DT 29684 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29684

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29684

Hints and tips by Mr K

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BD Rating  -  Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

Hello, everyone.  Today has brought us a solid Tuesday puzzle containing some very good clues, along with one or two that did not do a lot for me. I will be interested to read what others thought of it. 

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    Pregnant, at first Rachel opts rebelliously to leave hospital -- it should handle delivery (6,4)
PARCEL POST:  The first letter (at first) of PREGNANT with an anagram (rebelliously) of RACHEL OPTS minus the single letter for hospital (to leave hospital) 

6a    Hobo evades clothing that's blown in the wind (4)
OBOE:  The first two words of the clue are hiding (clothing) the answer 

Dress blown by wind

9a    French bill -- almost everything's extra (10)
ADDITIONAL:  The French word for the bill (or the check) in a restaurant with a synonym of everything minus its last letter (almost

10a   Understand about catching large fish (4)
EELS:  Understand or get is reversed (about) and containing (catching) the clothing abbreviation for large. There's more than one fish in this answer   

12a   Mean to ignore learner's unhappiness (6)
MISERY:  Mean or stingy minus the letter indicating a learner driver (to ignore learner) 

13a   Enjoyable time to skilfully handle Doris? (5,3)
FIELD DAY:  To skilfully handle questions, perhaps, with what Doris the actress defines by example (?

Rock Hudson handling Doris Day

15a   Gust in this bay not unknown, swimming in these? (7,5)
BATHING SUITS:  An anagram (swimming) of GUST IN THIS BAY minus the letter used for a mathematical unknown (not unknown). The answer here refers back to some of the clue 

18a   Drunk praising wine that's amazing (3-9)
AWE-INSPIRING:  An anagram (drunk) of PRAISING WINE 

21a   American sub oddly capsized in the drink (8)
ABSINTHE:  Concatenate the single letter for American, the reversal (capsized) of the odd letters of SUB, and IN THE from the clue 

The USS San Francisco did not capsize, but it did run into an undersea mountain

22a   Difficult year following criticism (6)
STICKY:  The single letter for year following an informal word for criticism 

24a   School prestige returned (4)
ETON:  The reversal (returned) of a synonym of prestige

25a   Miserable girl in police vehicle (5,5)
BLACK MARIA:  A colour associated with being miserable is followed by a girl’s name 

26a   Spades the bloke had here? (4)
SHED:  The wordplay is the playing card abbreviation for spades followed by a contraction meaning “the bloke had”. The definition can be the whole clue 

27a   Friendly expert going round church with unusual bliss (10)
ACCESSIBLE:  An expert or whizz containing (going round) both the abbreviation for the Church of England and an anagram (unusual) of BLISS 



1d    Sacred songs initially providing some relief to the poor (6)
PSALMS:  The initial letters of PROVIDING and SOME are followed by relief given out of charity for the poor 

2d    Vegetable I'd pulled up with spots on the outside (6)
RADISH:  The reversal (pulled up, in a down clue) of I'D inserted in a group of spots on the skin (with spots on the outside

3d    Amusing to take part in exercising, but no runs (12)
ENTERTAINING:  To take part in a race, perhaps, is followed by exercising in preparation for a race, perhaps, minus the cricket scoreboard abbreviation for runs (but no runs) 

4d    Support for Portugal (4)
PROP:  A short word meaning "for" or "in favour of" followed by the IVR code for Portugal 

5d    Still where one might find a train -- a railway! (10)
STATIONARY:  Link together a place where one might find a train, A from the clue, and an abbreviation for railway

Railway tracks in New Zealand after an earthquake

7d    Suitable place for one's bloomers, pants, bra -- in bed (5,3)
BREAD BIN:  An anagram (pants, as in rubbish) of BRA IN BED 

Bra & pants on a bed

8d    Writer perhaps is wearing garment but no top (8)
ESSAYIST:  "Perhaps" or "for example" and IS from the clue are inserted together in a sleeveless garment minus its first letter (but no top, in a down clue) 

11d   Charlie, falling behind, finally cries when shops close (7,5)
CLOSING TIMES:  Put together the letter in the NATO phonetic alphabet represented by charlie, a (6,4) phrase meaning falling behind (schedule, perhaps), and the last letter (finally) of CRIES. By including a chunk of the answer in an obvious definition the setter initially misled me into thinking that the answer had to be something less obvious 

14d   Foolish chap, broke, abandoning female who can't stop buying things (10)
SHOPAHOLIC:  An anagram (broke) of FOOLISH CHAP minus the abbreviation for female (abandoning female) 

16d   Fellow irritates nameless supervisors (8)
MANAGERS:  A fellow or chap with a synonym of irritates minus the abbreviation for name (nameless

17d   Coast reports look certain (8)
SEASHORE:  Homophones (reports) of look or notice and certain or without doubt 

A coastal image

19d   Mark on a black beetle (6)
SCARAB:  A mark on the skin is followed by A from the clue and the pencil abbreviation for black 

20d   Rotate some planetary gears the other way (6)
GYRATE:  The answer is hidden as some of the reversal ( … the other way) of the remainder of the clue 

23d   Brilliant squeezing new spots (4)
ACNE:  Brilliant or great, informally, containing (squeezing) the abbreviation for new 


Thanks to today’s setter. My most favourite clue was 7d and my least favourite clue was 11d. What did you think?

The Quick Crossword pun:  WAR + TUB + HEADS = WATERBEDS

94 comments on “DT 29684

  1. I felt that this was more a Monday offering than a Tuesday. I progressed quite steadily through, with just a handful not being answered at the first attempt.

    There was just a hiccup with 11d. The obvious answer seemed to be partly enCLOSEd in the clue; but as I seem to have all the checkers filled in correctly, it must be what it must be. Other than that, I was all done in ** time.

    Thanks to the setter and Mr K.

  2. I’m afraid this might prompt a few “too easy” comments as I found it very straightforward (and dare I say a little lacklustre) with only a couple in the NE giving any pause for thought.
    Favourite by a country mile for me, the excellent 7d.
    Many thanks to the setter and to Mr K for his well illustrated review.

      1. Ditto.

        The Toughie is, IMHO, the same and a rare r&w.

        On the bright side, it looks like the rain may be stopping.

      2. I agree with the last two that this is a bit lacklustre. However it is my third day in a row to have completed unaided. Started at a fair gallop but then slowed down. Wasted some time wondering whether I had the right answer for 11d, but when I made a slight correction to 22a 11d had to be what it had to be. Thanks to setter and to Mr. K’s hints. I shall now enjoy reading them together with the rest of the comments.
        So glad to see that Kath is now home, and wish both her and George a speedy recovery They are in the best place and having the best of care.

  3. Rather lacklustre but with just enough challenge to be absorbing. Agree with MrK that 11d somehow seemed almost too obvious so looked for an alternative. Couple of simple Favs 6a and 7d. Thank you Messrs Ron and K.

  4. I enjoyed this puzzle very much – right at my level. Some very witty clue construction, with no Ottoman rulers in sight.

    Last night, having seen the promising weather forecast, I suggested we might (for the first time in fifteen months) go out to lunch. I’m trying to raise H’s morale as her father’s death has hit her hard. However, this morning we were greeted by threatening skies and a chilly breeze. I think I will suggest we still go out nevertheless.

    Today’s crossword soundtrack: Todd Rundgren – With A Twist.

    Thanks to the excellent setter and The Celebrated Mr K.

    1. I hope you went out. Going out always makes me feel better even when in the dumps

  5. Most of the clues in this puzzle were straightforward apart from a few tricky ones in the NE and SW (2*/4*) but it was quite enjoyable. My COTD, short and sweet was thezlurker at 6d and I liked the lego type clues , 8d and 21a. 13a puzzled me for a bit but was quite amusing, when the penny dropped. Thanks to Mr K for the hints and to the compiler.

  6. I was briefly hesitant about 11d (surely, an oversight) but it had to be what it was. On the whole, a pleasant Tuesday offering, with 13a, 25a, and 7d (flowers perhaps?) getting the top nods. Thanks to Mr K for the very apposite kitty-shots, and to today’s setter. ** / ***

      1. Very late replying, sorry. Thanks, WW, I did not know that! I assumed that, perhaps, instead of a window sill–or in lieu of any vases–someone could use a 7d for blooming flowers! On another matter, I’m really tired of ‘pants’ as an anagram signal.

  7. I couldn’t believe 11d – that surely emphasises the need for a test solver.
    Apart from that I thought it was an enjoyable puzzle with 13a and 7d being the best clues for me.
    Thanks to the setter and Mr K.

    1. Test solver – isn’t that the job of the Crossword Editor, Mr Lancaster, Sir?

        1. I think our editor probably solved this one too quickly to notice the little problems.

    2. I’m with you 100% Gazza. I don’t understand how 11d missed the Editor’s scrutiny unless, of course,……..

  8. 5d’s railway was my favourite clue (and now I see, also my favourite illustration!). Thank you to the setter and Mr K.

    This was possibly my fastest ever start with the first 6 clues I looked at going straight in (1a, and then the downs it crosses with). Then I slowed down, and needed some assistance to finish.

    I hadn’t heard of 25a’s police vehicle, and the 11d homophone doesn’t work for me: “sure” and “shore” have quite different vowels. (Though I think it would work for my spouse, for whom “won”/“one” and “moor”/“more” are homophones — the latter wouldn’t be so bad if we didn’t live in a town whose Moor is one of its main features!)

    11d ended up being my last in, after some help with its crossing answers, because I’d presumed it couldn’t be that.

    1. Ooops. That should be the 17d homophone doesn’t work for me. Sorry.

      Whatever problem anybody has with 11d, I’m pretty sure treating it as a homophone isn’t going to help matters.

  9. I agree with Gaza. Favourites were 7d and 13a. Least favourite was 11d. Thank you setter and Mr Kitty.

  10. 1.5*/2.5*. I found this straightforward and reasonably enjoyable.

    As others have mentioned 11d is bizarre, and the unnecessary split infinitive in 13a jarred with me. The adverb could have been omitted as to field a question simply means to handle it regardless of whether done well or badly.

    On the plus side, 7d was my favourite, closely followed by 9a. I also thought that 15a & 18a were very good anagrams.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Mr K.

    1. People no longer get rattled with split infinitives but it jars on me, especially in newspapers.

      1. I do. I also don’t like it when people say, “who was it?” instead “whom was it? Getting “its” and “it’s” the wrong way round as well as “there” and “their”. In this neck of the woods they also say “somethink” for “something”.

        1. ‘Who was it?’ is grammatically correct; ‘whom’ can be used only in the accusative case, as direct object, as in ‘For whom was it?’

          1. I stand correct, Robert. Thank you. :good:

            I meant to say it “It was for whom”?

  11. I had the same concerns as others where 11d was concerned, particularly given that it took me a while to arrive at the first word of 13a which was needed to confirm the checking letter.
    Top three here were 9a along with 7&8d.

    Thanks to our setter and to Mr K – loved the determined occupant of the 7d!

    1. The first word of 13a never did arrive for me Jane, so well done for getting there

          1. Nor me..so frustrating as I got the rest. Could only think of silly for the first word which was obviously wrong but ganve me a mental block i think. Oh, and agree about 11d though i put it in.

  12. Short and sweet. 11d gave me the same pause as others. */*** 7d favourite. I actually finished the toughie almost as quickly this morning so that must have been easy too. Thanks to all.

  13. All good fun, although being a newbie this still took **** **** *** with about ** cups of coffee along the way.

    I confess 7D gave me endless trouble as I got led down the garden path to the wrong type of bloomer! But then suddenly the penny dropped.

    Favourite clue was 25D, as I remember Dirk Gently being bundled into one in one of Douglas Adam’s novels.

  14. I expected to see the Deadwood Stage a-rollin’ on over the plains iro 13a which I though was an excellent clue.
    Like others 11d held me up as I could not believe the answer was what it was.
    It was not hard, but that’s what Monday and Tuesday are, the Telegraph has to cater for all levels of solver.
    7d was excellent.
    Thanks both.

      1. Repeatedly whinging and whining on this blog won’t change anything Bertie. I suggest you try the puzzles editor Chris Lancaster care of The Daily Telagraph

        1. I agree MP. I’m sorry to say it is downright rude and I did suggest yesterday he may prefer to tackle something commensurate with his intellect. I am now beginning to like Brian as he is amusing and keeps us guessing.

  15. Relatively straightforward except for the northeast corner which I found difficult and needed the excellent hints of Mr K. My favourite is 13a, solved with my own tiny brain, because one summer the local cinema had Move Over Darling for the season and the song was always playing as I passed. Being of a formative age the song seemed quite sensual and I still think it’s better than many that came later in suggesting desire. The other Doris Day trivia I like is the Oscar Levant comment that “I knew Doris Day before she was a virgin.” On a more serious note her continuing friendship with Rock Hudson resulted in a moving interview with him when he was dying of AIDS. His haggard features shocked the nation who may have heard rumours of him being gay but it was still a shock and helped the sufferers to gain more acceptance and less vilification.

    Enough of Doris Day. Thanks to Mr K and our setter today. Great pictures again Mr K.

  16. A continuation of the recent trend of Tuesday puzzles, I wonder if we have a ‘regular’ setter. 1.5*/3.5*.

    With reference to 13a and perhaps sadly, ever since Captain Kirk told us that his mission was ‘to boldly go’ rather than ‘to go boldly’ most of us seem to have become inured to split infinitives and accept them as part of the continuing evolution of the English language.

    Definitely a big Hmm, raised eyebrows, and a furrowed brow for 11d.

    Candidates for favourite – the aforesaid 13a, 26a, and 17d – and the winner is 13a.

    Thanks to the setter and Mr K.

    1. I’m sorry Senf, but your comments are offensive. It has been declared by Cambridge University (DT today, p9) that raised eyebrows are a micro-aggression. You should modify your behaviour.

      By next week a furrowed brow will probably earn capital punishment.

      1. Charles Moore’s comments on p15 in today’s Telegraph sum up my feelings about the appalling direction in which the current woke vice-chancellor is trying to take Cambridge University. Thankfully there are rumblings of discontent, and it is to be hoped that a rebellion in the ranks of the academic staff and importantly the sponsors will put a stop to this nonsense.

    2. I have reluctantly decided to try to turn a blind eye to a split infinitive in a crossword clue provided it is essential to the wordplay. However, in 13a today the adverb is totally unnecessary as part of the wordplay and I feel compelled to report anonymously on the Cambridge University “Report Support” tool anyone who has chosen this clue as their favourite. :wink:

      1. I feel sorry for any unfortunate undergraduates who suffer from Tourettes Syndrome. People who have the condition really cannot help the involuntary facial expressions or noises that they make. Somtimes ‘woke’ is a bit of a joke.

      2. Did you raise an eyebrow when turning a visually impaired eye? If so that doubles the penalty. The naughty step in no longer adequate and nothing less than rustication will suffice.

  17. Wasn’t sure I would like this one with all those very wordy clues but as I worked through it grew on me. As Mr K said ‘Solid’ without being particularly inspirational. No real favourites today.
    Thx to all
    PS I wasn’t sure whether I should comment on the dreaded SI in 13a but decided to boldly go with it.

  18. Not the most 18a of crosswords. Fairly straightforward, though I confess I just could not see the first word of 13a, so a DNF for me.
    Not too many favourites today, but 7d raised a smile for its misdirection.
    Thanks to all

  19. I have the first word to get for 13a to be able to say I finished unaided. I have the two checkers but my grey matter simply refuses to fill the blanks in. I want to finish unaided so I will resist the hints for a while longer. Plenty to like about today’s offering especially 7d because the misdirection took me to various items of underwear until another definition of bloomer hit me. I did wonder if police vehicles were still called 25a these days. Until I’ve cracked 13a, my COTD is four letter one, 10a.

    Grateful thanks to the setter for the enjoyment and to Mr. K. for the hints, which I will look at after 13a taps me on the shoulder. I’m hoping for a penny drop moment.

    I’m halfway through the Toughie, which is very doable but then I do love puzzles from Chalicea.

      1. The penny drop moment has arrived, GJR so I have finished the back pager unaided two days in a row. :smile:

        I will now look at Mr. K’s hints and read the comments.

  20. Only the first word of 13a held me up. When it clicked, i thought of the word with cricket connotations e.g. when somebody catches the ball with skill the specrator will state “Well *****ed”. Thanks to Mr K and the setter.

  21. Not an overly memorable puzzle, and other than being delayed for a moment in the NE this was a fairly swift accompaniment for the lunchtime soup. Surface readings were not the smoothest we’ve enjoyed, and on some of the clues, let alone answers, my eyebrows were going up and down like caterpillars on a wind-blown leaf.

    COTD for me was 7d, although it had few rivals.


    Many thanks to the setter and to Mr K.

  22. I was beaten today, partly through a lack of general knowledge and partly due to some dated references at 1a, 13a and 25a. But mainly due to me – this isn’t the first crossword I’ve failed today.

  23. Mr K, I loved your kitty pictures today! To the dentist for the fitting of the crown. I once went out with a dental student, met him at a Chelsea Arts Ball dressed as a fairy complete with wings and wand (me, that is, not him). I should have stuck with him it would have saved me a fortune over the years. Very short sighted of me . Mind you, I also went out with an optician from Ewell, but my mother did not like him as he was ten years older than I and, so she swore, was married. When she met George she said he was just a great big overgrown schoolboy and she was right about that, so maybe the optician was married. Never did date a doctor which is a pity. A rather idiosyncratic puzzle I thought, like the curate’s egg. i really liked 7d, needed Mr. K’s clue to unveil 10a although I put Day in early on. Anyway, it is all a bit of fun isn’t it, keeps us off the streets for an hour so many thanks to the setter and to Mr. K – murmurs that the toughie is easy give me hope for an enjoyable bath time tonight. There is nothing wrong in a good mix in the levels of hardth.

  24. All very elegantly clued eg 8d
    Getting 13a put me into solid ** time.
    All very enjoyable.
    Many thanks to the setter and to Mr. K.

  25. The first word of 13a was my last to go in. I rather enjoyed this puzzle. The first film I ever saw was Calamity Jane – I was quite small and was terrible impressed that cinema seats appeared to be carpeted! I loved the clip for 7d – reminded me so of our last cat who used to squeeze himself into all manner of odd places. Thanks to the setter and Mr K.

  26. Found this Tuesday puzzle on the tricky side and SE was last area completed with some hints. ***/*** for me today.
    Didn’t know the word in 21a nor the meaning of the answer in 25a either. 10a is a bit iffy in my mind, as is 11d given part of the answer is in that clue. Hmmmm!
    On the good side liked 1a, 15a, 5d (although seen recently), 7d & 20d with winner 1a followed by 20d

    Thanks to setter and Mr K for the help I needed to get this done.

  27. **/**. A rather uninspiring puzzle with no stand out favourites. Thanks to the setter and Mr K.

  28. A mixed bag of comments today 😳 I always work on the premise of if I can solve it then I like it😬 Favourites were 6a, 16 & 17d 👍 Thanks to Mr K and to the Compiler

  29. I didn’t find this at all lack luster, quite enjoyable in fact. Couldn’t think of the first word of 13a, and had 11d from the start, but so reluctant to pen in as close was in the clue. I’m not sure police vehicles could be called 27a in this PC age? Thanks to setter and Mr K. Need to get out now and finish my replanting before the suffocating heat arrives.

    1. I wondered why a vehicle should be called a Black Maria and discovered that they were so- called after a very large, tough black lady, who ran a lodging house for sailors in Boston Massachusetts. Fights were common and she was so greatly respected for quelling disorder and running the offenders to the local police station, that the wagons used in the mid 1800’s for moving offenders were named after her. Way to go Maria, a heroine for us all.

      1. They were also known as paddy wagons ( no idea why) when I was growing up. Doubtless that is verboten now too.

  30. I get more daft by the day. Thank you to Falcon for pointing out I had commented on the wrong day.

    Here’s the comment again, hopefully on the right day. Blush, embarrassed, sorry.

    Still going on this one but my brain is a bit woolly today.
    I like 7d, made me smile. I showed Alan and he sort of got it but asked what pants had to do with it. I explained it means ‘rubbish’ in English slang, at least I think it does, one of my sisters says it sometimes. Alan said ‘Since when did pants mean rubbish?’ Me ‘I think it’s at least 20 years….. we have been gone from the UK for a long time. Language changes.’ He was not impressed, apparently nobody asked him if things could change. Which is pretty funny, he has a slight Canadian accent over his English accent but he is actually a Scot and over the years we have sort of evolved our own slang too, things our kids said when little, daft things. I pointed that out and was met with ‘Hrrrmmmphhh’. :-)

    Hope everyone is well, Merusa?

  31. I won’t say anything about 11d, it’s all been said. I found so many answers were readily solved but hard to unravel, 13a for instance, and some so outdated, whoever says 15a any more? Pants again, what did I do to deserve that? There was lots to like, 1d is fave.
    Thanks to our setter, and to Mr. K for his hints and pics, best part of the crossword today.
    I’ve received a response to my email from the DT, and I think they are floating somewhere in the heavens, not connected to earth in any way.

  32. I thought this was quite enjoyable with a mix of clues. The only one that jarred was 11d. I did think there were quite a few which required removal of a letter from a word but I am getting used to them. SW was my last corner to crack and the drink the last one in. I had thought of it but made the mistake of thinking I needed to use a U. Favourites 7d, a real corker, and 6 9 and 13a. I would not usually include a lurker but the wordplay is so good. I loved the French bill and pleased to say I got the first word of Doris’s clue although it took a while for the d’oh moment to hit me. I hope we hear from the setter but perhaps not likely in view of the tone of some of the comments. I thank you M. or Mme. Setter and to Mr. K although I was not tempted to shed light on the answers provided.

  33. Enjoyed this puzzle – right at my level. Had a good laugh with 9a – a terrific surface! Did hesitate with 11d but bunged it in anyway. Thanks to setter and Mr K. **/****

  34. Rattled through. 7d made me smile and it’s all been said about 11d. Thanks all.

  35. Simple, straightforward and finished. Nuff said.

    Thanks to our setter and Mr K.

  36. Enjoyed this puzzle but could not figure out the first word of 13a without the electronic gizmo. I had always thought that to ‘field’ questions or whatever was just to handle them, not necessarily skilfully, but the BRB disagrees with me. Hm.

    Thanks to the setter and to Mr K. Great pictures as always.

    The sun is actually shining here this afternoon……still a bit cool for the time of year but sunshine at last!

  37. Is it me or is there a bit of grouchiest in today’s postings? Blame it on the weather!
    I dropped in to see how our invalids are doing and gather that no news is good news?
    Overcome with incredulity as I hear my garage owes me money on my last service. Would you believe it? No wonder they are not answering the phone!
    Now, having finished the Toughie this morning, I’m off to tackle today’s Cryptic

  38. Very disappointed in 11d….having read the above comments before solving it I thought something very rude had bypassed the editor!

  39. Obviously didn’t know the bill in 9a as I have no foreign language skills, nothing else fitted though. Didn’t notice the SI in 13a and didn’t have a problem with 11d. All good fun. As others favourite was 7d. Thanks to the setter and Mr. K.

  40. Never got the first word of 13a and besides I always thought it was a Filled Day. We have an expression in France : Une journée bien remplie which means you got a lot of things done.
    Thought there was a lot of take a letter out of that and make an anagram of the rest type of clues.
    Enjoyable nonetheless.
    Thanks to the setter and to MR K for the review.

    1. It took me ages to get the first word in 13a, Jean-luc and it’s a familiar phrase in the UK. I’m not sure a day of getting a lot of things done would be classed as an “enjoyable time”. 😀

  41. Oh dear I’ve managed to solve the crossword at first reading- what am I going to do in the early hours when I usually get it with help second time round? Many thanks to Mr K and setter- I’ll save reading your review and all the comments for later.

  42. What an interesting blog today!

    As a way of us all calming down, can I offer this?

    I love the Cow Parsley that adorns our hedgerows at the moment. It heralds summer and give promise of warmth to come.

    My daughter hates the name Cow Parsley and has tried since she was about eight years old to get me to call it Queen Anne’s Lace.

    Sorry, Faye. It is Cow Parsley.

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