DT 29675 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

DT 29675

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29675

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Good morning from South Staffs on an overcast morning.

The presence of four Xs in today’s puzzle suggests ProXimal as the setter, and he has given us a typical Friday challenge, with one or two less common words.

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.


1a           Snout reported in prison public fully recognises (5,6,3)
KNOWS INSIDE OUT – The first word sounds like (reported) another word for ‘snout’; the second is another word for ‘in prison’; and the third means ‘public’ rather than ‘private’ or ‘hidden’.

9a           Racing vehicle in church, a fun event (7)
CHARIOT – Put together an abbreviation for church, A (from the clue), and an informal word for something which is fun or enjoyable.

Chariot racer , Jerash , Jordan | Chariot racing, Roman chariot, Ancient  rome

10a         For all to see in message, father’s blunder (4,3)
FAUX PAS – The cinema classification of a film suitable for all is placed inside a method of sending messages electronically to get the first word; then take an informal word for ‘father’, plus the ‘S from the clue to get the second. The whole phrase is a French one.

11a         Vessel heading off later (4)
EWER – Start with a word for ‘later’ or ‘more recent’, then remove the first letter.

12a         Scientific tool that’s rewritten comic prose (10)
MICROSCOPE – Anagram (rewritten) of COMIC PROSE.

14a         Injure head in smacking roughly against article (6)
SCATHE – Put together the first letter (head) of Smacking, a Latin abbreviation for ‘roughly’ or ‘approximately’, and a definite article. This is a word which is more often seen as a past participle prefixed by ‘un-‘ to mean ‘uninjured’.

15a         Execute bishop, second person snared by queen, maybe (5,3)
CARRY OUT – Put together the abbreviated form of address for a bishop and the second person pronoun. Then wrap an animal where the female may be referred to as a queen around the result.

17a         Woolly garment‘s stain turned water hazy (8)
KNITWEAR – Reverse (turned) a liquid stain or writing medium, then add an anagram (hazy) of WATER.

sexy sweaters

18a         Male in the morning penning antelope in oversize container (6)
MAGNUM – Put together abbreviations for ‘male’ and ‘in the morning’, then wrap the result around a species of antelope made famous by Flanders and Swann.

21a         Clerics a Yankee has converted on coral island (10)
AYATOLLAHS – Put together A (from the clue), the letter represented by Yankee in the NATO alphabet, a coral island, and an anagram (converted( of HAS, to get some Shia Muslim clerics.

Why Ayatollah Hakim Didn't Agree with Imam Khomeini on “Uprising against a  Despotic Ruler” - Ijtihad Network

22a         Following cross, where ball would be for goal? (4)
NEXT – To score a goal in Soccer, the ball has to be ‘in the —‘. Replace the ball with the cross-shaped letter to get the answer.

24a         Drugs work, I answer group in review (7)
OPIATES – Put together an abbreviation for a (musical) word, I (from the clue), an abbreviation for Answer, and the reverse (in review) of a word for a group of people or objects.

25a         Fine ale around that is gift (7)
FREEBIE – Put together an abbreviation for Fine, the reverse (around) of another word for ale, and the Latin abbreviation for ‘that is’.

26a         Hostility if elder nuns sin all over the place (14)
UNFRIENDLINESS – Anagram (all over the place) of IF ELDER NUNS SIN.


1d           Maybe footballers close to promotion skipped in underwear (7)
KICKERS – Remove the last letter (close) of promotioN from some underwear, to get a generic description of footballers (unless you’re talking about the American version, where these are specialists).

2d           Virtual assistant: 60 secs engaged in speech test (4,11)
ORAL EXAMINATION – Put together one of those irritating electronic assistance devices and the (abbreviated) period of time represented by 60 secs, then wrap a public speech around the result.

3d           Overturning alcoholic drink is mistake (4)
SLIP – Reverse (overturning) a European beer.

4d           Bonehead in IT withholds screens (6)
NITWIT – Hidden in the clue.

5d           Vile reason an earl regularly stripped (8)
INFERNAL – Another verb for ‘reason’, followed by alternate letters (regularly stripped) of aN eArL.

6d           Horse-rider requests trial, one totally unlimited (10)
EQUESTRIAN – Remove the outside letters (totally unlimited) from the third, fourth and fifth words of the clue, then put together what is left.

7d           No-one can rule pub out, it’s impossible to say (15)

8d           Yield when discharged (6)
ASSENT – Another word for ‘when’ followed by another word for ‘discharged’.

13d         Exhibitionist who’s tailored hat (10)
SHOWBOATER – Anagram (tailored) of WHO’S, followed by a straw hat.

16d         City‘s chapter gathering both sides in part of church (8)
CARLISLE – Start with an abbreviation for Chapter, then add part of a church to the side of the nave, with abbreviations for Right and Left inserted. The city is in the North of England.

17d         Kelvin casual, playing horn (6)
KLAXON – Put together the abbreviation for the Kelvin temperature scale, another word for ‘casual’, and another word for ‘playing’’ (as in ‘the radio is playing’).

Klaxon stock photo. Image of alarm, sound, buzzer, push - 7468052


19d         Relatives married, not me (7)
MOTHERS – An abbreviation for Married, followed by a pronoun for a set of people not including me.

20d         Irritated chap cut short FBI agent (6)
CHAFED – CHA(p) from the clue with its final letter removed (cut short), followed by an American slang word for an FBI agent.

23d         Rogue content in spiked headwear (4)
KEPI – Anagram (rogue) of the interior letters (content) of (s)PIKE(d), giving us some French military headwear.

French Foreign Legion Khaki Kepi - Epic Militaria

The Quick Crossword pun DINER + MIGHT = DYNAMITE

63 comments on “DT 29675

  1. I felt that this one would not have been out of place in a mid-week Toughie spot. It took me a full ****/***** time to complete, and I nearly had to resort to electrons to solve a couple of the anagrams. But I crossed the finish line unaided in the end, albeit sinking to my knees and gasping for breath.

    I thought many of the synonyms were a little stretched, but no doubt in the BRB.

    Thanks to the setter for the workout, I’ll just go and lie down now, and to DT for the hints.

  2. 2.5*/5*. An absolute cracker of a puzzle from Mr 4X today with all four long answers coming into contention for the accolade of favourite thanks to excellent wordplay combined with great surfaces.

    Many thanks to proXimal and to DT.

  3. Having a hunch very early on who the setter was definitely helped in the solve towards the end in the SE corner, but still quite tricky.
    The “Queen” in 15a came up in the Donnybrook Toughie on Tuesday, otherwise I’d have struggled to parse it, just shows the more you do, the better you get!
    23d was my last one in, very clever.
    Lots of podium contenders but I’ve chosen to highlight 10&22a plus 1&19d.
    Many thanks to ProXimal and DT for the top notch entertainment

  4. This was quite challenging, though not as difficult as I first thought (3*/3*). It was the complete antithesis of yesterday’s puzzle,, with convoluted clues providing quite a few lego pieces to construct the answer. Thanks to DT for the hints, which helped me find the missing first letter in 3a and where the U came from in 10a, together with the parsing of 2d, which utterly eluded me . There was lots of guesswork and reverse engineering but I did finish, unaided. 1a was very clever and the long anagrams at 26a and 7d were great but COTD for me was the wily 24a. Thanks to Proximal for a good challenge.

      1. I’ve seen it before but it’s one of those that I frequently ‘forget’. It’s so frustrating and I know other members of this group have their own hang-ups that come up regularly but just slip their minds.

  5. Agree with Malcolm that this was certainly Toughie territory and the most difficult back pager for a long time.
    Once I realised this I gradually solved the puzzle , the key being 1a which was a clever clue.
    10a could only be one answer but I failed to parse the first word-thanks DT- probably became my favourite. Special mention for 21a,a top notch charade
    Going for a ****/****,thanks setter for an old fashioned Friday Crossword when the grade of difficulty increased daily throughout the week.

  6. After the first half hour had only managed three and a bit clues. Then I got the first word of 1a and then then whole of it so got my toe in. Although I did finish it, had to wait for DT to see how I got there. I also wasn’t sure where the U came from in 10a. Had never heard of a Kelvin before but David knew. Last one in the little 22a – its always the tiddlers that phlumox me (is that spelt right?) Thanks to the setter and DT

  7. Excellent puzzle, best ‘back page’ combination this week of challenge, enjoyment, and satisfaction. Initially thought on reading the first couple of clues “oh good grief”, then the four long clues fell into place and with my mind increasingly near to the setter’s wavelength, it all started to come together.

    Cracking puzzle, and a number of clues challenge for the podium – 1a, 21a, 26a (laugh out loud moment), 1d (ditto), 6d, 17d and 23d. But if any clue gets my “COTD” nomination, it’s 22a – not tough, just a perfect surface and superb construction.

    4* / 4.5*

    Many thanks to Proximal, and to DT for the review.

  8. Probably spent longer figuring out how 22a worked than on the rest of the puzzle put together!
    Clever wordplay for 21a but my favourite was 1a – the prison snout made me laugh.

    Thanks to proXimal and to DT for the review.

    1. Having been watching some classic Porridge epsiodes on iPlayer in recent weeks, at first glance I was looking for a type of tobacco … fortunately a “Doh!” moment coincided with the chinking of the penny dropping.

  9. Agree with RD’s assessment. Very enjoyable indeed & a photo finish with Jay’s Wednesday production for best of the week. I too twigged it was ProXimal so knowing there was going to be an X in each quarter helped the solve. The anagrams also helped & it was a surprisingly trouble free stroll to the finish line with only 23d, my last in, needing to be reluctantly plucked from the memory bank. I initially thought 6d a lurker but eventually cottoned on to the wordplay. Favourite was a toss up between 15&21a & with the former I think that’s the 3rd time queen has cropped up fairly recently.
    Thanks to ProXimal & to DT.
    PS just got my second jab. The very pleasant jabber started to give me the spiel about small risk of clots etc & I told him I only required a guarantee it would improve my performance on the golf course this afternoon…..

  10. Where to start? Hard work and not particularly enjoyable for me because, having come up with the answers to many of them, I badly needed the hints to explain them. 2d, 10a and 16d as examples. I’d long forgotten about faxes. Are they still used? Missed the right and left as the sides in the city in 16d completely and 2d is still tenuous to me. ****/** Without the long anagrams, I would have struggled even more. The best clue was the simple but well constructed 22a. Thanks to all.

  11. This was a real head scratcher or, perhaps. I just made heavy weather of it. I will go for some of each – ****/****.

    Candidates for favourite – 25a, 5d, and 19d – and the winner is 25a.

    Thanks to Mr 4X and to DT.

  12. Phew that I found that a tT)oughie but satisfyingly enjoyable. Well into **** territory for time but ***** enjoyment. I just couldn’t see 1a even though the snout homophone jumped out. I find seeing multi word answers more difficult when solving on the ipad version , having not found a way of denoting the word lengths.
    Didn’t think much of 1d in my day it was a disparaging reference to a certain type of defender, no names no pack drill.
    22a my COTD, simple yet elegant.
    Thanks to setter and DT for the review that I needed for 10a (keep forgetting the reference to film categories for “u”).

    1. I always over inked the lines between the words of multi word answers when I solved on paper. It seemed to help and threw me if I got it wrong. I don’t even think about it with the iPad. All I use now is one finger. Funny how we adapt to the circumstances around us.

      1. Since using iPad for a couple of months now, I’ve also got used to sorting out multi word answers without the benefit of inking in the spaces. I don’t find that a problem now so it’s just practice.

        1. Greta
          I’ve been solving on an ipad now for four years or so. I just find, particularly with answers with more than two words like today I just can’t see the separate words.
          (Very) Old Dog / new tricks and all that.

          1. And when the clues is spread over multiple number it does it for you – very helpful.

  13. Found this very difficult and thought I would not even manage half but persisted and managed all but four which I needed DT to unravel completely. I also needed DT to help with the parsing which had me flummoxed on some clues even though I knew they were right.

    I agree with Greta that 22a is a standout clue but many more could have honourable mentions.

    Grateful thanks to DT and the Proximal for a puzzle that was rewarding and well worth the persistence in nearly getting to the end.

  14. Perfect for a Friday methinks. Almost midweek Toughie standard. It took a little longer than usual but it all teased itself out in the end. I’ve just suffered a bout of maximum joy securing tickets to see Coventry play Saracens live and in the flesh at Butts Park Arena a week tomorrow. Now all I need is a return to gigging. Play nicely over the weekend children and I will see you all on Monday.

  15. Quite a nice puzzle today without too many problems EXCEPT for 10a which I though a perfectly dreadful clue. It’s tricky enough when setters get this tricksy without it being in foreign, awful. Really lets the puzzle down. Shame.
    Thx to all

    1. That particular ‘foreign’ expression has been part of the English language for a couple of centuries now so shouldn’t really be that much of a problem.

      1. Absolutely agree with you about 10a. Having got the last letter and the two letter word for father it was a no brainer. Added the first word and forgot I’d not parsed it until I read the hints. I had forgotten all about that particular message!

  16. I started off thinking this was definitely proXimal as it was very difficult to get going. Once I’d ‘started with the Downs’, I finished in a perfect Friday back page time. I did like 22a

    Thanks to Mr X and DT

  17. An absolute belter of a puzzle, probably one of the best of the last month or so. The quality of the clueing was of the highest order throughout, and it is virtually impossible to pick a favourite, but 1a produced the biggest laugh so I will nominate that.

    Thanks to proXimal for a first-rate challenge and to DT.

  18. That was tough but I managed it unaided after a great deal of head scratching and brow furrowing. Well, I say unaided but I put “feet” for 22a. I thought it is where a ball should be after a cross in order to shoot at the goal. Ah well! I didn’t see the lurker for ages until I remembered the tried and tested “If all else fails ….”. Loads of great clues but my favourite and COTD is 18a.

    Grateful thanks to ProXimal. There is a village near us called Four Crosses. It will have to be known as Proximal from now on! Also, many thanks to DT.

    1. With you in the ‘feet’ camp. F for following, then crossing ‘tee’ which is where the ball goes in golf, gives feet, which has something to do with scoring a goal. Pimps.

    2. Steve
      22a, the clue very much reminded me of the old “Spot the ball” competitions that appeared on newspapers’ sports pages. I used to do them every week using “science” to draw lines from the player’s eyes & where the most intersections were that’s where my crosses were concentrated.
      Players must have been looking anywhere but at the ball as I never won a bean!

      1. Rather like the Prize for the Saturday back pager, LROK. Only won by a very few.

  19. Mustafa’s “oh, good grief” rather characterises my initial feeling about today’s proXimal ‘coup de grid’! I really struggled throughout for the longest time, then shut down the gizmo, had some biscotti and coffee (just bought from our new deli just around the corner, as it were), read a few pages of the 8th Simon Serrailler novel, collected my wits, and returned most hopefully to Mr 4X. Result? More good grief! Coda to this threnody? I did finish but not without some merciful, electronic guidance in the SW corner. However: this is a masterpiece of craft and craftiness. My list of winners would take me into tomorrow, so I’ll just thank DT (who helped me parse a few) and proXimal (who is fast becoming one of my heroes). ***** / *****

  20. What a challenge but very satisfying. Could kick myself for foolishly inserting swathe instead of scathe in 14a. I had swat in my head. It was the SW which was last in for me. 17a and d were the last two to succumb to my pen. Favourites 1 10 17 and 18a and 2 6 and 16D. Thanks ProXimal and Deep Threat.

  21. Phew that was hard work. First read through generated not one single answer but persistence eventually produced the goods with NW holding out longest. 10a, 17a and 22a were not fully parsed. Tried to use wrong hat in 13d and bunged in wrong word for 20d. Fav was 1a. Altogether it was worth the struggle. Thank you proXimal and DT.

  22. Just the two four letter answers which held me up. Had feet for 22a (see above in reply to Steve Cowling) and although kepi came to mind for 23d, I couldn’t for the life of me see why. I scoured the internet for all the different types of spiked headgear … Thanks to Proximal for the challenge, and to DT for the hints.

  23. I’m in the “I needed the hint to parse the dratted U” camp this afternoon. Apart from that I thought this pretty straightforward, probably due to early (for me) solving and an absence of alcohol. Most enjoyable especially as it was a ProXimal. Favourite was 13d. Many thanks to ProXimal and DT.

  24. Not as enjoyable as yesterday’s, but quite challenging all the same. I don’t time myself, but I could tell from the amount of scribbling on the paper that it was nearly a 3*. I say nearly because I got them unaided, except for that French hat, which I’ve seen, but had no idea of the name.
    I keep forgetting about the XXXX being in each quadrant … that might have helped.
    16d took me a while because I was trying to use E and W instead of R and L …….
    I liked a lot of them, but my favourite was 25a.
    Thanks to DT and ProXimal.

  25. Done…but quite a struggle needing 2 sessions of head-scratching!
    Just been through the hints and comments above to help parse some answers…a few there I definitely hadn’t quite understood e.g. 6D was a fairly obvious answer, but had not realised you needed to ‘strip’ 3 words to achieve all the letters 🤪
    The long 2D clue was another challenge…but I didn’t need to ask my online assistant!
    Anyway, all very challenging but enjoyable including the 14 & 15 letter anagrams…bravo sir👍
    Thanks to DT for the excellent blog ‘n hints and to ProXimal for the scratched head!

  26. Oh dear, a ProXimal crossword, enough said. This was harder than a lot of Toughies, and not going to use up anymore of my day on this one. Clearly aimed purely at the smarter folks. A shame, as there is a Toughie today as well. Despite quickly solving the anagrams at 12a and 7d, it is definitely time to throw in the towel. Thanks Deep Threat.

    1. BL, I felt like you to begin with but suddenly it all began to come together and hey presto – courage mon/ma brave!

  27. Excellent crossword to finish the non working week.
    And it’s a long weekend here which started yesterday and 12 million of my compatriots have decided to take time off but there is absolutely nothing to do as shops and bars and restaurants are still closed.
    The weather’s not up to much either so still need a bit of 17a.
    22a was my last in also.
    Favourite 21a.
    Thanks to Proximal and to DT.

  28. Very enjoyable and well-compiled crossword. Valuable and helpful hints. Thank you to the compiler and Big Dave!

  29. Started off badly and I thought to myself they’d put another Toughie on the back page. However it gradually came together and once my husband had solved the middle word of 1a we managed to finish it unaided, albeit with a few that I couldn’t quite parse until I read the hints. A very satisfying puzzle I have to say. Thanks to ProXimal and DT. **/****

  30. A clever crossword but I came undone and needed DTs help in the NW ie ones both down and across 😟 ****/*** Favourites 18 & 21a and 19d 😃 Thanks to Deep Threat and to ProXimal who always defeats me 😬

  31. Oh how I struggled! I couldn’t get 1 across / down and I put fascinator in for 13 down before seeing the error of my ways! Got there in the end by looking at a couple of hints. Rather than going to lie down in a darkened room I think it might be time to have some liquid sustenance to replace some lost brain cells. Many thanks to DT and Proximal. Have a great weekend everyone despite the dire weather forecast.

  32. Excellent crossword, challenging but doable. Thought the 2 long anagrams were outstanding, but my COTD was 22a for being so clever.
    Needed help from the hints to fully understand 10a, 15a and 2d, so many thanks to DT.
    Thanks to Proximal.

  33. Tricksy puzzle and heavy going, but satisfying when the penny drops. Struggled with LOI 22a: I got the net idea but just biffed ‘Nett’. Favorite is 10a. ***/***

    1. I toyed with “nett” as well, Hereward. Then I spent ages trying to find a link to income. 😏

  34. OK – I give in – completely defeated and it was a good thing that my life didn’t depend on doing this one.
    I admire anyone who finished this – it really was far too tough for me.
    Thanks to proXimal and to DT.

  35. Did this is two parts due to morning commitment. ****/*** today. Spelt 26a wrong with a ‘y’ near the end instead of an ‘i’ … made no difference as I didn’t know the word anyway. Didn’t know 21a either. Overall a good puzzle but took to long to do for my liking.
    Clues of note … 1a, 10a, 22a (last in) & 16d with 1a winner

    Thanks to proXimal and DT

  36. Finally got there. Stared blankly at it last night, finished this morning apart from 23d, which I have never heard of and had obscure wordplay.
    Thanks both.

  37. On the first pass I managed just one clue. Returned to the puzzle after a night’s sleep and then had about half completed. After that it was with many thanks to DT that I finally finished. Thanks also to Proximal for a very challenging puzzle. My fav has to be the clever 15a, which was my first one in.

  38. 4*/2*…
    liked 22A “Following cross, where ball would be for goal? (4)”

Comments are closed.