DT 29701 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29701

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29701

Hints and tips by pommers

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ****

Hola from the Vega Baja where summer has arrived big time.  We’re getting temperatures around 30°C every day now and the forecast is for it to be hotter by weekend.

Maybe it’s just me having an off day but I found this puzzle a bit trickier than recent Mondays have been. I only got six of the acrosses and eight of the downs on first pass which is lower than average for me on a Monday. However there are enough gimmes and a couple of anagrams to give you a good start so I don’t think it will cause too much trouble.  For me a tad of extra trickiness adds to the overall enjoyment of the tussle.

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           To retaliate take industrial action second (6,4)
STRIKE BACK:  A word meaning to take industrial action followed by a word meaning second as in support.  Always nice when 1a goes straight in!

6a           Wintry weather in south at the moment (4)
SNOW:  S(outh) followed by a word meaning at the moment or presently.  I told you there were some gimmes!

9a           Protection provided by extremely dependable guard (7)
DEFENCE:  DE (extremely DependablE) followed by a guard or barrier.

10a         Casual worker, unwell earlier (7)
OFFHAND:  Take one of the usual workers not ANT or BEE but the other one, and before it (earlier) put a word meaning unwell or poor.

12a         Grasps the wise crafty asides (5,8)

14a         Tabloid reportedly studied first (3-3)
RED TOP:  The first word sounds like (reportedly) a word meaning studied, at university perhaps and the second word means first or best.

15a         Flask of cold wine knocked over (8)
CANISTER:  C(old) followed by a reversal (knocked over) of some Greek wine.  Not sure this stuff counts as wine. It smells like pine bog cleaner, yuk!

17a         Start working in exchange with old name (6,2)
SWITCH ON:  A word meaning exchange or swap followed by O(ld) and N(ame).

19a         Grow old and supply to-do list (6)
AGENDA:  Start with a word meaning to grow old and follow with an anagram (supply, as in “in a supple manner”) of AND.  Don’t think I’ve ever seen supply used as an anagram indicator, sneaky or what?

22a         Photograph friend in front of superb cinema (7,6)
PICTURE PALACE:  A word for a photograph or image followed by a friend and then a word meaning superb.

24a         National emblem in the list reviewed (7)
THISTLE:  Anagram (reviewed) of IN THE LIST.

25a         Like mad, tucked into favourite kind of teacake (7)
PIKELET:  Anagram (mad) of LIKE inserted into (tucked into) the usual teacher’s favourite.

26a         Pay attention to the man with press chief (4)
HEED:  A word meaning the man followed by the usual press chief.

27a         Female swan protected by one, as so flustered when hunting is allowed (4,6)
OPEN SEASON:  Start with a female swan and around her (protected by) put an anagram (flustered) of ONE AS SO.


1d           Border  team (4)
SIDE:  Double definition.

2d           Turned down scrap dealer at first (7)
REFUSED:  A word for scrap or rubbish followed by a D (Dealer at first).

3d           At which skipper is likely to be judged unfairly? (8,5)
KANGAROO COURT: Cryptic definition of a sort of hearing where you would be unlikely to get a fair trial.

4d           Empty beer jug? Guinness, maybe, required (6)
BREWER:  Remove the inner letters (empty) from BEER to leave the BR. After this you need crosswordland’s favourite jug to get something that Arthur Guinness was an example of.

5d           Hat material, international (5,3)
CLOTH CAP:  Some material followed by what you get if you represent your country in an international.  The word is often used to describe an international player.

7d           Most close by are in eyrie? (7)
NEAREST: The ARE from the clue is inserted into (in) what an eyrie is an example of.

8d           Extra marmalade, perhaps, for general (10)
WIDESPREAD:  An extra in cricket followed by what marmalade is an example of. Butter would have been easier. As marmalade is a type of cat it had me barking up the wrong tree for while.

11d         Capricious about initially spending a night dancing reels, etc. (7,6)
FISHING TACKLE:  A word meaning capricious is placed around (about) an S (initially Spending) and an anagram (dancing) of A NIGHT and the result split (7,6).

13d         Go over way to entertain constant moaner (10)
CROSSPATCH:  A word meaning go over, a bridge perhaps, is followed by a way or track placed around (to entertain) a constant, the speed of light.

16d         In service daily (4,4)
HOME HELP:  The usual word for IN followed by a word meaning service or aid.

18d         List incorporated field of business (7)
INCLINE:  A list as in leaning. It’s an abbreviation of incorporated followed by a field of business.

20d         Styluses unnecessary, mostly (7)
NEEDLES:  A word meaning unnecessary without its last letter (mostly).

21d         Take place of some chap penalised (6)
HAPPEN:  A lurker hiding in (some) the last two words.

23d         Enthusiasts rising in shock (4)
STUN:  Reverse (rising in a down clue) some enthusiasts.

Some very good clues here but my favourite was 19a for its well-hidden anagram indicator. Also up on the podium are 3d and 8d.

Quick crossword puns:

Top line :       WRECK     +     ROOTED     =     RECRUITED

Bottom line:     TRANCE     +     FURZE     =     TRANSFERS

95 comments on “DT 29701

  1. Unlike Pommers, I found this to be pretty standard Monday fare, all completed in */** time. 13d was a new word for me, but easily found from the checkers and word-play.

    Many thanks to the setter and Pommers.

    1. I think it’s probably me having an off day. Brain’s not fully functional this morning – see post below.

    2. I met 13d in a book of nursery rhymes, illustrated with a terrifying picture of a witchy old lady getting plastered.
      “13d, turn the latch
      Sit by the fire and spin
      Take a cup and drink it up
      And call the neighbours in”

  2. Thanks are due to BD for publishing this. Silly me forgot to zero the minute field so if left it wouldn’t have published until 1145, d’oh!

  3. Plenty of solid and interesting clues in this **/*** offering. I parsed 17a and 18d ok but couldn’t fully understand the reasoning so thanks to pommers for his explanation. Never heard of 25a or 13d but they were reasonably obvious. Enjoyed 11d and that is my COTD. Thanks to the setter.

  4. Enjoyable and very well clued, as per on Monday, throughout.
    I had to check the wine in 15a and needed all the checkers for 13d before it fell.
    3d favourite, joined on the podium by 10a and 8d.
    2/3.5 *
    Many thanks Campbell and Pommers (I’m surprised supple was new to you) for the fun.

    1. Agree with everything Stephen says. 13d was last in and a new word for me. 25a also new to me but clued fairly.

  5. As close to read and write as it gets, but decent fun whilst it lasted.

    Thanks to Pommers and today’s setter.

  6. Although pretty straightforward, there were some good, well constructed clues here, with some more challenging ones, especially in the SW (1 5*/4*). 11d was my COTD, for its great misdirection but the reversing atx15a was pretty good also as was the lesser known term for teacake at 25a. Many thanks to Pommers for the hints and to the,compiler.

    1. I’m not sure that, in my world, 25 is a lesser known term for teacake.
      Both were toasted and heavily buttered but the former was an alternative term for crumpet, whereas the teacake was more of a fruit loaf in a bun shape.

      1. All these staples from mid C20 tea shops and cafes, along with poached egg on toast, where the waitresses wore pinnies and there were tablecloths and flowers in a centre vase. I think it all changed when burgers and pizzas came in, Formica tables replaced cloths and coffee bars edged out the tea shops. Nowadays, you have to go to tourist towns, mainly in the north, to get a proper tea shop.

          1. Yes, but even there you’ll get a couple of cherry toms and a bit of rocket and pea shoots alongside your rarebit.

            I’ve just looked at the menu, specifically the Gooey Fat Rascal Sundae – Good grief, some of us are nearly pre-diabetic, as it is.

            1. Oooh, I hadn’t spotted that sundae there before. We don’t go to Bettys (they lost their apostrophe sometime in the 60s) often, there being so many independent cafés around Ilkley. But now I’m thinking of making a booking for a lunchtime, while spouse and I are still working from home and the children are in school …

          2. Yes enjoyed afternoon tea there, and at the RHS Harlow Carr gardens. But our favourite will always by Betty’s in York. I can now make a reasonable version of their apple chutney, so delicious with their Welsh Rarebit.

        1. I agree Jane. I would have 25a with marmite or cheese. Both if I’m in an extravagant mood. I certainly don’t think of it as resembling a tea cake. More like a cross between a drop scone and a crumpet.

      2. As a child in Leicester I enjoyed toasted pyflets smeared with butter and marmite.

      1. There are different versions. Australia has many varieties, sweet and savoury. Staffotdshire pikelets are made with added oats. Honey, butter, jam and fruit compote often accompany them. The word comes from Welsh and, there, they sound different again. I’d be interested to hear from someone with experience of the Welsh ones.

        1. The Welsh ones are sweet. Like a small pancake but a bit denser in consistency.


  7. A very gentle start to the week, I thought, and my morning coffee was still quite hot by the time the last clue fell – one of my fastest completions for a long time, so I was clearly on the right wavelength this morning. Some of the surfaces did not read quite as smoothly as might have been the case, but on the whole an enjoyable solve with a nice variety of clue types.

    Hon. mentions to 22a, 3d, and 18d, COTD for me was 11d.


    Many thanks to setter, and to Pommers for the review … though you’ve now given me an earworm that I shall be humming all day!

  8. A very pleasant and untaxing start to the crosswording week, that was very enjoyable due to the quality of the clueing despite the relative straightforwardness of the grid. 8d was my top clue from a long list of possibles.

    My thanks to Campbell and pommers.

  9. I found this quite a gentle start to the week **/***. It’s very strange tho’, I fill in the puzzle on my Kindle but then I have to use the Kindle to read the comments which I find interesting and informative. So to see which clue someone is referring to I have the unfilled paper version next to me. I then find I can’t remember the answer or how I got there with no checkers in place. Anyone else find this? Thanks to the setter and Pommers. Utterly devastated that Tsisipas lost in Paris yesterday but he will have his day.

    1. Yeah, I liked the Greek too, but it was a good match and The Joker won fair and square. We’ll see the Greek again.

    2. Yes very sad after the promising first 2 sets but, as you say, he is young (22) so there is time for him.

  10. A most enjoyable puzzle to start the week, and since I’ve been away from the Blog since Friday, it’s nice to be back. I had to order a new charger for my gizmo, and Amazon overnighted it; it arrived on Sunday evening. That’s pretty good service. I did manage to work both weekend prize puzzles last night after I was back online and enjoyed them both. Today’s 11d was my LOI and the COTD for me. Thanks to pommers for the review and to Campbell for the entertainment. ** / ****

    I wish I could say I was with our President and his entourage down in Cornwall for the weekend, but instead I read The Last Bookshop in London and some New Yorkers since I couldn’t travel or go online. Many thanks to all of the wonderful, hospitable, and gracious people in the UK for the extraordinarily warm reception given President Biden and Dr Jill Biden. And to Her Royal Highness, much love and respect. Thanks from a grateful American.

    1. Such a lovely thing to say, Robert. It’s a joy to have the dignified and articulate President, and Dr Biden, visit us. We saw Marine One overhead as it was en-route to Windsor.

        1. I’ll third it. Thank you, Robert. We are honoured to have your President and his lovely wife visit us.

            1. Yes, his walking in front of the Queen was such narcissistic and boorish behaviour. You could almost excuse him if he’d been in his own country (although I wouldn’t, since charm and manners to a woman visitor should be the norm), but he wasn’t – he was wandering about as if he owned the country he was in – which is possibly his general attitude.

    2. Robert – I think we all appreciate your charming tribute to the Queen. Thank you.
      But just in case you should ever meet her (and I’m guessing the Atlantic will forever divide you), she, like all living or deceased monarchs, is titled Her Majesty. HRH is a lower form of address.
      Or just Her Maj, as a lots of Brits say.
      Honestly, what are we like?
      We don’t use the word serene though …

      1. Thank you, Bluebird, for the correction; I think I once knew the difference, and I should have been more careful in referring to Her Majesty.

    3. I’m with you, Robert, with bells on. I have a pic of HM with the unmentionable taken from the previous visit, compared to that lovely pic taken in Cornwall with the Bidens where she is giggling away. We are in a different world now.

    4. Yes indeed Her Majesty really is an outstanding gem of a monarch and how fortunate we are to have her at our helm. It’s so nice to read glowing tributes to her from around the world such as yours from across the pond, Robert.

      1. We have aa photo of HM, sitting a few rows in front of ny mother-in-law, who was wearing her new hat, at the re-dedication of her church, which had been damaged by WW2 bombing. This was in her capacity as ahead ofcthe Church of England. I don’t know how HM copes with all the jobs she’s had to do. Being a royal is not for the faint-hearted.

  11. 1.5*/4*. A nice fun, light Monday puzzle with 11d my favourite.

    Many thanks to Campbell and to pommers.

  12. Excellent Campbell crossword. I suspect anyone under fifty, maybe even sixty, years of age will struggle with 22a!

    Blisteringly hot. H is proposing we go out for a walk for a change of scene and some fresh air, as she is still very emotional following the death of her father. I knew it would be tougher after the funeral (last week) because it all hits home after that. Perhaps we’ll go out a little later when it cools down a bit.

    Today’s crossword soundtrack: Philip Glass – Einstein On the Beach (I love this work but it was a poor choice for accompanying a crossword).

    Thanks to Campbell and pommers.

    1. Brilliant opera, magnificently staged by The Met. I saw it again during lockdown when it was live-streamed from The Met. Two great American operas at the top of my list: Porgy and Bess, and Einstein on the Beach.

  13. It’s Monday :good: It’s Campbell :good: 1.5*/4.5*

    Candidates for favourite – 15a, 27a, and 11d – and the winner is 11d.

    Thanks to Campbell and pommers.

  14. Another enjoyably gentle start to the week from our setter and it amazes me how he manages to come up with two worthy Quickie puns every week!
    I liked the exemplary surface read of 9a and my top two were 3&8d.

    Thanks to Campbell and to pommers for the review – enjoy the sunshine, far too hot for me!

  15. Flew through this one in just outside record time & found it very gentle even for a Monday. Am a bit of a 13d today as my mates are playing at the glorious Ashridge golf course (arguably Hertfordshire’s finest) & I’ve battled the West London traffic taking some friends down to the Brompton hospital. Fortunately they’ve managed to get me allocated parking as they’ll be a while so I’ve a few hours to kill in this oppressive heat – guess it’ll have to be a bit of window shopping down the Kings Rd. Favourite in the puzzle was 22a as it’s evokes images of some beautiful Art Deco cinemas.
    Thanks to Campbell & to Pommers

  16. A well constructed puzzle with a good combination of clues. **/*** 15a, 11d and 22a being good examples. Favourite 3d. Thanks to all.

  17. I enjoyed this one immensely. It was a kind “something for everyone” type of puzzle with some clues being straightforward and others requiring far more brain cells. Far too many good clues to pick any out but I have to nominate 8d as my COTD. It had me searching for ages for an army general whose name ended with “JAM”! Still, I finished unaided so that is a good start to the week.

    Many thanks to Campbell and pommers.

    1. Me too with 8d. We’re both pretty silly, the “general” isn’t even capped. I must get my lateral thinking brushed and polished off, it’s far too neglected.

        1. … then it is the time to put the crossword down and mow the buttercups and daisies! 😊

  18. I’m with Steve in liking 8d, wonderful piece of misdirection and 11d was second favourite. I would have thought that 13d was a pretty common word and was surprised to read otherwise, and like Lorna I remember the nursery rhyme. Regretting having said we would open our garden, when I remove my rose tinted spectacles I see all the bad bits! Many thanks to the setter and to Pimmets ! Or even Pommers.

    1. Scrolling back through the weekend’s blogs (since I was offline for a couple of days), what did I happen upon but this gorgeous pin-up doing the split in her beautiful garden! Congratulations if that charmer happens to be you, DG!

      1. ‘Twas indeed me RC! For some reason everyone seems fascinated by the thought of
        an octogenarian being able to do the splits and you would be surprised how often I am
        asked to perform. It is just about my only accomplishment. A couple of years ago at a Charity fund raising party for
        a lot of wealthy Ladies Who Lunch the hostess suddenly announced that this old lady would
        do the splits if everyone coughed up a £1. I raised £120. Fortunately I was not
        wearing a pencil skirt!

    2. Everyone will take cuttings, sneakily, of you favourite perennials, DG. 🌿

  19. A pleasant start to the week. Honourable mentions to 3 and 20 down but favourite is 11 down.

    Thanks to Campbell and Pommers for an enjoyable morning.

  20. I really enjoyed this Monday puzzle, excellent cluing all round and a **/**** for me.
    Liked 8a and 3a for their surfaces, favourite was 11d, glad of the checking letters ,
    Thanke to setter and Pommers for the pics.

  21. Thought this Monday puzzle was a little trickier than the last few 2.5*/*** for me. Found a new word in 25a and took a little while to suss it out. Candidates for favourites include 3d, 4d, 8d & 11d with winner 11d

    Thanks to Campbell & Pommers

  22. 1.5/4. Enjoyable while it lasted. It’s a long time since I’ve seen the word at 25a which made up quite a packed podium of favourites. My gold medalist was 11d closely followed by 12, 15&25a, and 3&8d. Thanks to Campbell and Pommers.

  23. That was a lot of Monday fun, as ever. COTD for me was probably 11D or 27A. And 13D was a new word for me, but was able to figure it out from the wordplay. (I also got led down the garden path a bit on 8D — our kids are very into Paddington Bear right now, so “marmalade” got me thinking of hats, paws, and Peru!)

  24. And it all started so well then I ran into a word I did not understand in capricious, an anagram indicator that makes no sense at all and a container that didn’t fit the clue.
    A real curates egg.
    Thx for the hints

  25. Nice Monday puzzle. Some slightly off the wall synonyms and a bit of a nostalgic vibe.
    Thanks to Pommers and the setter.

  26. So near and yet so far. If only I had known the tea cake in 25a, last in and the only one that I needed to read the hint, thanks Pommers. Lots to like today, including some clever misleading clues. Always enjoy something that is actually doable. Big thank you to Campbell for providing this delightful start to the week.

  27. Enjoyable mental workout, **/****
    13d was often said, ages ago, in my childhood and, I thought, usually referred to sulky children.
    Many thanks to the setter and to pommers.

  28. The trouble with 8d was, before we had any checkers, both Wellington and Paddington fitted in. The final answer was a bit of an anticlimax I think
    Had lunch out today and enjoyed Ginger Beer with chilli….termed a posh pop. Delicious. I see Retsina has been mentioned twice in the last week or so. Horrible stuff.
    Too hot in the sun. Roll on the thunderstorms forecast for later this week.

  29. Yes, I think a little trickier than usual Mondays but hugely enjoyable. The only one I needed e-help for was 8d, had a General in mind and wouldn’t let it go. I didn’t need help for anything else.
    There’s so much good stuff and hard to choose a fave, so I’m going to choose one for the memories and that’s 13d. My Mum used to call me that when I was given to tantrums as a toddler.
    Thank you Campbell for the fun and pommers for your hints and tips.

  30. That was a lot of fun. Bunged in wrong wine “flask” for 15a which slowed things down a little and then grappled a bit with the SE. Didn’t fully parse 11d which is clever as are 3d and 8d. Thank you Campbell and Pommers.

  31. Back in the office today, where this site is blocked, and hence late to the party.
    I found this quite straightforward despite two new words at 25a and 13d, as the wordplay was friendly.
    My favourites were 15a, 3d and 11d.
    Thanks to all

  32. Enjoyable start to the week 😎 ***/**** Favourites 3 & 21d. Thanks to Pommers and to the Setter🤗

  33. I fairly cantered through this today and felt quite pleased with myself. The only 2 clues that I was unsure about being 13d and 15a where I struggled to notice the reverse lurker until later. Many thanks to Pommers and the setter. Managed to fit this in between trimming the high beech hedge whilst husband (Bill) held the ladders in the more precarious places. He is off to be fitted with a pacemaker tomorrow afternoon. I’m putting much store in this necessary procedure. Fingers-crossed.

    1. Best wishes for your husband’s successful outcome with the pacemaker fitting – hopefully it will be a life-changer as so many people say it is.

      1. Thank you so much Angellov. I think we are both a bit apprehensive but trying to keep a brave face for each other. I know it’s considered to be quite a straight-forward procedure and he will be in good hands.

      2. It is, indeed, a life-changer. I’m amazed he was able to hold ladders and do stuff like that, I was passing out before I had my pacemaker. I have no absences now.

    2. I wish Bill a speedy recovery, Hilary. Like Angellov, I have heard the fitting of a pacemaker gives great results. Let us know how he gets on.

      1. Many thanks Steve. I will let you know how Bill gets on. I’m taking him in for mid-day but not sure what time I will get the call to go back in the evening to collect him.

  34. Steady start to the solving week ,
    Fav 12d
    Enjoyable straightforward puzzle
    Thanks to Pommers & Campbell.

  35. For me, not a typical Monday. A puzzle in two halves: fairly obvious and some requiring quite a wrangle, e.g 11d. ***/***

  36. Just finished today’s prize cryptic 660. It’s not too bad, and I quite enjoyed it, even if I did need a little help. Recommend to anyone looking for a second puzzle today.

  37. I started off quickly, then got slower and slower as I moved through the puzzle. 27a was favourite. I saw a number of well fed pheasants strutting around Woburn Safari Park today. Thank you setter and Pommers.

  38. This would have been a * solve for me except for 14a, I had the first word but could not get the second as I have never heard of any paper referred to that way. 13d and 25a also new to me but managed. Very enjoyable and nicely clued. Thanks to all.

  39. Very hot today but fortunately cooled down in time for my dog training class otherwise it would have been intolerable for them, then the couple of obligatory jars at the pub afterwards. SE the last in, but most of the rest straightforward. Favourite was 5d as I have a few of them. Thanks to Campbell and Pommers.

  40. 14a is a new expression for me, but, apart from that, very enjoyable, and quite a mental workout!
    A gloomy day here again – I think Winter should be banned!
    Thanks to Campbell and Pommers. 🙃

  41. Crosspatch was easy to get as the checkers are consonants. It is a very old word the second half being an old word for fool. Pike let’s can still be bought. There is an eternal argument in the East Midlands as to when it is a pike let or a crumpet. Both need toasting and both are traditionally made on a griddle. Oddly Tesco currently sells both but to me they have them the wrong way round. The pikelet’s of my youth were thicker.

  42. Super crossword. 11d top of many favourites. My only hold up or pause for thought was self-inflicted in that I put decanter for the flask. Crosspatch is a useful word either for an elderly, difficult to please, crossword solving curmudgeon or a grumpy child. Thanks Campbell and Pommers for the pleasure.

  43. 2*/5*…..
    liked 11D ” Capricious about initially spending a night dancing reels, etc. (7,6)”

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