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DT 29561

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29561

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Good morning and Happy New Year from South Staffs. Let’s hope for health and happiness for all, and release from the twin plagues of virus infection and government nannying.

Today’s puzzle is a reasonably gentle one for those who stayed up late to see in the New Year, and has a certain seasonal element.

In the hints below, the definitions are underlined. The answers are hidden under the ANSWER buttons, so don’t click if you don’t want to see them.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a           Number or score linked to this clue? (6-3)
TWENTY-ONE – Start with the number known as a score, then add the number visible at the start of this clue.

6a           In these times, yes-man Democrat should move to the left (5)
TODAY – A ‘yes-man’ or sycophant, with the Democrat moved one place left.

9a           Show bottom student that item with heavenly illumination (7)
MOONLIT – Put together a slang term for showing one’s bottom in public, the letter which indicates a student driver, and the pronoun for ‘that item’.

Slowly, silently, now the moon
Walks the night in her silver shoon;
This way, and that, she peers, and sees
Silver fruit upon silver trees;
One by one the casements catch
Her beams beneath the silvery thatch;
Couched in his kennel, like a log,
With paws of silver sleeps the dog;
From their shadowy cote the white breasts peep
Of doves in silver feathered sleep
A harvest mouse goes scampering by,
With silver claws, and silver eye;
And moveless fish in the water gleam,
By silver reeds in a silver stream.
Walter de la Mare

10a         Book perhaps with chart for base of operations (9)
WORKTABLE – Another word for a book or a piece of music, followed by a chart of figures.

11a         Most evil-smelling tanker’s adrift (7)
RANKEST – Anagram (adrift) of TANKER’S.

12a         They shoot what hairdresser does when visited by Queen (7)
SNIPERS – Start with something a hairdresser does with his or her scissors, then insert our queen’s regnal cipher.

13a         Conditions expected if quartet is spoken by actors (7,8)
WEATHER FORECAST – Put together homophones (is spoken) of another word for ‘if’ and another word for a quartet, then add the collective noun for the actors in a play.

18a         Clue for hint, for example – or equivalent? (7)
SYNONYM – A word for something which is a verbal equivalent of another, as ‘clue’ is of ‘hint’.

20a         Tango in nude’s going wrong – with time one should learn (7)
STUDENT – Anagram of the letter represented by Tango in the NATO alphabet and NUDE’S, followed by Time.

22a         Retribution in Geneva recollected once, with nothing omitted (9)
VENGEANCE – Anagram (recollected) of GENEVA, followed by (o)NCE.

23a         Therapist, am I napping to conserve energy? (7)
STAMINA – Hidden in the clue.

24a         Dinin’ interrupted? Do it at home! (3,2)
EAT IN – Another word for ‘dinin’’ (complete with missing ‘g’) is split  (3,2) (interrupted), to get what you do when dinin’ at home.

25a         Socially uncertain, like a redundant teacher? (9)
CLASSLESS – The teacher is redundant because he or she has no pupils to teach, so could be said to be this,


1d When 1 Down will be 6 Across? (8)
TOMORROW – 6a is Friday 1 January. 1d is Saturday 2 January. 1d, Saturday 2 January will be 6a.

2d           Strange enigma, keeping love a thing for oneself? (8)
EGOMANIA – Anagram (strange) of ENIGMA, with the letter which looks like a love score at tennis, followed by A (from the clue).

3d           Kind of picture that speaks volumes? (6)
TALKIE – Cryptic definition of the type of cinematic production which displaced silent fims.

4d           Best said, ‘Oh you … idiot!’ (6)
OUTWIT – The two letters which sound like (said) ‘Oh you’, followed by another word for an idiot.

5d           Little drink needed in Spain, so swallowing squash (8)
ESPRESSO – The IVR code for Spain and ‘so’ (from the clue), placed either side of (swallowing) another word for ‘squash’.

Assembly Espresso Blend (200g / 1kg) – Assembly Coffee London

6d           Fabulous race-winner? One hesitates to stick one’s neck out (8)
TORTOISE – The fable was by Aesop, and the loser was a hare.

7d           League and Cup, say, could be possible with United ousting ace (6)
DOUBLE – A sporting term describing the winning of two trophies in a single season. Another word for ‘possible’ or ‘feasible’ has the A(ce) replaced by U(nited).

8d           Sings high? (6)
YODELS – A type of singing associated with communicating from high mountains.

14d         What keeps trousers creased? Working flunkey (6-2)
HANGER-ON – Something used to put trousers away tidily, followed by another word for ‘working’.

15d         Sort of Italian automatic response, getting amorous (8)
ROMANTIC – An adjective for an inhabitant of a large Italian city, followed by a nervous reflex.

16d         Deal with idea to move somewhere down under (8)
ADELAIDE – Anagram (to move) of DEAL and IDEA.

17d         They carry bits and pieces to Tetleys, maybe dropping the first article (4,4)
TOTE BAGS – TO (from the clue) followed by something made by Tetleys or PG Tips, with the first instance of the indefinite article removed.


Canvas Tote Bags - Bulk 12 Pack 13"x13" Fabric Blank Tote Bags, Natural  Cotton for DIY Crafts, Gift Bag and Wedding, Birthday, Promotion Giveaways,  or Reusable Grocery Bag by Bedwina: Amazon.co.uk: Kitchen

18d         A set in Vegas, rocking wild (6)
SAVAGE – Anagram (rocking) of VEGAS with A (from the clue) inserted.

19d         No northern female will lead at slimming (3-3)
NON-FAT – Put together NO (from the clue), Northern, Female, and AT (from the clue).

20d         Rest that makes one smile, as it can occasionally (6)
SIESTA – Alternate letters (occasionally) of the fourth to the seventh words of the clue.

21d         German divers in American landing craft? (1-5)
U-BOATS – These divers are machines rather than people. One of the abbreviations for ‘American’ wrapped round a craft or vessel.

The Quick Crossword pun SUE + PURSE + TAR = SUPERSTAR

79 comments on “DT 29561

  1. Great stuff!
    I whizzed through this before coming to a bit of a halt in the North with 3&6d. Eventually got them from the checkers (though not 100% sure of the relevance of the second part of 6d) but took me into 2* for difficulty.
    Hard to pick a winner but I did like 4,7&19d.
    Many thanks to the setter (pretty sure it’s Silvanus) and DT.
    Happy New Year to all.

      1. Dammit! !
        Happy New Year to you too Silvanus, and thanks for all the entertainment (not to mention head scratching!) in 2020

  2. As usual on Friday, I found this puzzle difficult to get into and could only manage 1 clue in the top half. Gradually, after finding the wavelength, and using guesswork, while reverse engineeringthe parsing, things speeded up(3*/2*). Thanks to DT for help parsing my bung-ins 9a and 10a. I thought 13a was the best clue. Thanks tothe compiler and Happy New Year to all.

  3. A most enjoyable puzzle for the start of the New Year. I finished it totally without hints or electronic help so feeling rather pleased with myself. I liked the cheeky 9a and 1 was quite clever. My COTD is 13a.

    Many thanks to the setter whomsoever he or she is and also thanks t DT for the hints. They were not needed today but I will now read them.

    Happy New Year to all and good health.

  4. A good change from a couple of puzzles recently. No weasel or strange words. No Greek God’s or unknown footballers. So all on my wavelength. I thought There was going to be a reference to some weird mythological race winner in 6d, but no thank goodness, although for a short moment I could only think of Turtle, which was clearly wrong. 7d nearly threw me but suddenly thought of a word for “could be possible”.
    Very good **/****
    Sorry no hints needed on this occasion, but it’s reassuring to know they are there.

  5. Not typical Friday standard for me but pleasant and fun. 2* / 4* .
    NE corner held out longest with 6d my LOI. In response to SL above the relevance of the second part is I wouln’t have solved the clue without it.

    Thank you to setter & DT Happy New Year to you & yours

  6. HAve been unable to comment of late but would wish to thank all setters and people associated with this site a happy new year and to express thanks for all the pleasure they have given in the past.

    1. Very enjoyable crossword. Like 13a and had a chuckle over 9a. Thanks to DT for the hints and Zandio for a great puzzle. Happy New Year to everyone.

      Very pleased to hear from willieverlearn. If I remember rightly you were having eye problems. Hope they are improved.

  7. I didn’t find that easy at all . I had to begin at the bottom and work my way up.
    It felt very different to the usual Friday fare.
    2d was my standout favourite .
    Thanks to all concerned.

  8. I stalled in the SW corner by putting “anagram” in as the answer to 18a because I had “m” as the last checking letter. 18d was straightforward so I was able to correct 18a. I liked 6d and 24a. Thank you setter and Deep Threat. I was going to retire just after midnight last night, but so glad I stayed up to watch Seasick Steve on Jools Holland. (2006 replay).

  9. Enjoyed this very much! Wife does the downs I do the across. Ones!
    We usually finish but often need help which this blog supplies in a very warm way. Enjoy the comments most, keeps us grounded!!
    Happy New Year to all contributors to our sanity!!

  10. A very enjoyable puzzle indeed. Thanks to the setter and thanks to Deep Threat. Walter De La Mere’s poem took me right back to Junior School.

  11. A New Year’s Day delight, with much-welcomed humour and a whimsy which I thoroughly enjoyed. 9a started the giggles (I had only two glasses of Pinot Noir last night) and 17d clinched it, with more chuckles. And some good, topical interplay fore and aft. Good fun, with 2d, 13a, and 17d atop the podium. Thanks and Happy New Year to DT and today’s setter. ** / ****

  12. This was doable but needed the hints. 9a and 13a make the podium today. Thank you DT, you were really needed today. Thanks to the setter as well.

  13. Super puzzle, really enjoyed this one especially the clever way the setter used the new year theme on the top left.
    Many excellent clues but my favourite must be 6d, made me smile on a dreary day.
    A happy new year to all the bloggers and apologies to all those who I will undoubtably annoy during the coming 12 months.
    Thx to all

    1. Happy New Year from me too, Brian. You just believe in, to quote my sister, “Saying it like it is”!

  14. 1.5*/2.5*. I found this a not too taxing, fairly pleasant start to the New Year.

    Two cryptic definitions (3d & 8d) didn’t really work for me. DT, in your explanation for 20d you mean the fifth to eighth words; the fourth word “one” is just surface padding.

    13a was my favourite.

    Thanks to the setter and to DT.

  15. I found this a fairly easy Friday but I got going in the south and had that mostly done before the north.
    17d had a rather Proustian moment as I was distracted by memories of Joshua Tetley’s finest beers;

    Land of Joshua Tetley
    Brewers of fine ales
    How can we extol thee?
    We get pi$$ed by thee…

    Not WDLM but poetry to me

    Joshua Tetley’s was like mothers milk to those who entered the drinking years near Leeds.

    I yearn for a pint of Tetley’s Mild pulled through an autovat with a nice creamy head,
    but the yeast has died, autovats are banned (your pint was pulled over the barmans fingers and back through the drip tray until the head was perfect – no wonder it was banned but it is still missed) and regrettably the brewery has gone and the brand has been absorbed by Carlsberg.

    Reminisces apart that was a fine puzzle and well set by whoever and superbly hinted by DT
    Happy new year to everyone here and at DT towers Thanks for the diversion this year and may there be many more equally good puzzles to come.

    1. When I took over The Green Man in 2006 we sold 54 gallons per week of Tetley’s Bitter in 18 gallon casks. The introduction of different beers hit Tetley’s sales which diminished enough that I had no qualms getting rid when the closure of the Leeds brewery (with heavy job losses) was announced

  16. A gentle start to the new year. **/*** Nothing obscure although 6d took a few moments to figure out. Favourite 13a. A clever clue and I don’t suppose I was the only one to initially look for an anagram before realising that 1d ended in a w so couldn’t be. Happy New Year to one and all.

    1. I had great difficulty getting started but 6d was one of my first in, “fabulous” did it for me.

  17. Lovely start to the new year, mostly managed without the hints but grateful for them being there 😉 Thanks to DT and setter.

  18. An enjoyably gentle start to 2021 puzzling completed at a gallop – 2*/3.5*.
    No standout favourites but the 6a/1d combo caused a smile.
    Thanks to the setter and DT.

  19. An enjoyable friendly-for-a-Friday crossword. I did enjoy the themed references, and surprised myself with football knowledge at 7d

    Thanks to whoever set this one and to DT.

  20. Gosh what a stinker it took me ages to complete, a proper put down, pick up and keep trying.
    Thankfully DT hints helped me get the last few. Favourites 12a and 6d.
    Lovely virtual New Year with Daughter and Grandchildren.
    Looks like NC will be heading for more serious lockdown.
    Thanks to setter and DT without whom this would have made it to the stinker pile.
    Happy New Year

  21. A pleasantly challenging puzzle made harder by completing it while watching the annual NYD concert from Vienna. Lots to enjoy with 6d my particular favourite, closely followed by 7d. The themed clues are also worthy of mention.

    Thanks to our Friday setter and DT; Happy New Year to all.

  22. A Happy New Year to all – and we all hope it is to be a better one…
    I have found this site to be very helpful – and entertaining ! My father used to do the crossword on the train (he worked in Fleet Street), then
    rubbed it out before handing it to my mother when he got home in the evening.

  23. The 1/6a combo was a nice touch to mark the new year – let’s hope it’s a vast improvement on the last one!
    4d made me smile and 13a got my vote for favourite.

    Thanks to our setter and to DT for the review. A very Happy New Year to everyone on the BD blog.

  24. Always thought that the fable was from Jean de la Fontaine. Didn’t realise it was even older. Good cryptic def.
    Liked the homophone in 13a.
    Thanks to the setter and to DT.
    Happy new year.

  25. Today’s puzzle had a unfamiliar feel to it for me.
    Imaginative cluing and an enjoyable solve. and going for a **/***.
    Thanks DT for the pics, re 16a watched Guys and Dolls not long ago, very watchable Brando did his own singing I believe.
    Liked the surface of 6a, 17a was new to me and well clued so my favourite.

  26. Hello, compiler here. Thanks very much for the analysis and discussion today and throughout 2020. Happy 2021.

    1. Thank you for coming in and claiming ownership and Thank you for puzzles past and yet to come. This one was a pleasure to solve.

    2. I agree – thank you for all the puzzles this year – this one looked like a real stinker to begin with but when we
      got settled in to it we managed to finish the whole thing without help. The clueing was obviously spot on.
      I liked the topical 1a & 6a message. Look forward to more puzzles in the months to come.

    3. Thank you for popping in, Zandio and very Happy New Year to you. Many thanks for the entertainment.

    4. Thank you for a most entertaining puzzle, Zandio, I sussed you early on. Hopefully we will see lots more from you this year.

    5. Thanks Zandio for a very enjoyable puzzle and all the ones you produced last year too.

    6. Thank you for the crossword and for popping in – everyone always appreciates a visit from the setter and by no means do all of them do so. A happy new year to you.

  27. Enjoyed this even though I got stuck in the NE corner having decided that 6D was ‘bestride’ for the ‘fabulous race-winner’…needed DT’s hint to help get me back ‘on track’ and galloping towards the final furlong and finish!
    Happy New Year to all from across the pond…stay safe! Cheers!

  28. Funny thing crosswords. After ** time I had only 5 answers & the first read through had yielded only the 21d gimme. Sneaked a quick look at DT’s difficulty rating & concluded a lengthy overnight kip (not unduly alcohol assisted) must have robbed me of what little mental faculty I’d hung onto in the previous year. Returned to it a couple of hours later & rattled the remainder off in under *time with barely pause for thought & no parsing difficulty. A lovely opening back pager for what surely will be a better year if we can get through the winter months. Plenty of super clues to choose from. Like Robert 9a made me smile but the pick was a toss up between 6a & 6d.
    Many thanks to the setter & to DT

    1. Struggling at the beginning, leaving it for a bit and then finishing really quickly gives your brain what CS calls “cogitation time”.

  29. What a lovely way to start the New Year 🤗 ***/**** Favourites 6 & 13a & 7d 😃 offsets the cold drizzly day here in the East 😰 Thanks to Zandio for this amusing puzzle and to Deep Threat “thank you for the music” and the poem 🍺

  30. An enjoyable start to the New Year **/****. Did the top half first. Some nice wordplay and new year theme. I’ll go with 4d as fav.
    Thx to Zandio and DT.

  31. As I said before, at first run through I thought this was going to beat me, but suddenly
    it all fell into place. 13a was brilliant, as was 8d and George got the 7d sporty one. Thanks to DT, Zandia
    and a Healthy & Happy New Year to one and All. I have just finished reading This is Going to Hurt by
    Adam Kay and then read in the paper that it is going to be made into a TV series – Oh boy, it is either
    going to put people off becoming doctors or having babies, or both!

    1. H enjoyed ‘This Is Going To Hurt’ very much, but I am too much of a softie to read it.

  32. I thought that this was an excellent and witty first puzzle of the New Year.
    My ticks went to 1a, 6a, 4d, 6d and 7d.
    Thanks to Zandio and DT and a Happy New Year to all.

  33. I found this tough going to begin with but gradually the South fell to followed more slowly by the North. As with the Young Salopian I was glued, as every year, to the Vienna Philharmonic NYD concert (how sad with no audience) but I held off the cruciverbal challenge until after that. My Fav was 13a. Thank you Zandio and DT and thanks for a year of fun challenges and hints.

    1. I thought Riccardo Muti’s speech about governments recognising the value of culture in general and music in particular to our mental health in these trying times was right on the money.

      1. Yes indeed he seems to be such a sentient and warm-hearted individual and I love his restrained and undramatic conducting.

  34. I found this quite tricky and was grateful for DT’s hint for 3d, which then got me back bowling along to the finish line.

    H continues to recover. I made her laugh yesterday evening as I clattered around the kitchen. She could hear the occasional swear word and ‘oh dear!’ from her reclining position in the sitting room. However I made supper, with a degree of success (fire brigade not required) and now I realise even more than ever what a wonder woman she is.

    Lola – no better; no worse. Lovely neighbours and I have agreed that a phone call, tomorrow, to the vet, for advice is the best thing to do.

    Today’s soundtrack: Van Morrison – Astral Weeks; followed by Astral Weeks Live At The Hollywood Bowl (thanks to Greta and Miff).

    Thanks to Zandio and DT (I love the de la Mare snippet).

  35. Very enjoyable but on the mild side for a Friday puzzle. The bare bottom made me smile. A fitting end to a week when setters seemed to have on us.

    Happy New Year everyone. Fingers crossed that we might be back to a semblance of normality by the English Spring.

  36. Top right hand corner held me up for a bit but like Daisygirl thought it was going to be a stinker when I first started. Gradually all fell into place and enjoyed it a lot. Last one in 6d as I couldn’t see the bit of keeping one’s head in. My Dad brought home a small tortoise from London when I was about 6 – he had found it in the road run-over with a cracked shell. We sorted him out and I bought another one a few year’s later. No 1 instantly grew to the size of No. 2 and they had the run of the whole garden. Unfortunately turned out they were both male which didn’t stop them trying! When we moved here 18 year’s ago I knew I couldn’t keep them as they would have to be in an enclosure which they would hate. But, they hit the Bingo button – one went to a breeding programme in Bristol and the other to another breeding programme. All the women they could dream of! They were actually very affectionate and loved their necks tickled but were inclined to munch on ladies’ painted toenails thinking they were a wild strawberry – jolly painful – but it brightened up many a social gathering

  37. Loads of top quality clues from Zandio and thanks DT for the hints. Happy new year everyone

  38. Nice easy start to the New Year with this puzzle. Completed top half first then the bottom that took a tad longer. 1.5*/**** for today. Clues of note include 1a, 12a, 1d, 4d & 17d with winners 12a/4d

    Thanks to Zandio and DT

  39. I’m commenting before reading the comments so that I don’t know what others think. This was the strangest puzzle, on first scan I thought “I have no idea what this woman is trying to say,” I have Monday’s bonus in case. I then got a word here and there, checking letters now and then, then it all fell into place. There were still a lot of bung ins that DT unravelled, thank you DT. I now think this was a bonza puzzle, loved it all.
    On top of all the fun, DT’s blog was perfect, the lovely poetry that I had forgotten, the happy clip from SOM, then the clip from Guys and Dolls. I’m purring here with a smile on my face. No faves, spoilt for choice.
    Thank you whomsoever set this gem, and major thanks to DT, without you I’d have probably missed the fun. Oh dear, I’ve gone on and on.
    Happy New Year all, hope you get your jabs soon and your immunisations are being handled a little more efficiently than ours.

  40. Not really too much trouble today, which makes a change.
    I didn’t understand 7d but now that DT has said that it’s a sporting term I’ve stopped beating myself up about it.
    I liked 6d even though there’s a politician who always reminds me of one.
    Also liked the 1d/6a combination although when I first read those clues they made my brain feel a bit scrambled.
    My favourite is either 9 or 13a – oh, liked 4d too.
    Thanks to Zandio and to DT.

    1. Don’t know that he’s the one you had in mind, Kath, but our Welsh First Minister is often referred to as Mr. Tortoise!

  41. Really good fun to solve. Last one in was 7d and it took ages for the penny to drop.
    Thanks Zandio and DT.

  42. Compared to yesterday’s crossword, this was amusing and a total delight. So many good clues. **/*****

  43. Ground to a halt unable to finish the NE corner. Too many fabulous race winners from Red Rum onwards to consider!
    Happy New Year to one and all.

  44. I thought this was a stinker at first, and didn’t have enough time to devote to it over breakfast. As sometimes happens, it didn’t seem too hard over lunch, and the blanks filled themselves in. Some of the answers I had first thing, but they didn’t seem to gel, but turned out they were right all along. Read you are going to get some really cold weather in about two weeks, those of you across the pond. Thanks to Zandio, I may unravel your wavelength eventually, and to a Deep Threat for helping me finish.

  45. Started off quite tricky, got easier, I ground to a bit of a halt until I realised what I thought was an A was actually an H (the second time I’ve done this recently – New Year’s resolution number one to write to clearly!) ans then when I though I couldn’t do the NE corner I worked out why tortoise was the correct answer and manages to complete it unaided. A very satisfying and creative puzzle. ***/*****

  46. Enjoyable challenge with the top half holding out the longest, and from the quick skim-read of comments, looks like I was not alone in having 6D as last one in.

    Minor pedantry point – I always tell novices attempting cryptic crosswords that there are no redundant words in cryptic clues, but is the word ‘needed’ really needed in the clue for 5D? I’d argue the surface reads smoothly enough without it, and it certainly makes no contribution to the answer…?

      1. I agree. “Needed” is not needed. As Bullie’n’Jug say, the clue works without it.

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