DT 29689 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29689

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29689

Hints and tips by pommers

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Hola from the Vega Baja on a slightly chilly morning.  It’s sure to warm up later as spring has definitely sprung here.

Not much to say about the crossword which hasn’t already been said on a Monday.  It’s the usual fare, not too difficult but enjoyable.  Today’s offering seems a bit light on anagrams so I know some of you will be disappointed but there’s a lot of good stuff to enjoy.

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.


1a           Go round a church finding source of strength? (7)
SPINACH:  A word meaning to go round or revolve followed by the A from the clue and an abbreviation of church will give you the source of Popeye’s strength.  Personally I can’t stand the stuff.

5a           One who wrote a lot of nonsense about the tanned skin (7)
LEATHER:  An author famous for his nonsense literature, including “The Owl and the Pussycat” is placed around (about) the THE from the clue.

9a           Lost for words as we crashed wagon (3-6)
AWE STRUCK:  Anagram (crashed) of AS WE followed by another word for a wagon or lorry.

10a         New guy on manoeuvres (5)
YOUNG:  Anagram (manoevres) of GUY ON.

11a         Bury artist the old man ignored (5)
INTER:  An artist has a short word for your father removed (ignored) from the front.

12a         Drifter managed — is back under canvas? (9)
TRANSIENT:  A word meaning managed and a reversal (back) of the IS from the clue are placed in TENT (under canvas?).

13a         Girl, Sheila, wrong about wager (9)
ELISABETH:  Anagram (wrong) of SHEILA placed around (about) another word for a wager.

16a         What’s tea passed round in? (5)
CHINA:  A word for tea placed around (passed round) the IN from the clue will give you something you may well drink your tea out of.  I think this is the best all-in-one that I’ve seen for quite some time.

17a         Mostly ineffective, church magazine in the past (5)
PUNCH:  A word meaning ineffective or weak without its last letter (mostly) and an abbreviation of church will give a magazine which is no longer published.

18a         Recovering as a result of continuously swallowing them (2,3,4)
ON THE MEND:  A phrase (2,3) meaning continuously has the THEM from the clue inserted (swallowing) and it’s all split (2,3,4).

20a         Becoming popular again, vital following short break (9)
RESURGENT:  A word for a break or breather without is last letter (short) followed by a word meaning vital or critical.

23a         Jack and king Welshman rejected (5)
KNAVE:  Another word for a jack in a pack of playing cards is the letter for king in chess notation followed by a reversal (rejected) of a Welsh man’s name.

25a         Anxious, on edge over Vaslav Nijinsky’s last letters (5)
NERVY:  The last letters from the words “on edge over Vaslav Nijinsky”.

26a         Spotted after a bishop avoided voting (9)
ABSTAINED:  A (from the clue) and B(ishop) are followed by (after) a word meaning spotted or marked.

27a         Parking, about to deliver lead (7)
PRECEDE:  This isn’t the lead on the church roof but lead as in go first.  It’s a P(arking) followed by two letters for about and then a word meaning deliver or yield.

28a         US writer, bod losing face employing me! (7)
EMERSON:  Take a word for a bod or somebody and remove the first letter (losing face) and then insert (employing) the ME from the clue.  Here’s a bit of Keith of the same name . . .


1d           Disease spreading in popular resort area? (7)
SEASIDE:  Anagram (spreading) of DISEASE.

2d           Awkward finding swan caught up in it (5)
INEPT: Take a female swan, reverse it and insert into (caught up in a down clue) the IT from the clue.

3d           Outcome of a fine spell at hotel (9)
AFTERMATH:  A (from the clue) followed by F(ine) and then a spell of time, at school perhaps, is followed by the AT from the clue and an H(otel).

4d           Search round area, place frequently visited (5)
HAUNT:  A word meaning search is placed around A(rea).

5d           Instantly enjoy, when spicy (4,1,4)
LIKE A SHOT:  Take a word meaning to enjoy, another word for when and a word meaning spicy and split it all (4,1,4).

6d           Donkey crossing near deep chasm (5)
ABYSS:  Put the usual donkey around (crossing) a word meaning near or next to.

7d           Drink in bistro, perhaps, in centre of Leeds after bingo success (5,4)
HOUSE WINE:  The central letter from Leeds (centre of ) is placed after another word for bingo and a success or victory.

8d           Target a rearranged event on water (7)
REGATTA:  Anagram (rearranged) of TARGET A.

14d         Poetic island‘s tavern is empty (9)
INNISFREE:  Another word for a tavern followed by the IS from the clue and a word which can mean empty or gratis will give you the isle in a poem by W.B. Yeats.

I will arise and go now, and go to ?????
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made;
Nine bean rows will I have there, a hive for the honey bee,
And live alone in the bee-loud glade.

And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,
Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings;
There midnight’s all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow,
And evening full of the linnet’s wings.

I will arise and go now, for always night and day
I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;
While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements grey,
I hear it in the deep heart’s core.

15d         Clear former partner with single charge (9)
EXONERATE:  The usual former partner followed by a word meaning single and then a charge or fee.

16d         Staunch pal’s defeat on board (9)
CHECKMATE:  A word for staunch or stop followed by a pal gives defeat on a chess board.  I thought for a while that the on board bit was saying SS around something for defeat, d’oh!

17d         Mostly trim, then cut, root vegetable (7)
PARSNIP:  A word for to trim or to peel without its last letter (mostly) followed by a word meaning to cut.

19d         Study involving leader of sect in Red China (7)
DRESDEN:  This is a Russian doll clue.  Start with a S (leader of Sect) and insert into (in) the RED from the clue.  Now insert that lot into (involving) a word meaning a study or lair.

21d         Verse of Frost heard? (5)
RHYME:  This verse sounds like (heard) another word for frost which is falsely capitalised in the clue.

22d         Having head of security inside gallery makes sense (5)
TASTE:  Insert an S (head of Security) into (having . . . inside) the art gallery named after a sugar magnate.

24d         Woman, part of champagne set (5)
AGNES:  This woman is hiding in (part of) the last two words of the clue.

My favourite today was 16a with 12a and 7d on the podium.

Quick crossword puns:

Top line:     FAUX     +     KNEE     +     WORE     =     PHONEY WAR

Bottom line:     PEAT     +     EARP     +     ANNE     =     PETER PAN

87 comments on “DT 29689

  1. A great start to the week and completed unaided. I’m no good at setter spotting but this did not feel like Campbell to me. It was more like Chalicea but I am no doubt wrong. I liked 11 and 12 across but my COTD is 5d.

    Many thanks to the setter for the challenge and to pommers for the hints, which I will now read.

    I didn’t get the bottom pun, which is why I thought it wasn’t Campbell but as there is a second pun….

    Where we are in Shropshire it is overcast and cool – so much for the hottest day of the year!

    1. Like the haars mentioned by LBROK and OraM, the overcast clouds will be burnt off by the late morning sun. I have both sisters coming round for the afternoon with their other halves. That’ll be fun

      1. Yes the sun is coming through now but I was glad of the cool temperature this morning while gardening. Enjoy the afternoon.

  2. All over far too quickly in * time. The compiler was clearly giving us an easy time for the Bank Holiday. (Unlike my solicitor, whose secretary sent me an email yesterday!).

    Last in was the island at 14d. Not one with which I am familiar. The American writer at 28a seems to be a favourite, for some reason. The deliveryman at 13d in the Quickie is a word that should be used more often.

    Many thanks to the compiler and to Pommers.

  3. Very enjoyable. The island an utter mystery got most of it from the wordplay but needed the hint so thank you.

  4. Most of this very entertaining puzzle went in 5d. I didn’t know the poem reference or the writer (unless it’s Keith and he’s English!) but the wordplay virtually walked you through them.
    I’ve ticked 1&12a plus 4,5,6&7d
    Many thanks to Campbell and Pommers for the Bank Holiday entertainment. Hope everyone has a good one.

    1. Just reading the review…you obviously had the same thoughts as me re 28a Pommers!

      Thanks Chriscross, I saw that when I checked it.

      1. Keith Emerson will be playing with Freddie from Rod Jane and Freddie now I see in the Obits

  5. I enjoyed this puzzle. The nice mix of charades and other types of clues was rereshing after the plethora of anagrams last week (2*/4*). I liked 4d and 28a amongst the GK based clues and 7d was vwry clever but my COTD is 20a. Many thanks to Pommers for the hints and the compiler.

  6. Gentle but good fun, I hadn’t heard of the island.

    Thanks to Pommers and today’s setter.

  7. A nippy little start to the day from Mr Campbell complemented well by Mr pommers. It’s always nice to hear any part of Five Bridges by The Nice and the superlative W B Yeats is a winner every time. My beans are out but not nine rows and no honey bees as I sold off my hives last year. Life is a lot less sticky without them. So thank you Campbell for the puzzle. Thank you for your blog pommers. There is an obscure poem called The Road Less Travelled by an obscure poet called Robert Frost that would have illustrated 21 down but you’ve done very well without it

    1. I have more or less given up on my camomile seeds – I have about 10 miserly little seedlings which haven’t grown at all. I shall spit nails if yours sown out in the open are thriving! (Though happy for you, of course)

    2. Why would anyone want nine bean rows? Anyway by the time Lake Isle of Innisfree was well known Yeats was sick of it. He was always being asked to recite it and he would rather read some of his later better poems. The BBC has a recording of him reading it in a very shaky voice.

  8. 2*/4*. This was light and good fun. I didn’t know 14d, which was my last one in. 16a was my favourite.

    Many thanks to Campbell and to pommers.

  9. A lovely start to Bank Holiday Monday where I intend to avoid all the caravans amassing here by staying in the garden. The weather is fine so I’ll be emulating DG with a G&T when it is decent to do so.
    My COTD has to be 14 d. One of my all time favourite poems.

        1. Well to be honest I am worried. He has to go for a nuclear scan and he’s started wondering ‘how I will manage on my own’. But sufficient unto the day are the evils etc. Keep taking the medicine. He’s flat out in the garden on a lounger catching flies in his mouth!

          1. Give him my bestest wishes for good health and happiness, Daisy.
            I do enjoy a martini too but it’s the shortest distance for me.

          2. Tell George not to try not to worry about the scan, Peter had a nuclear scan about 3 years ago, which is quite straight forward.

  10. Nice & gentle & just the job – arnica gel to rub on the bruises & restore confidence after yesterday’s trials & tribulations down south with Dada. No problems in what was a brisk & pleasant solve. Don’t always bother with the Quickie but glad I did today as both puns but particularly the top one were excellent.
    Lovely weather here in Harpenden. Like Corky yesterday I’ve a birthday barbecue this afternoon. 59 & with this tedious bad back it’s increasingly beginning to feel like 69 but am sure a few celebratory libations will provide relief.
    Thanks to Campbell & to Pommers

    1. Many Happy Returns H.
      59, a mere youngster! May the back soon remember its age is 59 too!

    2. Happy birthday from me Huntsman, you’re still a spring chicken, though you won’t feel like one tomorrow morning if you over indulge this evening!

    3. My God, you’re a babe in arms!
      Happy birthday – mines next month, a wee bit older.

    4. Enjoy your day, Huntsman, the libations will certainly help your back – mine responds extremely well, which is one of my regular excuses!

    5. Happiest of happy birthdays, Huntsman. I find a hot pad helps enormously with a dodgy back.

      1. Cheers all – a few glasses of Meerlust Rubicon certainly went down a treat.
        The diet starts tomorrow

    6. Happy birthday Huntsman. I hope the sun shone on your birthday barbecue as it did on mine. 59! A veritable youth but backache can be debilitating so I hope you get it sorted soon.

  11. Really enjoyed working my way through this gentle challenge whilst enjoying the beautiful sunshine (at last!). Absence of anagrams no problem for me. Difficult to pick Fav(s) from so many nifty clues but would perhaps nominate 18a and 5d. Thank you Mysteron and pommers.

  12. Bright and breezy start to Bank Holiday Monday – rather like the weather here! I did smile at our compiler’s use of ‘mostly ineffective’ in 17a and my top two were 16a & 5d.

    Thanks to Campbell and to pommers for the review.

  13. Probably a combination of me getting used to Campbell and him / her wanting to give us plenty of time to enjoy the holiday (except it’s not up here).
    No real hold ups but an enjoyable solve. 5d gets my COTD
    Our tea goes round in earthenware mugs (with “RNLI 10K” or “Grand Canyon” etc) not 16a I’m afraid
    Thanks to Campbell (unless someone else has copied the two pun trademark) and pommers for the review.

    1. I have 16a mugs just for tea, my earthenware Portmeirion mugs are kept for coffee! Fussy? Yes.

      1. I agree with you Merusa. 16a for tea & pottery for coffee. Why does tea never taste as good in pottery? Or is it my age? Well over 80.

    1. My mum’s name was Elisabeth spelt with an s. More a continental spelling I think.

        1. Hence your name of course! I had a Dutch doll called Gretchen when I was a girl little knowing that my future husband would go on to work in Holland and DD2 marry a Dutchman.

    2. Neither had I but I looked in Collins and it gives it as a variant spelling of Elizabeth.

    3. Mine is spelt with a z, bit I have to say I think it is prettier with the s.

    4. I had a girlfriend in the early 90s and from day 1 she insisted that I called her Liza – she reckoned it had a stronger, more emphatic sound with the Z (?). We split up but remained friends, then we lost touch for 15 years. Out of the blue, she contacted me suggesting we meet up sometime. We became good friends again and she said she was a “changed woman”. She also informed me that her real name was Lisa all along and now didn’t mind the softer S pronunciation at all! Strange beasts, women…

  14. An enjoyable start to the week. Robert will tell us that the writer at 28a is famous across the pond. 16d is workable from the clue although the poet and poem may not be widely known so it’s fine as gk. Favourite 7d. Lots of very good clues to choose from. **/*** Thanks to all.

  15. Last in was the poetic island – possibly the easiest clue today from a poem I love and am so familiar with – but couldn’t see for looking. A good bank holiday crossword – I have the usual things to do (including painting the balcony decking) so thanks setter and pommers (with a small p?)

  16. A gentle start to the week. Competition for first place between 9a and 5d. Thank you setter and Pommers. The weeds on my patio thrived on the weed killer I put down two weeks ago, so this afternoon I’m going to dig them all out with a very large screwdriver.

  17. It’s Monday :good: It’s Campbell :good: **/*****

    14d was my LOI, but with all five checkers and a vague recollection of the island, but not the poem, completion was reasonably straightforward.

    Candidates for favourite – 12a, 7d, and 19d – and the winner is 19d.

    Thanks to Campbell and pommers.

  18. Before 21d became America’s most popular (and best-loved) poet, 28a probably held those honours. They are both giants of American literature, and many of my happiest days in the classroom were spent celebrating their gifts to us. And to have WBY present as well today has given this lovely Campbell puzzle a special cachet of its own. So my podium awards go to 14d (COTD), 21d, and 28a. Many thanks to pommers and to Campbell. ** / *****

    Hope Kath is improving daily, that Manders is better, and that Huntsman has a jolly good birthday!

    1. Hear hear to that last thought.
      I watched Ken Lonergan’s Manchester By The Sea again last night (BBC I Player) for the second time & was even more blown away by what a superb performance it was from Casey Affleck. Rightly rewarded by the Academy & the sort of understated acting they invariably overlook.

      1. Yes, yes. Brought tears to my eyes, Affleck’s performance–as did Kate Winslet and Julianne Nicholson in last night’s final episode of Mare of Easttown. Absolutely brilliant moments on the screen, with Jean Smart adding to the lustre.

    2. Robert, I was introduced to Robert Frost by another great American wordsmith – Paul Simon. This less well-known song of his is exquisite musical poetry:

      1. Thank you, RD! S&G are still my all-time favourite couple. ‘An American Tune’ gives me chills still.

  19. Oddly enough, a virtually identical clue to 15d is in the FT puzzle today. Nice to be reminded of ELP!

  20. Splendid work from Campbell as ever. Robert Frost seems to go in and out of fashion; his popularity rating like two roads diverged in a wood. Both he and Yeats commit the sin (according to some critics) of writing honestly from the heart.

    We plan to head out for a lovely walk, and I am trying to think of a location in the Surrey Hills where we may find splendour without finding ourselves in the midst of other hedonists seeking the same reward.

    Today’s crossword soundtrack: Carole King – The Legendary Demos

    Thanks to Campbell and pommers (and sending all best wishes to The Lovely Kath).

  21. This morning G said let’s go somewhere. But where else would be nicer than this? The xword was a delight, no holdups so many thanks to the setter and to Pommers – we used to take the magazine at 27a and really missed it when they closed down. I particularly liked reading Hunter Davies. I am so sorry that this blissful weather does not seem to be equally spread round the UK, that could be considered discriminatory. Best wishes to all our invalids.

    1. The garden looks lovely – lots of shady places as well as sun. Early in the day, I have rather too much shade, courtesy of my large sycamore.
      But I see you’re not doing “No-mow May”?
      My daughter congratulated me on it as, yesterday, my grandson was racing around picking daises, forget-me-nots and other bits from the very luxuriant (read “long”) grass, front and back. I didn’t own up that I hadn’t heard of it and was just waiting till tomorrow to continue with gardening after the chill wetness previously……..

    2. Yes, Daisy, I miss 17a, I subscribed for many years. I loved Clement Freud, his description of wholewheat bread as having the texture of toenail clippings was classic, and gross!

  22. Over quickly today. I didn’t know the island. I like a quote of Yeats from his poem “an Irish airman foresees his death”
    Those who we fight we do not hate
    Those who we guard we do not love.

    It’s about the futility of war and worth a read. I did to for o leve

    Thanks to setter and pommers

  23. Another enjoyable solve today although I could only just read it. Woke this morning to find my face so swollen my eyes had practically vanished Off to Cromer Hospital who couldn’t help me. Rang 111 and finally saw an emergency Doctor in North Walsham and am now on steroids and antibiotics as my face is infected. Dire warnings about what to do if my breathing becomes difficult. What a mess, pity there isn’t a Toughie today to take my mind off things. Thanks to Pommers and the setter.

      1. Sorry to hear of your nasty infection. It’s really hotrid when your eyes close up like that. Some one gifted me with some Helena Rubenstein mascata, when I was a teenager and my eyes went bright red and swelled up like two tomatoes, with just two slits to see out of. It was like something out of a Hammer Horror film. I do hope your medicationhelps to clear things up

    1. Oh Manders I am so sorry. What a pretty kettle of fish, so scary. I am sure they will get it under control for you. 🤞

      1. I’m actually allergic to most soaps, the cleaning kind, baby soap was the answer for me. Allergies can be severe and painful. Good luck in finding an answer.

  24. Just crept into ** time, but **** enjoyable, so thanks to Campbell (presumably) and Pommers. Thought I didn’t need the hints, but had bunged in the answer to 16a without realising the all-in-oneness of the clue. I’ll opt for this as favourite, therefore. Very clever.

  25. **/****. Nice start to the week with a very fair set of clues to reveal the more obscure answers. Thanks to our setter and Pommers.

  26. Enjoyable, light, and swift; nothing esoteric, well-crafted clues, smooth surfaces, everything made sense, enough of a challenge occasionally to furrow the brow and then smile as the next answer came.

    If it was a Campbell I should not be surprised: it felt like one of theirs and I do usually enjoy their puzzles. Lots of ticks against clues afterwards, but COTD for me is 14d, though 1a, 3d and 22d all ran it close.


    Many thanks to the setter and to Pommers.

  27. Took me a little while to get going this morning on this puzzle and then things dropped into place.**/**** today. Some good clueing today. Had trouble with 14d but Google helped that one. COTD include 1a, 5a, 18a, 3d (a good lego clue) & 16d with winner 16 and 3d runner up.

    Thanks to Campbell and pommers

  28. What a delightful gift for our Memorial Day holiday, and for your Spring Bank Holiday. I was able to satisfyingly plod my way through. Particular favourites were 12a, 17a and 7d. Apologies to Kath, I know she prefers us to pick just one. Hope she is moving right along in her recovery. Thanks to Campbell and Pommers. Off to a poolside ice cream social in our neighborhood this afternoon, will be the first time we have had a chance to meet with a lot of our neighbours since before Covid.

  29. What a joy this was, I loved it. I couldn’t help thinking what Burlington Bertie was thinking as he solved it. My tiny brain is sooo happy.
    I liked 5d and am tempted to choose it as fave, but 14d brought such a happy memory, thank you pommers for giving the whole poem so I could enjoy it again. I have several CDs of poetry, I love to listen to them.
    Thank you Campbell for all the fun, and pommers for the enlightenment of 7d and 19d; all right, I’m thick.

  30. Quite a few names in this crossword.
    Didn’t know the writer in 28a and thought of ELP also.
    13a made me think about Liza Minnelli with her song: It’s Liza with a z…
    All the Agnes I know are champagne drinkers so it’s ok.
    The welsh name left me cold however.
    Unlike our esteemed blogger, I love spinach and as spring is only really starting (and it’s supposed to be summer in 3 weeks) we still get some at the market.
    7d is a thing of the past. No more cheap plonk please. There’s so much good stuff around.
    Thanks to Campbell and to Pommers.

    1. Evan is a very well known Welsh name J-L. And with the addition of S it is a surname also.

  31. Jumping up and down day, whoo hoo. Just finished today’s 658 prize cryptic, and of course unaided as there are no hints. Thoroughly recommend, it is a good, steady solve. 7d was last in for me, as I was working with the wrong definition, a hole I often fall into. Thank you to the setter, double fun today. What a joy.

  32. Nice puzzle for Bank Holiday completed after a garden visit. I got 14d straightaway but from the song of the 50s. I think we had the sheet music when I was a child. I was careful with the 13a answer as I know there’s an alternative spelling. I even remember the full name of 28a although I’ve never read him. Penny dropped for my last one in 19d. I had thought it might be a difficult to spell Chinese name. Lots of favourites but I’ll limit myself to 9 and 20a and 5 and14d. Thanks Campbell and Pommers

  33. Yes this was a very pleasant puzzle for a sunny Bank Holiday Monday. Finished without needing hints or other help, but it is Monday with Campbell’s honest clueing.

    No favourite today but good clueing throughout. Thanks to Campbell and Pommers.

  34. Monday’s are now late starts for me as dog training has started and visits to the pub are obligatory, fortunately this was fairly benign, long may that continue. Favourite was 5a, my first in, but such a good clue. Thanks to Campbell and Pommers.

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