DT 29698 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29698

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29698

Hints and tips by Miffypops

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BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment ***

Good morning. Today we have a RayT cryptic crossword that contains all of his usual trademarks. Some, like her majesty the queen do double duty. Others hide away in plain sight. Remember, if in doubt look for a lurker. As the checkers present themselves so do the words that fit those letters. Some call it wavelength. I just call it checkers. A full grid awaits those who keep at it. Good luck

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


7a Idiot is some dumb one, he admitted (8)
BONEHEAD: The answer lies hidden within the words of the clue as indicated by the word some.

9a Bowls and fields around mid-morning? (6)
ARENAS: The central letter of the word morning is surrounded by particular branches of study or spheres of activity or interest

10a Daft students, tense inside (4)
NUTS: These students are members of their union. They surround the abbreviation for Tense

11a Want to carry can for teetotalism (10)
ABSTINENCE: The non existence or lack of something surrounds a can. Perhaps a can of food

12a Member got stuck into representative (6)
LEGATE: LEGATE: This member is a lower limb. That is the easy bit. The ‘got stuck into’ is what you did to your last meal

14a Docile old doubled round exit (8)
OBEDIENT: A three part charade. 1. The abbreviation for old. 2. A synonym of doubled or folded alongside itself. 3. To exit from life as we all must do one day

15a Those who exhibit really painful stupidity initially (6)
TWERPS: The initial letters of some consecutive words in the clue

17a Aim head of arrow point (6)
ASPIRE: Begin with the initial (head of) letter of the word arrow. Add a point. Not just any old point The one on a church pointing to the sky

20a Mostly heart, if I cease deviousness (8)
ARTIFICE: The answer lies hidden within the words of the clue as indicated by the word mostly

22a Champion with bull’s-eye, almost? (6)
WINNER: Begin with the abbreviation for with. Add what is next to the bulls eye on a target

23a Popular splinter group owning Republican breach (10)
INFRACTION: Begin with the usual short word meaning popular. Add a small organized dissenting group within a larger one, especially in politics. Bung in the abbreviation for republican. This word appeared at 4 down yesterday clued as ‘Doing nothing about father is a crime’

24a Breathe in softly following ether? (4)
GASP: The musical notation for softly follows what ether is, not solid, not liquid, the other one

25a Manuscript containing German slogans? (6)
MOTTOS: A popular German boys name sits comfortably inside the abbreviation for the word manuscript

26a House Democrat rising (8)
DWELLING: A word meaning growing and becoming more intense (especially when referring to an emotion) follows the abbreviation for democrat


1d Cheat nick accepting blokes’ record (8)
DOCUMENT: Begin with a two-letter word meaning to cheat someone. Add a word meaning nick as one might do with a knife. Insert some blokes, fellows or chaps

2d Notice female put up charges (4)
FEES: a word meaning to notice is followed by the abbreviation for female. What you have needs to be reversed (put up) to fit the underlined definition

3d Live charge creating blast (6)
BERATE: A word meaning to live or exist is followed by a fixed charge or cost

4d Answer is modified showing discretion (8)
WARINESS: Anagram (modified) of ANSWER IS. Surely no pencils necessary for this one

5d Box of novelties I ordered (10)
TELEVISION: Anagram (ordered) of NOVELTIES I. Also, surely no pencils necessary for this one

6d Endless decline with criminal getting bird (6)
FALCON: A four letter decline minus its last letter is followed by a regular crosswordland criminal

8d Autocratic leader of French area (6)
DESPOT: The French word for of is followed by an area, site or location

13d For better morale I eat out (10)

16d Cost’s small including new Queen’s daughter? (8)
PRINCESS: Begin with a word meaning monetary costs. Add the abbreviation for small. Insert the abbreviation for new

18d Service is still nothing without stuffing (8)
EVENSONG: Begin with two words split 4,2 meaning still. Add the outer letters of the word nothing (without stuffing)

19d Stern and bow incorporating heart of ship (6)
BEHIND: Find a word here meaning to shape into a curve. Insert the central letters of the word ship

21d Organised party last to seem casual (6)
RANDOM: Begin with a word meaning to have managed something. Add a two-letter party. Add the final letter of the word seem

22d Queen with staff on cruise (6)
WANDER: The staff here is one that might be used by Harry Potter, Merlin, Gandalf or Sooty. The Queen refers to the initial letters of Elizabeth Regina

24d Outburst from girlfriend over sweetheart (4)
GALE: A three-letter word for one’s girlfriend or girl is followed by the letter at the centre (heart) of the word sweet


Only uses single word clues in the quickie puzzle

Only uses single word answers in the Cryptic puzzle

Has a maximum count of seven words per clue

Often includes The Queen or Her Majesty in a clue

Nearly always has an acrostic or initial letters clue

Nearly always uses the sweetheart indicator for the letter E

Likes to stretch a synonym and use some innuendo

All present and correct today

The Quick Crossword pun: row+sup+arcs=Rosa Parks. A true heroine ain’t she Merusa?

21 comments on “DT 29698

  1. Glad to see the site back up! Enjoyed Thursday’s crossword — some lovely clues in there I thought. My COTD would probably be 11A, 14A, or 24D [I liked the cleverness and simplicity of that one]. Also some cunning misdirection in 16D (I wasted a bit of time trying to squeeze a ‘Q’ and a ‘D’ into the answer) and 19D. I struggled with the wordplay on 18A and whilst I figured it out from the letters I already had, I had to read the tip above to figure out how the wordplay worked.

  2. Thanks to Ray T and to Miffypops for the review and hints. A very enjoyable puzzle. I was beaten by 14a, just had no idea on how to solve it. Favourite was 7a. Was 3* / 4* for me.

  3. Thanks to Ray T and to Miffypops for the review and hints. A very enjoyable puzzle. I was beaten by 14a, just had no idea on how to solve it. Favourite was 7a. Was 3* / 4* for me.

  4. Most satisfying and rewarding, a pleasure of a puzzle. Plenty of chuckles, a smirk or two, and Ray T’s trademark concise cluing – what’s not to like?

    Honourable mentions to 8d, 18d, 14a and 15a but my COTD was 7a – loved it.


    Many thanks to Ray T and to MP.

  5. A DNF for me, but not unusual later in thweek. The hints helped the scales from my eyes and got me the end today. Very good clueing throughout ( I was being a 7a) so many thanks to the setter and for the hints.

  6. Ray T beat me yesterday and I had to resort to electrons in order to finish. I thought the lurker at 7a was very well hidden and that became my COTD.

    Many thanks to Ray T and MP for the hints.

  7. Cripes. That was difficult. Both 22a and 22d stopped me in my tracks, but the answers are so clear when one finally sees them. 1d had genius construction.

  8. Another Thursday brain-basher. I found it hard to get into but as the checkers went in, things began to fall into place more speedily. There were some good lurkers but my COTD was 18d. Thanks to Ray T and to MP for the hints. It must have been frustrating to set out the hints and have the sirmte go down They are appreciated retrospectively today.

  9. 14a was my LOI and my COTD in Thursday’s masterful Ray T grid. Great puzzle. Thinking of Kath and hoping she’s doing better. Thanks to MP and Ray T. ** / *****

  10. I think this was my fastest ever Ray T solve. 12a was a new word but gettable from the wordplay and checkers but apart that no hold ups.
    19d took my top spot with 24a plus 1&22d running it close .
    Thanks to Ray T and MP for the fun.

  11. Another nice puzzle from Ray T for today with his trademark 7 or less word clues. Found this to be a 2.5*/**** today with some clues requiring a bit of head scratching until the penny drop moment … sometime with a THUD! rather than a gentle coin drop. As Big Dave site was down, no hints were used, just brainpower and the odd Google search.
    Favourites today 11a, 12a, 15a, 5d & 22d with winner 15a

    Thanks to Ray T and MP

  12. Finished without hints too, but with a lot of e-help! I liked the lurker at 7a, particularly as it got me a foothold early on.
    Thank you RayT and MP or the entertainment!

  13. Just popping in a day later to thank Ray T for a great puzzle yesterday – hard work but solveable (even without sneaking a quick look at the site just to check if a ‘parsing’ is logical! 😜)
    Thanks MP for the blog despite the outage, always appreciated!

  14. Another classy Ray T offering – 24 clues, 148 words, average of 5.3.
    Got held up by putting in “bats” at 10a, which made solving 1d tricky!
    Lots to like, but my favourite was 22a.
    Thanks to Ray T and MP.

  15. Thoroughly enjoyed this. Some great clues. Thank you Ray T and MP and to BD for getting the site back up. I did not realise it was down as I did not do the puzzle till the middle of the night and missed the hints and.comments. Those who have commented seem to have approved too.

  16. Morning all. My thanks to Miffypops for the review and to all for your comments. Incidentally, Miffypops, ‘Has a maximum count of eight words per clue’?!

    Have a good weekend, everybody.


    1. Good day, Mr T. Such a shame that nobody could access the site for most of Thursday but I think you may rest assured that we all enjoyed the puzzle as much as ever!
      Incidentally, I have to apologise for being one of those who couldn’t resist grinning when your dear president got swiped across the face by someone in the crowd on his recent walkabout………….

      1. That’s what he gets for doing his ‘man of the people’ stuff! I don’t get to vote, anyway…


  17. Couldn’t miss a RayT so I made it one of my priorities.
    Didn’t need to reach out for the thesaurus today.
    Everything went smoothly.
    Thanks to RayT and to MP.

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