was wrong. Teach me to be a cocky know-it-all.
    I also didn’t get 3d, I did try e-help word search but it said no such word! I agree it was very clever. I didn’t know the hawk either, the thesaurus didn’t give it.
    Apart from those, I enjoyed this and found it to be a satisfactory solve.
    Thanks Giovanni and M’pops for the puzzle and the hints. Look at Harrison! What fun for him to be able to look back at that. Well done!

  27. We also found this trickier than many Thursday puzzles to solve. For some reason the anagram in 11a took ages for us to see. Everything precisely clued and a pleasure to solve.
    Thanks Giovanni and MP.

  28. Oh dear, that was hard work. Not all of it as there were some lovely anagrams and clues that made sense. But spoilt for me by the use of the obscure in 18a, 4d and 6d. 6d might be a chestnut but I’ve clearly forgotten it. Vaguely heard of 21a actress (but before my time believe it or not), but that didn’t help me with the answer. And I confess to bring one who does not like seeing the English language adapted. When we first moved across the pond, I thought it was quaint when I wished “Have a nice day”. Fast forward a few years, I didn’t think it was cute when it started being said in England. I’m probably grumpy as I just returned from yet another fruitless search for geraniums and petunias, which are usually at all the garden centers here by now. Had to settle for a few sad looking geraniums. Thanks to setter and the gentleman in Barrel.

    1. My daughter came back from a year in America some 20 years ago. I had flu so she volunteered to man the phones. A patient rang with raging toothache so she told him to go to my colleague who was covering. As she said goodbye she said “ Have a nice day!” I had to point out that it was not an appropriate phrase for the poor man. 🥱

  29. Definitely on the trickier side and feels like a Giovanni offering for Thursday. Definitely ***/**** Never heard of the word in 18a so ended up using the G word to suss it out.
    Clues of note 9a, 10a, 15a, 2d & 3d with winner 9a and 2d was runner-up

    Thanks to setter and MP for hints

  30. Well if this was from Giovanni I will very nearly eat my hat – I would have guessed it might be a rookie product because, for a start, I would take issue with several stretched statements including 21a, 3d and 6d. It was inevitable that we would have to pay for the gentle start to the week but for me this was beyond a joke – what a disappointment. Let’s see what tomorrow brings. Thank you DG and MP via whom congrats to Harrison.

  31. What a funny old day in crossword land…I’ve done two puzzles today…yesterday’s Jay, which I found really hard and today’s which I completed at a canter and enjoyed. If it’s a Giovanni puzzle, I’ll be right chuffed with myself as I normally struggle with his. Thanks to MP and today’s setter.

      1. I’m sure there have been comments in the past but I do wonder if I know who the setter is whether that influences how I approach to the puzzle? Eg it’s Giovanni, it will be difficult, so self fulfilling prophecy, it’s difficult! If I approach with an open mind, I take the crossword at face value.

  32. Dear me that was hard. Some answers were very obscure 16a, 18a, 3d, 4d and 14d amongst them although I seemed to remember hearing of the Quaker so Googled to make sure. I needed to read MP’s hints to make sure I’d got the right answers to those. Favourite was 28a. Thanks to the setter and MP for the reassurance.

  33. Blast…did not realise until far too late that this was Giovanni whose crosswords I avoid.
    Note to self…avoid every second Thursday.
    Thanks all.

    1. No problem all in remembering William Penn. Difficult to forget someone who gave his name to an American state. My problem was knowing where the second N came from in the wordplay. Admittedly most of us may have had to use Google to check a few of our answers were correct but that is fair game if the wordplay is good.

  34. Got there in the end but struggled in a couple of places. The name for young hawk was new to me and when I tried to mention it now the predictive text changed it twice. Can’t believe I almost fully completed a Thursday cryptic puzzle. Many thanks to the setter and Miffypops. Rain beating down on the conservatory roof. Time for bed I think. By

  35. For those who struggle with GK clues, I would recommend doing the Saturday General Knowledge crossword every week. Over the years, I’ve picked up loads of new words, including the young hawk and the the fairy (also in the sub-title of a Gilbert and Sullivan opera).

    1. I agree with you, Carmen. I have been doing them for quite a while and some of the facts do stay in the grey cells. They have come in useful with cryptics. Take today, I had no problem with the quaker because I remembered Pennsylvania was named after him.

  36. I think that there typing error in answer revealed for 28a. I think that it should have read “horsemen” and not “horseman”.
    Thank you for the hints which I needed today.

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