DT 29694 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29694

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29694

A full review by Rahmat Ali

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This puzzle was published on 05 Jun 2021

BD Rating – ********

Greetings from Kolkata. Once again, I am delighted to write the full review of a Saturday puzzle for your kind perusal and valuable feedback. Although the name of the setter could not be ascertained, but undoubtedly the puzzle was lovely and enjoyable.

Writing the review also gave me an opportunity to learn new things, some of which I highlight below:

The word sole as the swimmer of 1d comes from its resemblance to the sole or the section forming the underside of a piece of footwear like sandal etc.

Riviera as part of a clue in 28a is an Italian word meaning ‘coastline’ that corresponds to the ancient Ligurian territory, located between River Var and River Magra. The French Riviera, known to the French as Côte d’Azur and literally translated as ‘Azure Coast’, is the Mediterranean coastline of the southeast corner of France. There is no official boundary, but it is usually considered to extend to Menton at the France-Italy border in the east, where joins the Italian Riviera, known to the Italian as Riviera ligure and literally translated as ‘Ligurian Riviera’. The Italian Riviera lies between the Ligurian Sea and the mountain chain formed by the Alps and Apennines.

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1a    Help round to summit, as it were (2,2,5)
SO TO SPEAK: The need for action indicated by the distinctive Morse code signal sequence SOS (help) to go around (round) TO from the clue and followed by PEAK (summit)

6a    Copper pen in 3-D (5)
CUBIC: A charade involving a chemical element with symbol CU (copper) and BIC (pen), called by Marcel Bich, the introducer himself as a shortened and more memorable version of his own last name, leading to the definition of an adjective denoting having the shape of a cube or three-dimensional geometrical arrangement

9a    Originally, lama is blessed with a place in Tibet (5)
LHASA: At the beginning or the first letter (originally) of L[A][M][A], a Buddhist priest in Tibet, followed by HAS (is blessed with) and A from the clue leads to the name of a city in Tibet Autonomous Region, traditionally regarded as its capital and literally meaning ‘Place of Gods’

10a    Move or not from anterior chamber (5,4)
FRONT ROOM: An anagram (move) of OR NOT FROM

11a    Horribly inedible fat I easily picked out (12)
IDENTIFIABLE: An anagram (horribly) of INEDIBLE FAT I

14a    Principal of university accessing revolving door, so fragrant (7)
ODOROUS: The first letter or the leader (principal) of U[N][I][V][E][R][S][I][T][Y] entering (accessing) an anagram (revolving) of DOOR SO

16a    Nick entertained by a short musical circus performer (7)
ACROBAT: To steal or ROB (nick) admitted (entertained) by the combo of A from the clue and CAT[S] (musical) with the last letter dropped (short)

17a    Drink sent over for chum (3)
PAL: To take in liquid by licking up or to LAP (drink) in a reverse order (sent over)

18a    Soldier on, bad time to retreat (7)
TROOPER: A charade of the abbreviation for the preposition regarding RE (on), POOR (bad) and the abbreviation T (time), all to go backwards (to retreat)

20a    Strike yobbo gripping wood (4,3)
LASH OUT: An uncouth and aggressive young male or LOUT (yobbo) holding inside (gripping) ASH (wood) leading to the definition meaning to hit or kick out at someone or something

22a    Couple stretched when working in theatre? (6,6)
RUBBER GLOVES: The coverings for both the hands, with a sheath for each finger and made up of a tough elastic polymeric substance is cryptically arrived at after emphasising their use in a stretched position when worn during working in an operation theatre

26a    Poor or richest singer (9)
CHORISTER: An anagram (poor) of OR RICHEST

27a    Cuppa in range (5)
CHAIN: Colloquially, a cup of tea or CHA (cuppa) and IN from the clue in a charade

28a    Relative peace ultimately in Riviera city (5)
NIECE: At the end or the last letter (ultimately) of [P][E][A][C]E is placed inside (in) NICE (Riviera city) in France

29a    Swiss singing almost weird in loud performance? (9)
YODELLING: Most of (almost) the letters of OD[D] (weird) inside (in) YELLING (loud performance)


1d    One swimmer (4)
SOLE: Double definition; the first meaning only, lone, singular or solitary that cryptically leads to the second denoting a marine, elliptical flatfish of genus Solea

2d    Net split from below (4)
TRAP: PART (split) as reversal or going upwards (from below) in a down clue

3d    Nuisance also seen in fair (2-3-2)
SO-AND-SO: AND (also) is contained inside (seen in) SO-SO (fair), leading to the definition of a person who is disliked or is considered to have a particular characteristic, typically an unfavourable one

4d    Entering rising river, female pretty and delicate (5)
ELFIN: The one-letter abbreviation F (female) is going inside (entering) NILE (river) which is heading upwards (rising) as a reversal in a down clue

5d    Little inclination to conceal intelligence, a smart alec (4-2-3)
KNOW-IT-ALL: A small mound or hill represented by the word KNOLL (little inclination) to hold (conceal) WIT (intelligence) and A from the clue leading to the definition of one who is irritating because they behave as if they know everything or one too clever for their own good

6d    Meaner race, it’s going off round Thai capital (7)
CATTIER: An anagram (going off) of RACE IT enclosing or about (round) the capital letter (capital) of T[h][a][i]

7d    As hurricane may be described in every detail? (4-2-4)
BLOW-BY-BLOW: Double definition; a cryptic way of giving an account of the violent nature of a cyclonic storm (first definition) that leads to an adjective meaning giving all the particulars of an event in the order in which they occurred (second definition)

8d    Arrive guarding soldiers with rubbish report (10)
COMMENTATE: COME (arrive) protecting (guarding) a combo of MEN (soldiers) and (with) TAT (rubbish)

12d    Central American fellow actor, trust me! (5,5)
COSTA RICAN: CO-STAR (fellow actor) followed by a two-word expression I CAN (trust me) arriving at the definition of a person belonging to a Central American country with coastlines on the Caribbean and Pacific

13d    Give it everything, O frog? (2,3,5)
GO FOR BROKE: O FROG can be a clue for a three-word expression that instructs GO FOR (the first two words requiring anagram) BROKE (the last word as anagram indicator) to arrive at the definition meaning to make an all-out bid or supreme effort or to gamble everything in order to gain something

15d    Starting price fairly active (9)
SPRIGHTLY: A charade of the two-letter abbreviation SP (starting price) and RIGHTLY (fairly)

19d    Particular recipes rewritten (7)
PRECISE: An anagram (rewritten) of RECIPES

21d    Template for drawing nicest wavy line (7)
STENCIL: An anagram (wavy) of NICEST followed by the one-letter abbreviation L (line)

23d    Descriptive of galley, a shade beneath surface of ocean (5)
OARED: A from the clue and RED (shade) together are placed below (beneath) the uppermost layer or topmost letter (surface) of O[C][E][A][N] in a down clue, leading to the definition of an adjective meaning provided with light poles with blades at one end for propelling a low, flat ship or a boat

24d    In Vietnam, a lively country (4)
MALI: Part of or hidden inside (in) vietnaM A LIvely is the name of a landlocked African country

25d    Closely fitting items to stick to, upside down (4)
SNUG: To refuse to compromise or change, despite criticism, or better the expression ‘Stick to your GUNS’ (items to stick to) reversed (upside down) in a down clue

Excellent clues were 22a and 13d, though I also liked 1a, 6a, 1d, 3d, 5d, 7d and 12d. Thanks to the setter for the entertainment and to BD for the encouragement. Looking forward to being here again. Have a nice day.


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