DT 29654 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29654

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29654

Hints and tips by Mr K

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BD Rating  -  Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

Hello, everyone, and welcome to another Tuesday.  While I found this puzzle fairly straightforward for a Tuesday, it raised several smiles that easily earned it a 3* enjoyment rating. 

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    Dishearten sailor and deem unfit (10)
DEMORALISE:  An anagram (unfit) of SAILOR DEEM

disheartened sailor

6a    Author wrong to delete conclusion (4)
AMIS:  An adjective meaning wrong or out of order minus its last letter (to delete conclusion). The author could be him or it could be him 

9a    Answer old phone after just oddly leaving car (10)
AUTOMOBILE:  Putting things in the order implied by the wordplay, concatenate the single letter for answer, the even letters (oddly leaving) of JUST, the abbreviation for old, and another word for a phone you carry with you 

10a   Skincare protects South American (4)
INCA:  The first word of the clue hides (protects) the answer 

12a   Exhausting getting uniform for one code-breaker (6)
TURING:  In a synonym of exhausting replace the Roman one with the letter represented in the NATO phonetic alphabet by uniform ( … getting uniform for one). Read about the code-breaker here 

13a   Old boy almost furious about forgetfulness (8)
OBLIVION:  Link together the abbreviation for old boy, all but the last letter (almost) of furious or angry, and a word meaning about or concerning 

15a   Things a swordsman might do creating lively atmosphere? (3,3,6)
CUT AND THRUST:  A double definition, the first literally something that a swordsperson might do with their sword

what Xena's doing ....

18a   Harry neglects a tip for what waiter provides? (5,7)
PLACE SETTING:  An anagram (harry, as in destroy) of NEGLECTS A TIP 

21a   Nonchalant head of toxicology with unknown victim (8)
CASUALTY:  Nonchalant or informal is followed by the first letter of (head of) TOXICOLOGY and a letter used to represent a mathematical unknown 

22a   Squirm after son's bad handwriting (6)
SCRAWL:  Squirm or move with the body close to the ground comes after the genealogical abbreviation for son 

24a   Shout of disapproval before king's arrest (4)
BOOK:  A shout of disapproval comes before the chess or playing card abbreviation for king 

25a   Implication about not getting married for Boris Johnson? (10)
POLITICIAN:  An anagram (about) of IMPLICATION minus the genealogical abbreviation for married (… not getting married). The ? at the end is indicating a definition by example 

26a   Writer's rubbish hotel (4)
ROTH:  An informal synonym of rubbish with the letter represented in the NATO phonetic alphabet by hotel. The writer is probably this chap 

27a   Teenager upset with the French perfume (10)
ADOLESCENT:  Assemble upset or commotion, a French word for "the", and a synonym of perfume 



1d    Want expensive article no end (6)
DEARTH:  Another word for expensive is followed by a grammatical article minus its last letter (… no end

2d    Pal grabbing university rector's top? Grow up! (6)
MATURE:  A pal or chum containing (grabbing) both the single letter for university and the first letter of RECTOR (rector's top

3d    I perhaps spread normal manure (5,7)
ROMAN NUMERAL:  An anagram (spread) of NORMAL MANURE. The perhaps indicates that I is an example of the answer 

the answer is LII

4d    Chucks just over half of crustacean (4)
LOBS:  Just over half of the letters in a tasty crustacean 

5d    Salty bleed at sea? Flogging should not happen after this (4-2,4)
SELL-BY DATE:  An anagram (at sea) of SALTY BLEED 

7d    Nice man? (8)
MONSIEUR:  A cryptic definition. Nice would be capitalised even if it didn't come at the start of the clue

the invisible man at work in Nice, France

8d    Deer starts to notice all the excitement -- be still! (8)
STAGNATE:  A big male deer with the initial letters of (starts to) the next four words in the clue 

11d   Chap finds his battered food (4,3,5)
FISH AND CHIPS:  An anagram (battered) of CHAP FINDS HIS. The definition neatly refers back to the rest of the clue

14d   A minor duty? (10)
PARENTHOOD:  A cryptic definition, where the minor is someone unable to take responsibility for themselves 

16d   Key watering hole for Luke Skywalker? (5,3)
SPACE BAR:  Whimsically, this big wide key could also describe where Luke Skywalker, or anybody else who zooms around the universe, might get a drink 

Luke et al in the cantina

17d   Hand round alcohol that's commonly exhibited at the airport (8)
PASSPORT:  Follow a word meaning "hand round" with the fortified wine drink we seem to meet most Tuesdays 

19d   Dog at home catching stick? On the contrary (6)
CANINE:  Inverting the wordplay (on the contrary), the answer is found as a stick for walking or beating containing (catching) a short word meaning at home

20d   Alien supporting proposal for Mars, maybe (6)
PLANET:  The abbreviation for a synonym of alien that was made famous by Spielberg comes after (supporting in a down clue) a proposal or design. The maybe indicates a definition by example 

this has nothing to do with the answer ...

23d   Wife with peculiar desire (4)
WILL:  The genealogical abbreviation for wife with peculiar or unwell 


Thanks to our setter. Please drop in and take credit for your creation. Top clue for me today was 7d. Which clues did you like best?

The Quick Crossword pun:  AIR + LOW + SHUNS = HAIR LOTIONS

67 comments on “DT 29654

  1. What a difference a good night’s sleep makes. All completed in */** time, without any real stutter. I wasn’t too sure about the two writers, 6a & 26a, (insert usual GK rant here), but the rest fell into place without much of a fight.

    I did like the surface of 25a!

    Many thanks to the setter and Mr K.

      1. Couldn’t have been him, Rupert, the spelling of his surname wouldn’t work for the clue!

          1. I see what you mean although it would perhaps have been a bit too much of a stretch?
            Sorry I didn’t reply earlier, site’s been down all afternoon.

  2. I agree with Mr K at **/*** for today’s great puzzle. The GK element was within my feeble knowledge so that helped. Quite a few contenders for COTD but I did laugh at 16d so that gets my vote. Thanks to Mr K and the setter.

  3. Fairly straightforward but a couple of clues in the NE held me up a bit (3*/3*). There were some good clues, but only a few that were exceptional, the best of them being 27d and the witty 11d. Many thanks to Mr K for the hints and to the compiler .

  4. I found this refreshingly different, quite cryptic and with some nicely constructed anagrams.
    My heart usually sinks when I see “author/writer” but even I’d heard of and was easily able to get today’s two.
    Clues that particularly appealed to me were 15a plus 5&7d
    Many thanks to Mr K and setter for the entertainment

  5. Lovely Tuesday puzzle as always. Struggled with the Nice man….but I cannot think why now.

    Thanks to the setter and to Mr K.
    Great pictures.

    Dental pain starting to abate (again). Have appointment for my 2nd Pfizer jag today …hope they don’t turn me away for having an infection and being on antibiotics . Phoned the helpline who could only say, go along and they will let you know when you get there. Chocolate teapots!

  6. I found this a real challenge but satisfying puzzle. I could not parse 18A and 25A.
    Thank you to Mr K for the explanations. Trust me to miss two anagrams.

    1. I think of all the usual anagram indicators “about” is the one I’m most likely to miss.

  7. **/*** for us. Favourite clues 7d, 11d and 5d, because they all raised a smile. Many thanks to setter and Mr K: now it’s back to the gardening ….

  8. Both 13 & 25 across receive my approval.
    Nice fairly simple. Working on the Toughie now which appears much the same so far.

  9. 2*/4*. This was light and great fun.

    I’m not totally convinced that “arrest” and the answer to 24a are synonymous.

    There were several clever anagrams to enjoy but my overall favourite was the short and sweet 7d, closely followed by 15a.

    Many thanks to the setter and Mr K.

    1. Hawaii Five -O Det. Steve McGarrett: Book him Danno. Murder one.
      Fabulous theme which I’m blasting out now – great live listening to a big band

        1. Not our fault :) . The BRB says:

          transitive verb
          1. To engage or reserve in advance
          2. (of the police, a traffic warden, etc) to take the name of, for an alleged offence
          3. Hence, to arrest

          1. Well, well, well, I’m really surprised by that. Once it had been mentioned by Huntsman and Jonners, I remembered “Book him, Danno” from Hawaii Five-0, but I can’t recall any British bobby (including Dixon of Dock Green!) ever using that expression to mean arrest.

            1. Technically might not be an arrest as arrest comes before a charge whereas book usually come before a summons eg Copper stopped me for going through a red light. Did he book you? No I smiled sweetly and he let me off.

      1. Being utterly pedantic, I would say that the two events are separate. When a person is arrested, they are physically detained; when they are 24a’d the paperwork is completed. Normally the two take place in different locations. One in the big wide world, the other at a police station.

        Not that I have any experience of either, of course. Guv’nor.

  10. Pretty straightforward albeit I took an embarrassingly long time to twig both Boris & the Nice man despite having all the checkers as they were my last 2 in. I found it a bit so so during the solve but looking back through it I think that’s a bit unfair as there are some rather good clues in there. 15&21a along with 3&11d were probably my picks. The Toughie today is very gentle which gives me time to resume battle with the south of Rookie Corner which is anything but.
    With thanks to the setter & in advance to Mr K whose review I’ll now read.

  11. No hiccups to report today, just an enjoyable fairly straightforward Tuesday puzzle.
    Nothing really stood out as a favourite but I did smile at the wording of the second part of the clue for 5a and thought 7d was very neatly constructed.

    Thanks to our setter and to Mr K and his frolicking felines for the review. I bet pharmacists are very grateful for the fact that most prescriptions are printed out by computer these days!

    1. Jane, I have managed to get some Vitamin E cream which I shall apply soon. Unfortunately an out of control labrador jumped up at me yesterday and managed to re-open part of the wound. I was dreading something like that would happen and have been so careful but its not too bad. Thanks again for the advice.

      1. My physio-therapist suggested massaging the scar tissue gently but firmly with the fingertips as you rub cream into it, Manders. Obviously, you can’t do that while the wound is open. A dog frightened jumped up at me, whilst I was doing my walking practice, on two crutches, after one of my knee replacements. He was only being friendly but I was fearful of being knocked over and his owner wasn’t carrying a lead.

        1. Ah those regularly trotted out weasel words – “He’s only being friendly”. Totally unacceptable behaviour.
          My dogs have always been ‘friendly’ but they have never ever jumped up at anyone.
          Bad owners – sue them!

      2. I do hope it works for you, Manders – also hope it’s the pure Vit E that you purchased, none of the others seem to have the same effect.

  12. One of the plainest sails recently particularly in the North but no less enjoyable for that although rather heavy from an anagram standpoint. 18a a bit iffy. Oh dear I was unfamiliar with Luke Skywalker so 16d only partially parsed. Quickie pun presumably obvious for barbers/hairdressers in East End. Thank you Mysteron and MrK.

  13. Two clues in the SW (14d, 21a) held me up a while and pushed me just into *** time, but two pennies dropped suddenly, and I managed to finish, quite happily and most enjoyably. So much to admire, especially 15a, 25a, & 21a. Thanks to Mr K (the swashbuckling kitty gave me much pleasure!) and today’s setter. *** / ****

    The new biography of 26a, who I hoped would win the Nobel, is nearly a thousand pages long. Apparently, it’s more about his love-life than about his great novels. Claire Bloom might have something to add to all of that.

    1. Well he cannot win a Nobel Prize now that he is dead. I’m still smiling about the 2016 winner for literature

      1. Yes, I do remember the great gleeful sound the famous publican emitted back in the Day of Dylan. When 26a was alive, I kept my hopes up, but apparently his anti-anti-anti-Jewish characters were just too much for the dignified Nobel Committee to bear, even though the author was himself quite Jewish. Or maybe it was just too much Portnoy.

        1. Just after I got married saw father-in-law reading Portnoy’s Complaint so reserved it from the library. I have an unusual surname & on the date sheet was written “reserved [name]”. A few months later a colleague said “Didn’t know you were into porn!” The only reply I could think of was “Didn’t know you were either”.

  14. I would say many anagrams but they were enjoyable and a couple took a bit of teasing out. Otherwise an enjoyable stroll. Thanks to the setter and to Mr Kitty. The Chalicea Toughie is a worthy entrant in the Tuesday slot

  15. Somewhat ho-hum with a little bit of head scratching for me and almost generating the CE, nothing to do with the ‘PC’ version of AD, designation – 2.5*/2.5*.

    No standout favourites, but I did like 21a and 2d.

    Thanks to the setter and Mr K.

  16. I think it’s going to be a difficult week for me because, unlike others, I did find this a tad on the difficult side. Can I put it down to running a fever after my second Covid jab? Maybe? Still, I got there in the end but I have no real favourite. I did not see he anagram indicator in 18a and putting “bark” for 24a held me up for a while. I had got it into my head that the first three letters sound like a sound of disapproval. You know what it’s like when your mind fixes on an idea – you simply cannot shake it off to think in a different way?

    Many thanks for the puzzle Mr. Resetter and also huge thanks to Mr. K.

    I will now head over to the Toughie because I see it’s Chalicea and I tend to get on well with her puzzles.

  17. Contrary to previous posts (and Mr K’s rating which I normally agree with) I found this tough for a Tuesday. Not that it wasn’t well clued when I worked things out. So it must be me. *** / ***.
    So far done 50% of Toughie which I have found easier.
    Probably an old chestnut but 7d my COTD.
    Thank you to setter and Mr K for the usual well illustrated review

  18. For the first time in my life I managed to get fifteen on my first pass at the Toughie. I bet I will not get any more.

    Anyway, if you usually steer clear of the Toughie give today’s a go. It’s by Chalicea and is very doable.

  19. Must be me, I found this very difficult. Even when I got an answer I struggled to understand it.
    Not one for me I’m afraid.
    Thx for the hints

  20. I’m going to add to the list of those that found this on the more challenging side – maybe trying to complete whilst participating in a 4 hour Zoom call didn’t help! I got stuck in the SW, I had exactly the same problems as Steve C on 18a and 24a, and it also took an age for the penny to drop on 14d, my LOI.
    That said, I found it very enjoyable, with plenty of excellent clues, my favourites being 12a, 11d and 16d.
    Thanks to the setter and Mr K

  21. Really enjoyed today’s offering. Too many nice clues to pick a favourite but 25A made me smile.
    Thanks to the setter and Mr. K

  22. Fabulous clue (well to me) in The Gaurdain today by Nutmeg.

    “Joiner employed in B & Q” (9)

  23. I found this all fairly straightforward and enjoyable except that I was not at all comfortable with ill defined as peculiar (23d).

  24. A normal sort of Tuesday puzzle **/**** with no real stumbling blocks. Some fun clues include 6a, 12a, 7d, 8d, 11d & 6d with winner, without a doubt, 11d and closely followed by 16d.

    Thanks to setter and Mr K

  25. That was fun. I had several penny drop moments. I loved the misdirection in 3d and 7d, and couldn’t get my head around 10a until I realised that it was a lurker. 14d was my last one in. Thank you setter and Mr K. The bluetit in my nest box has had a very busy few days, and is now sitting on ten eggs.

  26. The last two in 14d and 25a took a while to solve. Didn’t spot the anagram in the latter for ages.
    As Bill Wright and Chriscross, it couldn’t reconcile ill and peculiar at first until the expression: I feel a bit peculiar came to mind.
    Favourite 7d bien sûr.
    Thanks to the setter and to Mr K for the review.

  27. Found it tricky myself, but fun particularly 12a. It seems every crossword I do has the answer at 17d. Thanks to the setter and hinter

  28. 2/2. I found this trickier than most. The SW was my stumbling block which took a chunk of time to resolve with the help of Mr Google. Thanks to the setter and Mr K.

  29. I was doing quite well for about two thirds of this one, and then ran into trouble. Oh dearie me, the site was down. So I had to plod on by myself, but got there in the end, albeit with some other electronic help. Contrarily, I had a go at today’s Toughie and was pleasantly surprised at how much I was able to do. And the blog was up and running by then thank goodness. Thanks to the setter and Mr K for today’s cryptic.

  30. I’m in the rather smug “I didn’t find this as difficult as some” camp this evening, it’s usually the other way round. I thought something was up with the site when I couldn’t put my post on the toughie this afternoon. Hey ho! All’s well now. Had the same reservations as others above over some clues. Favourite was 16d. Thanks to the setter and Mr. K.

  31. I found this tricky and didn’t finish it. Normally when I have a few clues left I resort to electrons or the hints but couldn’t be bothered today. Not very satisfying I’m afraid. ****/*

  32. Posting late ‘over here’ but enjoyed this one and finished in one session last night pre-blog! Sometimes (not often…) clues just seem to fall into place – other times…single letter answers can be hard!!😜
    Anyway, thanks to the setter(?) and MrK for the blog ‘n hints.👍

  33. I’m with you Furlinda dipped in and out this afternoon and evening but gave up. Had 2nd jab yesterday but no ill effects so can’t even blame it on that. Many thanks to Mr K and the setter.

    Some good news finally, after 18 days our landline is working. Just awaiting the 3rd crew to repair the pavement! The bad news is that both of our computers have gone down and need repairing. Must get to bed my other half has appointment tomorrow to discuss having a pacemaker fitted.

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