DT 29665 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29665

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29665

Hints and tips by pommers

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Hola from the Vega Baja on a very pleasant spring morning.  Sunny, light breeze and forecast for 23°C this afternoon.  What more could one ask for?

The puzzle’s a pretty normal Monday affair with quite a few gimmes to get you a start and then a few with much more complicated wordplay to get you exercising the grey matter.  Overall I enjoyed it.

As usual the ones I liked most are in blue.  The definitions are underlined in the clues and the answers are under the “click here” buttons so don’t click on them unless you really want to see the answer.  Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


5a           Quiet formal announcement following end of weather forecast (7)
PREDICT:  Start with the letter meaning quiet in musical notation and an R (end of weatheR) and following that put a formal announcement or order.

7a           Finished first in that Open? (5)
OVERT:  A word meaning finished followed by T (first in That).

9a           Conservative  directly opposed (6)
SQUARE:  Double definition.

10a         Disciplinarian‘s point in trading centre (8)
MARTINET:  The point or prong of a fork is inserted into (in) a word for a trading centre or market.  I spent too long thinking the point would be a compass point, d’oh!

11a         Held back in reserve, and groomed (10)
RESTRAINED:  Abbreviation of reserved followed by a word meaning groomed as in coached.

13a         Titled lady enthralled by high-powered American (4)
DAME:  This titled lady is lurking in (enthralled by) the last two words of the clue.

14a         Notices form provided is about European father (10,3)
CLASSIFIED ADS:  Start with a word for form or type and then a two letter word meaning provided.  After that you need the IS from the clue placed around (about) an E(uropean) and a three letter word for your father.  Split that lot (19,3) and there you go.

16a         Get through? I don’t know (4)
PASS:  Double definition.  It’s what you say if you’re on Mastermind and don’t know the answer.

17a         Vexatious English gang returned to squeeze different ones (10)
BOTHERSOME:  E(nglish) and a gang or unruly group (3) reversed (returned) and placed around (to squeeze) a word meaning different ones (6).  Hands up all those who, like me, thought it would be the English gang reversed around an anagram (different) of ONES.

19a         Singer in pub, Italian individual (8)
BARITONE:  One of the usual words for a pub followed by the two letters for Italian vermouth and finally a word for individual or single.

20a         Just son given hint (6)
SIMPLY:  Just as in merely.  It’s an S(on) followed by a word meaning to hint.

22a         Live way out guarding head of state (5)
EXIST:  The way out placed around (guarding) an S (head of State).  I told you there are some gimmes!

23a         Star, depressed when the day is done? (7)
SUNDOWN:  Our nearest star followed by a word meaning depressed or blue.


1d           Dairy product produced by fine Greek character (4)
FETA:   This dairy product may well be made by a Greek as it’s a Greek cheese.  It’s F(ine) followed by a letter from the Greek alphabet.  Tasty stuff. I shall have some on my salad tonight.

2d           How crabs move, and fish among rocks (8)
SIDEWAYS:  Crosswordland’s popular fish placed inside (among) a word for rocks as in wobbles.

3d           Recently stolen piece of angling equipment in fast car (3,3)
HOT ROD: A slang term for recently stolen followed by a piece of angling equipment, not a reel but the other bit.

4d           Bribes had worked, protecting knight in prison (6,4)
BEHIND BARS:  Anagram (worked) of BRIBES HAD placed around (protecting) the letter for knight in chess notation.

5d           Resentment of crown voiced (5)
PIQUE:  Sounds like (voiced) a word for crown as in top.

6d           Footman is out and about just after that in play (5,2,6)
TIMON OF ATHENS:  First of all you need an anagram (out) of FOOTMAN IS and then you need to put it around (about) a word meaning just after that to get a play by Shakespeare.

8d           Mother lost small flask (7)
THERMOS:  Anagram (lost) of MOTHER followed by S(mall).

12d         Drink first drop of malt whisky, say, for morale (4,6)
TEAM SPIRIT:  A hot drink traditionally taken in the afternoon followed by M (first drop of Malt) and then what whisky is an example of (say).

14d         Farce enjoyed involving artist breaking into church (7)
CHARADE:  This is one of those Russian doll clues.  You need to start with a word for enjoyed, as in owned, and insert (involving) the usual artist.  Then that lot is inserted (breaking into) two letters for the Church of England.

15d         Service still good around noon (8)
EVENSONG:  A phrase (4,2) meaning still or nevertheless and a G(ood) placed around an N(oon).

17d         Wasted opening in brilliant game (6)
BLOTTO:  Wasted as in drunk.  B (opening in Brilliant) followed by a game also called housey-housey.

18d         Guys eating most of blue fruit (5)
MELON: Some guys or chaps placed around (eating) all but the last letter (most of) a word for blue or depressed.

21d         Atmosphere caused by raising catastrophe (4)
MOOD:  Reverse (raising in a down clue) a word meaning catastrophe or death.

I think 16a is favourite because it gave me the excuse to include the Eric and Ernie sketch.  Also on the podium are 12d and 13a.

Quick crossword pun, top line:     CLIMB     +     AXIS      =      CLIMAXES

Quick crossword pun, bottom line:     SHOW     +     FURZE     =     CHAUFFEURS

99 comments on “DT 29665

  1. */****. All over too quickly, delightful surface readings. So many potential favourites, but will plump for 14a. Thanks to setter and Pommers. Loved the Eric and Ernie sketch.

  2. 2*/4*. This was Mondayish – light and good fun.

    23a is an American word. Collins agrees but I am very surprised that Chambers doesn’t mention it.

    My podium comprises 16a (great to see Eric and Ernie’s Mastermind sketch again), 17a & 12d.

    Many thanks to Campbell and to pommers.

  3. There eas a nice mixture of straightforward and thought-provoking among today’s clues and I really enjoyed the puzzle. 17a was a good cluexand 14a was well constructed, if one accepts abbreviations but the play at 5d was a corker of a clue and my COTD. Thanks to Pommers for the hints. It may be warm where you are but I’m forking over the borders in temperatures of 9 C with gusty winds and cold, squally showerz, here in South Oxfordshire. Thanks also to Campbell for a great puzzle as an appetiser before the chilly garden chores main course..

  4. A bit of a mixed bag for me. Others may differ but I thought 14a&16d overly contrived, wasn’t keen on the double definition at 9a either. On the flip side i did like 12d, 22a and the clever but simple 7a
    Thanks to Campbell and Pommers for the fun.

  5. Great crossword. Of course I missed the lurker; and I couldn’t parse 15d until I read pommers’ explanation.

    We are a little hesitant here today. We should like to go and enjoy the bluebells at their best in the local woods, but that weather looks mighty threatening. Decision to be deferred until after luncheon.

    Today’s crossword soundtrack: Marvin Gaye – What’s Going On.

    Thanks to Campbell and pommers.

    1. Today’s Soundtrack. On The Boards by Taste. Opening track ‘What’s Going On’

  6. Terrific entertainment for an increasingly wet and windy Bank Holiday here in Shropshire. 12d was my runaway favourite ahead of 16a. Our setter on top form this morning.

    My thanks to Campbell for the fun and to pommers. 23C sounds good to me.

  7. A bit prosy but with the odd lighter moment. Not keen on abbreviations in crosswords such as 14a. Needed help parsing my 17a bung-in. Fav 7a. Thanks Campbell and Pommers. Nice sunshine at present in W.Sussex but doubtless precipitation is on its way.

  8. Enjoyable Monday fare. I’d have quite liked to put 14a on the podium but wasn’t keen on the surface read so the honours go to 12d with a nod to the fine Greek character.

    Thanks to Campbell and to pommers for the review. All change in the weather here – after a spell of fine days we now have a typical British Bank Holiday Monday, windy and pouring with rain!

  9. I wasn’t keen on 9a either and wouldn’t have got it if I hadn’t managed 5d at the last minute. Loved the Morecombe and Wise clip. Absolutely freezing here in Norfolk – 4C but still dry. Making wild garlic soup from the garden this afternoon – yummy! Thanks to the setter and Pommers – please send us some of your 23C.

    1. Your leg is obviously on the mend if you have returned to soup making. Hope the leg is fine and the soup is as good as it sounds.

      1. Thanks JB, my leg is doing really well although I would hate to walk into something or get kicked on the shins so am still being careful. Looks rather gruesome! Spoke too soon, here comes the rain – torrents of it.

  10. A reasonably gentle puzzle this morning. **/*** Favourite 17a. Cold and windy in South Kent. The local news keeps banging on about a supposed mini heat wave coming our way. It looks as though a heat wave is now temperatures anywhere north of zero. Thanks to all.

  11. I thought that this puzzle was a notch up from the normal Monday fare with some difficult parsing, excellent charades throughout like 14a,17a and my favourite 6d, always a play that comes to mind but one which I never read.
    Took a while to parse 10a.Thanks to Pommers for the blog, especially the quite brilliant sketch’
    A ***/**** for me- thanks Campbell.
    Meeting with some pals later in the pub-looking for the longjohns!

  12. I took forever to get my last two, being 5d and 9a.
    Otherwise reasonably straightforward and enjoyable.
    Cold and windy here in Hertfordshire.
    Thanks to setter and Pommers.

  13. I must have been suffering from an excess of or not enough Mouton Cadet Blanc, I will have to continue the experiment, because I had quite a few problems with today’s puzzle to the point that If I had not seen the double pun in the Quickie I might have doubted that it was by Campbell. 3.5*/2.5*

    No standout favourites, but I did like 12d – I’ll take a Dalwhinnie please.

    Thanks to Campbell and pommers.

  14. I’m afraid I am going to buck the trend by saying I found this a bit of a struggle. I got there in the end but not without some help from Mr. G., which I don’t like doing so try to avoid him. Despite my struggling, there were many good clues and, for me, some iffy ones such as 14a for the same reason Angellov gave above. I couldn’t parse 2d because I did not see how fish among rocks came into it. Even the hint did not help much until I looked up the three letter fish. It may be a favourite fish in crossword land but I have not come across it before. Anyway, I know it by another name – orfe.

    My COTD is 5a, which I found quite concise.

    My thanks to Campbell for the drubbing and pommers for the much needed hints.

    I think I will refrain from uploading a picture – need to keep the mystery! :grin:

    1. Ide come across the fish so many times in previous puzzles that I’de be daft not to remember it

      1. For some reason I only manage to remember that fish during the middle of March …

    2. Hi Steve,
      I don’t think BD will keep that feature for very long as it is going to be very difficult to monitor.
      So far we have been quite a well behaved lot but will it last?

        1. Yes sir!
          In fact, it’s been a long time since you’ve had to warn or bar someone from the blog but it remains entirely up to you.
          We must all remember that we are chez toi.

    3. I think I only knew 3 of Chalicea’s NTSPP fish for certain & one of them was tuna…..

    4. Oh thank goodness, I was beginning to think I was the only one struggling.

  15. As Manders, I only got 9a after consulting my thesaurus for 5d. Wouldn’t have guessed it otherwise as I didn’t know that meaning for directly opposed.
    Liked the charade in 19a.
    Thanks to the setter and to Pommers for the review.

  16. Smooth and brisk, just perfect for a Monday, for me. Liked 17a best of all, but enjoyable throughout. Thanks to pommers and Campbell. * / ***

  17. Can’t say it was my pick of recent Mondays but it was pleasant enough & pretty straightforward. Other than needing to check out the fish in parsing 2d it was a brisk & problem free solve. I’m inclined to agree with Stephen that clues like 6d&14a weren’t the greatest surfaces but there were plenty to like. 17a&d along with 12d are probably my pick of bunch.
    Thanks to Campbell & to Pommers.

  18. Plenty to like here so thanks to Campbell for the workout and to pommers for the blog. I enjoyed the Morcambe and Wise clip but like Dad’s Army they have not aged well. I’m enjoying the rain but wondering which I will least enjoy – Saint Sharon’s opinion about me going out to the pub to sit in the cold or actually going out to the pub and sitting in the cold. I bet the sainted one will prepare a salad for when I return. Bless her

    1. I am sure she will surprise you with a bowl of hot soup.
      We women are inscrutable. (or unpredictable)

  19. My struggles with Campbell return with a DNF for me. Just couldn’t fathom the 9a / 5d combination for love nor money.
    The rest were fine but I never find being made to feel twp enjoyable especially when, like today, I can’t blame the cluing.
    Thanks to Campbell and pommers for the hints.
    Miserable day and cold with it up here. Roll on tomorrow.

    1. I’m with you on the 5/9 combo, my last in and gave me a lot of angst. Couldn’t believe 9a was a synonym for Conservative but of course it only has a capital as it starts the sentence. Oh well, kept my mind off the weather which is freezing, windy but still dry. Oh how we need rain. Many thanks to Pommers and the setter. George has decided to light the fire and go to sleep !

  20. I’m giving up on this! There must be something wrong with me as I thought Monday backpagers were supposed to be relatively easy. I’m just not on the right wavelength!

  21. Well, the forecast may have been for 23 degrees, which is about what we’ve got, but it didn’t mention peeing down with rain, which is also what we’ve got :sad:

      1. I know my memory is getting poor but I cannot recall coming across an IDE before. Will try to remember for future reference.

          1. They’re nasty – seem to recall the soothsayer warning Caesar about ‘em

        1. They were always “orfes” to me, Brian. Never heard of an “ice” before – seen neither has the spellchecker – never heard of “ide” before. :grin:

  22. Must be me, I thought this was almost Toughie level difficult. Not an encouraging start to the week. One of those where even when you get the answers you can’t parse most of the clue. Finished but very little enjoyment.
    Not one for me.
    Thx for the hints

  23. Struggled with this. Finished in the end but there were quite a few synonyms that got me. 5d, 9a, the enjoyed bit of 14d. Words like “still” still fox me. 14a was very convoluted. Recognised the fish though and didn’t need the hints. Not a fan. ***/**
    Thanks to the bloggers.

  24. Enjoyable puzzle from Campbell which like Friday’s and Saturday’s was solvable by reading the clues and having some idea of what one was looking for ; quite unlike yesterday’s of which five remained unsolved with no idea of possible answers.

    Many clues worth honourable mentions but 14a a clear favourite for its clever clueing. So thanks to Campbell and to Pommers for his excellent blog.

    The Morecambe and Wise clip was a reminder of when comedy, and life generally, didn’t need the nastiness so prevalent today. Miffypops is right that it hasn’t aged well but only because we prefer to see, or hear about, a good kick in the balls to gentle tickling of the ribs.

    1. Corky
      I must have aged at the same rate as M & W as I found the clip made me laugh again. Whereas modern humour like Mrs Brown’s Boys leaves me cold.

      1. Agree, we were roaring with laughter, and if you wait, a Two Ronnies clip follows it.

      2. And to think we thought “Till Death us do Part” was controversial!

  25. I tend to struggle with offerings from Campbell and this was no exception. Battled my way through but just couldn’t get the 5d/9a combo, so a DNF for me. I couldn’t think of the right type of crown for 5d, and I’ve not come across that second definition of square before.
    Thanks to Campbell for the challenge and pommers for the help in unpicking (I fell into the same traps at 10a and 17a)

  26. This one just didn’t feel like the normal Monday puzzle to me. I needed two attempts to get through it. I didn’t have the enjoyment out of it that I normally get on a Monday. I wasn’t keen on 14a, but liked 12d. Thank you setter and Pommers. Every bluetit egg has now hatched in my bird box, and we have ten very demanding chicks.

  27. I’m in the “this was tricky” lot today – I nearly always am on Mondays. It must be something to do with Mondays, which I know are meant to be the easiest of the week – I always battled with Rufus too.
    I don’t think I’ll go into details of which ones I had trouble with because that would be far too many!
    No particular favourite today – going to have a go at yesterday’s Dada which I didn’t get round to doing – and then there’s always the Rookie.
    Awful weather – blowing a gale and raining on and off – not even warm – grump, grump, grump . . .
    Thanks to Campbell and to pommers.

  28. Not a fan of this puzzle today. Didn’t seem like a Campbell one to me, but no matter. Found some of the clues overly contrived and many to me were not that great to help convey the answers. Some synonyms I question too.
    Was not a good solve today for me, that I have come to expect from Monday. Just my thoughts.****/** today from me.
    Really didn’t like 6d as that was a real stretch and completely unheard of by me before this.
    Hard to find a favourite clue at all today, but will pick 8d & 12d
    And I will have an Oban for 12d please … that will make it much better.

    Thanks to setter and pommers


  29. Pay attention chaps, sit up straight. My physio today was from Jamaica … no battling with Haitian Spanish today for me, I got to chat patois with my fellow countryman, I felt so warm and wanted. What a lovely day it is!!

    1. Sadie’s wistful look says “Come home soon, missing you” far more than we can.

      1. You’ve got two nice pals there to cheer you up, Merusa. Get well soon.

        1. Funny, I’ve got a Maisie but she chooses to live next door, shades of Lola.

        1. You have the perfect combination, Merusa. A black Lab and a cat who get on well with each other. They are sure to keep you cheerful. :rose:

          1. This is the photo of Hudson looking after me when I had my chest infection. I wanted to attach it to this post but it has disappeared from my laptop.

            He stayed with me all the time I was ill and was a tremendous comfort.

            That brown furry thing to the left is his favourite toy, Gruff. He kept giving me Gruff to cheer me up.

            Think I might be losing my marbles. This pic was meant for Daisygirl! 🤣

      1. Go for it, DG! There is nothing like a dog who thinks he can make you better just by loving you.

          1. It’s true, Manders. I’ve had dogs (black Labs) for years. Even as a child I had an affinity with them. When I was three our neighbour had a spaniel called Rusty who used to threaten her. She would end up on the kitchen table with Rusty barking at her. She would knock on the wall – terrace houses so you could do that – and shout, “Can you send Stephen through, Nina?”

            Mum would tell me that Mrs Darnell needed help with Rusty. She would lift me over the wall and I would march into the house saying “What’s all this, Wust?” (I had difficulty with the letter “R” at the age of three). When Rusty saw me he came to me and calmed down.

            I still have the same affinity today that I had back then when I was three ears old. No idea where it came from because we never owned dogs. Mind you, I have farming in my blood. It could have come from their animal husbandry.

    2. So glad you finally got treatment from someone you could understand. Whenever we go via MIA, we feel like we have already left the US.

    3. Love the picture, Merusa! Hope you’re improving daily. I’ve missed you.

  30. Enjoyable Monday fare, very slightly trickier than some recent Mondays but no worse for that in my view.

    2* / 3*. 5d/9a my last ones in, with audible clangs as pennies dropped. Many good clues, with ticks alongside 14a, 19a, 4d, 5d, but COTD to 12d, wonderful clue.

    Many thanks to Campbell and to Pommers.


  31. Sorry I did not enjoy this 😟 ****/** probably because I made a mess of 14a 🤔 Favourites 19a & 12d. Thanks to Pommers and to the Compiler

  32. Thanks to the setter and Pommers for the review and hints. A very enjoyable puzzle, a good start to the week. Needed the hints for 9&16a, I always struggle with double definitions, today was no exception. Favourite was 2d. Was 3*/3* for me.

  33. Sorry, not one for me today. The best part of this puzzle was the Morecambe and Wise clip at 16a. Found the rest too much hard work, and 14a and 17a were particularly painful. But at least it was marginally friendlier than yesterday’s. Thanks to Campbell for the challenge, and to Pommers.

  34. A wee bit ‘Meh…’ today…maybe it’s just Monday, but I just couldn’t really get into this puzzle despite some serious ‘persevating’! ”
    Thanks to Pommers for the much needed hints to help parsing & completion, and agree with your favourites in blue.
    Maybe we all need a bit more ’12D’ on Mondays…Balvenie DW’s my personal choice!

  35. Thank you Campbell and Pommers, Managed without hints but needed the parsing for 11a. Favourites 14 17 19 and 20a and 4 12 and 17d. I only struggled in the NW. I particularly also liked the play at 6d which helped with several others. I thought some of our number may not have liked 6d but, surprisingly, have not noticed any complaints. Much preferable to yesterday’s Dada which I don’t think I finished – yet.

  36. What a struggle I had with this…got there in the end but it took ages. Still not getting on with Campbell I’m sorry to say.

    Thanks to Pommers and to Campbell.

    Weather is atrocious here. Torrential rain, windy and cold. Temperature is 6C which with the wind and rain feels like -1C.
    Has nobody told the Man in the Moon that it is May ?

  37. I’m in the “mixed bag”camp this evening although I’ve been held up more by the Selby/Murphy battle. Obviously I’m rooting rooting for Selby as he’s a local lad and lives in the next village to me. Favourite was 14a. Thanks to Campbell and Pommers.

  38. Phew! That was edge of the seat stuff. 😀🏆 Just the FA Cup to go. 😁

  39. I’m a bit rusty, it’s been a couple of years since I tried a crossword, only needed a hint on one clue so that’s good! 10A – I became fairly sure it wasn’t a compass point but wasn’t familiar with the prong or the definition, but if felt like a word I’d seen somewhere, some time… so took a punt and it paid off – that old feeling of satisfaction! Thanks to setter (Campbell?) and Pommers.

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