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DT 29651

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29651

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Good morning from South Staffs on a sunny Friday. Mrs DT and I are now fully vaccinated, and next week we can get our hair cut! Small steps back towards normality, though Boris and the Chuckle Brothers seem determined to keep us miserable for as long as possible.

Today’s crossword was completed in fairly rapid time, though a couple of stretched synonyms gave me pause for thought.

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           Fast food picked up for townsfolk (8)
BURGHERS – The respectable folk of a town (such as Calais?) sound like a type of fast food.

The Burghers of Calais - Rodin Museum | Rodin sculpture, Auguste rodin,  Public sculpture

5a           Stupid honour essentially elitist American wears (6)
OBTUSE – Put together the middle letter (essentially) of elitist and an abbreviation for ‘American’, then wrap the three-letter acronym for a UK honour around the result.

9a           Gift from foreign criminal female intercepts (8)
OFFERING – Anagram (criminal) of FOREIGN with Female inserted.

10a         Promise of ketchup at last appearing on shelf (6)
PLEDGE – The final letter (at last) of ketchuP, followed by another word for a shelf.

12a         Biscuit is extremely vile after regularly adding yeast to it (9)
DIGESTIVE – Alternate letters (regularly) of the last four words of the clus, followed by the outside letters (extremely) of VilE.

Foods of England - Digestive Biscuits

13a         World famine beginning to be ignored (5)
EARTH – Remove the initial letter (beginning to be ignored) from another word for ‘famine’ or ‘scarcity’ to get the name given to our world.

14a         Shoot advertisement (4)
PLUG – Double definition: a slang word for ‘shoot’ someone; or an informal term for an advert..

16a         College study describing king’s mythical creature (7)
UNICORN – A three-letter abbreviation for a college or other place of tertiary education, followed by another word for ‘study’ or ‘peruse’ wrapped round the Latin abbreviation for ‘king’.

19a         Answer by friend upset cleric, causing fuss (7)
PALAVER – Put together another word for ‘friend’, an abbreviation for Answer, and the reverse (upset) of the short form of the titke given to members of the clergy.

21a         Fruit and vegetable wholesaler’s closing (4)
PEAR – A small round vegetable, followed by the last letter (closing) of wholesaleR.

24a         At no time content to postpone verdict (5)
NEVER – Hidden in the clue.

25a         Every one entering bar is willing to learn (9)
TEACHABLE – Another word for ‘every individual’ inserted into another word for ‘bar’ or ‘counter’ (though I can’t find this synonym listed in the BRB).

27a         Writer of a hot novel about upper-class Romeo (6)
AUTHOR – Anagram (novel) of A HOT, wrapped round the letter indicating ‘upper-class’, followed by the letter represented by Romeo in the NATO alphabet.

28a         Castle in France with turrets is periodically housing soldiers (8)
FORTRESS – The IVR code for France and alternate letters (periodically) of TuRrEtS iS, placed either side of the usual soldiers who are not officers.

29a         Very simple task comedian will read out (6)
DODDLE – This is a homophone (read out) of the surname of the late squire of Knotty Ash and the contracted form of ‘will’.

30a         Lots keen to change basic scheme (8)
SKELETON – Anagram (to change) of LOTS KEEN.


1d           Minor routes leading to Eastern holiday location (6)
BROADS – Split this (1,5) and you get a description of minor routes based on their classification (where motorways are M and major roads are A). Put together, you have a watery holiday destination in East Anglia.

Oliver's Sailing Holidays UK - Sailing Boat Hire — Oliver's Sailing  Holidays UK

2d           Deny receiving grand for time in resort (6)
REFUGE – Start with a word for ‘deny’ or ‘disprove’, then replace the Time with Grand.

3d           Anger between husband and son results in charges (5)
HIRES – Abbreviations for Husband and Son, placed either side of another word for anger.

4d           Continuous performance (7)
RUNNING – Double definition: a continuous supply of, say, water; or the performance of an event – ‘last week’s ——- of the Grand National’, for example.

6d           Some footballer in Austria, one displaying elegant movement? (9)
BALLERINA – Hidden in the clue.

7d           Dicky, grounded little man? (8)
UNDERDOG – Anagram (dicky) of GROUNDED.

8d           The plane mistaken for jumbo (8)
ELEPHANT – Anagram (mistaken) of THE PLANE.

11d         Argentinian president, about to depart, united country (4)
PERU – Start with the surname of a President of Argentina (the one who married Evita), remove the word for ‘about’ or ‘concerning’, and replace it with an abbreviation for United, to get another South American country.

15d         Penny loves being inspired by organ lessons primarily in city (9)
LIVERPOOL – Put together the abbreviation for a penny and two examples of the letter which looks like a love score at tennis. Then put one of the organs of the body in front of the result, and the first letter (primarily) of Lessons at the end, to get an English city.

17d         European bridge, one over a road (8)
SPANIARD – Put together a verb for ‘bridge’, the Roman numeral for one, A (from the clue), and an abbreviation for road.

18d         Somehow leave education following complaint ultimately that’s raised (8)
ELEVATED – Anagram (somehow) of LEAVE, followed by the last letter (ultimately) of complainT and an abbreviation for Education.

20d         Expression of annoyance from celebrity performing U-turn (4)
RATS – Start with the title given to the leading actor in a film or play, then reverse it.

21d         Vain character from top firm about to be employed (7)
PEACOCK – Put together an abbreviation for a firm or company and the Latin abbreviation for ‘about’ or ‘approximately’, then wrap another word for the top of a mountain around the result.

Why Are More Peacocks Being Sighted In Kerala?

22d         Missing worker rings bosses from time to time (6)
ABSENT – One of the usual worker insects wrapped round alternate letters (from time to time) of BoSsEs.

23d         Air of sailor briefly showing temper (6)
SEASON – Start with something (3,4) which might be sung by a sailor, then remove the final letter (briefly).

26d         Visiting Hull’s outskirts, books European place to stay (5)
HOTEL – The abbreviation for one of the sets of books in the Bible and an abbreviation for European, with the outside letters (outskirts) of HulL wrapped round the result.

The Quick Crossword pun FRIEZE + PEACH = FREE SPEECH

72 comments on “DT 29651

  1. 2*/5*. Light but absolutely brilliant presumably from the master of smooth surfaces.

    I am not keen on “bar” = “table” in 25a, which as DT says is not in the BRB, but I can see how it could be used as a very stretched synonym, and it is actually listed as a synonym in Collins.

    I wouldn’t know where to begin in picking a favourite or even making a podium choice from such an excellent selection of clues.

    Many thanks to Silvanus and to DT.

  2. Straightforward but quite absorbing and with some clever anagrams (2*/4*), this puzzle was rather different from recent Friday puzzles. I liked 21d, the lurker at 6a and 15d, a good geographical clue. COTD, however, is the clever 19a. Thank you to Senf for the hints. My vaccination is this afternoon and my husband has one tomorrow morning. Can’t wait. Thank you to the compiler too.

  3. An enjoyable swfit canter to accompany the morning coffee, with nothing to frighten the horses. Most clues read so smoothly, a delightfully constructed grid; enjoyed 6d very much, but COTD is 12a: so true!


    Thanks to setter and DT.


  4. Silvanus. Of course. Thoroughly enjoyable solve all of the way through particularly at 12 across which provided a snack to go with the pear at just the right time. Thanks to DT (5 across) and one of my favourite setters

  5. An essential diversion whilst waiting in the windy shade outside the drop in hairdressers. The cold must have sharpened my brain since after my disaster yesterday this one mapped out very well so a */*** for me with thanks to DeepThreat and the setter.

  6. A very enjoyable start to the day. **/**** I liked the lurker at 6d mainly because it brings to mind Van at the Hollywood Bowl. Not too sure about bar/table either but doubtless it’s in a dictionary somewhere. I’ll nominate 19a as favourite because it’s such a great word. Thanks to all.

  7. Really quite gentle for a Friday, but I couldn’t really work out 25A.
    Neither did I like 4D & 23D much but that is really nitpicking.
    I enjoyed doing this puzzle so thanks to all.
    Time for some Neil Young.

  8. Great fun today so thank you to the setter and DT. Just had my second jab in Fakenham and on the way home the farm stall at Sharrington was selling the first asparagus of the year – what utter bliss for the next six weeks or so. Such yumminess with plenty of butter.

    1. A friend brought me a bunch early this week – delicious. Imported stuff does not hit the spot!

      1. Our asparagus bed does not sprout until late April early May. A few thin spears have appeared but last night’s frost put paid to them. I start cutting in a few weeks.

        1. Oh we had an asparagus bed when we were living at the Farm, it was heaven. When we downsized
          it seemed too much effort to start again from scratch. I seem to remember that there is a specific date in June
          when you have to stop harvesting, a bit like the devil flying over the blackberries at the end of October

            1. You are absolutely right he does spit on them, but I thought he did it as he flew over!

          1. Nothing to do with the devil, DG. The fronds have to be allowed to develop to feed next year’s growth. The cutting season is about 6 to 8 weeks then the bed is left to its own devices.

  9. Three quarters of this solved in just over * time & then heaven knows why but the SE took a further 2.5*. Lovely surfaces & a real pleasure from fast start to ponderous finish. No real favourites just quality throughout.
    With thanks to Silvanus & to DT – fully jabbed with a haircut to follow; a win double
    Today’s soundtrack: California Soil by London Grammar (reviewed today by Neil McCormick in the paper)

  10. What a delight this was! I found the entire puzzle quite enjoyable–and interesting! I can’t always say that about a fast-solving cryptic, but this one really held my interest throughout. If it is Silvanus, I’m not at all surprised: his smooth surfaces; his avoidance of wild obscurities; his wit. Love that Austrian footballer, but my COTD is 19a followed by 1a/1d, and 28a. Thanks to DT and Silvanus (?) for the sheer pleasure. ** / ****

    A real tough Toughie today!

    1. The 5 word film has driven me potty but it’s just come to me though parsing it is another matter.

      1. The difference between Toughie puzzles and Back Pagers is that while I can usually solve both, I know why all of my answers are correct in the Back Pager but only why some of them are right in The Toughie

      2. Got the film title easily but even with Dutch’s hint, I still can’t parse it.

        1. Our correspondence from the government departments and taxation offices used to have OHMS stamped (franked) upon them.

  11. Solved alone and unaided.. but I’m afraid I needed help with a lot of the parsings.
    I’m afraid I did not enjoy this as much as others . It felt to me as though the setter was trying to use as many crossword conventions as he possibly could.

    Thanks to the setters and to Deep Threat .

  12. Enjoyed solving this one, but couldn’t parse 25a – so thanks to DT for clarifying that one.

    Further to my rant yesterday about adult social care – I had a meeting at 11.00 this morning with a member of the safeguarding team from Social Services and we are going to try another agency with hopes that such a change might bring a reasonable standard of care. There will be an investigation into the current lot.

    Today’s crossword soundtrack: Buffalo Springfield – Buffalo Springfield (I will check out the London Grammar album as I love Hannah Reid’s voice)

    Thanks to Silvanus and DT

    1. Good luck, Terence. If the safeguarding team are involved, they should keep a close eye on proceedings going forward.

    2. I found that it pays to persevere and stick to your guns with social services. They are generally understaffed and under-resourced but persistence pays off, Terence. Good luck with your search for a better solution through a different agency.

  13. Boom! I was right on the wavelength and had fun, considering a bad night’s sleep.
    I particularly laughed at the biccy surface and the tickling stick comic, and the ‘penny loves’ insert in the place where that comic is from.
    Seemed full of lurkers and alternating letters, so you’d have to be familiar with those sorts of clues. I agree about a couple of the synonyms, but honestly, you could get a lot from the checkers. And nothing weird.
    Thanks to the setter and to DT.
    Vax tomorrow which I am more nervous about than the first time.

  14. A very pleasant not too challenging puzzle to finish this (non-)work week of cruciverbalism – 2*/4.5*.

    Like RD, I had a pause over 25a’s bar/table – but they are in each other’s entry in the Small Red Book, so heigh ho.

    Candidates for favourite – 1a, 1d, and 11d – and the winner is 1d.

    Thanks to Silvanus and DT.

  15. I’m afraid I am bucking the trend today as I found this rather difficult. After the first pass, I had only solved seven. I then spent ages trying to coax answers out of clues that baffled me. I got there in the end but I needed a fair bit of help. This is unusual for me because I tend to get on quite well with Silvanus. Guess I’m having an off day.

    Ah well, tomorrow is another day!

    I did like the Quickie pun.

    Many thanks to Silvanus for the drubbing and to DT for the greatly appreciated hints.

  16. Well I am going to sit on the fence and give this ***. I found most of it fairly run of the mill, but had to come here to check my answers for both 4d and 23d. I missed the parsing of 23d completely.

    And 23a in the Quickie held up that corner for quite a while.

    Thanks Silvanus and DT.

  17. Oodles of fun today and no serious hold-ups. 1a Fav from long qualifying list. 29a possibly a bit obtuse for non-Brits. 12a name for biscuit apparently unacceptable in US as not proven to aid digestion hence graham cracker/cookie. Shanty in 23d didn’t occur to me so toyed with lessen. Thank you Silvanus and DT.

  18. Such a pleasure to read those smooth surfaces which always result in a most enjoyable solve.
    1&19a made me laugh and my favourite was the 27a writer.

    Many thanks to Silvanus and to DT for the musical review. When my girls were young we had a Playschool tape which was played over and over again on car journeys. The 16a’s song was by far the favourite, the chorus being belted out at the top of their voices!

    1. Those Unicorns were silly weren’t they? Almost as silly as the song which I had on a mix tape for my two girls. Mixing it myself meant that I could throw in a song for me every so often.

    2. I must have been a terrible parent. I don’t remember having any child-friendly car tapes. If they didn’t like Aretha, Stevie Wonder or Marvin Gaye, they were stuffed.
      Having said that, I do remember taking my daughter and her friend to a My Little Pony film. It was so boring, I fell asleep – anyone could have abducted them. An even greater torture was a Transformers film to which we took my son and a couple of his friends – the appalling noise kept me awake. So, not only a neglectful parent but also quite sexist.

      1. My daughters can recognise Tom Waits, Leonard Cohen, Neil Young, Van Morrison and Bob Dylan but also Nellie The Elephant and the rest of the Uncle Mac Children’s Favourites playlist

  19. Excellent clues with 4d catching me out as for some strange reason I assumed ‘ringing’. Thank you Silvanus and DT

  20. A very elegantly-clued and delightful puzzle for a sunny Friday. Not taxing, but beautifully constructed and highly enjoyable. I will nominate 28a as a favourite, although in truth it could be any of them.

    Thanks to DT, and congratulations to Silvanus for producing this gem.

  21. Very enjoyable puzzle with some clever lurkers and anagrams. My COD was 12a

    With regard to the bar/table discussion, table football is often known as bar football – another connection?

  22. Just finished the puzzle by Phi in The Independent. I never knew “canary” is a wine.

      1. It was around in Elizabethan England and is a Malmsey. Apparently trade ended suddenly in 1680 (according to Mr G.)

  23. At first scan through I thought this was going to be a stinker but careful reading through excellent if devious clueing led to a very enjoyable passage of time, all in bar 23d for which I am grateful for the hint.
    Thanks to DT and the setter

  24. Me too, with Shrimp and Jonners on 4d. I suppose it would do at a pinch. Another lovely crossword , many thanks to Silvanus (?) and Deep Threat. I agree with Robert – favourites are 1a and 1d. Have a nice weekend everyone although I suppose watching DofE’s funeral will be sobering.

      1. Being a Lady, MP, I am never drunk – though certainly more approachable/mellow after the
        first snifter at 6 p.m. But as for tomorrow, I am sure we shall have to have
        some sort of toast to the man long before 6 !

  25. Very enjoyable, somewhat internationally-themed puzzle, thankyou Silvanus. Needed hint to understand 23d — thanks DT but otherwise all fell in nicely.

  26. I’m in the small camp of those that found this difficult, I really had to persevere, especially on 23d which took forever to twig.
    Anyway, got there in the end, but needed DT’s hints to help me understand why on a number. In particular I wasn’t familiar with the use of “essentially” in 5a, so that’s one to remember.
    The enjoyment is always slightly diluted when it’s such a struggle, but satisfying nonetheless.
    Thanks to the setter and DT for the invaluable hints.

  27. I also found this difficult!
    Didn’t help with me putting ‘abroad’ straight in for 1D which left the NW corner very challenging indeed – had to use DT’s hints to get me back on track after a frustrating head scratch.
    Thought some of the clues were brilliant, although a couple of others were a tad stretched eg 25A & 29A, but nevertheless (eventually…) an enjoyable solve!
    Thanks to Silvanus for the ‘challenge’ and to DT for the excellent blog ‘n hints.

  28. I’ll buck the trend here – I thought it was definitely tricky, specially the bottom right corner.
    It’s not that I don’t enjoy Silvanus’s crosswords, I do, it’s just that I’m on a totally different wave-length.
    I even struggled with the Quickie – starting off with ‘fresco’ for 1a was the first mistake – oh dear, oh dear!
    Right – back to the cryptic now.
    I had the same reservations as most others about 25a.
    I liked 12 and 19a and 7 and 15d. I think my favourite was 29a.
    Thanks to Silvanus and to DT.

  29. Although I completed this there were a few bung ins. Even after reading the hints afterwards some of the meanings escaped me, ie temper= season. I thought 1d might have been a more exotic location until the penny dropped doh. Still it was an enjoyable solve **/*** so thanks to all.

  30. Many thanks to Deep Threat for his Hints and Tips, as well as his illustrations and musical links, they are always an interesting mix. Like him and Mrs DT, I also have a long-awaited hairdressing appointment next week, it’s curious, isn’t it, how the hair of most footballers, TV performers and politicians (bar one, notably) has looked unchanged over the past four months. I’m sure they can’t all have partners or spouses or family members who are trained in hair care, can they?

    Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to leave comments, as RayT said yesterday I can promise that each one is always read and appreciated. May I wish everyone a good weekend and a speedy recovery to Merusa.

    1. Thanks for another great puzzle, Silvanus, and my continued best wishes to Merusa down in Miami.

  31. Here’s another, Silvanus! Lots of words not seen for a while, and great clueing to boot. Like others, my favourite was 1d, with 4d LOI. Thanks for the puzzle, and thanks DT for confirming a couple of parses

  32. I must have been bang on wavelength with this as I found it a bit of a 29a, albeit an enjoyable one.
    I did like the anagram indicator at 7d but top spot goes to 19a as it’s such a lovely word.
    Many thanks to Silvanus and to DT for the pre weekend entertainment.

  33. Mostly straightforward for a Friday for me with just 3 or 4 giving problems. As it isn’t over until it’s over it was *** for difficulty but **** enjoyment and satisfaction. Like others needed hints to explain 25a.
    7d conjured up the image of the inimitable Dickie Bird which I couldn’t get out of my head to see the anagram indicator for what it was. Gets my COTD in spite of the balletic Austrian footballer.
    Thanks to Silvanus for a lovely puzzle and popping in and DT for the hints.

  34. I am in the minority who found this tricky especially in the SW 😬 In fact I put the wrong answer in 23d 😟 (temper = lessen) Favourites 1d, 15d & 17d 😃 Thanks to Deep Threat and to Silvanus

  35. Sorry Sylvanus, it’s not my cup of tea, I just can’t see my way in to this and have given up with under half completed. I’m sure it’s a brilliant crossword…..if you can solve it!! Thanks to DT, I’ll have a look at the answers now.

  36. I rather enjoyed this one, despite a handful of quite 5d clues. Got the answers despite the clues, one might say. Then again, it’s probably just the way I think. Don’t get 25a and table = bar. Enjoy a 12a every day with our afternoon cuppa. Wasn’t sure 25a was actually a word. Don’t think my English teacher would have liked it. But like I said, did enjoy the puzzle as I didn’t need much help, so quite satisfying. Thanks to Silvanus and Deep Threat.

  37. I’ll add Silvanus to my list of favourite compilers (Ray T, Jay and Chalicea are already there) after this. I finished it unaided (ok maybe I needed a hint or two for the parsings) and probably in record time for me. The SE corner held up longest and 23d was my LOI although it made me laugh when I finally got it. Many thanks to Silvanus and DT */****

  38. Late to the party today. ***/*** Tricky and SW was last in.
    Clues I liked 29a, 1d, 8d & 20d with winner 8d with close runner up 1d
    Needed a few hints today … brain fog!

    Thanks to setter and DT

  39. Deep Threat – just in case you are still around! I was doing yesterday’s this morning when I had no trouble with ones that perplexed some of our number. However, I just don’t get 29a. I got the answer once I had the two D checkers but don’t know why ‘le’ is a contracted form of will. I must be missing something really obvious. I also did not parse Liverpool although understand it now I have seen your hint. Thanks. I thought Tuesday’s was way out in front this week, but I must tackle today’s before I settle down to the funeral.

      1. Thanks Sue. I usually get homophones but I couldn’t make this one sound right.

  40. My hyperbolic biorhythms must have been on a high as I managed to solve everything without any hiccups.
    Lovely surface in the clues as to be expected from this setter.
    Great fun.
    Thanks to Silvanus and to DT.

  41. Iam way behind the times today due to unexpected family visit – a lovely thing to see a great grandchild )one of the three which I have) after all the covid restrictions. 23d was the only clue which beat me as without the hint I just couldn’t see what it should be. Thanks to Silvanus for a fairly difficult but very enjoyable puzzle with a lot of very clever clues – I think my fav is 28a, and to DT for great hints.

    1. Welcome to the blog – we have a long time commenter called Jane and so to avoid any possible future confusion, it would be great if you could change or add something to your alias so that we can tell you apart

      OR stands for Other Ranks – soldiers who aren’t officers

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