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DT 29705

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29705

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Good morning from South Staffs, where we’re back to cloud and rain this morning.

A slightly odd mixture in this morning’s puzzle, with one clue (3d) which I simply don’t understand, though the definition is easy enough to get. I’ll be interested to hear your views.

In the hints below, the definitions are underlined. The answers are hidden under the ANSWER buttons, so don’t click if you don’t want to see them.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.

Across

1a           Interpret two bits of text (10)
PARAPHRASE – An abbreviated form of a word for a chunk of text conveying a particular idea, followed by a word for a string of words without a finite verb.

6a           Feeble learner, mischievous child (4)
LIMP – The usual letter indicating a learner driver, followed by a naughty child or mischievous sprite.

9a           Old-fashioned bridge clubs with interior first-rate (7)
ARCHAIC – A feature of a bridge and the abbreviation for the club suit, placed either side of what looks like an alphanumeric expression indicating first-rate status.

10a         Insist on piece of chicken for celebration (7)
ENFORCE – Hidden in the clue.

12a         Frank talking away, gave address west of Northern Cape (13)
OUTSPOKENNESS – Put together a word for ‘away’, a verb for ‘gave address’ followed by (west of, in the usual grid description) an abbreviation for Northern and a cape or headland.

14a         Annoying being part of cult? (6)
INSECT – Another word for ‘part of’ followed by another word for a cult.

Is an 'insect apocalypse' actually happening? | Greenbiz

15a         Erase ink smudges, getting more shady (8)
SNEAKIER – Anagram (smudges) of ERASE INK.

17a         Cheer is loud — two letters in a row written about it (8)
EMBOLDEN – Another word for LOUD with the names of two consecutive letters of the alphabet placed one each side.

19a         SOS vet broadcast for cooking equipment (6)
STOVES – Anagram (broadcast) of SOS VET.

22a         Having reformed a school, Philip resigned (13)
PHILOSOPHICAL – Anagram (having reformed) of A SCHOOL PHILIP.

24a         Breakfast food boss offers Einstein (7)
EGGHEAD – A common breakfast food followed by another word for the boss, giving us a term which may be applied to Einstein or other brainy people.

25a         Loot not well concealed by sheet (7)
PILLAGE – Another word for a sheet of paper wrapped round ‘not well’.

26a         Trick of the French to forego training (4)
DUPE – The French for ‘of the’, followed by my least favourite school subject, the one taught by sadists with muscles instead of brains.

27a         It may cause scoffing and make Yankee shoot (6,4)
BRANDY SNAP – These tasty biscuits may cause you to scoff them. Put together a make or trade name, the letter represented by Yankee in the NATO alphabet, and another word for ‘shoot (with a camera)’.

Lyle's Superior Brandy Snaps | Lyle Golden Syrup

Down

1d           Oppose petition, swapping sides (4)
PLAY – Start with a verb for ‘to petition’, then change the letter indicating ‘right’ to the letter indicating ‘left’.

2d           Nuclear plants lacking atomic mass conductors? (7)
RECTORS – Remove the abbreviation for Atomic from some nuclear plants, to get some clergy who may conduct Mass.

3d           Trick from a card you’d rather not be dealt? (9,4)
PRACTICAL JOKE – The definition is a form of trick played on someone. Beyond that, I’ve no idea what the wordplay is supposed to be doing.

4d           On and coming up, kind of movie guide (6)
RECIPE – The Latin word for ‘on’ or ‘concerning’, followed by the reverse (coming up) of a long and grand movie.

5d           Working as lecturer, perhaps, son going to a summit (8)
SPEAKING – The abbreviation for Son, followed by ‘going to a summit’.

7d           Middle Easterner is famously mad ruler, twisted one (7)
ISRAELI – IS (from the clue, followed by the reverse (twisted) of a mad Shakespearean king, followed by the Roman numeral for one.

8d           Upturn after papers united in force (10)
PRESSURISE – Put together a generic term for the newspapers, an abbreviation for United, and an upturn.

11d         Cat sat, finally tumbling in well (13)
FANTASTICALLY – Anagram (tumbling) of CAT SAT FINALLY.

13d         Extra seconds with last of soup dipped into — it’s common! (10)
WIDESPREAD – Put together a cricket extra, an abbreviation for Seconds, the last letter of souP, and a word for ‘dipped into (a book)’.

16d         Witness seized by Ethelred — lo, he begs to get up (8)
BEHOLDER – Hidden in reverse (to get up) in the clue.

18d         Mention turnover of local housing syndicate (5,2)
BRING UP – Reverse (turnover) another word for the sort of local which Miffypops used to run, and wrap the result round a syndicate or gang.

20d         One’s base: Roman building, all the rage (7)
VILLAIN – A Roman country house, followed by a word which can mean ‘all the rage’.

21d         Composer about to be supported by board (6)
CHOPIN – A Latin abbreviation for ‘about’ or ‘approximately’, followed by a compound verb (3,2) which can mean ‘board (a car or taxi)’.

23d         Look to go north or south (4)
PEEP – A palindrome (to go north or south) of a word for ‘look’.


The Quick Crossword pun COMMA + NILE + LEAN = COME ON, EILEEN

112 comments on “DT 29705
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  1. I presumed the ‘card’ in 3d was a comical person who might play a 3d on you which you wouldn’t really enjoy very much

    1. Apologies if it has already been said but regarding 3d, practical can be defined as virtual which when applied to joker (card) gives us the joke!

  2. 2.5*/4.5*. A very enjoyable Friday puzzle with the SW corner holding out the longest to take me above my 2* time.

    I didn’t think much of 3d, and I can’t decide whether or not I like 17a. Those aside this was a lot of fun with 11d my favourite.

    Many thanks to Zandio and to DT.

    1. 17a lead to an eyebrow being raised. The answer had to be what it was, but I was looking for a non-existent homophone indicator for the two letters in a row to justify the inclusion of the two e’s.

        1. Eaxctly. As with the two letters “es” in yesterday’s backpager (5a, nineteenth letter), also phonetic, but with the homophone hinted at.

  3. One of those crosswords that seemed very tricky to start with but was solved in the end in the sort of time I’d expect a Friday back pager to take.

    Thanks to the setter (one of those days when I’m not going to guess!) and to DT

  4. I didn’t get 3d either, unless the last part refers to the joker in a pack of cards, but the first word in the clue remains unfathomable. In fact, a lot of the clues in this puzzle were hard to fathom and a lot of them were filled in by guessing a word that fitted the checkers. Thank you DT for the 4 clues that you explained for me. Like yesterday’s puzzle, I finished, but with no real sense of enjoyment or fun (4*/1*). It was a long-winded slog really ( but not as long-winded as yesterday’s). Another refugee from the Toughie page, I fear. Thanks to DT and to the compiler for his or her efforts.

    1. I took 3d to be a cryptic definition/description of the solution: Trick from a card (or a practical joke by a wag) you’d rather not be dealt (or be on the receiving end of). I don’t think playing cards are involved at all. I could be wrong, of course.

  5. Quirky, cryptic and slightly off the wall (in a good way), it has to be Zandio. Like DT I had a question mark against 3d, just presumed the second word referred to the card. Otherwise all fully parsed.
    I liked several, I’ve ticked 1&5d along with the very clever 20d but top spot goes to the excellent 2d
    3/4*
    Many thanks to the setter and to DT for the fun.

  6. I think difficulty in parsing 3d will be a common theme today.

    A really most enjoyable Friday coffee-break puzzle, and while on first glance I thought it was going to be a stinker, it fell into place reasonably smoothly in a clockwise starting from and finishing in the NW. Lots to smile about, a couple of great lurkers, nice range of clue types, no requirement for arcane ‘general’ knowledge, a pleasingly small number of smoothly surfaced anagrams. What’s not to like? Well, I’m no great fan of 27 acrosses, but even that was a fun clue.

    Hon. mentions to 22a, 25a, 7d, 16d and 18d, but my COTD by a length is the wonderful and clever 2d.

    2.5* / 3.5*

    Many thanks to the Setter for a great grid, and to DT for the review.

  7. I’ve enjoyed this week’s puzzles very much but not this one very much. I found it quite quirky with some definitions strettttttched a bit too far in places. I had no problem with 3d, accepting ‘card’ as the joker who pulls the trick on someone, but I did struggle with many others, so much so that I was pushed into 5* time before finally finishing. I did however like 17a, 12a, and 20d. Thanks to DT for the hints and to today’s setter. ***** / ***

  8. Wow, what did we do to deserve that?

    I completed the grid, in **** time, but was unable to parse 21d. I took 3d to mean “Practically a Joker”, that is, remove the last letter, and gave it my vote for COTD.

    Time for a cuppa. Thanks to the setter and DT.

  9. You’ve said it all. Thanks CS for your explanation of 3d. And thanks DT for your hint for 27a. It was a guess for me but couldn’t see why. Laborious this morning. ***/** I don’t really see why insects have to be annoying, bees, butterflies aren’t although the question mark at the end of the clue denotes the possibility, I suppose. Favourite 2d. Thanks to all.

  10. Some real gems of clues in this not entirely straightforward **/**** offering. 2d just about gets my COTD with 1d strangely being the last one in as I couldn’t quite grasp the opposition angle but now see it. All high quality stuff and whilst like others I cringed a bit at 3d at least it was fairly obvious. Thanks to Deep Threat and Zandio if it was he and the setter if not.

  11. 2d was the outstanding clue for me from a great selection in this friendly and pleasantly tricky puzzle. I had the same reservations about 3d and 17a but assumed they had been thoroughly vetted by the editor prior to publication therefore acceptable.

    My thanks to Zandio and DT.

  12. An odd sort of puzzle. The right hand side filled in quickly but a couple of stretched synonyms on the left hand side slowed me down.
    At least it was more friendly than the Toughie. Elgar at his most difficult. I gave up after solving just one clue. I hope someone enjoys it!

    1. I did, but with a number of bung-ins though.

      In relation to a possible theme all I can say is, “no worries” and “tosh” maybe!

  13. Phew, that was a relief after yesterday’s brainstormer. I’m with DT and RD re dodgy 3d. Surely 14a is not necessarily annoying nor is second half of 4d necessarily a kind of film. 27a too clever by half. Altogether an entertaining solve. Thank you Mysteron and DT.

  14. Haven’t looked at the review or read the comments but am finding this the hardest of the week (Toughies included) by some stretch. 6 short in the NW & utterly nonplused. Think I’ll put it aside & hope for inspiration later – and just as I was feeling smug after a rare Friday finish in the Graun cryptic.

  15. Not my favourite puzzle of the week which sadly suggests to me that it is a Zandio production – I rarely appreciate his wavelength.
    16d seemed to be dreadfully contrived and I wasn’t keen on 14 or 27a.
    I did quite like 1a and the dire Quickie pun certainly raised a smile.

    Thanks to Zandio and to DT for the review and the music.

  16. RE 29705 3 Down:

    A ‘card’ being descriptive of the sort of person who would play a practical joke – also references ‘card trick’. It works for me and I’m a crossword tyro!

  17. I enjoyed this as it took a bit of unpicking in places. 3d made sense to me, if you describe someone as a card they are witty or make jokes.

    Thanks to DT and today’s setter.

      1. I’m with the above three. Way above my station – there’s no pleasure in trying to solve clues like this.
        Anyway thanks to setter and DT.

  18. Well, I quite enjoyed this with no problems parsing 17a or 3d, a little Dada-esque I thought, a good test for a Friday – ***/****.

    Candidates for favourite – 12a, the aforementioned 3d, and 4d – and the winner is 4d.

    Thanks to Zandio(?) and DT.

    1. Interesting you should say that. I usually enjoy the struggle wiith Dada puzzles but have trouble finding Zandio’s wavelength. For me, they couldn’t be more different.

  19. Tricky, and I share the same lack of enthusiasm for 3d. However, some clever anagrams to get one going and the finishing post was passed without too much alarm.
    I popped in here late last night and read all the messages following my mention of the death of my 93 year old mother. I was very touched by the kindness and empathy. Thank you all very much. I nearly didn’t mention it at all as I felt some may think I have thrust too much death and gloom about here recently, but everyone has been lovely

    Thanks to the setter and DT.

    1. I was off piste yesterday and did not see your post. It doesn’t matter how old you are, losing your mother is a huge thing. God bless.

    2. Condolences, Terence. And thanks for mention it again today; I’ll go back and read what you wrote yesterday.

  20. I agree with those who don’t think 3d works.
    I’m also doubtful about 11d. I don’t think “well” is a good enough definition for the answer.

  21. I thought this a super crossword – challenging, quirky, and clever. I was unable to get started in the NW corner and worked around clockwise back to it. A good challenge which got the brain cells active ready to attack Elgar.

  22. For once, I’m with Brian although I will leave you to watch the paint dry, Brian! :grin:

    I was just not on wavelength at all today and had solved only four on the first pass. I struggled with it for ages before throwing in the towel and looking at the excellent hints from DT.

    Started the week with three solved unaided and ended with two DNFs.

    Many thanks to the setter for the bashing and huge thanks to DT for the much needed hints.

    The best part of today was the Quickie Pun.

    1. SC. I’ve been glossing the woodwork in my living room today. I’m not watching it dry but I am “watching it” – being careful not to create any dust or accidentally scuff my handiwork! :-)

  23. Interesting you should say that. I usually enjoy the struggle wiith Dada puzzles but have trouble finding Zandio’s wavelength. For me, they couldn’t be more different in style.

  24. Great crossword with lovely surface readings. Loved 10a with the thought of enforced feeding of a piece of chicken, as my grandson needs just that usually! I thought 17a very clever, so probably favourite. I wondered whether 24a should have had a question mark or a ‘say’ to show that it wasn’t just Einstein the clue could be referring to. Wondered about 3d but happy with the explanations above. Thanks to the setter for the enjoyable workout and to DT.

    1. The whole pun is the title of a pop song released by Dexys Midnight Runners in 1982. Always played at functions once everyone had imbibed a few drinks and felt like flinging themselves around the dance floor whilst singing loudly!
      Goodness knows who Eileen was – it didn’t seem to matter!

          1. Seriously? As Jane described so eloquently, it always played at weddings and gatherings. It’s quite catchy in its own way.

      1. Never forgave Kevin Rowland for their awful cover of Van’s Jackie Wilson Said (I’m In Heaven When You Smile) & for the backdrop of Jocky Wilson when they mimed it on TOTP.

  25. I nearly finished this without hints but 17a defeated me. Even with the hints and then with the answer, I had to scratch my head. Lots of anagrams got me started but then i had to rely heavily on inspiration and back-parsing ( is that a thing?). Bungs ins perhaps the technical term. And some I still haven’t parsed like 21d. Seeing the comments above I wont even try the toughie today, this was enough brain work for me already!

  26. Hello all, compiler here.
    Regarding 3d, Crypticsue hits the nail on the head — at least for what was intended, which is an overall cryptic definition.
    Regarding 17a, the two letters are not actually a homophone — they are spelled that way in Chambers. It has spellings for most letters but not all (such as U, so we wouldn’t allow “you” to represent U unless it was indicated as a homophone). I’m generally averse to letters being spelled out, as I’m sure most solvers are, which is why I indicated them as “written”.
    Sympathies to Terence. I recently lost my Mum at 93 (on April 12), and my Dad at 95 (on May 26). But we were lucky to have had them that long.
    Have a good weekend.

    1. Thanks for popping in Zandio, it’s much appreciated by us mere mortals, and thanks for a cracking puzzle which was a joy to solve.

    2. Thanks for popping in, Zandio. You gave me a sound thrashing today reminding me that I am a mere mortal. :grin:
      Not to worry, I have solved some of yours before and I hope to again but today flummoxed me. Thank you for stretching the brain cells.

        1. So sad that you lost both parents so closely together, though I agree, lovely that you had them so long.
          I won’t mention your offering today.

    3. Thanks for popping in, Zandio, and apologies for not appreciating your wavelength.
      You were indeed lucky to have your parents for such a long time, I lost my dad at 68 and my mum at 74 – so many questions I never got the chance to ask them.

      1. Whatever the age at which you lose your parents, you still feel like an orphan and, like Jane, I kept thinking that I must ask mum or dad something and remembering that I no longer could. Thanks for the lesson in humility, Zandio, it’s good for the soul

    4. So sorry about your parents, it’s always sad however old they are. I’m not particularly religious, but I do believe they are now together again, and perhaps you can take comfort from that. They definitely had a good innings, but however long, we always wish it was longer.

  27. This was a much nicer puzzle than Thursday’s Giovanni. Felt like it was a solvable puzzle without getting a headache. Rate this a 2.5*/****
    Clues for favourites include 22a, (as it has my name spelt correctly in it!!) 24a, 2d, 5d & 20d. Winner has to be 22a!
    Didn’t understand 18d at all along with 1d.
    Note 13d showed up again within a few days.

    Thanks to Zandio and DT

  28. After half an hour at this, I only had the right hand side and 24a filled in and was completely flummoxed by the rest! Anyway, devotions to Senf for pointing me in the right direction and to whomever for providing me with a “game of two halves”.

  29. Well I did manage a finish but only with the assistance of revealing the 1a/d checker & even then the stubborn six in the NW only yielded reluctantly. Like Jane I seem to struggle to get on Zandio’s wavelength for some reason which does impact my enjoyment, if not my appreciation, of the puzzles. Can’t say I cared much for 3&11d but kind of got them, fail to see what’s annoying about an insect & don’t regard embolden & cheer as particularly synonymous though the wordplay of the clue was very clever. I did like 12&22a along with 7&8d. In golfing terms there was nowt wrong with the track, it just didn’t suit my eye & played it badly.
    Thanks Zandio & to DT for the review.
    Ps as it’s hosing it down outside I may contemplate further humiliation at Elgar’s hands as an alternative to household chores.

  30. After two great puzzles yesterday (both back pager and toughie) I didn’t enjoy this one.
    Although finishing in good time, there were too many answers that I had to bung in and check parsing with the hints later.
    I agree with most of the previous comments about 3d
    The ‘dipped into’ in 13d and the ‘board’ in 21d were a bit too tenuous for my liking and ‘well’ as a definition does not quite describe the answer for 11d – although it does make for a good surface to the clue.

  31. DNF with 6 to go & it was too much of a Toughie for my liking. **** then gave up / **.

    Thank you setter, your expertise was lost on me, and Falcon for shining lights in dark places.

    Oh and thanks to Matt for the soccer cartoon comment on tonight’s game.

  32. This took a fair amount of ‘it has to be’ bunging in. I had to do a reveal for 17a as it completely flummoxed us.thanks to Setter and Hinter. Did not do yesterday’s puzzle for too many reason to go into but might tackle it later although have a trustees meeting tonight so maybe not. I was thinking with flipping football on every channel it would be a diversion but am venturing forth into our lovely Community Hall instead of zooming. Have a good weekend everyone – don’t forget your umbrellas.

  33. Not my cup of tea at all today. Actually found yesterday’s easier. Eventually managed the right hand side but failed miserably on most of the left…..particularly 17a which I doubt I would have solved if I had from now until doomsday to do it in.
    Thanks to DT and to Zandio.

    Beautiful sunshine up here. Nice and warm and no midgies.

  34. Sorry but I thought this a stinker like yesterday’s. Although I don’t usually comment on the quality of the crossword, assuming it’s my own tiny brain at fault, there were just tooo many clues not clear enough to work on and understand for me to blame myself and tiny brain completely.

    Thanks for explaining the rationale, or not, in the blog DT and to Zandio for the puzzle.

  35. Good fun. Thanks Zandio, and Deep Threat for a couple of parsings. I thought my favourite was going to be 2d’s atomic mass conductors, or possibly 14a’s annoying being or 18d’s local housing syndicate … but that quickie pun is fantastic!

    For 4d, I spent ages trying to make ‘end’ be a reversed kind of movie: after spotting ‘on’ can be ‘leg’ (cricket) and a ‘legend’ is a guide (on a map, say), I was determined to make it fit.

    This is where we spent most of last week: our children’s state primary seemed to be pretty much the only school in the country with a 2-week half-term holiday. Can anybody recognise the beach huts? I think there’s one regular (yet to comment today) who lives fairly nearby.

      1. Yes, I think it could be Wells too and I live quite close. A beach hut looks much like another beach hut but Wells definitely has the pine trees behind them. Great beach too.

        1. Bingo — well done both of you (especially since the pic ended up so ensmallened once uploaded here).

          I’m incapable of saying “Wells-next-the-Sea” without imposing a “to” in there. We had a fantastic week (mostly on the beach), and the owners of the cottage we were staying in were remarkably understanding about the children pulling a curtain poll off the wall.

          1. So glad you had a good time in Norfolk – I hope you got as far as my little village of Cley next the Sea?

            1. Nearly bought a house in Cley (pronounced Cly) many years ago and always regretted not having succeeded at the auction. First came across samphire in the dunes at Cley – now of course quite common.

            2. Not this time, sadly. We had a beach in walking (or small train) distance … and the 7-point turn required to squeeze the hire car out of its parking space (a narrow passage between cottages that predate cars by several centuries), meant I was very much encouraging days on which we didn’t drive anywhere!

              But we’ve booked to go back next August; maybe we’ll may it to Cley then.

  36. Thanks to Zanido and to Deep Threat for the review and hints. A very nice puzzle, with a few to make you think. I liked 3d, it certainly worked for me. Last in was 17a. My favourite was my first one in, 2d. Was 2* /3* for me.

  37. A lot of bung ins. I don’t really like long clues as they leave such a lot of gaps if you can’t get them. I suppose the opposite is true if you do get them.
    The right side went in relatively easily but i needed the hints and electronic help for the left.
    Much better than yesterday.
    Thanks to Zandio who I usually get on with better than today, and DT for a lot of help
    ****/**

  38. This was in toughie territory for me so, as usual, I’ll give Elgar a miss. Favourite was 4d. Thanks to Zandio and DT.

    1. You’ll never believe it TG but I thought the answers easier to find in Elgar & I can’t usually get more than a dozen

  39. Very challenging but eventually completed unaided.
    Quirky eg 17a and stretched eg 21d in part, I thought.
    Nevertheless, very enjoyable.
    So, ****/****.
    Many thanks to Zandio and to DT for the review.

  40. Well I did finish this sort of unaided. I can ask my Kindle if I have a wrong answer and it will tell me but doesn’t give me the right answer. Insect and embolden, among a couple of others, were complete bung ins but it was nice to check they were correct. Had to wait to see the hints to see why. I agree, great quickie pun today. Thanks to all.

  41. I had a DNF yesterday with two gaps, even though I persevered until the end of the day. At first pass this appeared to be even tougher and I almost gave up when I got very stuck with only about 8 in the grid. However, this time my perseverance has paid off, though I needed the hints to fully understand the wordplay on 14a, 3d and 21d.
    Now that I understand 3d I think it’s my favourite due to the excellent misdirection.
    Overall I enjoyed the challenge, it really stretched my grey matter.
    Thanks to the setter and DT

  42. Suzanne: I finished it in my usual (redacted) but that 1 down!!! How come I can solve two words clues but not 4 letters? I thought it was so difficult.

  43. Whew! East was much more benevolent than West, I pretty well filled in the East in regular time. But oh, west was a trial, even though I did bung in some answers until I got to the NW. The Philip in the anagram at 22a was a great help, it nudged me to the answer. The only answer I had in the NW was 3d and I had doubts whether it was correct when I had that blank corner. Eventually I dived in for some hints to get going again. Fave was 21d,
    Thank you Zandio for the workout and to DT for unravelling that Gordian knot for us.

  44. Really enjoyed this today. If I hadn’t spent 6 hours on the lovely M25 I would have finished much sooner.

    Penultimate solve was 2d and is my cotd.

    8d was my final solve and I was kicking myself for not getting it sooner. I blame the M25!

    ***/****

    Thanks to all.

  45. I’m afraid I got to this too late in the day to be able to give it the attention it clearly needed. Thanks anyway to Zandio, and to Deep Threat for the hints, which I may go back and look at later if time permits.

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