DT 29660 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29660

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29660

Hints and tips by Mr K

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BD Rating  -  Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

Hello, everyone. A few old friends made an appearance in today's puzzle, along with a few very nice clues that I have never seen before. There's eating and drinking and a sprinkling of excitement in the clues. There's none of that GK that bothers some solvers. All in all, it's typically Tuesdayish in both difficulty and enjoyment. I recommend giving it a go. 

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    Eva maybe embracing second friend in my book (10)
PERSONALLY:  A surname that Eva or Evita defines by example (maybe) is containing (embracing) the single letter for second and followed by a friend or supporter 

6a    Prevent vessels returning (4)
STOP:  The reversal (returning) of some cooking vessels 

9a    Means to relax, with no time to wrap gift (10)
REPRESENTS:  A verb meaning to relax minus the physics symbol for time (with no time) containing (to wrap) another word for gift 

10a   Stomach empty, by the sound of it (4)
BEAR:  A homophone (by the sound of it) of an adjective meaning empty 

12a   Crafty little mammal departs (6)
SHREWD:  A little mammal possibly in need of taming is followed by the single-letter timetable abbreviation for departs 

13a   Sponge misplaced under dark English shed (8)
DRUNKARD:  An anagram (misplaced) of UNDER DARK minus the single letter for English (English shed)

15a   Change three lenses, keeping very still (12)
NEVERTHELESS:  An anagram (change) of THREE LENSES containing (keeping) the single letter for very 

18a   Anxiety after nut married current leader in education (12)
HEADMISTRESS:  Anxiety or tension comes after the fusion of another word for your nut, the genealogical abbreviation for married, and the physics symbol for electric current 

21a   Relative's very new and fashionable act (3-2-3)
SON-IN-LAW:  Link together a synonym of very, the single letter for new, a usual word for fashionable, and another word for an act (of Parliament) 

22a   Small child's bed we reduced by 50% for writer (6)
SCRIBE:  Assemble the clothing abbreviation for small, a [possibly American] child's bed, and one half (reduced by 50%) of WE 

24a   Garibaldi biscuit enthrals bird (4)
IBIS:  The pair of words at the start of the clue contains (enthrals) the answer 

25a   'I can' belief extraordinarily advantageous (10)
BENEFICIAL:  An anagram (extraordinarily) of I CAN BELIEF 

26a   Nearly the end of the day? Nearly (4)
NIGH:  All but the last letter (nearly) of what comes at the end of the day 

27a   Adult making a noise around front of tavern, staggering (10)
ASTOUNDING:  Follow the single letter for adult with a verb meaning "making a noise" containing (around) the first (front) letter of TAVERN 



1d    Is hotel below average for district? (6)
PARISH:  IS from the clue and the letter represented in the NATO phonetic alphabet by hotel together come after (below, in a down clue) average or standard 

2d    Concerning drink rumour (6)
REPORT:  A short word meaning about or concerning is followed by our regular Tuesday tipple of a fortified wine drink 

3d    Six balls wife initially hooked with wood in golf -- mind-boggling! (12)
OVERWHELMING:  Concatenate six balls from the same bowler in cricket, the genealogical abbreviation for wife, the first letter (initially) of HOOKED, a type of wood, IN from the clue, and the letter represented in the NATO phonetic alphabet by golf 

4d    Encourage American gamble (4)
ABET:  The single letter for American with gamble or wager 

5d    Texts intoxicated -- rue it later (10)
LITERATURE:  An anagram (intoxicated) of RUE IT LATER 

7d    Adolescent themes regularly annoy the Queen (8)
TEENAGER:  Follow alternate letters (regularly) of THEMES with annoy or worry continually and the Latin abbreviation for Queen Elizabeth

8d    Display outside is heaven (8)
PARADISE:  A display, which might involve walking down the street, containing (outside) IS from the clue 

11d   So reticent in altering meeting (12)
INTERSECTION:  An anagram (altering) of SO RETICENT IN 

14d   Rags badly sewn perhaps husband's thrown out (10)
NEWSPAPERS:  An anagram (badly) of SEWN PERHAPS minus the genealogical abbreviation for husband (husband's thrown out

16d   The spread includes one ham? (8)
THESPIAN:  THE from the clue with a word for spread or extent that contains (includes) the Roman one 

17d   Suffering can lead to glorious work of art (8)
PAINTING:  Cement together some suffering or hurt, a can that might contain food or beer, and the first letter of (lead to) GLORIOUS 

19d   Bathing suit -- big kind -- is missing bottoms (6)
BIKINI:  BIG KIND IS minus the last letter of each word (missing bottoms, in a down clue) 

20d   Fasten on wooden pin (3,3)
PEG LEG:  Fasten washing on a line followed by another word for the on side of a cricket pitch 

One of these ...

23d   Some remote village lifted ban (4)
VETO:  The answer is hiding in the reversal (some … lifted, in a down clue) of the remainder of the clue 


Thanks to today’s setter. Top clue for me was 20d, which was my LOI. Which clues did you like best?

The Quick Crossword pun:  OWE + PEN + DOUBT = OPENED OUT

77 comments on “DT 29660

  1. A steady solve from start to finish for me. I haven’t counted, but it did seem a little anagram heavy. The precise parsing of 20d eluded me, and 18a was my last in and therefore COTD.

    Completed in *** time, thanks to the setter and Mr K.

    1. MalcolmR, I’m with you on two counts – the superfluity of anagrams and I had the same problem re 20d but that was because I was overlooking the cricketing ‘on’.

  2. Straightforward and mainly enjoyable but did seem a touch anagram heavy (one even found its way into The Quickie) which slightly dampened the pleasure.
    1,9&12a were my picks with the top spot going to the clever 20d
    Many thanks to the setter and Mr K.

  3. Quite a sprint today with some old friends present to give us a good brisk start, * / ***. COTD was 3D as I love the ingenuity of a a real “Lego” clue.

  4. 1.5*/3*. I thought this was light and enjoyable with 20d my favourite.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Mr K.

  5. I noticed that there were a lot of anagrams too, of which 11d was the most appealing. There were some familiar friends and a feww more challenging clues such as the intricate 18a and 3d but the COTD for me was 13a. All in all, it was a nicely challenging and enjoyable puzzle(2*/4*). Thanks to the compiler and to Mr K for the hints and the cat pictures ( love the cat relaxing with legs stretched in the air).

  6. Could have done with a bit more of a challenge today as I’m stuck in hospital for 5 hours on a nice sunny day – deep joy. All over in a shade over * time but pleasant enough while it lasted & nicely clued throughout.
    Thanks to the setter & Mr K

    1. Oh dear. Not a good place to be but hopefully they are doing something useful for/to you!

  7. This was thoroughly enjoyable with lots of good clues. I loved 1a, 9a and 18a all of which were well constructed, especially 1a. 8d felt familiar and I’m sure it was used recently. My COTD is the aforementioned 1a.

    Many thanks to the setter for the entertainment and thanks to Mr. K for the hints.

  8. I enjoyed this one very much, largely because it is pitched right at my level of (in)competence. I rather like grabbing hold of anagrams to give me a flying start to puzzles.

    A lovely day in Surrey, so after a day spent indoors undertaking administrative stuff yesterday, I am heading out to the garden with little Lola (who will probably slope back in after fifteen minutes).

    Today’s crossword soundtrack: Stephen Stills – Manassas

    Thanks to the setter for a cracking crossword, and The Celebrated Mr. K.

  9. Bit of fun today, nicely clued-maybe anagram rich but some excellent surfaces eg 20a,26a and charades like 21a and 20d
    Favourite 13a as per Chriscross.
    Thanks to Mr K for the usual excellent pics-especially 6a, going for a */****,
    Remember seeing a boat in Cornwall called Armageddon 2-the mind boggles!

  10. Thank you to the setter and Mr K — I loved the pair of headlines illustrating 13a and 2d!

  11. Great fun whilst it lasted. 16d was my favourite. Today’s toughie is also at the gentler end for those that fancy giving it a bash.

    Thanks to the setter and Mr. K.

  12. Thanks to the setter for an enjoyable puzzle, and thanks for the hints. I simply couldn’t see 13A so the hint was welcome.
    Favourite clue was 3D

  13. Thanks Mr.K, nothing too tricky. 6a seems to keep making an appearance at the moment. I liked 26a.
    Rarely do the prize on the DT website, but it’s rather good…
    Thanks setter, may stretch to the Toughie later.

  14. A very pleasant and comfortable solve this morning with very little to scare the nags. The simple yet effective 20d was my favourite clue, with 1a my runner-up. I see that those of us on the iPad Edition can now access the puzzles website, which is a fine gesture from the Telegraph.

    My thanks to both Misters involved.

  15. No real difficulties this morning or my brain fog has lifted. **/*** I like anagrams, so no complaints from me. I did briefly wonder if the ” Little Women” author was somehow involved with 22a. Favourite is the charade at 3d. I notice that our Jane regularly gets a mention in the crossword clues (C.L’s newsletter). Well done to you, I wouldn’t know where to start. Thanks to all.

    1. Thank you for noticing, Greta, but it’s only fair to say that there are about 7 or 8 members of the BD gang who put in regular appearances. However, the puzzles newsletter always lists ‘real’ names and several people use pseudonyms on this site so you wouldn’t necessarily recognise them.

      1. Or, perhaps, it’s real names on this site and pseudonyms for Mr Lancaster’s newsletter!

      2. I had no idea Mr. Lancaster had a newsletter. I have subscribed to Matt’s letter but not the puzzles.

        I have now.

        1. I’ve lost count how many times I have requested the newsletters. All without success

            1. This website https://www.telegraph.co.uk/newsletters/homepage/ shows the myriad of Telegraph Newsletters that are available and the Puzzles newsletter is ‘hidden’ in there somewhere.

              It is published on Mondays, except (UK) holidays, so the next one will be on May 10th.

              It might also involve registering for the ‘free’ part of a Telegraph account.

                  1. I had no problem. Could it be because I use a laptop and not iPad? Most of the problems with the Telegraph site seem to be with iPad.

                  2. Oh dear. I emailed Telegraph enquiries about something else yesterday, and they replied that they will try to respond but “are not able to reply to every email”….

      3. Jane, did your winning entry ever appear in the DT Cryptic back-pager?

        I thought that was the prize?

        Maybe I missed it!

        1. Not that I’m aware of, in fact I can’t recall seeing anybody’s winning entry. I do remember Gazza mentioning a couple of times in the past that a winning clue had appeared in that day’s cryptic but not recently.

          1. It’s only the winners of the monthly competitions, not the weekly ones, which are supposed to appear in a cryptic puzzle, but, like Jane, I can’t remember seeing any for ages.

          2. I won the Feb 2020 competition and my clue has never appeared in a back-page cryptic. It’s easy to check – just type your clue into the Google “search this site” facility at the top right on the home page of this website.

  16. Very enjoyable and fairly straightforward. Lots to like in the down clues including 3, 5, 16, 17 & 19, with my COTD being 3d.
    Thanks to the setter and Mr. K

  17. Very enjoyable while it lasted with the anagrams and well constructed clues a great help in the ** solving. Pleased I remembered the last appearance of Eva which helped when starting the puzzle.

    Thanks to Mr K for his entertaining pictures and to the setter for their enjoyable puzzle.

  18. Very Tuesdayish with the associated enjoyment – **/****.

    Candidates for favourite – 27a, 1d, and 3d – and the winner is the six pieces of Lego 3d.

    Thanks to the setter and Mr K.

  19. Lovely! Just my sort of crossword puzzle. Asked a number of questions but no leaps of faith and no religion.
    Only one that held me up for a bit was 21a but the hint was excellent for explaining my answer.
    More like this please for me.
    Thx to all

  20. Very enjoyable Tuesday fare in which I had a blind spot when it came to sorting out the correct anagram fodder for 14d – silly girl!
    Top two for me were 27a & 19d.

    Thanks to our setter and to Mr K for his always excellently illustrated review.

  21. Great fun, **/***. Favourite, as with some others above, 13a. Didn’t see the anagram prompt until after I’d solved it once I had all the checkers. Thanks to setter and MrK.

  22. For some reason I thought this was a bit trickier than a usual Tuesday – think it’s me!
    I completely missed the anagram in 13a.
    18a seemed a novel way of making a clue out of a fairly common crossword answer.
    I haven’t counted either but I suppose there were quite a lot of anagrams.
    I’m waffling because I can’t think of anything very interesting to say!
    No particular clues stood out for me today.
    Thanks to the setter, whoever he or she may be, and to Mr K.

  23. Enjoyable, straightforward, ideal lunch-time fare. Generally smooth surfaces, plenty of chuckles, and whether or not a Garibaldi would enthral that bird, it would certainly enthral my spaniels!

    Ticks next to 15a, 21a, 1d, 7d, but COTD 17d for the truism and the clean read; LOI 16d (loud clang as penny dropped). 2*/3*.

    Many thanks to Setter and to Mr K


  24. It’s all been said. Pretty straightforward. I just hesitated over 20D completely missing the cricket reference. **/****

  25. Yes I agree all round. Good fun and satisfying and as I’ve said before, anagrams suit me. As I hope will some of the things I bought this morning- went shopping with the lovely neighbour and bought, amongst other things, two dresses and a pair of bright pink trousers. Don’t need them. Don’t care. I’ve been incarcerated for so long. The woman at the cash desk correctly identified my perfume and a man called me a young lady!! (He might have been blind). So all is looking up. Before I went I said to the automatic pilot I may go into M& S what do you fancy for supper? Pilchards, he answered. The man has no soul. How have I put up with it for so long? You see how badly I need the distraction of crosswords and the friendship of BD’s community. I bet even Lola would jump on my lap to comfort me. Many thanks to Mr K and Mr Setter.

    1. At least you get a response from the automatic pilot. Mr Meringue never knows what he wants to eat…but does know what he didn’t want after it has been served up to him. ….
      I am now reduced to asking him to name an animal .

      1. I get so livid when I have spent ages making a lovely supper to be told ‘I’m not very hungry’ – why not tell me before I start? Grrr!

        1. Ora, Manders
          Swap them for a Labrador – they happily eat anything. AND the plate would be so clean as not to need washing up.

  26. A delightful Tuesday puzzle. Don’t mind the anagrams at all. 13a was my last one in so I’ll call it my COTD. Thanks to Mr K for the entertainment and to today’s compiler. ** / ***

    The weekend rain in the Carolina Lowcountry seems to have cleared the air of a great deal of the debilitating stuff that has made my life a misery for a week or more. At least I can see the puzzle more clearly today, but my red, swollen eyes look like I’ve been on a two-week toot, like 13a. Would that I had!

    1. I never got to see and hear the great Christa Ludwig at The Met or at Covent Garden. Her passing this week, at age 93, has robbed the world of opera of one of its truly sublime mezzos. Her recordings have enriched my life immeasurably.

      1. There was a very fine obituary in the Telegraph, Robert. We didn’t get to see her on stage either but still have old vinyl recordings of her.

        1. Ms Ludwig and Marilyn Horne are my two favourite mezzos but I love it when Leontyne goes deep and growls.

          1. I’ve a very fine vinyl box set of Tosca with Leontyne Price in the title role and Giuseppe di Stefano as Cavaradossi. I think her interpretation is superior to that of MarIa Callas and also that of Mirella Freni.

            1. I have a book I want to write for you, Chriscross. Instead, I’ll settle for these little apercus:
              1. Leontyne’s “Vissi d’arte” remains the gold standard
              2. I saw her twice in concert, both times at the Peace Center [sic], Greenville, SC, USA
              3. I was introduced to her backstage, shook her hand, lavished praise upon her
              4. She was lovely, gracious, the queen of opera
              5. I remain her faithful servant

              Your Tosca is still my favourite one.

  27. I agree with Brian 😳 a cracking crossword which was still challenging but thoroughly enjoyable to solve!
    There’s something about not just getting the right answer, but when they also make you smile with that ‘aha’ moment that make it even more satisfying – examples toady were 1A (‘Eva’?…oh yes…her!) or 13A (‘English shed’…oh right, get rid of the ‘’E’!)…just very clever ‘clueing’ (…is that even a word?)
    Anyway, I’m not sure who the setter is, but thank you and keep ‘em coming! Thanks also to Mr K for the blog ‘n hints.👍

    1. It took me forever to decide what to do with that ‘shed’! Like you, Bruce, I had those two ‘aha’ moments.

  28. Mostly straightforward but like Hereward 20d my nemesis, cursed myself for not seeing the cricket reference.
    Overall enjoyable with said 20d my COTD.
    Thanks to setter & Mr K for the usual amusingly illustrated review.

  29. Not much to write home about today so I will just add my pennyworth to several comments above re superfluity of chestnuts and anagrams. My Fav was the crickety 3d but I do admit to overlooking significance of on in 20d. Thank you once again to the covert setter and indeed to MrDownunderK.

  30. Another pleasant puzzle, only problem I encountered was 13a, missed the anagram indicator completely and needed the hint to finish. Liked 24a as it mentions one of my favourite biscuits, even with the dead flies in them, very good for dunking. Thanks to all.

  31. A puzzle done in two sittings that was a pleasant breakfast solve. **/***** for me. Some clever clues and some mis-direction too, like 13a & 16d. Candidates for favourites today include 1a, 18a, 22a, 3d and 16d with 16d being winner and 3d runner up for the lego build.

    Thanks to setter and Mr K for the two hints I had to use today for a couple of the pesky 4 letter words.

  32. I got held up towards the end by half a dozen clues, so went and did some chores, made myself an iced latte, and bingo. All the slots filled in nicely. Last in was 16d, as I did think of ham perhaps relating to acting, but a thespian I thought was a good actor, rather than an actor, IMHO. But a very enjoyable and doable puzzle today. Thanks to setter and Mr. K.

  33. Agree with Brian et al.
    Lovely indeed.
    I don’t mind anagrams even if I prefer charades.
    Thanks to the setter and to Mr K for the review.

  34. It’s all been said but anyway very enjoyable, I am ok with anagrams and there was more than just anagrams in this puzzle. Tuesday is my main cycling day and the “Tuesday crossword” suits me well.

  35. Another great puzzle today. Looked at the Toughie and couldn’t even begin.
    Wonderful Art Society live zoom from Venice this afternoon – our second one from Venice – fantastic guide, would recommend. Thanks to all.

  36. **/****. Very enjoyable puzzle which went in smoothly apart from 10a which eluded me. How can a four letter word with two checkers be my nemesis? Either way thanks to the setter and Mr K.

  37. I’m afraid I made harder work of this than I should have but, after an initial rapid start, I made steady and regular progress. So roughly in line with Mr. K’s assessment of difficulty. Enjoyable nonetheless. Favourite was 20d, didn’t have a problem with the parsing. It reminded me of a friend of mine in the village John Morris who, unfortunately, lost a leg a while ago in a motorcycling accident quite late in life, he’s considerably older than me and I’m not young. He habitually refers to himself as 20d. He’s not the sort to be offended by a full stop I might add. Thanks to the setter and Mr. K.

  38. 2*/3*….entertaining pics to Mr K’s hints…
    intrigued by the semi-motionless optician in 15A.

  39. Thanks to the setter and Mr Kitty for the review and hints. A very enjoyable puzzle, but I noticed that 6a & 8d were both in recent puzzles. Only the editor would know which setter was there first. Some clever clues. Favourite was 13a. Last in was 14d. Was 2* /3* for me.

  40. Lovely puzzle. I like anagrams!

    Thanks to the setter and to Mr K. Great pics as usual!

  41. Managed to get this all done and dusted in bed before lights out. No hold-ups for me – a very satisfying puzzle. I even got the crickety reference. **/****

  42. Started late last night and still had most of the bottom half left when I settled down. Woke up this morning and, with a clear head, it all fell into place. 16d we the last one in, 3d was my favourite. Thanks to the setter and Mr K.

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