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DT 29668

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29668

Hints and tips by Kath

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating — Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Hello everyone. Not a Ray T Thursday – it’s a long time since I’ve done the hints for a crossword set by anyone other than him and I’m the world’s worst ‘setter spotter’ so I’m not making any guesses today.

 Please leave a comment telling us how you got on today.

In the hints the definitions are underlined and the answers are hidden under ANSWER so only do that if you need to see one.


1a        Colourless band that is associated with a DJ (5,3)
BLACK TIE — both the colourless band and the DJ are items of clothing

9a        Nag in a fight (8)
 WARHORSE — nag is not a verb and the fight is a pretty big one

10a       Beastly noise by river in a desolate place (4)
MOOR — a noise made by a large animal is followed by the abbreviation for R(iver)

11a       Praise from firm met with a grunt — working after hours? (12)
CONGRATULATE — the usual little abbreviation for a firm is followed by (met with) an anagram (working) of A GRUNT  and then a synonym for working after hours or doing overtime

13a       Business to begin — right for any number to get involved (8)
COMMERCE — another word for begin or start has an ‘N’ (any number) towards the end of it – just change that to an R(ight)

15a       Plane crashing close to India in mountainous territory (6)
NEPALI  – an anagram (crashing) of PLANE followed by the letter that is represented by India in the phonetic alphabet

16a       Shut up in quiet part of hospital (4)
PENT — the one letter musical abbreviation for ‘quiet’ is followed by one of the many departments in a hospital – probably the most common one in crosswordland because it’s so useful for setters

17a       Monster repulsed in the course of terrible turbulence (5)
BRUTE — a lurker or hidden answer indicated by ‘in the course of’ – this one is reversed which is indicated by ‘repulsed’

18a       Blast from modern radio echoing (4)
DARN — this ‘blast’ is a mild expletive and it’s another ‘lurker’ which is indicated by ‘from’ – it’s also reversed again and that is indicated by the last word in the clue

20a       Was inclined to be well educated, though neglecting reading? (6)
LEANED — another word for well educated or erudite has the letter represented by an R in the ‘three R’s’ taken out (neglecting reading)

21a       Light support (8)
LAMPPOST — I’m not sure that this one needs any explanation and I can’t think of any way of giving a decent hint – I do think the answer looks funny and as if it should be hyphenated

23a       Race with dear Charles hiding in shelter (12)
STEEPLECHASE — another word for ‘dear’, as in a bit pricey, is followed by a synonym for shelter (from the wind) which contains (hiding in) an abbreviated form of ‘Charles’

26a       Wander round surrounded by sheep (4)
ROAM — the round letter goes inside (surrounded by) a male sheep

27a       Piles are arranged in framework (8)
ESPALIER — an anagram (arranged in) of PILES ARE

28a       Expecting to be quiet as a ruler (8)
PREGNANT — the abbreviation of the musical instruction to play quietly (the same one as used in 16a) is followed by an adjective meaning as a ruler or in power



2d        What it’s possible to get through when there’s difficulty? (8)
LOOPHOLE — an escape route when there’s a hitch in a contract

3d        Something associated with the pomp of a final musical performance? (12)
CIRCUMSTANCE — a march by Elgar is called ‘Pomp and . . .

4d        Artist that is revolutionary (6)
TURNER — an 18th/19thC  artist could also be called ‘revolutionary’

5d        Vessel in underground channel heading off (4)
EWER — an underground drainage channel without its first letter (heading off)

6d        Awful creep, about ten, behaving insincerely (8)
PRETENCE — an anagram (awful) of CREEP around (about) TEN

7d        Sea creature some sailor caught (4)
ORCA — our third lurker indicated by some

8d        Removal from Eden, toil being involved (8)
DELETION — an anagram (being involved) of EDEN TOIL

12d      Insect sadly trapped in hole — hard to get out (12)
LEPIDOPTERAN — an anagram (sadly of TRAPPED IN HOLE without the H (hard to get out)

14d      Match with elements of supreme quality (5)
EQUAL — our fourth lurker (with elements of)

16d      Column to endure when given external support (8)
PILASTER — a synonym for endure or outlive goes inside some support or a post (when given external support

17d      Plant with sign of new life daughter and I found in open country (8)
BUDDLEIA — a sign that a plant hasn’t been killed by the frost, the abbreviation for D(aughter) and then some open country or grassland which contains ‘I’ (I found in)

19d      Engineers try hard to gain control (8)
RESTRAIN — the abbreviation for the R(oyal) E(ngineers) followed by another way of saying ‘try hard’

22d      The person writing leading article that is ungenerous soul (6)
MEANIE — how the person writing would refer to himself (or herself), the indefinite article and the two letters that are the abbreviation for the Latin ‘that is’

24d      Spot with exceptional perception an unknown character (4)
ESPY — some exceptional perception or intuition is followed by one of the letters used in maths to mean unknown

25d      Fish or grouse? (4)
CARP — a double definition

I liked 11 and 28a and 12d. My favourite was 17d because I like them, even if I can’t spell them!



93 comments on “DT 29668

  1. Quite a few mostly reverse lurkers oiled the wheels of this well drafted and steady puzzle. I was somehow able to haul 17d and 27a from the dim recesses of my knowledge base to complete reasonably straightforwardly. Thanks to the setter and of course to Kath for her hints which I shall now peruse at leisure.

  2. Very enjoyable puzzle; agree with blogger’s assessment. Stuck on 9A for a while until major penny drop moment so that has to be my favourite!! Thanks to setter

  3. I’d say this was a typical Giovanni puzzle. I needed to check the framework and the insect but other than that pretty straightforward and moderately enjoyable, though seemed a bit lurker heavy.
    Clues that appealed included 11,13& 23a plus 3d.
    Many thanks to Giovanni (If it was he) and Kath

  4. I could not spot the setter today either but whoever it was provided us with a pretty straightforward and enjoyable puzzle. Lots to like, especially 23 and 13a. An honourable mention, too, for 3d.

    My thanks to our Thursday setter and to Kath.

  5. Not the Thursday puzzle I was expecting as it was finished over breakfast. Nothing outstanding among the solutions but all well clued.

    Thanks to Kath and the setter.

  6. I found this to be another slow starter, but downhill after I got going. I’m not going to get into a philosophical argument about “Colourless”, but I had the opposite I suppose, which threw the rest of the NW. That meant it took me *** time when it really shouldn’t.

    I think we’ve had it before, but I still give COTD to 4d.

    Many thanks to the setter and Kath.

    1. I initially had the opposite colour for 1a Malcolm (seemed more synonyms) but then 2d jumped out at me.

    2. Just covered this off helping my daughter with GCSE Physics. Black objects absorb all wavelengths of visible light. Your eyes see black as the lack of any visible light i.e. the lack of any colour.

  7. Lots of anagrams and lurkers, so, if it is Giovanni, it’s a long time since he’s been quite so kind to us. Otherwise, I guess I was lucky with most of the slightly obscure GK answers, or I just happened to be into gardening (tick), art (tick), music (tick) insects and architecture.
    Specifically I liked the first bit of 1a, where I had a different word for a couple of minutes and also 15a, where the obvious alternative anagram had to be replaced by the correct one after the checkers.

    Thanks to G if it be him and to Kath.

    1. We obviously go to very smart do’s where a white tie is more usual than a black! But G says that white tie is really synonymous with Evening Dress so we have to say the setter is right!

      1. Ha ha. Yes, we have been to a couple of white tie events, and as George says, they are only worn with cutaway “tails”. Even the military equivalents vary re the tie colour, although, let’s face it, some people are more interested in looking at the red-striped trousers and, on occasion, spurs! I’d like to see the back of civilian evening dress, to be honest. It’s far less flattering to men than normal dinner jackets and, unless you are on Strictly and are Giovanni Pernice, you should never dance in it…..
        I don’t know how people will manage after a year of elasticised waists………
        And, in any case, the first hurdle in 1a was not thinking of a DJ as someone at a mixing desk.

  8. Slow and steady with no particular hold-ups, just as well as a lot on today including first haircut since July. Pub lunch yesterday was freezing as the gas heaters were out of gas and fierce north wind. Our village pub, The George and Dragon, has reopened after two years having purposely been run into the ground by the previous owner. If yesterday’s offering is a sign of things to come things are looking up, lots of young, enthusiastic and friendly people and the grub was OK too. Its in a fantastic location and could be a goldmine if run properly. Thanks to the setter and Kath.

  9. I enjoyed this puzzle very much and only wish it could have lasted longer (1.5*/4*). I don’t know who the compiler is and wondered if it were Navy or possibly Chalicea. I liked the misdirection in the Cryptic Definition at 1a and the musical misdirection in 17d , whilst the two lego clues at 23a and 4d were also fun. Many thanks to Kath for the hints and to the compiler.

  10. 2*/2*. Nothing much here either to excite or to frighten the horses. 1a was probably my favoruite.

    Thanks to the setter and to Kath.

  11. A couple I’m not sure about. I feel 15a is a language or a person not the mountainous territory and that 12 d referred to an insect not the insect itself. No doubt I’ll be proved wrong!
    I really liked 3 d and that’s my COTD

    1. I agree with you about both of those.
      The BRB says that 12d is an adjective and a noun so that’s OK.
      I was a bit iffy about 15a so I checked with my oracles – aka Gazza and CS! They both said that as an adjective it can mean ‘relating to Nepal’ – so the definition is ‘in mountainous country’. I don’t think I’ll risk juggling with the underlining of the definition in the hints as that’s when it can all suddenly go horribly wrong!

      1. I think Lepidoptera is the order of moths and butterflies in the insect world so it works as a noun as a member of that order. My reasoning anyway!

    2. The setter was clearly looking for Nepali as the answer for 15a but I just couldn’t bring myself to pen that in, as it surely means the language and not mountainous territory. I gave in when other checkers went in. But still not happy with it.

  12. If this is Giovanni, he certainly is in a giving vein today. This was the gentlest Thursday puzzle I can remember in some time, and I simply enjoyed not having to overstrain my brain last night. Did anyone else think ‘alpine’ for 15a before having checking letters? Held me back a bit. The obvious favourite for this Nabokovian? 12d. Thanks to Kath for the review and to our Thursday setter. ** / ***

    Finished a Thursday Toughie all on my own, for a change. Also finished the 6th in the Simon Serrailler series, The Betrayal of Trust, but am having trouble finding copies of the four remaining books in the series. Our Amazon USA holdings seem pitifully paltry.

      1. Whenever I have tried to order from Amazon.uk the order is refused, and I am directed back to Amazon.com.

        1. That’s strange, I buy from them all the time! The only thing I’ve had refused was a Kindle book.

          1. I have at times had success via Amazon.uk, but like BL have also occasionally been shunted back to ours. After some wangling and wrangling, including some used copies, I seem now to have landed all four books, just not in the order I’d prefer. But thanks to you and BusyLizzie for your interest. Glad you’re back with us, Merusa. Hope you’re doing better.

            1. My friend gets a lot of (admittedly good condition second-hand) books from World of Books.

    1. I wish you could have a look at a tiny little flying beetle which is suddenly appearing in our sitting room in the evening. Very hard to kill, you think you have whipped it then it gets up and flies off. Very long antennae and a blunt end to the wings. I am not generally a killer but this one is a stranger and not welcome! Is it a soldier beetle?

        1. If it won’t sit still for long enough for DG to whack it one I shouldn’t think it’ll pose and smile nicely for the camera.

            1. Oh my life!!! Now you really have got me in a panic. I shall have to ring Groggy Rhino who is our very learned Pest control man deals with wasps nests etc. I feel dirty!!!

              1. DG
                Daughter says get a bearded dragon, they eat the cockroaches. Of course you might not take too kindly to letting the reptile roam the living room so that it can hunt them down!
                Also their living quarters have to be kept at 30 plus C, more profitable to grow cannabis in the “tank”!

    1. This was a thoroughly enjoyable exercise so I wont be surprised to find it was from Giovanni but somehow it doesn’t quite have that feel. 17d spelling always foxes me so I appreciated checkers. Surprised that 22d is a dictionary word. Stupidly 18a was not fully parsed. Thank you Giovanni(?) and Kath. Quickie pun is amusing but setter needs to know 21a therein is not only red.

  13. A straightforward solve this morning. I initially thought horse box for 9a! Not entirely sure even now about 15a. **/*** Favourite 23a. Thanks to all.

  14. Steady unremarkable solve for me. If Giovanni is the setter I don’t regard it as “typical” of his challenges. ** / ** for me sorry.
    Probably me but I can’t see how 15a is the “territory”, to me it is the language or an inhabitant but not the country.
    Thanks to setter and Kath for the review.

  15. I enjoyed this one. 3d took me longer than it should but get’s my vote today.

    Thanks to today’s setter and Kath.

  16. I am joining Robert on the rocky road to ‘alpine’. I bunged it in and then spent a while wondering how 8d could be what it had to be. Eventually I found I had been transported to Kathmandu. Terrific crossword; I really enjoyed it.

    Today’s crossword soundtrack: Billboard Hot 100, 1973 (Spotify playlist)

    Here’s a snippet from Lady Diana Cooper’s memoirs. It’s a letter from Conrad Russell and he has just met an airman from Portsmouth (and to think that today, we moan if Facebook goes down for ten minutes).

    Thanks to the setter and Lovely Kath.

  17. Pretty straightforward for a Thursday and no particular favourites, but nice to see a bit of science knowledge required for 1a.
    Learnt a couple of new words in 27a and 16d, plus the correct spelling for 17d.
    Thanks to the setter and to Kath

    1. And Anish Kapoor owns the rights to the blackest black ever. It absorbs 99% of light.

  18. If this is from Giovanni then he was certainly using the soft pedal this morning.
    I doubt that Henry Ford would agree with the assertion at 1a – one of his famous quotes being ‘You can have any colour you want, as long as it’s black’.
    No particular favourite but thanks to our setter for the puzzle and to Kath for the review.

  19. With three cryptic def, it could easily be a Giovanni.
    Went for the wrong colour in 1a at first.
    23a made me laugh.
    Thanks to the compiler and to Kath.

  20. After yesterday’s heights & expecting a Ray T production I’m afraid I was a tad underwhelmed with this one. Pleasant enough I suppose but nowt to write home about. For some reason 2d took me some time to cotton on to but an otherwise brisk solve. Wasn’t keen on 21a & had reservations about 15a too but there were some nice ones. 1a plus 3&12d would be my pick.
    Thanks to the setter & to Kath.

  21. Well that is three in row that I have completed totally without aid so I’m waiting for a huge crash tomorrow!

    I thought this was a great puzzle, thoroughly enjoyable and slightly easier for a Thursday than usual. Plenty of good clues with some head scratchers. I hesitated for ages on 12d because the last two letters evaded me for a while. I solved 2d before 1a so had the correct “colour” from the start. Favourites are 11a, 23a and 24d. My COTD is 9a because of the great misdirection. I couldn’t get the picture of a man and his wife having an argument out of my mind.

    Many thanks to the setter, who I assume is Giovanni given that is the general consensus. Many thanks to Kath for the hints, which I will now read.

    1. Steve,
      Great scenery and dogs
      Latest Olive & Mabel taken recently up here in the Highlands (probably the Cairngorms) on one of our better days

        1. Book recommendation:

          Three Women and a Boat by Anne Youngerson

          Although I would suggest you put it down when cooking new potatoes for potato salad or the texture will be a lot softer than you wanted :(

          1. Thank you – almost finished Miss Austen. What a strange life she led, although I suppose very much what was expected at the time.

  22. I avoided the colour trap in 1a by chucking in “dicky bow”, which almost works!
    Needless to say, this slowed down progress in the NW corner.
    This didn’t feel like a Giovanni puzzle to me. Perhaps someone could enlighten us?
    Good fun. Thank you Kath and mystery setter.

  23. What a turnaround, only a few clues in by the time the kippers had disappeared but the over a samosa lunch it all fell together nicely and without electronic assistance. Very enjoyable solve.
    Thanks to Kath and the setter

  24. Very much enjoyed 23a and 22d. Thank you for helping me with 9a, Kath, I didn’t have a clue there, and thanks to whoever our esteemed setter is.

  25. I was thrown by ‘close to India’ not, for once, meaning the letter ‘A’ although I realised that Nepali must be the answer!

  26. Very enjoyable. I don’t remember four lurkers in one puzzle but I am not complaint. Thanks Kath for parsing 13a for me. The answer was obvious but this particular type of clue is one I easily miss. For 3d I connected a “final musical performance” to the Last Night of the Proms which being connected to Pomp makes a fine clue. I thought black was the obvious “colour” for 1a as a black tie do is a DJ do, whereas the other goes with Tails. I am sure we have had 9a or something similar before, and that the same comment was made as by Greta today who had horsebox for the answer. If I had thought of it before I had checkers I would have thought alpine for 15a. I do not know if this is Giovanni but could well be, especially if he has been gardening. 16d and 27a are almost anagrams of each other and both to be found in the garden along with 17d. Favourites 1, 11, 21, 23 and 28a and 2 and 3d. Thank you setter and Kath.

    1. Re 3d, the P&C No 1 music in question was always referred to by me and my student musician mates as something a lot ruder. It sounds vaguely similar …….we still call it that.

  27. Very enjoyable puzzle, over way too soon. Lots of smooth surfaces, every clue fair. It felt like more anagrams than six, but there were a good variety of different clue types, and I ticked a good half-dozen for their smile-raising capacity &/or ingenuity. Contenders included 9a, 23a, 28a, 3d, 4d and 25d, but for me COTD was 2d.

    Many thanks to Setter for such a pleasurable lunch break diversion, and to Kath for the review.



  28. On the basis of alternating Mr T and Mr G on a Thursday, this should be a Mr G but I agree with others that, if it is he, he is being very generous or it is not him. So, as I often say, with the quality of my setter detector system and using the language of my ancestors je ne sais pas but it was fun. **/****

    No problems with the 1a colourless – this one with a DJ, the other one with tails (watch a few re-runs of Downton Abbey).

    Candidates for favourite – 13a, 28a, and 3d – and the winner is 28a, which might suggest that Mr G could be the setter after all.

    Thanks to the setter and Kath.

    1. Just finished watching the reruns of Downton mainly for the wonderful lines the Dowager Duchess is given.

      However, I agree, Senf that watching the rerun did help with 1a.

      1. I may have posted this before, but here goes. Maggie Smith had identical twin brothers, brother Alistair was an architect who worked in Montego Bay in the 50s. He told a story of Maggie as a little girl who had a teddy bear she called Gladly. When asked why Gladly, she said because his eyes are crossed, “you know the hymn, Gladly my cross eyed bear.”

  29. I don’t know what sort of lives you all lead – I don’t seem to get much done in a day anyway but if I spent time on the crossword in the morning I would be even more behind! It has to be an integral part of my lunch. Today was another cracker, what a good week it has been! Our holiday in Nepal was one of the best ever but I’m not sure I want to go there now. I’m going to try putting a photo of the little beetle on, SC, if my technology works. Many thanks to the setter and to Kath.

    1. We always do the crosswords over breakfast, after the cereal, and during toast and coffee. It does tend to make one rather late getting up from the breakfast table. Just time for the daily exercise routine, and then it’s time to stop for another coffee. And everything else has to slot in after that. But at least we never have time to get bored. In fact, I wonder how I ever had time to go to work ☹️.

      1. George hogs the paper over breakfast and I finish reading yesterday’s paper. We are always up and dressed for breakfast by eight but then it all seems to go downhill……

      2. Likewise BL but I have to admit that I don’t dress until it’s finished so am frequently embarrassed when caught out by ring at the doorbell for postal deliveries, etc. and the more challenging the Cryptic the more likely that is – oh the joys of retirement so who cares!

  30. Somewhat beyond me I’m afraid. Managed about 1/3 before admitting defeat.
    Thx for the hints

  31. Thank you Kath. A lovely benign puzzle for a Thursday. I smiled as I entered each of the lurkers but cannot think why. Thanks to the setter and to super sub Kath

  32. After a morning of snow, sun, hail then sun again in the Peaks – an enjoyable Thursday puzzle with just enough brain stretching for me to complete without help. I haven’t a clue who the setter is other than it’s obviously not Ray T! Favourites today – 17d because I love that particular plant and 27a just because I love the word that is the answer. Many thanks to the setter and to Kath.

  33. Come back Ray T, all is forgiven. I just could not get on wavelength today, and a few too many hmm moments. The Quickie is also a tad strange. Perhaps the numbing shots they put in my leg yesterday has affected my brain 😩. Thanks to setter and to Kath, especially for the lovely Turner picture.

  34. What a nice crossword for a Thursday 😃 So obviously none of the regular Thursday compilers🤔 Haven’t heard of Navy for a while ***/**** Favourites 9a & 3d 🤗 Thanks to Kath and to the Compiler

  35. A frustrating DNF for me. Having rattled off all but 16d before breakfast, I could have stared at 16d until doomsday as I have not heard of the definition and misunderstood the wordplay totally.
    I will be surprised if this is Mr.G. as I usually avoid his puzzles like a dose of the clap, but I rather enjoyed the puzzle, and I learnt a new word in 16d.
    Anyway there were no obscure Buddhist 7th century artifacts on show.
    Thanks for the hints, Kath, and the setter.

  36. **/****. Third in a row this week where it felt like it had just been designed for me. Don’t who the setter is but a welcome appearance in any case. Thanks to him/her and Kath for the hints.

  37. As a relative newbie here I’m reluctant to point out that (12D) the solution isn’t an insect but one who studies moths and butterflies (which are insects, I get that).

    1. Just because you’re a relative newbie here doesn’t stop you saying whatever you like, within reason.
      Anyway, I digress – OK, 12d’s are an order of insects and not anything that I would count as one of my specialties. One thing I am sure about though is that they’re certainly not people who study them who are lepidopterists.

      1. Thanks Kathy. My weighty Chambers dictionary has “lepidopteran (n and adj)” but no following definition!

      1. Definitely – I agree and really hope that we don’t all start spelling that wrong because of “Line of Duty”!

        1. “Line of Duty” keeps popping up. Am I the only one on this blog who has never watched it?

          1. No you’re not alone – by most reports don’t think we have missed much!

  38. I found a comfortable fence to sit on to dither about whether or not Giovanni set this one.
    My first instinct this morning was that he didn’t, mainly because I didn’t find it difficult and he is my bete noire when it comes to setters. Then people came along and said things like, a typical Giovanni crossword so I think I’ll just stay on my fence for a while longer even though I’m coming down on the side that says it’s not one of his. Maybe we’ll find out and maybe we won’t . . .

  39. I’m more in the Brian camp with this one. Found it quite a struggle and put off by near misses: e.g. I had the wrong ‘colour’ for 1a to start with, the wrong anagram solve for 15a (Alpine), the wrong fish (pout) for 25d. By the time I had sorted all that out I lost interest and had to consult Kath hints to complete the last three clues. ****/*

  40. Solved alone and unaided In probably my fastest ever time for a Thursday puzzle…..though that is not saying much as the Thursday ones usually take me for ages.
    Enjoyable solve, though I share the reservations about the mountainous terrain and the insect.

    Thanks to the setter whoever (whomever?) they are and to Kath.

    We didn’t have snow here but we did have a prolonged hailstorm . Sunny now but still far too cold.

  41. Interesting to look in at the end of the day having posted early this morning. I see comments on 15a are still being made. Surely Alpine was the better answer if not the correct one? I’m also pleased Kath joins me in my distrust of 12d. I’m glad to see I’m not alone in my original misgivings.
    Oh lord, it’s Friday tomorrow!

  42. Can’t say this was a lot of fun today. Unfortunately, that is me with Giovanni I am afraid. Too many twisted clues with hard to dig out what setter is getting at or looking for. *****/** today.
    Have to say never heard of word in 27a.
    Hard to find a couple of clues I liked but would have to pick 4d, 10a & 18a
    The rest not so much.

    Thanks to Giovanni and Kath for the many needed hints today.

  43. Didn’t enjoy this much. I was not keen on 1a, 12d and 15a. Spent way too long on these as i doubted the correct answer. 9a defeated me totally and 3d was a bung in as I’ve not heard of the musical whatever it is.

    16d and 27a are new words to me.


    Thanks to all.

  44. Never heard of 16d but I have now. Apart from that the hardest thing about this was the spelling of 17d. Enjoyable though. Favourite was 13a. Thanks to the setter and Kath.

  45. I did most of it, and used the hints to finish off so many thanks to Kath. Two new words for me 27a and 16d. Needed the checkers to spell 12d. 3d cotd for me, thanks to the setter, i’m slowly getting better at these…

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