DT 29533 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29533

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29533

A full review by crypticsue

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This puzzle was published on 28th November 2020

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

A nice middling difficulty, actually to be found on the back page of the paper, Saturday Prize Puzzle. There are  quite a lot of clues that made me smile which means I have a fair idea who the setter was

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


8a    Star witnesses not entirely marvellous (4)
MAGI – Not entirely all of MAGIc (marvellous)

9a    For audience bring in tea dispenser (3)
URN – A homophone (for audience) of EARN (bring in)

10a    Start on ploughman’s with low-fat pickle? (6)
PLIGHT – P (the start on Ploughman’s) and LIGHT (low-fat)

11a    Writer taken outside street restaurant (6)
BISTRO – BIRO (writer) taken outside ST (street)

12a    Frank describing works of Luke and John? (8)
POSTMARK – The Gospels of Luke and John come POST the Gospel of MARK

13a    Rocky pass, one circling safe place to walk (7,8)

15a    Beloved son, small, placed by couple (7)
SWEETIE – S (son) WEE (small) TIE (couple)

17a    Little Rod, an immature swimmer (7)
TADPOLE – TAD (little) POLE (rod)

20a    Time aboard cosy starship is working for scientists (15)
ASTROPHYSICISTS – T (time) goes ‘aboard’ an anagram (working) of COSY STARSHIP IS

23a    Doorbell broken — here one’s invited to knock! (8)
BORDELLO- An anagram (broken) of DOORBELL I wasn’t the only one to be surprised by this clue and its solution appearing in a DT crossword, but for me, anyway, it confirmed my guess as to who set the crossword

25a    Pasta strip and bean? (6)
NOODLE – A pasta strip and an informal term for the head (as is ‘bean’)

26a    Hairstyle that might be red or grey? (6)
MULLET – A hairstyle that is short at the front, long at the back, and ridiculous all round; fish that can be either red or grey

27a    The old swine at first gives thumbs-up (3)
YES – YE (old-fashioned the) S (the first letter of swine)

28a    Smoker sighted in Vietnam (4)
ETNA – Hidden (sighted in) viETNAm


1d    Nation on Chile’s borders shows venom (6)
MALICE – MALI (nation) on the ‘borders’ of ChilE

2d    Assistance lifts clan in bitter attack (8)
DIATRIBE – A reversal (lifts) of AID (assistance) followed by TRIBE (clan)

3d    Georges perhaps one involved with gun schemes? (9,6)
AUTOMATIC PILOTS – AUTOMATIC (gun) PLOTS (schemes) with I (one) ‘involved’

4d    Examine pitch initially used in cricket? (7)
INSPECT – P (pitch initially) used in INSECT (cricket?)

5d    Religious doctrine rewritten as Sicilian Pope leads mass (15)
EPISCOPALIANISM – An anagram (rewritten) of AS SICILIAN POPE goes before ‘leads’ M (mass)

6d    Settled problem over paper used in chemistry test (6)
LITMUS – LIT (settled) and a reversal (over) of SUM (problem)

7d    Become friendlier, we hear, finding God (4)
THOR – A homophone (we hear) of THAW (become friendlier)

14d    Raul Sanguineti beaten all ends up for nothing (3)
NIL – A reversal (up) of the ‘ends’ of rauL sanguinetI beateN

16d    Lived once in Bath — hard to leave! (3)
WAS – Remove the H (hard to leave) from WASh (bath)

18d    Spooner becomes confused about international killer (8)
POISONER – An anagram (confused) of SPOONER ‘about’ I (international) – sneaky use of the word SPOONER!

19d    Replacement used for term: issue for children? (7)
SYNONYM – issue is a SYNONYM for children

21d    Strain to get through this puzzle? (6)
RIDDLE – Double definition

22d    Knack revealed in story books (6)
TALENT – TALE (story) NT (books of the New Testament)

24d    Burden setter and solver must carry? (4)
ONUS – The burden is ON US (the setter and solver)

11 comments on “DT 29533

  1. Thank you for the excellent review as always CS, neither Dad or I twigged 19d…we both had the answer but didn’t know why :oops:

  2. Thanks. I really liked this crossword. Any tips for spotting when it’s this setter setting? I don’t have time to do a crossword every day, so it’d be nice to make sure I don’t miss out when it’s a setter I get on with.

    1. Not really – if Tilsit thinks it might be him on a Saturday, he does say so.

      I actually quite like not knowing who the setter is as I think people tend to have set views on setters they don’t like and approach their crosswords accordingly without giving them a chance to prove the grumpies wrong

  3. Thanks for the explanations. I particularly liked 13a. I’m very impressed by a setter who can anagram a phrase to clue “Pelican Crossing “

  4. Hi,

    Can anyone explain to a novice the relevance of “Georges” in clue 3d in this crossword ?

    Many thanks

    1. Welcome to the blog Shaun

      George is a RAF slang for the Aircraft Automatic Pilot system. I’m not at all sure about it’s use in the plural; theoretically it’s OK but would it ever actually be used?

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