DT 29539 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29539

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29539

A full review by gnomethang

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This puzzle was published on 5th December 2020

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Morning All! This just about strayed into two star difficulty and was failry standard for a Saturday Prize Puzzle.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a           Old vehicle‘s trim pocketed by flier (6)
JALOPY – TO LOP or trim/cut inside (pocketed by) a JAY – a bird or flier.

4a           Cheap American couple snapped (3-3)
TWO-BIT – TWO for couple and BIT for snapped.

9a           More than enough to help working artist (8)
PLETHORA – An anagram (working) of TO HELP followed by R.A. for an artist –  Royal Academician.

10a        Church officer attacked violently, unknown admitted (6)
SEXTON – SET ON for ‘attacked violently’ with X, an unknown variable in mathematics, included/admitted.

11a        Deity revealed by canal backing up (4)
ZEUS – A reversal (backing up) of the SUEZ canal.

12a        Held forth on person living abroad facing one terrible date (10)
EXPATIATED – A person living abroad is an EX-PAT(triate). Place this in front of (facing) I for one and a terrible anagram of DATE.

13a        Ban peace cult out of hand? It’s not on! (12)
UNACCEPTABLE – An anagram (out of hand) of BAN PEACE CULT.

16a        Bookkeeper’s test of equilibrium? (5,7)
TRIAL BALANCE – An unknown phrase for me but the wordplay is clear. A test of equilibrium could be a TRIAL of BALANCE.

20a        What might bring a lump to one’s throat (5,5)
ADAMS APPLE – A cryptic definition of the lump that men have and women less so.

21a        Spell in ring, but outside (4)
BOUT – O for a ring inside BUT from the clue.

22a        Explore south-eastern part of church? (6)
SEARCH – S(outh) E(ast) and then an ARCH of a church.

23a        One sent on an errand as misery develops (8)
EMISSARY – An anagram (develops) of AS MISERY.

24a        Vessel that’s well-filled (6)
TANKER – A cryptic definition of the cargo vessel that is ultimately sourced from an oil well.

25a        Well now, that’s better (6)
HEALED – Two definitions which are pretty identical in my book.


1d           In summer month, right to make soup (8)
JULIENNE – Place LIEN or legal right inside the summer month of JUNE.

2d           Lily’s position? (5)
LOTUS – Another name for the lily flower is also a yoga position.

3d           Ward got peer in trouble (7)
PROTÉGÉ – An anagram, indicated by ‘in trouble’, of GOT PEER.

5d           Cleaner with wooden thumb, oddly? (7)
WASHTUB – W for with, ASH for wood then the odd letter in T h U m B.

6d           Scotsman raised in TV age could be picture producer (3,6)
BOX CAMERA – Reverse (raised) MAC for a Scotsman  inside BOX (TV) and ERA (age).

7d           Drier about middle of April: gardener might need this (6)
TROWEL – Place a TOWEL or drier around the middle letter in ap R il.

8d           Place stripper removed item of footwear (6-7)
CARPET-SLIPPER – An anagram (removed) of PLACE STRIPPER.

14d        American river crossed by container vessel (9)
CATAMARAN – A(merican) and the river TAMAR inside a CAN/container).

15d        Got hold of mostly free wine (8)
ACQUIRED – Almost all of ACQUI(t) or free followed by RED wine.

17d        Book Russian to sit on throne occasionally (7)
IVANHOE – IVAN – a typical Russian sitting on the even (occasional) letters of t H r O n E.

18d        Fish and beer with married woman (7)
ALEWIFE – Ale for beer and a WIFE for a married woman.

19d        Commercial opening just before Christmas (6)
ADVENT – AD for a commercial (advertisement) and a VENT or opening.

21d        Herb‘s lab is vandalised (5)
BASIL – A vandalised anagram of LAB IS.


2 comments on “DT 29539

  1. Thanks to Gnomethang for the write-up. I liked some of the clues here, especially 24a, but what I remember most about the puzzle was the poor “double definition” in 25a where, as Gnomey says, it would be difficult to insert a cigarette paper between the two meanings.

    1. I thought 21d was also a weak point – were we supposed to fooled into thinking Herb was a bloke and not see a 5 letter anagram?
      Thanks for the write-up Gnomethang

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