DT 29603 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29603

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29603

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Good morning from South Staffs on a grey February day.

Today’s puzzle took me some time to get into, but then the answers began to flow, so that what I thought was going to be a **** puzzle fitted comfortable into my *** slot.

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.

Across

1a           Local souvenir stores in France, for instance (8)
REPUBLIC – A historical or religious souvenir wrapped round (stores) another word for the place sometimes called a local, giving us a system of government of which France is an example.

5a           Sweet-looking child Bruce spoiled outside hospital (6)
CHERUB – Anagram (spoiled) of BRUCE wrapped round an abbreviation for Hospital.

Image result for cherubs

10a         Student pursues trendy antiques, once treated as unimportant (15)
INCONSEQUENTIAL – Another word for ‘trendy’, followed by an anagram (treated) of ANTIQUES ONCE, followed by the letter which indicates a student driver.

11a         Polished part of table between each set of books (7)
ELEGANT – An abbreviation of ‘each’ wrapped round the part of a table which supports the top, followed by the abbreviation for one of the sets of books which make up the Bible.

12a         Musical, fashionable in the past (7)
CHICAGO – Another word for ‘fashionable’ or ‘stylish’, followed by a word for ‘in the past’.

13a         Just terrible losing first source of finance (8)
RIGHTFUL – Start with another word for ‘terrible’, then remove the first instance of the first letter of Finance.

15a         Tree Truro wants to protect (5)
ROWAN – Hidden in the clue.

Image result for rowan

18a         Strict and clear ruling ultimately Italy breaks (5)
RIGID – Put together the last letter (ultimately) of rulinG and the IVR code for Italy, then insert the result into a verb meaning ‘to clear (out)’.

20a         Conservative PM’s beginning to expel foreign nationals (8)
ISRAELIS – Remove the first letter (beginning to expel) from the surname of a 19th-century Conservative Prime Minister (but keep the ‘S from the clue) and you have some Middle Eastern nationals.

23a         Last drink delays retirement to bed (5,2)
STAYS UP – A verb for ‘to last’ and a verb for ‘drink’ are putogether.

25a         Group of players defending centre for silliest foul (7)
SQUALID – A group of players from which a team is selected, wrapped round the middle letters (centre) of silLIest.

26a         Surprisingly gain lumber trade in place of what’s disappeared? (7,8)
BERMUDA TRIANGLE – Anagram (surprisingly) of GAIN LUMBER TRADE.

27a         Fish river area, visiting West Sussex regularly (6)
WRASSE – Put together abbreviations for River and Area, then insert the result between West and alternate letters of SuSsEx.

Image result for wrasse

28a         Persuade Nigel I’ve changed (8)
INVEIGLE – Anagram (changed) of NIGEL I’VE.

Down

1d           Stopped one who rejects accepted truth turning up (6)
REINED – Reverse (turning up) a word for someone who does not accept the truth of a proposition, to get another word for ‘stopped’ – as a horse might be.

2d           Choose, say, to collect money for strike activity (9)
PICKETING – Another word for ‘choose’, followed by the Latin abbreviation for ‘say’ or ‘for example’ wrapped round some elderly slang for ‘money’.

3d           Live overlooking South Wales town or lower down (7)
BENEATH – Another word for ‘live’ or ‘exist’, followed by the town whose name in Welsh is Castell Nedd.

4d           Unsuitable interest surrounds origins of environmental protesters (5)
INEPT – An abbreviation for ‘interest’ is wrapped round the initial letters (origins) of Environmental Protesters.

6d           More convenient hotel, above a run-down diner (7)
HANDIER – The letter represented by Hotel in the NATO alphabet is followed by A (from the clue) and an anagram (run-down) of DINER.

7d           Dish from Ankara I tasted (5)
RAITA – This Indian yoghurt dish is hidden in the clue.

8d           Once party is over, they may have a deflated look? (8)
BALLOONS – Cryptic definition  of something which will be let down when party decorations are cleared up.

9d           Brawny American couple oddly beset by ruin (8)
MUSCULAR – Put together one of the usual abbreviations for ‘American’ and the odd-numbered letters of CoUpLe, then wrap a word for ‘ruin’ or ‘spoil’ around the result.

14d         Fine radio exposure for song getting just treatment (4,4)
FAIR PLAY – The abbreviation for Fine followed by what a song gets when it is broadcast on the radio.

16d         Old MP hugs excited girl, one aboard merry-go-round (9)
WHIRLIGIG – Put together an anagram (excited) of GIRL and the Roman numeral for one, then wrap a member of a British political faction in Parliament in the 18th century round the result.

17d         Angry with crook producing weapon (8)
CROSSBOW – Another word for ‘angry’, followed by another word for ’crook’ or ‘bend’.

19d         Exchange views on son supporting athletics event (7)
DISCUSS – One of the field events at an athletics meeting, followed by Son.

21d         Vintage coin found inside empty Eastbourne train (7)
EDUCATE – The outside letters (empty) of EastbournE wrapped round an old European gold or silver coin.

22d         Notice that lady’s poodle at last finding stick (6)
ADHERE – Put together a short publicity notice, the pronoun for ‘that lady’s’, and the last letter of poodlE.

24d         Main artery, part of that road going north (5)
AORTA – Hidden in reverse (going north, in a Down clue) in the clue.

25d         Father needs new security alarm, perhaps (5)
SIREN – A verb for ‘to father’ followed by New.


The Quick Crossword pun HISSED + EERIER = HYSTERIA

94 comments on “DT 29603
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  1. I found this particularly straightforward for a Friday with very few hold ups or parsing issues. I really liked 16d, (such a lovely word), but my favourite was 20a with 1d a worthy runner up. The whole grid was a delight to solve.

    Many thanks to our setter and DT.

    1. Much to my surprise I managed the whole thing without hints, just looking up the two big anagrams.
      Made my day.
      Thank you.

  2. I loved this very 11a puzzle, very smoothly clued throughout leading me to believe it’s the work of Silvanus.
    My only problems were quite justifying the wordplay of 1&26a, both very clever clues, and having to check the money in 21d.
    I thought the (almost) anagram at 10a was outstanding
    Really liked 25a plus 1&16d too but could have mentioned several others
    3/4.5*
    Many thanks to setter and DT for the top notch entertainment.
    Ps I thought we were going to get Barry Manilow for 26…what a disappointment!

        1. Was warned off betting by my grandfather, a bookies’ runner and tic-tac man well before legalised betting shops.
          “Don’t bet on the horses, you never see a poor bookie”.

  3. I just finished this enjoyable Friday gem as the clock struck 6 over here (in S Carolina), having gone literally from top to bottom in very good time (**) for a Friday. From the outset, 1a set the high bar for the whole grid, and I especially liked 13a, 1d, 20a, and 25a. Very pleasant. Thanks to DT and today’s compiler. ** / ****

    I also finished a Friday Toughie, on a wing and a prayer, so TGIF!

  4. Some of the clues in this puzzle were quite knotty and it took a little bit longer than usual to unravel them all (2.5*/4*). I found it quite enjoyable and very satisfying when the last clue (20a my COTD) finally yielded. The compiler seemed to like solutions with first letters of words omitted. I also liked the misdirection in 26a. 1a and 25a were also good clues. Many thanks to DT for the hints and to the compiler.

  5. I had this under control in an easy ** time, but finishing it off and parsing all the clues took me well into *** time. The NW was the last to fall.

    COTD 20a.

    Many thanks to the compiler and DT.

  6. Often it is the surfaces that makes a crossword most enjoyable for me and here we have (IMHO) great surfaces in every clue, which is probably quite rare. It helped make everything flow – 1.5*/4*.

    Impossible to pick a favourite.

    Thanks Setter and DT.

  7. Great puzzle today which took a bit of time to get going but then slowly took shape. Lots to like. 20a my last in and I think my COTD. We had wonderful 15a in our garden which had abundant berries and the waxwings loved them. It was huge but suddenly it just died. There’s a lovely chap in the village who can turn his hand to anything so we asked him to take it down as we didn’t want it falling on the house. He managed it very well but I was a bit disconcerted when he said it was the first time he had taken down a tree of that size! Thanks to the setter and Deep Threat.

  8. A very entertaining exercise this morning. 10a was a well put together almost anagram. **/**** The only thing I don’t understand is the slang for money in 2d. Anybody? Favourite 20a. Thanks to all.

    1. Although much loved by setters as a word for money, I have been trying to find the origin of the word ‘Tin’ but without any joy. Does anybody have an explanation?

      1. Brian
        Apparently in the late 17th century farthings, which had been made from copper, started to be made from tin to prevenf forgery. Perhaps it has something to do with that.

      2. The OED says: Tin is said to have been first applied to the small silver [English] coins of the 18th century, which, before their recall in 1817, were often worn quite smooth … so as to resemble pieces of tin.

  9. Wonderful puzzle finished in ** for me with a **** enjoyment rating. My thanks to the setter and DT. And the Quickie pun is much better than the one yesterday.

  10. This was a great deal easier than the last couple of days. Don’t know if it was because I went from bottom to top. Thanks to setter anyway. Thanks to DT for his efforts ….it was nice to see Ute Lemper instead of the ubiquitous movie version. She epitomises slinky. It’s not every day you see such tall girls dancing, well not since the Folies Bergere, and they don’t really dance.

    We have got one of those 15a trees, which must have been seeded by a bird perching on the back of the garage. It’s bifurcated and the trunk is now groaning as it leans itself against the brick. We have also acquired a green roof on the garage without ever meaning to. It’s so pretty, but, one way and another, together with very mature ivy, our garage will be eaten, drunk and digested before long.

  11. Many thanks as ever to Deep Threat for his Hints and Tips and to everyone who has commented thus far. Much appreciated. I’ll endeavour to pop back later to thank others.

  12. My first impression of this was ‘Oh dear!’ The top half looked tough so I adopted my usual approach of attacking the lower half which was much more manageable. I have to say though that after completing the bottom it gave me the confidence to try the top which was not as fierce as first appeared. My favs were 16d and 12a but I did need the excellent hints to parse 18a and 20a.
    On the whole an enjoyable puzzle. Thx to all
    ***/***

  13. Really enjoyed this. Perhaps easier than usual for a Friday, but the elegance of the clues and great surface readings highlight the skill of the setter, so thanks to Silvanus. Too many great clues for clear favourites, but did smile at 21d and the empty Eastbourne train. Thanks to DT as well.

  14. I really enjoyed the whole puzzle, 2* time for me and 5* enjoyment.
    Favourite anagram 10a
    Favourite answer 28a
    Favourite surface 22d
    LOI 9d
    I think I’ll give the toughie a go now.

  15. 2*/4.75*. I had no doubts about the author of this superb puzzle after solving just a handful of clues. My enjoyment rating is a little tongue in cheek, having docked ¼ of a point from the maximum 5* on account of 8d, which didn’t float my boat.

    My favourite could easily be any one of the other 29 clues.

    Many thanks to Silvanus and to DT.

  16. Lovely crossword! Many thanks to DT for sparing us from Barry M. Sample of the lyrics: ‘Bermuda Triangle, Makes my woman disappear, Bermuda Triangle, Don’t go too near, Looking at it from my angle, Do you see why I’m so sad?, Bermuda Triangle, Very bad.’

    Yes, very bad indeed.

    Today’s soundtrack: Steven Wilson – The Future Bites

    Thanks to Silvanus and DT.

  17. Nice Friday puzzle helped by getting the 2 long clues 10a and 26a straight away.
    20a took some time to twig – don’t know why, it was quite obvious when it clicked.
    If pushed for a favourite it must be 10a

  18. A bit of a head scratcher, but just right for a Friday back pager, except perhaps for 8d which got a Hmm, completed at a fast gallop – 2.5*/4.5*.
    Candidates for favourite – 11a, 27a, and 9d – and the winner is 27a.
    Thanks to Silvanus and DT.

  19. Not much on first pass but after getting the long anagram 10a it all fell into place in ** time. Very enjoyable on a wet and windy Devon morning.
    Toughie is worth a look, easily doable today.
    Thanks to Silvanus and DT for the unneeded hints.

  20. Contrary to others this proved straightforward, leading to “wrong envelope day” thoughts. Just i to ** time with nothing to disturb smooth progress.
    Enjoyable, and entertaining not quite the expected Friday tough test. Not complaining though, bright & breezy, like our weather.
    3d my COTD – reminded me of many happy associations with the town’s golf club. The course an excellent example of a “valleys course” designed by James Braid.
    Thanks to setter & DT.

  21. I enjoyed this although I did need help with a few. I thought the clues were well written and, as Wahoo said earlier, had great surfaces. Too many good clues to pick favourite but, if pushed, I would nominate 12a with 16d a close second.

    Grateful thanks to Silvanus for a most enjoyable puzzle and to DT for the hints.

    1. Steve
      Nice to see you survived the markingfest / anti- sabbatical, whatever the word is, work I suppose.
      Hopefully, although you neglected us you did not neglect your Hudson duties.

      1. I did not, LROK. Hudson has had his daily walks and all the attention he requires. Neither did I neglect the blog. I did have time to have quick look every day.

        I finished marking 55 Diploma essays of 5000 words each (which is well over a quarter of a million words) this morning and have just sent off the final monitor form. I don’t know what to do with myself now! :grin:

      1. Thank you, Huntsman. It’s good to be back on this great blog.
        I sympathise with you regarding your back. Both Mrs. C and I are suffering at the moment. I can recommend heat pads that are warmed in the microwave. They are plastic containers full of gel inside a lambswool container.

    2. Welcome back, Steve, and congratulations on completing your epic mega-task. After 43 years of reading student essays, I must have marked many variations of ‘…du temps perdu’.

      1. Thank you, Robert. I start each one with optimism hoping it’s going to be a classic but, alas, it turns out to be the same one as before and the one before that! “Du temps perdu” indeed.

        Fortunately, the occasional one worthy of a Distinction does appear.

  22. As Stephen L rightly said, this 11a puzzle could only have been the work of Silvanus, in fact I think it was one of his best to date.
    Packed my podium with 1,12,23,26&28a plus 14d but could easily have slotted in another full podium alongside.

    Many thanks to Silvanus for the pleasure and to DT for the review.

  23. As ever another lovely puzzle from this setter with super smooth surfaces making it a thoroughly enjoyable solve. Impossible to pick out a podium from so many worthy contenders so suffice to say a blanket finish. 1d was the only real head scratch in an otherwise brisk & trouble free solve. Back a wee bit better so may chance a walk though the weather looks dull & uninviting albeit dry. Today’s albums: Wish You Were Here (Floyd) & We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions (Springsteen)
    With thanks to Silvanus & to DT – I’ll second Terence’s thanks for sparing us Mr Manilow

    1. The Seeger sessions would have beeb enhanced by a few songs of Pete’s brother Bob. Night Moves, Turn The Page, Main Street and Hollywood Nights to name a few

  24. Inexplicably I entered 15a into 7d as well which delayed me a bit until 10a sorted me out. Otherwise quite straightforward for a Friday.

    Thanks to setter and DT.

  25. You lads do make me smile with your devotion to the music of your youth! Did anyone read the obituary of Rupert Neve who won a Lifetime Achievement Grammy for inventing the modern mixing consul used widely in recording studios? George Martin came to buy one for the Beatles. The factory was in our village and employed many people, we now have a Rupert Neve Close on the spot. The floats for the big Fete parades used to gather in their carpark before weaving their way through the village to the Rec. Dozens of little Brownies play school children on flat bed lorries with no Health and Safety worried. Well, I was interested! What a delightful puzzle each clue precisely defined, a real pleasure. I also liked 10a and well, all of them. Many thanks Sylvanus and thanks also to Deep Threat although, dare I say it, we didn’t need you but of course, still read you! Have a good weekend everyone.

    1. LBROK and I had a brief chat about Mr Neve yesterday Daisy. The obits are always worth a read. I remember an interesting Daisy that I alerted you to once.

      1. Iain Pattinson’s obit today made me smile. Love Clue & obviously Samantha though it’s never been quite the same without Humph good though Jack Dee is.

        1. Love Clue as well but, despite putting up resistance, it has also succumbed to PC. Samantha is not as lovely as she used to be.

        2. Thank you for drawing my attention to this, Huntsman. I have admired Iain Pattinson’s wit for such a long time, and I’m very sorry to learn he has died.

          The Samantha jokes are legendary, possibly this is my favourite:
          “Samantha has to leave now as she’s hosting a traditional Cockney music and dance night with a pearly king and queen at a nearby pub. All the locals are saying they can’t wait to see her knees up round the King’s Head.”

          RIP Iain.

            1. Mr M mentioned this obit this morning but I forget to read it until I read the comments. It summed him and the programme perfectly. RIP.

  26. An excellent Friday puzzle which had me scratching my head on a few but overall a very smooth set of clues so a ***/**** for me. Got held up a little in the SE corner with 25a and 25d but otherwise great fun. Hard to pick a COTD but I’ll plump for 2d.
    Thanks to DT and the setter for a great puzzle.

  27. A perfect puzzle to wake up to. Expertly surfaced clues which were just right for a Friday and every one of them appreciated by me. Thanks to Silvanus for the puzzle and to DT for the review. The Toughie is a good one today. Well worth a visit. It’s the weekend at last. Play nicely in Tilset’s Saturday Club and Senf’s Sunday School and you can play pommers up on Monday

  28. Well done Silvanus! A nice ***/**** with my two favourite clues being 26a as a great anagram and 9d for its method. Thoroughly enjoyable end to the week after a pretty blustery 6 mile walk on Dartmoor. Even the sheep were leaning into the wind.

  29. Thoroughly enjoyed this puzzle, held up only by 25a which refused to manifest through my cloudy brain for some reason. Thank you Silvanus and DT.

  30. Whenever I see Difficulty rating and solving time with stars I panic a wee bit, not this time, this was a nice Friday crossword, I enjoyed 1 & 11a but 13a was my COTD, 28a was a new word for me, 12a brought to mind my favourite show/musical Barnum with Michael Crawford there was a South Bank programme on it with the traning Mr. Crawford went through.

    Thank you to the setter and Deep Threat

  31. Crossword of the week for me. I too bypassed the NW and completed the rest fairly quickly, for me, and once I had a couple more checkers that also fell. How does one start to pick a favourite from so many candidates? Chose I must so I’ll go with 26d or maybe 28a or ….. Many many thanks to Silvanus and DT.

  32. Thank you for enjoyable crossword. Surprising if you walk away from it and put your mind on another task, then come back, it all makes sense and solvable.

  33. Found this a bit of a slog to get through today. ***/*** Must be the damp weather and being late going for my walk today. NW and SE most troublesome with 25a last in. COTD 20a, 23a, 25a & 16d with winner 16d
    New word for me in 28a

    Thanks to setter and DT for hints that were definitely needed today.

  34. A very entertaining & at points challenging (for me) puzzle. A steady solve held up in the NE corner, I was trying to fit both books of said ‘book’ into the clue…Doh. Penny dropped then it seemed job done.
    3.5*/5*
    Churlish to pick favourites in such a great puzzle but 11ac, 20ac &27ac along with 16d were outstanding,
    Many thanks to Silvanus for a Friday cracker & DT for review & that bit of direction to get to the finish line.

  35. I thought I’d achieved completion in a record time late last night (US time), only to get the dreaded message when inputting my final answer “some answers incorrect!”
    Normally, this is just a wrong letter typo on my device that is quickly and easily corrected, but on this occasion I couldn’t find any error at all!
    I had to wait until this morning for the blog to go through the hints kindly provided by DT….didn’t take too long, I had clearly decided that the answer to 1D was “railed” as it handily contained the word “liar” reversed! Doh!!
    I’m not sure if the setter set that particular (poo) trap for me to jump into with both feet…but I certainly managed it!
    Thanks indeed to Silvanus for the challenge and, once again, reminding me to never “Assume”…because we know where that leads!
    Cheers!

  36. Lovely crossword to end the week 😃 ***/**** Favourites 12a, 16d & 21d 🤗 Thanks to Deep Threat for his blog and music and to Sylvanus

  37. That was a pleasant challenge today. I did fall into a few pit holes, but they were my own fault. I had forgotten the 27a fish, although we had that recently. And the money part of 2d best me. Had a smile at the picture for 5a (my first answer in before I even sat down), as the two pictured are not exactly cherubs – they are in fact the angels of death. Thanks to the setter and to Deep Threat, much appreciated.

  38. Even if we see 28a regularly in crosswords, it’s one of those words that I probably can’t pronounce. I guess the G is silent though.
    No problem for pronouncing the rest.
    Thanks to Silvanus and to DT.

      1. Thanks.
        Forgot that the online dictionaries had sound as well.
        Very handy and congratulations to whomever sat in front of a microphone to recite the entire dictionary.

        1. They probably don’t do that. It is more likely that the “voice” utters a series of sounds that cover a vocabulary. These are then used to compose the sound of the word. I may be wrong!

          In reverse if you imagine how Siri (iphone) works … it takes the components of what you say and constructs words from them (again tgat iswhat I believe).

  39. Found the past few days a bit difficult but this one was lovely, 6d a favourite and 16d also.
    Many thanks Silvanus and DT.

  40. I found this very tricky but I did enjoy it. I got stuck in the SW … I failed at 27a, why oh why, I seem to remember promising never to forget it last time.
    So much to like, maybe 16d for the sound of it is fave.
    Thanks to Silvanus for the fun and to Deep Threat for his help finishing.

  41. Thoroughly enjoyable and we have a pleased feeling that we correctly picked the solver too. For some reason that makes no sense now it took us ages to see 20a.
    Thanks Silvanus and DT.

  42. At first glance late morning only saw a couple straight-away and thought oh it’s Friday. But another quick look after lunch and it gathered apace. I had trouble parsing the money in 2d (new to me) but that is when this blog is so useful and interesting. My last one in was 20a trying to place a B for Boris! Really enjoyed this offering. Many thanks to Silvanus and DT. Have a good weekend everyone.

  43. Many thanks to everyone who has left comments since my earlier contribution, I’m glad that you all seem to have enjoyed the puzzle.

    May I wish everyone a good weekend.

  44. Thanks to Silvanus and to Deep Threat for the review and hints. A very enjoyable puzzle that I found quite tricky. Needed the hints for 20a, was only thinking Boris, and for 1d, had no idea what this was about. I liked 16d and 26a, but my favourite was 27a. A very good puzzle. Was 3* / 4* for me.

    1. Heno, I have found that when prime ministers are in a clue they tend to be old such as Pitt. Old Tories tend to be whigs. Not always the case, of course but I do bear them in mind.

  45. Good evening. I’ve managed to scrape in on the day to leave a comment.
    I thought this was an excellent crossword today so I’d like to add my thanks and plaudits to Silvanus , and although not needed because it was clued so brilliantly, to Deep Threat for the hints.
    I’m keeping abreast, albeit a day or so later, of Lola’s progress, Daisy’s knee and hip and various back problems etc etc and sending best wishes to all.

  46. Just to say I am missing BD exchanges as I am incarcerated in hospital where I was admitted with a supposed vascular problem which has now turned out to be spinal. Pain which they seem unable to control means I sadly don’t feel up to concentrating on the Cryptic. I look forward to getting back with you all asap. Greetings.

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