DT 29657 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29657

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29657

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Good morning from South Staffs on a sunny St George’s Day.

A somewhat quirky puzzle from today’s setter,  – probably a wavelength thing.

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           Such a fish as sinks beneath the waves? (7)
TORPEDO – Cryptic definition of something which a submariner may call a ‘fish’.

Who Invented the Computer? The Torpedo Data Computer | Articles

9a           Spies must keep wandering Bloom in country (8)
COLOMBIA – The acronym of the US spy agency wrapped round an anagram (wandering) of BLOOM.

10a         Trader being in no hurry to appear in business paper (7)
FLORIST – The initials of the UK business-focused paper printed on pink paper, wrapped round a creature which is presumably in no hurry, because the first word of its common name is ‘slow’.

The Slow Loris Is a Cuddly-looking Primate With a Toxic Bite | HowStuffWorks

11a         Guard posted home by the Spanish (8)
SENTINEL – Put together another word for ‘posted’, another word for ‘(at) home’, and one of the forms of the Spanish for ‘the’.

12a         Having daughter in control an explosive mixture? (6)
POWDER – An abbreviation for Daughter inserted into another word for ‘control’ or ‘authority’.

13a         Sober sailors ring us after rough time (10)
ABSTEMIOUS – Put together some competent seamen, an anagram (rough) of TIME, the ring-shaped letter, and US (from the clue).

15a         Catty remarks in converted stables? (4)
MEWS – Double definition: the noises cats make; or the old stables behind a town house, now converted into bijou residences.

16a         Scrambling device in American helicopter? (3,6)
EGG BEATER – Double definition: a tool for creating something scrambled for breakfast; or some dated American slang for a helicopter.

21a         English graduate cross about test (4)
EXAM English to start with, then the letters after the name of an Arts graduate and the cross-shaped letter are put together and the result reversed (about).

22a         Horse initially brought to Troy under volatile monarch (5,5)
HENRY TUDOR – The first letter (initially) of Horse, followed by an anagram (volatile) of TROY UNDER.

Portraits of King Henry VIII: Hans Holbein and His Legacy.

24a         For temple, travel through flat area (6)
PAGODA – Another word for ‘travel’ is inserted into a slang word for a residential flat, then Area is added.

25a         Forebear needs an exotic escort (8)
ANCESTOR – AN (from the clue) followed by an anagram (exotic) of ESCORT.

27a         Prodigy being learner in motorway chase (7)
MIRACLE – Put together two letters which look like the name of the motorway running from London to the North and another word for a chase, then insert the letter which indicates a learner driver.

28a         Beauty spot in front of city’s limits? (3,5)
EYE CANDY – A verb for ‘spot’, followed by a phrase (1,3,1) telling us what the outside letters (limits) of CitY are.

29a         Fate in Tyneside not completely appalling (7)
DESTINY – Anagram (appalling) of TYNESID(e), minus its last letter (not completely).

Down

2d           One sees royal couple below using smallest room? (8)
ONLOOKER – A phrase (2,3) which could mean ‘using smallest room’, followed by the chess notation for a king, and the regnal cipher of the Queen.

3d           Heavenly place is locked up in March (8)
PARADISE – An organised march (perhaps led by 76 trombones?), with IS (from the clue) inserted.

4d           Getting into beer, one good person raving (10)
DISTRAUGHT – Put together the Roman numeral for one and the abbreviation of the title given to a canonised person, then insert the result into the sort of beer which is on tap.

5d           Tiresome sort giving wave (4)
BORE – Double definition, the second being a tidal wave which comes up a river.

Hundreds watch as surfers ride 10m 'five star' wave at River Severn | Metro  News

6d           Seat German fellow in black mass (6)
BOTTOM – Abbreviations for Black and Mass, placed either side of a typical German forename.

7d           Musicians playing in Strand (7)
ABANDON – A phrase (1,4) which might mean ‘musicians’, followed by a two-letter word for ‘playing’ (as in ‘the radio is –‘).

8d           Round item a stone in coarse aggregate (7)
BALLAST – Put together a round item used in many games, A (from the clue) and an abbreviation for STone. This reminds me of the apocryphal story of the civil servant who, finding a nonsensical proposal in a paper he was reviewing wrote ‘Round objects’ in the margin. A senior officer in a subsequent review asked ‘Who is Round, and to what does he object?’

11d         This supports stocking revolutionary American poet (9)
SUSPENDER – Reverse (revolutionary) a common abbreviation for ‘American’, then add a 20th-century English poet.

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14d         Compete in Lever business (10)
ENTERPRISE – Another word for ‘compete in (a tournament)’, followed by a word for ‘lever (open or apart)’.

17d         Two different pandas — one massive star! (3,5)
RED GIANT – The adjectives used to describe two different animals both called ‘panda’, are also the designation given to a star towards the end of its life cycle, when it has expanded to many times its original size.

18d         Chap to kill carrying large instrument (8)
MANDOLIN – Another word for ‘chap’ followed by a phrase (2,2) meaning ‘kill’ wrapped round Large.

Countryman Flatback Mandolin

19d         Conservative in rage broke the rules (7)
CHEATED – An abbreviation for Conservative, followed by ‘in a rage’.

20d         Source of criticism for rapper (7)
KNOCKER – Double definition: someone who belittles someone else’s scheme or work; or something for rapping on a door.

23d         Might one forever be a nodding acquaintance? (3-3)
YES-MAN – Cryptic definition of someone who is always nodding in agreement.

26d         Bits sourced as appropriate from old VDUs? (4)
ODDS – Alternate letters of OlD VDUS – appropriate because not the even-numbered letters.


The Quick Crossword pun KNOW + STEW + TALE = NOSE TO TAIL

97 comments on “DT 29657
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  1. A pretty enjoyable **/*** Friday offering with lots of great clues. Last one in was 1a although now it looks glaringly obvious. Otherwise no COTD as too many to single one out. Thanks to the setter and Deep Threat

  2. Well, that was a great way to end the week after a run of problems for me. This was thoroughly enjoyable with plenty of clues raising a smile such as 2d, 3d and 6d. My COTD is 4d. Best back pager of the week for me, which is just as well because it’s Elgar on Toughie duty today.

    Grateful thanks to the setter and to DT for the hints, which I will now read.

  3. I found this puzzle quite thought-provoking, with some unusual clues that required a bit of lateral thinking. It took me quite a long time but I got a sense of achievement out of completing it so it was enjoyable(3.5*/4*). With a lot of good clues to choose from, I’d pick 10a, with its inclusion of unusual GK, 1a for a great Cryptic definition, 9a because it’s a great geographical clue and 7d for great misdirection. Thanks to DT for the hints and to the compiler.

  4. What a cracking Friday puzzle, even though it took me almost into 4* time I really enjoyed teasing out each solution. My only real problem was parsing 10a as I knew the pink paper but not the animal, and it took a while to see the brilliant 28a. Other clues that particularly appealed to me were 25a plus 2,4&7d. Thought 12a a touch weak though.
    3.5/4.5*
    Many thanks to the setter (Zandio, with a nod to Eric in 9a?) and to DT for the top notch entertainment

        1. Thanks. You’ve cheered me up after an awful crossword week, especially yesterday where I more or less filled it in with electronic help in hand.

  5. Best puzzle of the week for me, quite a lot of head scratching and a few D’ oh moments.
    A veritable solve of two halves today ,east followed by west.
    Only seen 28a in print recently ,looks like an Americanism.
    Favourites were 10a for its originality followed by 22a and last in 1a for an excellent misleading surface-for me anyway.
    Thanks to setter and DT for the pics .Going for a ***/****
    Am I ready for Elgar and Dutch? we’ll see

  6. Another slightly above average toughness for me. Took well into *** time but both satisfying and enjoyable.
    20d was a head scratcher and my LOI.
    Lots of good clues 1a, 10a, 28a, 2d, 4d & 14d with 1a my COTD.
    Thanks to setter and DT.
    Fingers crossed this doesn’t disappear into the ether like yesterday’s.

  7. I don’t drink alcohol, but if I did I would be pouring myself a stiff whiskey after completing both the quickie (not so quick for me today) and the cryptic. My head was swimming after I finished them.

    A kerfuffle here a few moments ago.
    A few houses away, lives a Siamese cat who I have nicknamed Ivanka because of its sense of entitlement (for example, eating Lola’s food when she used to be fed outdoors). Lola was lying next to my feet here in my study when she suddenly rushed out of the door, shrieking. Startled, I followed and found Lola chasing Ivanka out of the house (I had left a door open). Cats certainly have a special blood-curdling yell for such occasions. Ivanka was last seen scrambling over a fence and legging it to safety. Brava Lola!

    Today’s crossword soundtrack: Poco – Best Of…

    Thanks to the setter and DT.

    1. Rose of Cinnamon. Simmeron? Cimmeron? Who knows? Great track until the end which goes on and on and on and on and when you think it can’t go on anymore, off it goes again

      1. It’s Cimmaron, I think, MP. Glad to hear that Lola is fighting fit, Terence. It’s a good sign if she is defending her territory.

        1. I could look at the Spotify playlist that I have it on or the album cover. I haven’t bothered in about forty odd years so I doubt that I will now. It’s one of those tracks with words that I bowls along nicely and I join in with the only three words I know every time the chorus comes around (of which I actually only know two) and what a cimarron anyway

          1. Cimarron County is the only county in the USA that touches 5 states, Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado, New Mexico and Texas. I spelt it wrong in my first comment.

            1. I don’t believe that is geographically possible since neither Kansas nor Colorado ever touches Texas at any juncture–unless I’ve missed the idea of the ‘points of contact’ here.

              1. Cimarron County is in Oklahoma, the far western part of the ‘Panhandle’. Texas is to the South, New Mexico to the West, Colorado to the North and Kansas in the extreme North East corner. I remembered studying the great Oklahoma Land Race in my A-level Amercan History course more years ago than I care to remember.

    2. I know what you mean about the blood curdling yell. Our Rupert could wake our whole street if another cat dared to come in his garden. And if the unwelcome visitor was a raccoon, the yell would start will a deep growl first. This used to scare his brother who would go for cover under the couch. With good reason, when Rupert could not get beyond our screened in patio to confront the intruder, he would come back indoors, quite frustrated and mad, and beat up his brother instead. Well done Lola!

  8. Somewhat quirky. You ain’t kidding DT. I wasn’t with it with this one but eventually ground out a finish in just shy of a laborious ***** time with 1a & 4d the last 2 in accounting for ** of that. I hadn’t heard of 1a & with only 2 of the 3 checkers the only thing that fitted was dolphin which was distinctly fishy. Once the penny finally dropped with 4d the missing checker made the answer obvious though I had to confirm the double meaning. Had to check on the primate too & didn’t know the wave meaning at 5d or the American slang term for the helicopter so Mr G had a thorough work out today. Anyway thought it an excellent puzzle. Favourite was a toss up between 18d & 28a.
    Thanks to the setter & to DT.

  9. This certainly put my brain cells through the wringer.
    But I got there eventually.
    Enjoyably quirky in parts, eg 10a.
    So, ****/*****
    Many thanks to the setter and to DT for the nicely illustrated review.

  10. Maybe it’s in the BRB (I only have a very old OED) but I don’t think of MIRACLE as a synonym for PRODIGY.
    Otherwise, a great back-page cryptic

    1. Bertie. One of the meanings of prodigy (noun) is “anything that is a cause of wonder”. Or, in other words, a “miracle”.

  11. 2.5*/4*. Friday, quirky, a lot of fun, and some slightly strange surfaces – it must be Zandio. Many thanks to him and to DT.

  12. I thought that this was an excellent Friday back-pager with some beautifully constructed cryptic clues – many thanks to the setter and DT.
    I especially enjoyed 1a, 10a, 28a and 2d.

  13. Great end to the weeks puzzles. A steady solve but for 1 across for which I had to wait for Deep Threats blog. I should have asked the sainted one but I doubt that she would have solved it. Her head is full of gladioli, sweet peas, cosmos, and enough flowers to supply the village. Ah well it keeps her quiet. Another sunny day where beer will be involved. Not warm enough for cider yet but I got excited yesterday and ordered 24 bottles of Dunkertons. Summer is on its way. Play nicely for the weekend bloggers children. I will see you all on Monday

  14. Yet another head scratcher that was easier to solve than understand. Full of slang terms and stretched synonyms. Gun****** is explosive but talcolm certainly isn’t, v sloppy. No indication that the solver requires initial letters as in 6d, only acceptable if it is a known abbreviation.
    All in all sloppy and def not my favourite.
    ****/*
    Thx for the hints to explain the 7 clues I was unable to fully parse.

    1. B, 6d. It isn’t a requirement to “indicate” abbreviations in cryptic clues. Both abbreviations are well known and using words that are commonly abbreviated is indication enough.

    2. … and ‘powder’ is a common usage for gunpowder as in “keep your powder dry” and “powder-keg”.

        1. Any organic powder, if fine enough will ignite. It was determined that many mining disasters (including the worst at Senghennydd near Carphilly) resulted from a combination of a methane explosion triggering fine coal dust explosions. It became a requirement to apply inert stone dust to underground roadways to prevent the threat of coaldust.

          1. It doesn’t have to be organic other minerals such as cement dust explode in the right densities. Also gunpowder only burns it lit in the open air.

          2. Talking of fine coal dust, LROK, there were frequent explosions in the Whitby Jet workshops in the 19th century. The dust was highly combustible and quite a number of workers were killed. Jet isn’t coal exactly but fossilised wood. Still highly explosive though.

    3. 12a. The clue definition is “explosive mixture” and the answer is “powder”. Why would anyone assume that it was talcum powder? Quite extraordinary…

  15. Wow, I found this heavy going to begin with but East eventually co-operated followed in due course by West. Several goodies amongst the Downs including 4, 7, 11 and 18. 2d raised a giggle once WC had been discarded! Should have clicked but was unaware of submariners’ fish term in 1a. 28a new one on me. Amazing how many terms can be used to indicate anagram viz 29a. Thank you Mysteron and DT.

  16. To borrow and adapt an expression that used to be used by many a football team manager, I wonder if it still is, during post-match interviews – this was a puzzle of two halves. No real problems in the East but the West was a different story with some head scratching required. And, then there was the Quickie which was definitely quirky. ***/****.

    Candidates for favourite – 11a, 5d, 11d, and 14d – and the winner is 11a.

    Thanks to the setter and DT.

  17. An enjoyable Friday solve with, as RD commented, a few slightly odd surface reads suggesting the identity of our setter.
    I didn’t know the submariners’ term so 1a was left until the checkers were in place and – like Bertie – I was somewhat dubious about the definition in 27a but everything else slotted in quite nicely.
    Top places here went to 10a & 2d with a nod to the two pandas.

    Thanks to Zandio (?) and to DT for the review.

  18. I’d like to know what defines ‘quirky’? Clues that make you think? Clues that don’t follow the usual patterns of clue-forming? I loved this. It challenged me to 4* time, with the top left causing me to scratch my dandruff, even with most of the checkers in place. I’m full of admiration for the setter, thanks to them, and to DT for the blog.

  19. What a brilliant puzzle but I wasn’t in that category last night, unfortunately. I never did solve that fish, for one thing, and if I’d noticed the proper enumeration for 22a, I might have saved myself many minutes of aggravation. Oh well, I’ve had a very good week with the puzzles, so I’ll concede gracefully. Favourites: 22a, 10a, 2d. Thanks to DT and today’s canny compiler. ***** / ****

  20. Never heard of 28ac, but most here seem to think it perfectly acceptable. Strange world! The centre fodder in 10ac was also new to me but couldn’t be anything else. Apart from that and the weak 12ac I quite liked the solve.

    Thanks Zandio and DT.

    1. Don’t know whether you found time for yesterday’s Beam Toughie but it was very accessible and you got a name-check!

    2. Seem to recall there was a discussion on 28a when it came up fairly recently. Perhaps that has been recalled to give it “respectability”.

  21. For me by a considerable margin the hardest of the back pagers this week. Couldn’t see a way in until the SE, at which point it gradually started to come together (once it dawned on me that one of the pandas was not a dwarf …), SW, NE and finally NW.

    Didn’t really enjoy it – definitely a wavelength thing – but can respect the fairness and structure of the clues, even if in a couple of cases I had the answers but not the parsing. Ticks to 1, 13, 15 (despite the awkward surface) & 17a; 3 and 4d, with 13a probably my COTD. 3.5*/2*.

    Thanks to Setter, and to DT for the review.

    MG

  22. A wonderful puzzle with many smiles along the way even if getting started took a tad longer than usual. Among the many candidates I am unable to choose a favourite but give very honourable mentions to 4d and to 23d , the last for its silliness.
    Thank you to Zandio for the challenge, and to DT for enlightening me to the why(s) of several of my answers.

  23. I enjoyed the struggle with this one, unlike yesterday. 16a was new to me. Thank you setter and DT. Glad it’s a nice sunny day. I’m going to sit in a garden and chat to three friends I haven’t seen for months. I’m looking forward to it so much.

  24. I am late to this but also in the Zandio camp. A couple of head-scratchers held me up but otherwise plain sailing. The two pandas were my favourite today. Great fun.

    Thanks to the aforementioned and DT.

  25. Hello everyone. Hope all’s well. Good to see that this puzzle has gone down well but it isn’t one of mine. Chris Lancaster has kindly avoided disturbing me over the past week or so after my lovely mum died — her funeral was yesterday. Have a good weekend.

      1. Thanks. She had a long life which she loved, she had said her goodbyes, and if there’s such a thing as a good funeral, it was good.

    1. Sorry for your loss, Zandio, and thank you for taking the time to comment here today. My condolences to you and your family.

    2. Doesn’t matter how old they may have been, losing one’s mum is always heart-breaking. Deepest sympathies, Zandio.

    1. I wonder how many on here (apart from us in East London) would know a peterman is a safe-cracker !

      Nice to recollect The Sweeney, Minder, etc.🤓

  26. Remarkably I thought this the easiest solve of the week 😳 **/**** Favourites 15a & 18d Thanks to Deep Threat and to the unknown Compiler 😃 apropos nothing there is a Torpedo Fish an Electric Stingray though I Should imagine the Compiler was referring to “tin fish”

  27. Sorry for your loss Zandio. Wish it had been you today. It’s been a bad week for me yesterday was horrendous, areal slog.
    Today was better but not much fun.
    Thanks to DT and setter. Off to try Tuesday’s toughie. I like her.
    ****/*

  28. I’m in the “difficult but doable” camp this afternoon. I came across 28a for the first time in a toughie a while ago, fortunately I remembered it. Favourite was 17d. Thanks to Zandio and DT.

  29. Definitely on the toughie territory here, but very enjoyable.
    Hesitated in 10a as I thought a Loris was a bird and didn’t think it was right. Even the ones that can’t fly run faster than us.
    Favourite 13a.
    Thanks and condolences to Zandio.
    Thanks to DT for the review.

  30. Another late start today on this quite tricky (difficult?) puzzle. Bottom half was looking like heading to 1.5* time, but the top half put a stop to that. That took **** time for me so overall I would say ***/*** Clues of note include 13a, 16a, 14d, 18d & 20d with winner 20d followed by 13a.

    Condolences to you Zandio

    Thanks to setter and DT for the hints

  31. Another Leo for me (Leo Sayer = all-dayer). Tough but fair and satisfying to get through. Held up by a couple in all corners with 7d being the last to fall with a big d’oh.
    Liked the cryptic 1a and the somewhat cheesy 2d. I think 28a is a fairly derogatory term, surprised to see it in the DT.
    Thanks to the setter for the challenge and DT for the hints

    1. My goodness, this seemed to me tougher than any toughie. I did half of it unaided but after the long struggle electronically I just gave up, which is not my usual custom. Thanks to DT for what must have been hard work.
      This is not a reply but technically I was not able to put this comment eat the end.

  32. Without doubt the best puzzle of the week. I’ve been struggling all week and was expecting more of the same today, but this was a pleasant surprise. Especially as Fridays are when I usually get to this late and thus have less solving time. Apart from 27a, this was sublimely doable. I couldn’t understand my obvious answer for 16a, but of course my better half knew the history behind that. Too many great clues to pick a favourite. Big thanks to setter and Deep Threat.

  33. 3*/5*…very entertaining…
    liked the agreeable acquaintance in 23D…also the apocryphal story in the hint to 8D.

  34. Thoroughly enjoyed this challenging solve.

    The NW corner took twice as long as the rest to solve, but got a great sense of satisfaction in completing without help.

    ***/****

    Thanks to all.

    Still chuckling at Toni’s fslotht comment! 😀

  35. Well this has been the worst week I can remember in terms of difficulty. This one was also too tricky for me to finish but at least it had the virtue of some clever clueing that didn’t make me give up in disgust, unlike the rest of the week’s offerings. Even with the hints I couldn’t get a couple of the clues (28a being one although I’d heard of the phrase). Still, whoever the setter was clearly has an interesting style so I hope his/her next one is a bit easier – unlike the last two setters who hopefully will disappear into the cruciverbial sunset (or at least be relegated to the Toughie category). Let’s hope CL puts us back on track next week. Thanks to DT and the mystery setter. Condolences to Zandio.

  36. Congratulations to all who completed this, I managed about three quarters before resorting to the hints, definitely not on wave length. Lola defending her territory made me smile she must be improving. Thanks to all.

  37. Mea culpa for this one. CL thought it a bit on the tricky side and he was spot on about that (hence Fridayed), but I’m glad the majority enjoyed it. I can confirm that it’s a fair way off my usual Toughie toughness, however. If you really thought this one incomprehensible Brian, just you wait.

    My condolences to Zandio. My mum too passed away this year, and the whole thing was made even more depressing by the situation per Covid (which she contracted in hospital but didn’t die from, though it probably didn’t help all that much). And my auntie died yesterday, again not from Covid, but (like my mum) from another Big C. Not too many of us Doorknobs left now!

    Have a good weekend all.

    1. Very sorry to hear about your mum and auntie. Condolences to you.
      Awesome puzzle today … thank you

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