DT 29580 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29580

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29580

A full review by crypticsue

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This puzzle was published on 23rd January 2021

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

The trickiest Saturday Prize Puzzle for some considerable time, well I thought so anyway.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


7a    Handle in one’s hand? (9)
AUTOGRAPH – Writing one’s own (slang) handle or name

8a    Extensive spread in France and the Orient (5)
FEAST – F (IVR code for France) EAST (Orient)

10a    Means business! (6)
AGENCY – Double definition

11a    People grasping Old Testament symbols (8)
NOTATION – NATION (people) ‘grasping’ OT (Old Testament)

12a    Painter consumes gallon in attractive bar (6)
MAGNET – MANET (painter) ‘consumes’ G (Gallon)

14a    Crafty Kate Minola departs (6)
SHREWD – Kate Minola was the name of the SHREW in The Taming of the Shrew by William Shakespeare. Add a D (departs) at the end

16a    Joke ultimately unsavoury and feeble (4)
PUNY – PUN (joke) and the ultimate letter of unsavourY

17a    Doom and gloom for Birmingham City? (5)
BLUES – Birmingham City Football Club is known as the BLUES

18a    Not allowed to enter pub, called out for Celtic poet (4)
BARD – A homophone (called out) of BARRED (not allowed to enter pub)

19a    Everyone outside potty over handsome youth (6)
APOLLO – ALL (everyone) ‘outside’ PO (potty) with O (over) added at the end

21a    Small boat shown in loosely drawn image (6)
SKETCH – S (small) KETCH (boat)

24a    New yarns composed: pens productive here? (8)
SWANNERY – An anagram (composed) of NEW YARNS – Pens being female swans

26a    Coat to take to the cleaners (6)
FLEECE – Double definition

27a    Parry, holding short sword in both hands? (5)
REPEL – A short EPEe (sword) in R and L (both hands)

28a    At sixes and sevens, turn to her for direction (4,5)
TRUE NORTH – An anagram (at sixes and sevens) of TURN TO HER


1d    Breather, then energy needed in fencing move (5)
LUNGE – LUNG (breather) E (energy)

2d    Tied beside a railway line (8)
BOUNDARY – BOUND (tied) A (from the clue) RY (railway)

3d    Cheat catching fish for children’s writer? (6)
CRAYON – CON (cheat) ‘catching’ RAY (fish)

4d    Wrong to harness power for short trip (4)
SPIN – SIN (wrong) to ‘harness’ P (power)

5d    Gambler now attending Gamblers Anonymous? (6)
BETTER – A gambler cured of his addiction thanks to attending Gamblers Anonymous?

6d    See our way to change military command (2,3,4)
AS YOU WERE – An anagram (to change) of SEE OUR WAY

9d    Secret police given seconds to make arrest (6)
STASIS – STASI (secret police) S (seconds)

13d    Support band not totally sincere — songs lacking content (5)
TRUSS – Almost all (not totally) of TRUe (sincere) and the outside letters (lacking content) of SongS

15d    Plot that failed? Good: prisoner taken in below (9)
GUNPOWDER – G (good) POW (prisoner) ‘taken in’ UNDER (below)

17d    Phone left in shady spot (6)
BLOWER – L (left) in BOWER (shady spot)

18d    Composer with part that’s upset Mister Solo? (8)
BACHELOR – BACH (composer) and a reversal (upset) of ROLE (part)

20d    Large home with study and tree (6)
LINDEN – L (large) IN (home) DEN (study)

22d    File assembled about iron tower’s designer (6)
EIFFEL – An anagram (assembled) of FILE ‘about’ FE (chemical symbol for iron)

23d    Author in second chapter exaggerated (5)
SCOTT – S (second) CH (chapter) OTT (over the top, exaggerated)

25d    See attempt to get out at the Oval? (4)
YORK – The diocese (see) of York or a particular way of bowling in cricket


6 comments on “DT 29580

  1. I’d call this a ****/** difficulty / enjoyment and must admit as reported in the blog I also had 1 across in wrongly – but for ages – I had put Telegraph. COTD ‘2d : Tied beside a railway line’. I thought this very elegant. Thank you Tilsit, setter, Crypticsue the reviewer and bloggers!

  2. This was very tricky. My fave was our Kate (I’m a Shakespeare fan), but I also liked the swannery.

  3. My stumbling block was 5d as I put in punter as had yet to solve 8a. I spent a couple of days wondering what would fit FU?S? I finally read the clue properly and realised that Feast was a bung-in and why no one else had had the problem I had had with 8a.
    I still feel that punter is a far more appropriate answer to the clue. I have never used the word “betters” to describe those people who hang out in betting shops. I wondered whether that is why there is a ? at the end of the explanation. Putting square pegs in round holes is always part of the fun in unraveling cryptics. Cheers

  4. Glad you all found this one tricky. Finally got my head round it 7 days later!! Made a mistake with agenda rather than agency which threw me – stupid as it was obviously crayon ☹️. Can start yesterday’s now!

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