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DT 29572

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29572

Hints and tips by Miffypops

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ***  Enjoyment ***

Bonjour from Barrel which is locked up, locked down, bolted and padlocked. Boris has thrown away the key. It is dark outside so no idea yet what the weather is doing. All there is for Saint Sharon and I to do is bonk or bicker. There is a lot of bickering going on.

I enjoyed today’s puzzle. There are a lot of quite normal words that are not normally found in crossword puzzles. All fairly clued. No overthinking required. No dallying on a particular clue either. If nothing jumps out, move on. Next time round you may have checkers to help. If nothing jumps out, move on again. That way, as you make your later passes the clue becomes familiar and the sometimes subtle nuances will hopefully reveal themselves. Or not in which case tough tit fishface, that’s what the hints are for.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought. 


1a        Some travelling round in groups to get basic education (9)
GROUNDING: The answer lies hidden within the words of the clue. Peeping out every now and again to see if you are looking for it. The word some is what should lead you into its vicinity 

9a        Soldiers with poem at start of one church opening (7)
ORIFICE: The abbreviation for other ranks is followed by Rudyard Kipling’s most famous poem. The letter that looks like the number one and the abbreviation for the Church of England complete this excellent charade

10a      See groups backing Conservative in small rooms (7)
CLOSETS: A three part charade. The regular crosswordland short word for see is preceded by the abbreviation for Conservative and followed by a word meaning groups of similar items

11a      Merit of paper’s boss returning to do adequate job (7)
DESERVE: Our usual short newspaper editor is turned around. A word meaning to do an adequate job such as a waiter does follows

12a      Try changing horribly insane bully (9)
TYRANNISE: An anagram (changing) of TRY is followed by another anagram (horribly) of INSANE

14a      Fearless international agent with notion only half formed (8)
INTREPID: The three-letter abbreviation for international is followed by a short word for an agent, often applied to a travelling salesman. The first half of a synonym of the word notion completes the answer

15a      Learner being kept in that is least likely to make an effort (6)
IDLEST: The usual abbreviation for learner sits very comfortably inside the Latin for that is. Now there is a change. Using the expanded version of an abbreviation. Clever clever Mr setter

17a      Most meagre home for bird on meadow (7)
LEANEST: The home that our feathered friends build sits after or on an old fashioned name for a meadow

20a      Unorthodox belief in this place starts to surprise you (6)
HERESY: A word meaning in this place is followed by the initial letters of the last two words of the clue

23a      A hundred before noon coming to Devon location — a hundred out for drive (8)
CAMPAIGN: The Roman numeral for one hundred together with the letters denoting the time before noon are followed by a seaside resort in Devon minus the slang term for a hundred (miles per hour) that sits on its eastern edge

25a      Among men, a rampaging Greek king (9)
AGAMEMNON: Anagram (rampaging) of AMONG MEN A. Unfortunately I find this word impossible to spell without looking it up

26a      Exceptionally valiant north European (7)
LATVIAN: Anagram (rampaging) of VALIANT

27a      Old car for fellow up in the Dales? (7)
HILLMAN: Split 4,3 a naturally raised piece of land not as high as a mountain and a fellow, chap, geezer, bloke, dude or hombre. Together a car manufactured for years in the fair city of Coventry

28a      Film regularly aired introduced by short sharp blasts (7)
TOOTSIE: This film starring Dustin Hoffman can be made by placing the alternate letters of the word aired after the short sharp blasts made by the horn in the car above

29a      Overalls getting messy stuff are finally made spotless (9)
DUNGAREES: As far as I can see the messy stuff is the droppings of animals. This is followed by the word are from the clue, the final letter of the word made and the abbreviation for spotless


2d        Broadcast set out again for an audience (7)
RELAYED: Split 2,5 what sounds like to be set out again as the place settings at the dinner table might be

3d        At university good person getting mature and superior (7)
UPSTAGE: A three part charade split 2,2,3. A term meaning at university. The abbreviation for the goodest of good people. So goodie  two shoes the church thinks them worthy of canonisation. A synonym of the word mature

4d        Set off, having appointment outside famous school (8)
DETONATE: An old chestnut here. An appointment one might make with a boyfriend or girlfriend surrounds a famous public school near Windsor. Old chestnuts to old solvers are fresh fruit to newer solvers. Hopefully this fresh fruit is low hanging enough for those newer setters to reach

5d        Good past making one happy (6)
GOLDEN: The abbreviation for the word good is followed by a rather stretched synonym for the word past. The past as in days gone by. We have all been asked by our children what it was like in those days

6d        Excellent mix after stir (5-4)
FIRST RATE: Anagram (mix) of AFTER STIR

7d        Two letters providing identification up above chart (7)
DIGRAPH: The reverse of the two letters used for identification are followed by a chart nowadays used to show the alarming rise in Covid cases across the UK

8d        The French General with record no one acclaimed (9)
LEGENDARY: The French masculine word for the is followed by an abbreviation for a military general. A daily written journal without the letter that looks like the number one removed concludes the matter

13d      Outside pub Carol is being a naughty girl? (7)
SINNING: A verb meaning to carol as Christmas carollers might surrounds another word for a pub

15d      Aunt suffering with E. coli? Provide medical treatment (9)
INOCULATE: Anagram (suffering) of AUNT with ECOLI. Poor woman. I feel that she is too late for the answer to have an effect

16d      Laze around in endless postprandial rest? Most disgraceful! (9)
SLEAZIEST:  An anagram (around) of LAZE is surrounded by the afternoon rest taken in hot countries but minus its last letter 

18d      Little son acting badly and making false pretences (8)
SHAMMING: The abbreviation for son is followed by a description of an actor acting badly

19d      Proposal sent electronically creating strong feeling? (7)
EMOTION: Split 1,6 this proposal has a letter in front as does mail sent by computer

21d      Enthusiastic talker or walker? (7)
RAMBLER: A double definition. The walkers have an association who’s initials also stand for Romances Arranged. Not to be confused with another walking holiday group who’s initials may also stand for Husbands Found 

22d      Stop short, needing money for accommodation (7)
STOWAGE: Begin with the word stop from the clue. Remove its last letter. Add the money earned from honest toil at the daily grind

24d      Joined in group in Indian river, almost died (6)
GANGED: Begin with India’s most famous river. Remove its last letter. Add the abbreviation for died

Quickie Pun Plaque + Hating = Placating



98 comments on “DT 29572

  1. This one was quite tough but doable, nevertheless, I thought. I needed to check my answer for 7d. The answer could not be anything else but I was not familiar with the term. Lots of good clues such as 1a and 8d but my COTD is 23a.

    Many thanks to the setter for the challenge and Miffypops for the hints.

    1. 7d was a term Spouse and I had no choice but to become familiar with when the children started school: it’s a word now taught to 4-year-olds to describe sounds like SH, which has its own sound (different from S followed by H — except of course when it doesn’t, in, say, ‘grasshopper’).

      Alphablocks on CBeebies calls them “letter teams”: here’s a fun episode featuring PH, WH, and a roller-skating elephant.

        1. In Alphablocks, P and H would just be holding hands in ‘uphill’ and ‘shepherd’, but when they make a 7d, such as in their own logo, they merge together to show they’re a single sound: see

          It’s all very clever, and somehow our firstborn sneakily taught themselves to read age 3 when we thought we’d just innocently left them watching television …

          1. Both of my daughters read before they stated school. I taught Rosie but Joni just seemed to pick it up on her own. My grandson Ethan surprised us all by naming the numbers written on a board. It’s great watching them learn

      1. I shall try and find a four year old ‘Phone A Friend’ in the future, for help with words I don’t know! And I love the notion of P and H holding hands going uphill 😊

  2. That was quite tough, with some very intricate and complex clues. Thus, it took a longer time than usual to unravel it all (3.5*/3*). 23a was my favourite clue too. Thanks to MP for the hints and to the compiler.

    1. I also liked 23a. Nice memories of taking the children to the zoo there when they were small.

      1. I once got a nasty friction burn in this town, on what I will call the top of my thigh. I was going down a slide, where the chute was made of (so-called) polished wood. Can this be possible?

        1. I burnt my arm in a similar fashion by carelessly hanging it over the polished wooden rail on the edge of the slide, when was about 7. Must have hurt, since I remember it 66 years later.!

          1. The same happened to me at a funfair in New Brighton. It was a mini rollercoaster and I had my fingers over the rim of the car. They became trapped and I thought they would be ripped off such was the pain but suddenly they became free.

            I have never left my fingers over the side of anything since

        2. First year we were married we went to the town by Yelloways coach from Oldham for a two night trial camping trip with an ex-army bell tent with a sewn-in ground sheet. Second night there was a deluge & water was pouring in the join between the wall & sheet. We spent the night keeping the tent pole upright with water flowing across the “floor”
          Amazingly the experience didn’t put us off camping but the bell tent was replaced by a frame tent and the coach by a motor bike & sidecar.

          1. We camped in Brittany for about 10 years. Mrs. C was very dubious at first but when she realised air beds are comfortable and she had no housework to do she became hooked. There was an incident with flooding such as LROK describes but our fellow campers came to our rescue.
            We became friends with a Breton couple and we are still in touch.
            Camping is wonderful and I must admit I miss it.

  3. I thought this was a relatively gentle but pleasant solve. My LOI was 7d, a new word for me but easily derivable from the checkers and wordplay.
    I particularly liked 23a, with its reference to The English Rivier resort, my part of the world, along with 9a plus 8&16d.
    Many thanks to Giovanni (if it is him) and to MP.

  4. All over in ** time today, with just one reference needed to check that my answer to 7d was a real word. I don’t recall learning it in my school.

    22d and 27a were the last pair to hold out. I was half-expecting some Yorkshire argot to be involved in the latter. They certainly seem to be getting the best (or worst) of the snowfall today. Just the usual rain on this side of the Pennines.

    Many thanks to the setter and MP.

  5. I normally struggle with Thursdays puzzle, but managed to finish this without any help. 7d is a word I have never heard before otherwise quite straight forward and enjoyable.

  6. I too thought it was Giovanni as it reminded me of the days when he was fairly friendly on a Friday

    Thanks to the setter and MP

  7. Miffypops is bang on with her cross checking technique – exactly how I approach these things. I was quite chuffed to finish in ** time but – oops – I see I did get 7d wrong having guessed Dicrypt which I don’t thing exists! It was my last one in and I had to head off to the Doc’s for a regular blood test so rushed the answer bah. Interestingly they offered me a pneumonia vaccine I had never heard of which also covers such nasties as septicaemia so I accepted and am now immune from everything but the dreaded disease which given my relative seniority I hope to have before Christmas 2022 at this rate. Thanks to the setter for an enjoyable *** distraction and to Miffypops for her help. Hope your day improves.

              1. Saint Sharon is sitting opposite me with a carving knife and a crazed smile. Who knows what she is thinking?

  8. A very enjoyable puzzle today with nothing too obscure apart from 7d which is doable. I too looked it up to check it really was a word. My favourite by a long way is 23a. Thanks to all.

  9. Solved alone and unaided except for having to check 7d as it is not a word that is familiar to me.
    Needed help to parse 10a.
    Thanks to the setter and to MP.

  10. A thoroughly enjoyable and thoughtful puzzle to help chase away the Lockdown Fatigue. I liked the topical 15d but I join the lengthening list of commenters who have 23a as their favourite.

    Thanks to The Don and MP.

  11. I rarely finish Thursday crosswords so was delighted to have done so today until I looked up the hint for 22 Down because I couldn’t see where ‘money’ fitted in. I’d put an ‘R’ instead of a ‘W’ in the middle of the word – Doh!

    1. 22 down was my last one in and storage was the obvious filler given the checkers. In the days before the blog that would have done me. Rage didn’t fit with money though so a trawl through the alphabet was required

    2. I missed that one too, putting “storage”. Couldn’t see the money part, but I guessed it was my lack of knowledge.

  12. A technical DNF as 7d took a couple of stabs – missed the identification reversal & took a punt on the wrong initial letter. Certainly a new word on me. Other than that one pretty straightforward & pleasant enough with 23a my pick of the bunch. Finding The Toughie a struggle today but there’s a gentle Nutmeg in the Graun. Today’s albums Layla & Other Assorted Love Songs (Derek & the Dominos) & Life, Death, Love & Freedom (John Mellencamp)
    Thanks to the setter & to MP

  13. Yes a relatively bland ** difficulty with *** enjoyment. I always find it strange when I find a puzzle fairly easy others, who I see as good solvers, find it can be difficult in parts. This only happens occasionally but does show how crossword solving ability is unevenly distributed among us.

    23a and 7d my podium places today.

    Many thanks to the setter with Miffypops (who is they), also included. Especially liked their tough titty.

  14. I had a rather slow start, then a sprint finish. My slow start may have been trying to get back into the mind of The Don. I can remember that 28a was quite a funny film, but can’t remember if it was good enough to watch again. Thank you setter and Miffypops.

    1. I feel that Tootsie might be of it’s time Florence. That time has passed. Of all the films made since Tootsie only Little Women from 2019 is worth watching but keep a sick bag handy for the final scene. What was the director thinking?

      1. I watched the Eddie Murphy movie “Coming to America” last night. Hadn’t seen it for about thirty years. I still found it very funny. It was well worth watching, especially when everything else on tv is so miserable at the moment.

        1. Hardly a barrel of laughs Florence but I watched Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy again the other night (available on the iPlayer) & had forgotten what a fine adaptation it is with Gary Oldman excellent in the Alec Guinness role.

          1. I remember reading Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy many years ago. It was difficult to put the book down.

            1. I’m reading The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman. I’m finding it hard to pick up

              1. I take it you have read some Rebus (Ian Rankin) MP? There are references through the books to so many tracks I have never heard of. Since coming to this site I think “I wonder if MP knows that track?”.
                Although I think I have read them all I am starting to complete my collection to the whole series & starting at the beginning (I think there are 23 starting with Knots & Crosses)

                1. Ian Rankin was there when we saw Van Morrison at The Europa Hotel in Belfast in 2014. I read Noughts and Crosses years ago but nothing else since

        2. We’ve been watching a lot of old movies recently, as nothing much new is being made currently. Most recent was The Godfather, and then part II. Our library has lots, and waiting on Part III.

  15. Completed at a pace either side of a facetime check in with mater. 23a was my favourite and like others I needed confirmation of the term in 7d. Thanks to today’s setter and MP.

  16. I really enjoyed this Thursday non RayT offering. Even learnt a new word in 7d. Last in was 22d, took ages to see the money.
    Very unusual to get a lurker for 1a, much appreciated.
    My favs were 28a (Dustin Hoffman was brilliant in the role, worked with him once a splendid chap who kept us amused all day) and 15d.
    Thx to all

  17. As Steve says – challenging but quite doable, especially for a Thursday. 7d was unknown to me but I figured it out anyway.

    Dreary, rainy day in Surrey; but… the cricket is going well (never speak too soon, I know! An England batting collapse is never far away).

    Little Lola – no change; still with us. She eats and drinks very little – I have to bring it to her as she hasn’t moved from her cushion since Saturday (I lift her to the litter tray). All hopes pinned on biopsy results and visit to the vet tomorrow. Thanks once again for everyone’s kind thoughts.

    Today’s soundtrack: Pergolesi – Stabat Mater (glorious!)

    Thanks to the setter and Miff, re-gendering in Barrel.

      1. Keep hoping Terence., Lola may perk up in a day or two. I love the Pergolesi Stabat Mater too and enjoyed singing it with two different choral groups.

    1. Terence,
      All animal lover contributors can picture one of their past pets and know how you feel every time you minister to Lola. Let’s hope the vet can sort things out.
      Mrs LROK (a cat person for over 50 years) & I send the best to both of you.

  18. Very enjoyable romp, in my book this was **/**** with COTD award going to 23a

    7d caused a bit of head scratching but the clueing was so clear there was no other answer.

    Thanks to setter and especially MP for the whimsical introduction, do enjoy the bonking when you have done with bickering!

  19. Enjoyed that and no wonder if it did indeed come from DG. East came home first. Reassuring to note I am in good company in not being familiar with 7d and never heard of 28a film either. Took a while to come up with 22d particularly as IMHO money is rather broad. Liked 12a, 20a and 16d although dubious about disgraceful here. Thank you Giovanni (?) and MP.

  20. Not much to add here. Found it very hard to get started, but accelerated towards the finish line.
    Thanks to Miffypops and Giovanni, if it was he.

  21. Isn’t it fascinating how things dovetail? Just yesterday I had the distinct pleasure of re-reading Yeats’s ‘Leda and the Swan’ (“A shudder in the loins engenders there / The broken wall, the burning roof and tower / And Agamemnon dead”), and guess who appears in today’s terrific puzzle! And a really enjoyable one this one is, the best of the week for me. So I have to award top honours to 25a, but I also liked 23a, 8d, and 28a, one of my favourite films. Many thanks to MP, who really made me LOL, twice, a bit ago, and today’s setter. Is it Giovanni?
    ** / *****

    1. I know what you mean about things coming together, Robert. It’s called serendipity,

  22. I really enjoyed that, every clue a sparkler and my favourite was 9a. Thanks to the setter and to Missypops.
    Did I detect a kind of devil may care, what the hell attitude in his/her preamble? Is MP going stir crazy? What with the bickering and the bonking and the cross dressing, it is somewhat worrying.
    Just about to set off for Stevenage for George’s vaccination – I guess it would be too much to ask them to do me as well instead of having to make the 40 mile round trip again next Friday. I thought I had better go along for the ride in case for some bizarre reason he cannot drive himself home – just hope the North Herts police will not think I am out for a joy ride,
    Poor little Lola, hang on in there girlie,

  23. The ‘click here’ part of the hint for 24d doesn’t work on my iPad.
    Mis-read Brian again ( as I was labouring away I told my missus he would hate it!) but it was just my cup of coffee. ***/****

  24. I had fun doing it, and got stuck on the same ones as many others – 7d and 27a.
    I should be ashamed of not getting 27 as an Imp was my first car and one of the few number plates I can recall.

    Rather too many “ups” and “groups”, but if G is the setter, he is immune from criticism in my book.

    Judging by the the vibrations in Barrel land, it’s probably best that Mr and Mrs MP stay locked indoors.
    Thanks to one of an indeterminate January gender and to the Don if it be him.

    Some friends of ours who used to live in Umea, Sweden, say that last night the folks there had 4 metres of snow and minus 40C. So we probably shouldn’t complain about our weather.

  25. An easier than normal Thursday puzzle 😃 ***/*** quite quirky in places 😳 Favourites 23 & 27a. Big thanks to MP and to Giovanni I am beginning to wonder if it set to rain for 40 days and 40 nights 🤔 Certainly hope not!

  26. Excellent puzzle, I thought 8 down very clever.
    ***/**** about right.
    Re the cricket, my son’s former classmate, Dan Lawrence, is making his test debut today.
    He’s next batsman in, I’m somehow grateful I’ll be asleep when he comes to the crease !
    Good luck to the lad.✅

      1. He’s next in after either Root or Bairstow get out. As they start at 5am, I’ll be joining late, probably 8am !

  27. Very rare for me to finish a Thursday puzzle without help and actually able to parse everything.I know not to mention actual time taken but would comment its o good job that l was not in any rush.The puzzle was excellent but the exchanges around M.Ps gender even better.Thanks to all

  28. It is nice to have a string of crosswords that seem to fall into place quite well. They pass the time as we all know it is not a race and in these days of lockdowns restrictions etc it is nice to sit back and take some time to do the crossword. A couple of favourites 18d and 12 across, also some nice anagrams which usually provide a foothold.
    I drove across to Bodmin Moor to see an old friend, on the way I got stopped by our local policeman, luxkily we know each other and the old gentleman I was visiting so no,problem. He had turned away people from Bristol and even London, when will they learn.
    Thanks to Miffypops aleays entertaining and to the setter.

  29. I found that very difficult which is good because it’s occupied me for a long time on this grim, grey horribly grumpy day.
    Whether or not it’s Giovanni we’ll never know as he’s not a setter who ever ‘calls in’.
    I missed lots of things today – the 1a lurker, the anagram indicator in 26a and always forget the poem in 9a.
    I didn’t know 7a but guessed and checked it.
    Like lots of you my favourite clue was 23a with 13d closely behind it.
    Thanks to whoever set this one and to MP – your introduction made me laugh but definitely a “rather you than me Thursday”.

  30. Spot on Miffypops – just the thing for a dull day and I learned a new word in 7d. Thanks to the setter for the entertainment on such a day when it is warm enough to go out for some cycling exercise but far too wet.

  31. Unusual but enjoyable, although struggled with a few of the down clues – Miffypops we so need your good humour to see us through these long lock down days!

  32. Quite a tough tricky puzzle today, (Giovanni?), in many areas and required constantly going round and round the grid until gradually it all eventually fell into place. 3.5*/**** my rating today, and that was with a couple of the hints required to confirm the parsing.
    Clues for favourite candidates include 12a, 23a, 27a, 13d & 21d with winners tied 23a/21d
    I learnt a new word in 7d too.

    Thanks to Giovanni and Miffypops for hints

  33. I found this surprisingly benign for a Thursday and finished without hints except for 7d. 27a brought back fond memories of student life . Good wishes to Lola having been a cat servant all my life. Thanks to the setter and Miffypops.

  34. I struggled with this one, hadn’t heard of 7d, and would never use 18d, 22d or 24d as defined. But it is nevertheless a very happy day for this household, as we got a call yesterday lunchtime, telling us to show up at 10:20am this morning for our first COVID shots. In just over an hour we were on our way home, with appointments set for our second doses. Florida is giving to everyone 65 and over, with 400,000 eligible in Palm Beach County, so we will still can’t really believe our luck. Wishing the same good luck to everyone else.

    1. I’m very envious! This shortly to be 83-year-old hasn’t had a whiff of when I’m due for mine. I wish they would come to my house, I dread having to go anywhere, they came here to give me the ‘flu shot, why not?

      1. Are there any sites down there where you can register by email? I read that Jackson Memorial are giving shots, but not sure if they have any appointments left. I do think it was a mistake not to concentrate on the 75+ per the CDC guidelines, and made me feel guilty that we got appointments. And made me wonder about those who would not be able to stand in line for up to an hour either.

  35. Only two unsolved before checking. Would probably have worked out 29 across if I hadn’t put in the Indian river for 24 down!! Apart from that, found today’s crossword relatively easy for a Thursday.

  36. A very benign offering today, is it really Giovanni? I needed e-help for 7d, third day in a row that I needed help for only one. Oh, not strictly true, my 22d was incorrect, a bung in with “r” instead of “w”. I also had a bung in for 29a, it had to be, but didn’t get it even with M’pops hint, but I’ve just had my Road to Damascus moment.
    Fave today is 23a, even though I missed the Devon town, but 9a and 27a earned Brownie points, took ages to see the Kipling poem.
    Thanks Giovanni, if, indeed, you set this, and huge thanks to M’pops for the entertainment.

  37. Was late on parade & first comment was lost (probably due to me refreshing or something before posting).
    All said by others re 7d, 22d etc.
    9a my COTD.
    Thanks to setter & MP for the entertainment much needed on a dull, wet, cold miserable day up here.

  38. I’m in the “I found this easier that much clever people than me” camp this evening. Obviously never heard of 7d, due no doubt to my poor education, but it was sympathetically clued. Favourite was 27a. Many thanks to the setter and Miffypops.

  39. 2*/4*…..
    liked 16D “laze around in endless postprandial rest? Most disgraceful! (9)”

  40. Doing the crosswords way behind but I just wanted to say thanks to Miffypops for the introduction. I needed a laugh and I laughed out loud at the end of both paragraphs 😅

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