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DT 29612

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29612

Hints and tips by Mr K

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BD Rating  -  Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

Hello, everyone. Welcome to Tuesday. 

In the hints below most indicators are italicized, and underlining identifies precise definitions and cryptic definitions. Clicking on the answer buttons will reveal the answers. In some hints hyperlinks provide additional explanation or background. Clicking on a picture will enlarge it or display a bonus illustration and a hover (computer) or long press (mobile) might explain more about the picture. Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.



1a    Gentle criminal a guard left (7)
GRADUAL:  An anagram (criminal) of A GUARD with the single letter for left

The Atlantic Ocean Road in Norway

5a    Exercise reduced in vain (7)
USELESS:  Exercise or employ with reduced or smaller 

9a    Texan golfer occasionally could see this? (5)
EAGLE:  The wordplay gives us the answer as the alternate letters (occasionally) of TEXAN GOLFER. The whole clue can serve as the definition 

An eagle on a golf course

10a   Loyal cadet died fighting (9)
DEDICATED:  An anagram (fighting) of CADET DIED 

11a   Harry said soft fruit goes off (10)
DISAPPEARS:  Concatenate an anagram (harry, as in destroy) of SAID, the musical abbreviation for soft, and some fruit that taper towards the stalk and bulge at the end (thank you, BRB) 

12a   Boast about fight (4)
CROW:  The single letter Latin abbreviation for about or approximately with a fight or noisy squabble

14a   Stress about identification friend produces by mistake (12)
ACCIDENTALLY:  Stress or emphasise containing (about) the abbreviation for identification papers is all followed by a friend or partner 

18a   Latest Conservative: here today, gone tomorrow (12)
CONTEMPORARY:  An abbreviation for Conservative with an adjective meaning "here today, gone tomorrow" 

21a   Businessman's  clubs? (4)
SUIT:  A informal word for a businessman is also what clubs are an example of (indicated by the ?

A businessman with golf clubs

22a   Platoon I ordered to protect most of bar's inhabitants (10)
POPULATION:  An anagram (ordered) of PLATOON I containing (to protect) all but the last letter (most of) a synonym of bar or inn

25a   Ordinary exercises sailor's managing (9)
OPERATING:  Join together the single letter for ordinary, some usual exercises, and a sailor who's an ordinary seaman 

26a   Annoyed thief on a boat losing power (5)
IRATE:  A marine robber minus the physics symbol for power (losing power)

27a   One on the board is doing this in the main? (7)
SURFING:  A cryptic definition of a leisure activity, where main refers to the sea 

28a   Pointed looks start to distract cricket commentator? (7)
DAGGERS:  The first letter of (start to) DISTRACT with the nickname of cricket commentator Jonathan Agnew, whose penchant for innuendo once caused a two mile traffic jam at the entrance to the Dartford Tunnel 

A pointed look



1d    Grabbing grass under golf trolley's bottom (6)
GREEDY:  A tall thin aquatic grass comes after (under, in a down clue) the letter represented in the NATO phonetic alphabet by golf, and that's all followed by the last letter of TROLLEY (… 's bottom, in a down clue) 

2d    Venerable Roman emperor ignores us (6)
AUGUST:  The first Roman emperor minus US from the clue (ignores US) 

3d    Coped with next EU changes dismissing nothing not bargained for (10)
UNEXPECTED:  An anagram (changes) of COPED NEXT EU minus the letter for nothing (dismissing nothing) 

4d    Accommodate  novelist (5)
LODGE:  A double definition. The English novelist was born in 1935 

5d    Rue Andrew's tight thong, perhaps (9)
UNDERWEAR:  An anagram (… 's tight, as in drunk) of RUE ANDREW

6d    Every coach beginning to leave (4)
EACH:  Coach or educate minus its first letter (beginning to leave

7d    One trust supporting hospital department in full (8)
ENTIRELY:  The Roman one and trust or depend are both coming after (supporting, in a down clue) a usual hospital department 

8d    Furtive fish goes between rocks (8)
SIDEWAYS:  A three-letter fish inserted in (goes between) rocks or wobbles 

13d   Having astronomical vision? (10)
STARGAZING:  A cryptic definition of what an astronomer might be doing 

15d   This writer is turning out to be getting better (9)
IMPROVING:  A contraction of "this writer is" from the compiler's perspective is followed by turning out or confirming

16d   Hold  cutting tool (8)
SCISSORS:  A wrestling hold is also a cutting tool 

rock, paper, scissors

17d   Manoeuvre train with sign of hesitation (8)
ENGINEER:  The powered part of a train with a word of hesitation 

19d   Some climbing cedar -- it's generating angry harangue (6)
TIRADE:  The answer is hidden in the reversal of (some climbing … generating) the remainder of the clue 

20d   English golfer, a lefty (6)
ENGELS:  The three letter abbreviation for English followed by a South African professional golfer produces a socialist German philosopher 

23d   Swelling -- not small -- daughter prodded (5)
URGED:  A swelling or wave has the clothing abbreviation for small deleted (not small) and the genealogical abbreviation for daughter appended 

24d   A large island south of Borneo, primarily? (4)
BALI:  Initial letters (primarily) of the first four words of the clue provide the wordplay. The complete clue can also serve as the definition, making this a rare all-in-one clue


Thanks to today’s setter. If I had to pick a favourite it would be 24d. Which clues did you like best?

The Quick Crossword pun:  DIP + ART + MEANT = DEPARTMENT

80 comments on “DT 29612

  1. Completed in ** time, with 4d as an absolute guess. Never heard of him. I do think it’s a little unfair using these obscure surnames, let’s face it, just about every surname in Britain has probably had a book published somewhere.

    My last in was 17d which I think is a bit weak, (not that I could do any better!), as I don’t really think an engine is a train. There was probably also a little too much sporting knowledge needed for some people.

    I did like 12a, short but sweet.

    Many thanks to the setter and Mr K.

    1. In common parlance I think most people associate the word train with the engine. I have several videos about steam trains and the content is about the locomotive. I think the clueing is fine.

  2. The top half went in really quickly, but I almost came to a halt with the bottom half. 20d was a bung-in. I knew the lefty, I didn’t know the golfer, and needed the review to check. I’m usually OK with crickety things, but not golf, with the exception of Tiger. Thank you setter and Mr Kitty.

  3. The South proved a tougher nut to crack than the North in this largely enjoyable puzzle. I had to check the fish in 8d, the author in 4d (agree with Malcom there) and 16d was a semi bung in. I particularly liked 11a, 28a (great if you know the commentator) &6d with top spot going to the clever 12a.
    Many thanks to the setter and Mr K

  4. 3*/4*. I enjoyed this a lot. I thought it was going to be a breeze but I came unstuck in the SW corner for reasons are difficult to understand with the benefit of hindsight.

    24d is brilliant and was my favourite, but I also had ticked 9a, 18a, 21a & 8d.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Mr K.

  5. As others have said, the south was harder to crack than the north and with wrestling, cricket and golf related clues, a bit of sporting GK involved. I too guessed the author but it couldn’t be anything else. Altogether a pleasant puzzle with a but of challenge (2*/3.5*). Surprisingly 3 of my best clues were sport related 16d, 20d and 18a but I also liked8d. COTD was 20d. Thanks to Mr K and to the compiler.

  6. I’d never heard of the novelist in 4d so that was a bit of a guess. I had to check that there really is a fish by that name in 8d. There are so many species and sub species that it’s impossible to know them all. **/*** Favourite 28a. Thanks to all.

    1. That fish has made so many appearances, very handy as it fills in so many other words!

  7. 18a takes my top spot this morning ahead of the clever 24d. On the whole this was a fairly quick solve, although there were a couple of tricky ones to keep the interest going, mainly in the bottom half.

    My thanks to our Tuesday setter and to Mr K for his usual comprehensive blog.

  8. Went into *** difficulty with this but enjoyable nevertheless despite the cure for insomnia with the cricket and golf clues. David Lodge has written several superb books with ‘Changing Places’ a modern masterpiece of pricking the pompous balloon of academia. His novel using his partial deafness ‘Deaf Sentence’ will assure those of us who suffer the same that we should embrace mishearings for the fun of it. For those without this disability it is a good reminder that deafness or partial deafness does not correspond to stupidity.

    27a my favourite today. Thanks to Mr K and the setter.

    1. Changing Places my favourite of his too – excellent. I’m sure he has read it but right up Robert’s street I should think.

    2. My father would have loved his attitude to deafness. He was deaf in one ear, due to an infection while serving in the Far East during WW2. He frequently mispronounced words and was particularly prone to deliberately mangling the names of tennis players for comic effect (Rusedski was Rudesby). The one thing he found very trying was oversleeping, despite having a very loud alarm clock, because his ‘good ear’ was buried in his pillow. He would rush around like a scalded cat, trying to get to the factory on time.

    3. Thanks for the recommendation. “Deaf Sentence” bought & I look forward to the read.
      Hope your hearing loss is not total; I can only imagine how awful that must be.
      Like Chriscross’ father I have almost total loss in one ear (& I can’t sleep ‘good ear up’) with quite bad NIHL in the other.

  9. A straightforward solve. My fond memory of reading “Ginger, You’re Barmy” helped with 4d. Favourite was 27a.

    Thanks to Mr K and todays setter.

  10. Top half certainly easier than the bottom. I especially liked 28A his test match comments were wonderful. Thanks to setter and Mr K

  11. Another held up in the South and like RD for no obvious reason when I did get there. Am sports-minded so didn’t have a problem but can see there will be those who feel there were too many sports related clues. On the other hand the 4d author was a bung-in then check with Mr Wiki. Will have to read his “Deaf Sentence” though. You don’t realise what a marvellous thing your hearing is until you lose even part of it.
    I struggled with 20d, as I couldn’t get E Nagle out of my head.
    18a my COTD.
    Thanks to setter for brightening up a dull grey day up here & Mr K for the hints.

  12. David Lodge is well known to us academicians who enjoy writers who make good sporting fun of us, especially as he has done in Changing Places. I highly recommend him to all of you, though Corky already knows what a great find Lodge is. A nice, gentle puzzle with a couple outstanding 4-letter clues in 12a and 24d. I also thought that 20d was quite clever. Otherwise, just a pleasant Tuesday at the shop. Thanks to Mr K and today’s setter. ** / ***

    1. Note: Lodge’s Academic Trilogy–Changing Places, Small World, Nice Work–is available in a one-volume Penguin paperback (I just ordered one from Amazon, over here at least). Also called The Campus Trilogy.

  13. (I agree – David Lodge’s books are masterpieces)
    Lovely crossword – took me through the toast and beyond.

    We are very pleased today, because after pleading her case, H now has a date later this month for the second part of the ‘procedure’. Something ‘temporary’ was put in and needs to be taken out again. The delay in the ‘taking out’ aspect has been causing her considerable discomfort (theatres were closed and redeployed for Covid patients).

    Today’s crossword soundtrack: Ralph Vaughan Williams – Symphony No. 3 (Pastoral – far less chilled and calming than I remembered it)

    Thanks to the setter and The Celebrated Mr K. (Lovely Sheryl C. video)

    1. Sorry to hear about the problems H is having getting her procedure actually completed. A sorry state of affairs. Glad she took the squeaky wheel approach. Never hurts to ask, and ask again.

  14. Plenty to savour in this one and just a slight hiccup over the 4d author – must get Changing Places on order to remedy the situation.
    Full podium at this end – 12,18&28a aloft along with 13&24d.

    Thanks to our setter and to Mr K for another of his informative and well-illustrated reviews. Probably just as well that motorists travelling along that Norwegian road don’t have the ‘benefit’ of that overhead shot!
    PS Who on earth convinced men that those mankinis are a good idea…………..

    1. Jane, I liked your clue in the DT puzzles clue-writing competition. (Albatross)

      Didn’t you win it once? Has your winning clue appeared yet in the back-pager?

      1. Thank you, Jepi, just a shame that CL picked me up on the adjective/noun aspect.
        Yes, I did win it once but don’t recollect ever having seen my clue in a back-pager. To be honest, I can’t even remember what it was!

        1. Found it!

          ORGANISE prize competition results. (01/06/2020)

          First place: Deal with some backsliding males in a group (8)

          It was hard to choose between many of the ‘lurker’ clues, but congratulations to Jane of Anglesey, who takes the prize this month. Here, the answer is hidden backwards inside malES IN A GROup; the surface reading also seems fitting, as people start to gather together with the UK’s lockdown easing. Congratulations to Jane, whose clue will be included in a future Telegraph Crossword.

  15. Like others, I had to check the fish in 8d and I looked up my answer to 20d to check it. Loved 28a but wonder if our friends across the pond would know this particular name for the commentator. I have heard of the author at 4d but have only read Nice Work. I will seek out others. All in all, an enjoyable puzzle with just the write balance of straightforward clues and head scratchers with a good dose of PD moments.

    Grateful thanks to the setter for the puzzle and Mr. K. for the hints.

    Did I see Miffypops among the bathers?

    1. You’re right, Steve: I didn’t know the commentator but the answer had to be what it was, so a lucky bung-in for me. (And yes, I’m sure I saw Miffypops there.)

  16. Mainly enjoyable except for 21a which i really disliked and 9a which was clever but could have been better clued.
    I did like 27a but my favourite was 28a.
    Thx to all

    1. No idea if I like or dislike 21a Brian because along with 17d I can’t get it. Have stared at these 2 for treble the amount of time the remainder has taken & popped out for some shopping in between.

  17. A curate’s egg for me today. I probably had the same Hmm and/or furrowed brow the last time(s) that 17d appeared in some form or another – an engine is not a train. Completed at a gallop – 2*/2,5*.
    Difficult to find some good candidates for favourite, but I did like 18a and 28a.
    Thanks to the setter and Mr K.

  18. I found this puzzle quite difficult today and took ages to parse last in 21a- like others I found the SW quadrant to be generally difficult .Anyway a treat to solve so a ***/****
    20d had to be my favourite too-was he a Walker brother?
    8a was a new synonym for me and a note made in my Chambers for future reference.

  19. The penny has finally dropped with 17d&21a for a finish in 5.5* time with over 3.5 of it on those two. Quite why they took so long heaven knows but unlike Brian I rather like 21a. As with others the south was much trickier than the north & the 2 sports related clues at 20d & 28a were my picks with 18a & 24d running them close. A double dose of the Don for today’s albums: Katy Lied (Steely Dan) & Kamakiriad (Donald Fagen)
    Thanks to the setter & to Mr K for the review – I read in the Telegraph yesterday that many people (even those with relatively modest weight gain) have accumulated 20% more body fat due to inactivity over the year of on & off lockdown. Despite a good daily walk at a brisk rate & only a four pound gain I certainly feel hopelessly out of shape. It’s bad enough having to stare at your own stomach in the mirror let alone inflicting it on others but fair play to the boys in the 5d pic for their sense of fun. Was it just me or did the surface of that clue bring Liz’s troubled son to mind?

  20. I really liked this puzzle though perhaps 28a is rather specialised knowledge (we’ve had the South African golfer enough times for him to be generally known). Thanks to the setter and Mr K – I am very envious of the latter’s ability to find illustrations which are both relevant and humorous.
    My podium has 9a, 21a and 1d on it.
    I thought that the fourth word of the Quickie was probably part of the pun.

    1. I think you’re right about the Quickie pun, Gazza. We are so conditioned to having two or three words we never look for a fourth. Rather like the third pun given by Campbell the other Monday. At least, I think it was Campbell. Others will put me right if not.

    2. The paper has only the first 3 clues italicised.

      Alas, the puzzles.telegraph site still cannot handle italics.

      1. Sorry, I’m wrong then. As you say, it’s a pity that those of us who subscribe to the Puzzles site are at a disadvantage.

    3. Are all the words for the pun not italcised in the dead tree version?
      Perhaps someone can confirm.
      Certainly the 4 words qualify.

      1. They are, LROK but Gazza’s point was valid. It was no doubt an accidental extension of the pun.

  21. Really did not enjoy this at all. Too much general knowledge and convoluted clues. Never mind, tomorrow will be a good day as was yesterday.
    Thanks to setter and Mr K . Completed it without help but a few bung ins, which I never do actually but I got fed up with it and needed it to end.

  22. Once again I am agreeing with much of what was said before- top half flew in , bottom much slower to crack. Thank you Mr K for explaining the wrestling hold. It had to be that cutting tool but I did not know why. It was the same with 20d and 38a, put the answer in but did not know why. I wonder what the happy little band of tophatted tankini-ed men call themselves? It is obviously a club of some sort. I could make a few suggestions – but I am a lady! Many thanks to the setter – I did like the misdirection at 11a and 24a.

    1. DG
      Looks like a club for men who have been black-balled by other clubs.😁

      1. Hi LBOK

        I just read your post (along with Bluebird) on yesterday’s crossword. I am way behind not having even done Sat/Sun. Have just finished a big prune of about 100 olives … I don’t do the pruning but I have to clear up, i.e. burn, the “frasca” that comes out of the wood and then truck the wood home. Many tons! This work we were doing on a 45 degree stony slope so please forgive me for not being so regular here.😎

        I must admit I am a little tired to comment. I will start today’s now with a thanks to the setter and Mr K in advance.

        1. Stone Waller
          So pleased all OK
          It was out of concern that We asked.There is nothing to apologise for, it was probably me who missed one of your posts.
          It is enough for me to walk up our slope sometimes.
          Is there any money in olives or is it a labour of love?

          1. It is a labour of love. We do have a client base in several parts of the UK (mainly Bath, Dartmouth, Tewkesbury, Upton-upon-Severn and Malvern) but basically they just pay the expenses. Once a year we send a shipment, but we do not as yet know what is happening following Brexit.

            But the wood keeps us warm, and I’m not sure most people wouldn’t believe this, in our humid cold Adriatic winters.

            1. Hi Jane

              I forgot to mention we managed to get it to Anglesey (thanks to BD) and the IOW!

              Today’s crossword prompted a few exclamation marks in the margins … 4dn, 20d and of course 28 ac, which I liked nevertheless because I am a cricket fan.

              Thanks to all.

  23. Finished this in good time, but only knew I had a couple of answers right when the (always gratifying…) message “All Answers Correct” appeared after my last clue in of 20D.
    Thanks indeed to Mr K for helping me parse a couple of the clues e.g. 12A – I hadn’t got the ‘about fight’ piece (note to self – ‘c’ for ‘about’) and 21A being a bit of a slightly slang word/playing cards.
    Anyway, I enjoyed the challenge again so thanks indeed to the setter (Campbell?) and Mr K for the excellent blog ‘n hints.

    1. I don’t know who the setter is, Bruce but it may not be Campbell as he set yesterday’s puzzle.

  24. An enjoyable Tuesday morning challenge. Didn’t know the 4d author, but bunged it in because what else could it be? Last in was 20d, too sporty for me. And yuk, I could have done without the picture at 5d, quite put me off my Weetabix. (My two closest supermarkets recently stopped carrying, but found some at a third about 4 miles away.) I also took the wrong fork in the road a couple of times, which caused some backtracking and crossing out. The penalty for using a pen. But mostly friendly clueing. Thanks to the setter and Mr. K.

  25. All went smoothly except for 4d … could have kicked myself on reading the answer; thank you mr K and setter

  26. I was disappointed by today’s crossword…..far too many obscure answers…or they were to me anyway.

    I did not know the author, the fish or the South African golfer. Only just managed to scrape up the cricket commentator and the wrestling hold from somewhere.
    Not my cup of tea today at all.

    Thanks to Mr K

  27. I agree with most of what’s been said by others – the bottom half definitely was much more difficult than the top and I thought it was probably a bit trickier than recent Tuesdays.
    We seem to get the 21a slangy term for businessmen quite often but that’s the first time I’ve remembered it.
    A fair bit of ‘sporty’ stuff today but just about ‘doable’ with some head scratching (and swearing).
    I interpreted the ‘said’ in 11a as indicating a homophone which left me with a spare ‘A’ – I know what I mean but not sure it makes sense – never mind!
    Lots of good clues and very enjoyable probably sums it up.
    I particularly liked 12 and 18a and 13 and 24d. My favourite was 8d.
    Thanks to whoever set this one and to Mr K.

  28. Good puzzle today with a bit of head scratching.. The little 21a held me up until the last. The picture at 5d, well I never did! A really horrible moment – they are all so not in shape! Also, what is the point of wrestling when its completely staged? Have never understood the attraction. Anyway, thanks to the setter and Mr K.

  29. We would really like to know who this setter was because we loved the puzzle, * time for us which is SO rare, and *** for enjoyment. More please! Thanks to setter and Mr K.

  30. This puzzle was ****/** for me today for the obscure clues that require specific knowledge about names or words that are pretty much impossible to get/parse.
    Did not like the clues 28a, 4d or 20d as specific knowledge is needed.and impossible to solve the double definition in 4d for same reason. Not a good cryptic puzzle today IMHO
    Never heard of the fish in 8d
    Clues I liked were not very plentiful today either … 14a, 7d & 15d.

    Thanks to setter for the headache and Mr K for the hints to be able to finish at all.

  31. I did finish, every blank square had a letter in it, but I really needed the hints for the unravelling. I did have 20d incorrect, it really had no bearing on the clue. To me, SE corner was the tricky one. I did enjoy this, lots to smile about.
    I thought 24d was very clever and can’t be ignored, but fave was 28a, only for Mr. K’s anecdote of Dartford Tunnel, I’ve never heard of the chap but it was so funny.
    Thank you setter, fess up, it was a lot of fun. This was one of the funniest reviews Mr. K, the mankinis were so horrible they were funny. Loved it all.

    1. Hi Merusa, I’ve been waiting for you to come in. Glad you have ordered the Pecks Anchovette. Looked on line and was horrified to find Amazon selling 2 small jars for 44 pounds! I hope you didn’t pay that, it’s about 3 pounds a jar so can’t believe that sort of price. Do hope you enjoy it. In Cape Town we used to have it on toast for elevenses when I worked at the Cape Times. I will get my cousin in Stellenbosch to send some over. There’s a damn muntjac outside yelling for a female, it can go on for hours.

      1. Oh, no, I’m not in that income bracket! I paid $17 for two 125g jars. I just went on the site and they have another seller offering two jars for $14. It won’t come until March 12th, I think it comes from Seattle, must be a large S. African presence there.
        Kath also has problems with muntjacs. It’s a shame when a foreign creature gets loose and invades the natural fauna. At least muntjacs are nicer than Burmese pythons.

  32. We needed Mr Google to confirm that we did have 28a correct but think we may have heard of him at some stage. A really good fun puzzle to solve.
    Thanks Mr Ron and Mr K.

  33. No enjoyment here for me today. It felt like it was written by an old academic for old academics with some hallmark ‘show off’ obscurities.. Definitely not one that would spark the younger generations waning interest in cryptic crosswords so in that sense somewhat exclusive as well. Shame for a Tuesday. Thanks to all.

  34. Phew! Got the obscure sports allusions, but needed a couple of hints in the SW. Never heard of the author in 4d but biffed it anyway. Thanks to all. ***/***

  35. Not my cup of Earl Grey, this one! Finished but not much to smile about. Thanks to all.

  36. All perfectly straightforward until it wasn’t, for that read SW corner where, for me, it moved into toughie territory. Any road up I got there in the end. Favourite was 28a where I kept trying to fit in Agnew until the penny dropped, flat of the hand on the forehead. I do miss Johners. He of course lives in my county although, I think, born in Rutland. He was the sports correspondent for radio Leicester for a while and knows less about football than my girlfriend, which is saying something. Thanks to the setter and Mr. K.

  37. Why, when you have a painful back and are trying to avoid bending down does everything drop on the floor?
    Good night all.

  38. 3*/4*…..had to smile at the snap of the cat with a pointed look in the hint to 28A….
    liked 24D ” A large island south of Borneo, primarily? (4)”

  39. An enjoyable solve in ** time. Last one in was 8d as I hadn’t heard of the fish and the answer didn’t sound very furtive to me, so I wasn’t sure I was correct until I checked the hints. Now time to rest those eyelids.

  40. I found 29612 a 3*; SW corner had me for some time.17d a little dubious
    28a my favourite , very inventive!

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