DT 29713 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29713

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29713

Hints and tips by Big Dave

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

I’m deputising for Pommers today as he is travelling around southern Spain.

A good start-of-the-week puzzle i.e. not too difficult!

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Work inside cold American plant (6)
CACTUS: C(old) and a two-letter abbreviation for American around some work

5a    Dean at bizarre church social event (3,5)
TEA DANCE: an anagram (bizarre) of DEAN AT followed by the Church of England

9a    Flattering remark made by companion, we hear (10)
COMPLIMENT: sounds like (we hear) a companion or counterpart (these two slightly differently spelt words are often confused with each other)

10a    Member of the clergy heading off shortly (4)
ANON: start with a member of the clergy and drop his initial letter (heading off)

11a    Everyone taken in by half of hoofer’s sensational advertising (8)
BALLYHOO: a word meaning everyone inside (taken in) BY from the clue and half of HOO(fer)

12a    Salad ingredient consumed by undergrad is healthy (6)
RADISH: hidden (consumed by) inside the clue


13a    Royal family associated with Germany originally (4)
KING: a word meaning family followed by the initial letter of G[ermany]

15a    Answer’s way out (8)
SOLUTION: two definitions

18a    Smoked beef over rye, initially given to French friend (8)
PASTRAMI: a word meaning over followed by the initial letter of R[ye] and the French for friend

19a    Fizzy drink accordingly put next to prosecutor (4)
SODA: a word meaning accordingly followed by a US prosecutor

21a    Lots of strips of pasta needing no introduction (6)
OODLES: drop the initial letter (needing no introduction) from some strips of pasta

23a    Best player‘s back (8)
CHAMPION: two definitions – a noun and a verb

25a    Piano tune for two (4)
PAIR: P(iano) followed by a tune

26a    The head after tongue — what to put it on, once sliced? (6,4)
FRENCH LOAF: a colloquial word for the head preceded by a tongue or language

27a    One who’s never met his match? (8)
BACHELOR: a cryptic definition of a chap who (sensibly!) has never married

28a    Stop working in retreat (6)
RETIRE: two definitions


2d    Member describing old article’s distinctive smell (5)
AROMA: a member or limb around O(ld) and followed by the indefinite article

3d    First-class spinner having fine match (3-6)
TOP-FLIGHT: a spinning toy followed by F(ine) and a match or vesta

4d    Reticent engaging with German forger? (6)
SMITHY: an adjective meaning reticent around (engaging) the German for with

5d    With good visibility in seaside resorts, there’s no apparent danger (3,5,2,5)
THE COAST IS CLEAR: as a phrase this could mean with good visibility in seaside resorts

6d    Following each one, despite everything (5,3)
AFTER ALL: words meaning following and each one

7d    Prize in American lottery raised (5)
AWARD: A(merican) followed by the reversal (raised in a down clue) of a lottery

8d    Angry over promise to supply puzzle (9)
CROSSWORD: an adjective meaning angry followed by a promise

14d    Female lover over in Rabat, a Romanian (9)
INAMORATA: hidden (in) and reversed (over) inside the clue

16d    Under strain, guide high-flier up for trial? (4,5)
TEST PILOT: a verb meaning to strain followed by a guide

17d    Opera fairs badly in China? (8)
PARSIFAL: an anagram (badly) of FAIRS inside a china (china plate / mate)

20d    Relish (foremost of relishes) in small dish (6)
SAUCER: a relish followed by the initial letter (foremost) of R[elish]

22d    Tree with large span (5)
LARCH: L(arge) followed by a span

24d    Love new tune being broadcast (2,3)
ON AIR: O (love) and N(ew) followed by a tune (the same tune as in 25a, which suggests some tinkering has taken place post setting!)

Falcon should be here next week!

The Quick Crossword pun: top line miss+guy+did=misguided

bottom line: per+pal+hart=Purple Heart

104 comments on “DT 29713

  1. What a great start to the week this was and an unaided finish for me. All clues were vying for the top spot but I will go with 25a as my COTD and 16d as runner up.

    My thanks to Campbell for the entertainment. Thanks also to Big Dave for stepping in and for the hints, which I will now read.

  2. 2*/2*. The usual light Monday puzzle to start the (wet) week, although I found this one less enjoyable than usual.

    The surface of 17d needs to read “fares” to make sense, which would ruin the surface. Unless I am missing something, 15a is a DD with both sides effectively the same. The prosecutor in 19a is American. “Tune” = “Air” appears in both 25a & 24d.

    18a, 3d, 5d & 14d made it onto my podium. Of these, 3d was my favourite.

    Many thanks to Campbell and to Big Dave.

    1. I think it’s an anagram of fairs with that old favourite pal meaning China (China plate/mate) ?

        1. RD is referring to the fact that the verb “to fare” (not the adjective fair) should be used in the surface.

          1. I’m always quite chuffed when I notice things like that. The level of critique supplied at Rookie Corner is very impressive – RD in overdrive today….

              1. Bertie, in the very unlikely event that there is something called an opera fair, the surface is still nonsensical as badly is an adverb. This word therefore needs to qualify a verb like “fares” not a noun like “fairs”.

                1. Ah! I have just noticed that the setter has had the good grace below to drop in and acknowledge his error with this clue.

              2. Absolute rot Bertie…using fair as a noun renders the surface meaningless and gibberish. Also the setter modifies it with an adverb which strongly suggests he intended to use a verb, in which case it has to be fare.

                1. I didn’t realise how stupid I was in accepting 17d as a jumbled fairs inside of a friend.
                  I have rapped my knuckles for not paying sufficient attention to the surface reading.
                  This mistake has dented my self-confidence.

        2. Who knows? Doubtful the Chinese would tell anybody! Turandot is set in China though, I believe.

    2. I think you’re right, RD. To make sense, it should be “fares”, but that wouldn’t provide the correct anagram material. So, the clue doesn’t work.

    3. I always envy your command of English grammar, RD, and wish I knew half what you do. In instances like this I’m just thankful I’m that thick as regards grammar. I just went at it like Greta and thought nothing of it! Keep on keeping us honest, one day I’ll understand it.

  3. A gentle start to the week. **/*** Favourite 11a because it’s such a lovely descriptive word. I was a little surprised to see the same clue at 3D appear in the prize cryptic today. I thought I was having a deja vu moment. Thanks to all.

  4. An enjoyable puzzle with a few to tantalise and keep you on your toes (1.5*/3.5*). I was a bit puzzled by 4d, as I thought the answer referred to the place of work not the worker himself. 17d and the reverse lurker at14d were good clues and my COTD was 26a. Thank you to BD for the hints and to Campbell for another fine Monday crossword.

  5. For some reason I made really heavy weather of this and I began to think that it was not a Campbell at all until I got to the Quickie puns.

    Favourite – a toss-up between 21a and 4d – and the winner is the oldie but goodie 21a.

    Thanks to Campbell and BD.

  6. I just loved 14d with its memories of the Flanders and Swan lady adjusting her garter. My COTD of the week and it’s only Monday!

      1. Very nice of you to pop in and comment. You supply us with consistently entertaining puzzles every Monday and one small slip in many dozens of puzzles isn’t going to spoil our enjoyment of your compilations.

      2. Many thanks for popping in and for having the grace to acknowledge a mistake, much appreciated.
        As RD said, the occasional slip isn’t going to make us feel any less grateful for your Monday offerings although perhaps you should sue the setter of the online Prize Puzzle for plagiarism!

        1. I never saw anything wrong with 17d. Just read it to mean an anagram of fairs and pal.

          1. Me too, you have to be a master of grammar like RD to know there was something wrong.

            1. Me too as as clues do not always read as good sentences. My problem was temporally forgetting the China focussing on the country or porcelain. I must have had the opera somewhere as I got there with this bring last answer in. It was the SW which I slept in. Thanks Campbell and BD

    1. Me too with Flanders and Swan. Oh, how I loved them, off to find their CD to play again!

  7. Had a free morning so sat with coffee and puzzle rather than dashing about. Managed it all unaided but suspect it is at the easy end of the spectrum. However most enjoyable. Thanks to setter and Big Dave.

  8. Terrific puzzle – hugely enjoyable. 17d is my favourite.

    The weather is so dismal here in Surrey that Lola isn’t bothering to 16d her new cat door. Instead she is pursuing her favourite hobby of sleeping on a sofa in my study. Luckily there are two sofas in this room so I can snooze on the other one. It is a pleasing arrangement for all parties concerned.

    Today’s crossword soundtrack: Deacon Blue – Raintown.

    Thanks to Campbell and BD.

      1. We like hearing about Lola, Bertie because she went through a very tough time recently and she became something of a mascot to the blog. If you do not wish to read about her then do not. :grin:

      2. Bertie I think you just like to stir things up. I can imagine you sat back smiling at how many fish your hook has caught 😂

      3. Sorry, Bertie, but Lola is a bit of a celebrity around here and we enjoy the daily bulletins about her life. We like to think of her lying in the sun or taking up space in front of the fire, she leads a very interesting life.

        1. I’m glad Lola is beginning to enjoy the cat flap, Terence, especially after all the hassle you and she have had. It’s a shame today’s weather has put her off. I’m clearing out the garage, which is at least a useful occupation. I won’t be so bored that I have to think up provocative comments about other people enjoying themselves.

      4. I would bet 99% of us love to hear the latest news about Lola. Your comment is unkind and unwarranted.

    1. Yes, Bertie is a stirrer who, for reasons I cannot fathom, trolls me here. It has no effect on me or little Lola, and I suggest Bertie (or Michael, as I believe it is) finds other forms of entertainment.

        1. It appears that we, collectively, would rather hear from Terence and Lola than Burlington Bertie.

        1. Well said, RD, although I know from painful experience that can be easier said than done.

  9. I thought 15a a tad weak, the wrong “fairs” is used in 17d for the surface to make sense and the reverse lurker at 17d a bit contrived but enjoyed the rest.
    11&21a share top spot.
    Many thanks to Campbell and BD for the fun.

      1. See my above comment and also I now see the setter has acknowledged the mistake so I’ll accept your apology in advance.

  10. After the weekend rigours of Radler & the demands of Dada it’s nice to know you can kick of the new week with a gentle Monday puzzle courtesy of Campbell. Not one of his best perhaps but a perfectly enjoyable solve all done & dusted in fairly short order. You can’t beat a good 18a sandwich so that’ll be my pick with 11&27a the other spots.
    Thanks to Campbell & to BD.

  11. Rattled through this but was held up on 26a until I corrected my mistake on 20d where I had the wrong synonym for relish which seemed to work at the time. Favourite was 21a.

    Thanks to today’s setter and BD.

  12. A pleasant beginning to the week, especially with such catchy clues as 16d and 26a, both of which held me up quite a while–with both on the podium along with 3d (which also appears in the bonus online cryptic today). Just thinking of Wagner’s 17d gives me goosebumps. Thanks to BD for stepping in today and to Campbell. ** / ***

  13. Had I sorted my complement from my compliment I might have solved 4 down a little faster. 17 down didn’t bother me. Glyndebourne have an Opera fair or exhibition to promote the Opera every year. Thanks to Campbell for the puzzles today and thanks to Big Dave who is also doing Toughie duty tomorrow.

    1. What bothered me about 17d was the adverb ‘badly’ since I assumed that the setter knew about ‘opera fairs’ somewhere. Had it been just ‘bad’ instead of ‘badly’, it might have passed muster. But thanks to Campbell for admitting the mistake.

  14. Seemed to be rather an abundance of ‘chestnuts’ in this one and – as Greta commented – it was surprising to see that 3d also appears in the on-line Prize Cryptic. A double ration of ‘airs’ in evidence and I was somewhat doubtful about the wording of 17d but it made a reasonable start to the non-working week.

    Thanks to Campbell and to BD for stepping into the breach.

  15. Nice start to the week
    I had to look up the opera at 17d but it was easily solvable by the wordplay
    My only gripe was 15a where I don’t quite see ‘way out’ as a good definition of the answer
    But that gripe well compensated by the many good clues in the rest of the puzzle

    1. The way out of a knotty problem. As in “Hang on lads, I’ve got a great idea”!

  16. This was a quiet enjoyable stroll, which everyone seems to want on a Monday.
    As I have mentioned above, I don’t understand the carping about 17d which appears to be to be perfectly clued. In fact that clue may be my favourite!

    1. Bertie. 17d does have perfect word-play, as described in the review above. But, unfortunately, the use of fairs instead of fares renders the clue surface nonsensical. You do know what the “clue surface ” means? Now, I’m all for allowing setters plenty poetic licence, but using fairs instead of fares in the clue surface (if it wasn’t the admitted mistake) is grammatical jiggery-pokery way beyond the pale even for me.

  17. Lots to like in this gentle introduction to our crossword week. 12a is a sore point because I am not very good at growing them and there is a pathetic moth eaten (snail eaten) row sitting in the garden right now. Pouring with rain and I am so anxious to get my garden mirror fixed up. Deadheading to do and edges to trim but not in the rain. How all occasions do inform against me. However I enjoyed my time putting 15a’s into 8d and feel like a 23a and 9a the setter and thanks to Big Dave – see you 10a.
    into 8d

    1. Very clever. Perhaps you should be setting them.
      As for radishes, why bother? I don’t know anyone who likes them. Give me heartburn.

      1. Obviously people do or they would not grow or buy them. One man’s meat is another man’s poison, an adage which can be widely applied, even to crosswords and commentators.

  18. A nice start to the (non) work week as the heat wave (dome) continues in BC. Up to 41C in the garden Sunday afternoon afternoon. Today’s puzzle seems to continue with the trend of being not too tricky or difficult. 2*/**** for me. A new word for me in 14d (was easy enough to find in the clue), and the 5a event was new to me as well. Favourite clue candidates include 11a, (a good chuckle), 15a, 26a, 4d & 17d with 17d being winner for cleverness of clue with 4d runner up for the same reason. Nicely done.

    Thanks to Campbell & BD

  19. A gentle start to the week with some old favourites and a little GK required and I thought */***. Thanks for the hints Big Dave as this explained the German reference in 4d. Never did German! Answer obvious anyway so no problem. Thanks to this excellent setter.

  20. Most enjoyable, a swift after lunch canter on the flat (there were no hurdles or other obstacles) with plenty of smiles and a lovely range of clue types. The perfect start to the week.

    1* / 4*. Standout COTD was 14d.

    Many thanks to Campbell – I really do look forward to Mondays – and to BD.

  21. **/**. Gentle start to the week and not especially striking. However, after my struggles with Dada yesterday a welcome relief to finish unaided. Thanks to Campbell and BD.

  22. Didn’t find this as easy as others have, 14 and 17d both new to me, sad to say I needed a couple of hints to complete it. Thanks to all.

    P.S. I blame last nights John smiths for my poor performance

    1. You can’t possibly. John Smith’s is an excellent brew (other beers are available) and I love all such beers including the great chemical full Tetleys Smooth. None of this warm real ale rubbish.

        1. Yes, proper beer! Just like Red Barrel! Who wants a Bishops Finger down their throat? Nasty stuff! 🍺

    2. Went into a country pub with a “We serve real ales” sign outside and found only John Smith’s and Tetley’s on tap. I mentioned the real ale sign and he pointed to the two beers on tap. So I said “No real ales then and our party walked out.”

  23. Thank goodness for Monday puzzles. For those of us just on the first few rungs of the crossword solving ladder, to start the week with Campbell usually followed by a doable but more difficult Tuesday allows us to face the rest of the week with equanimity knowing we have been catered for and now those at more vertiginous heights have their time. Finishing those more difficult puzzles with much help from electronic, BRB, hints, and sometimes reveals, feels good as well.

    Favourite today is 11a, lovely word as is brouhaha, with honourable mentions for 4d,5d, and 16d. Was going to do a Brian or a Bertie and choose 17d as an outstanding clue of the day just to annoy but thought better of it..

    Thanks to Big Dave for the blog and to Campbell for keeping so many of us happy.

  24. Really good start to the week. Last in was 14d as I didn’t spot the lurker, and not being an opera buff, I was pleased to solve the 17d anagram. COTD without a doubt for me is 5d. Thanks Campbell for a very enjoyable puzzle and Big Dave for stepping into the breach.

  25. Corky mentioning Brian has prompted me to realise he’s been absent for a few days. Hope all’s well with him. I was quite looking forward to his comment on Dada yesterday. Odds on he’d have lambasted it which meant a few bob on a thumbs up was a shrewd bet.

          1. Obviously people do or they would not grow or buy them. One man’s meat is another man’s poison, an adage which can be widely applied, even to crosswords and commentators.

    1. There’s another Brian in 16d -I think that’s Brian Trubshaw in the left hand seat of Concorde !

  26. I found this tricky, particularly the SE corner and not being an opera buff. So with about 7 clues to go, I thought I was on for another DNF. Then inspiration came out of nowhere for 26a (a very clunky clue in my opinion), and that was the key to unlock the rest. So, very happy to finish unaided, with just a google of the opera required. No particular favourite today.
    Thanks to all, I’ve enjoyed reading the intellectual tussle about 17d.

  27. Another nice Monday puzzle 😃**/**** there were 21a of Favourites but 14d, 4d & 8d were on the podium today. Thanks to Campbell and to Big Dave 🤗

  28. I do enjoy Mondays, Campbell is just about right for the start of the week. As this is also the start of The BigW, I’m a little distracted! I didn’t need to use any reference tomes or e-help, compared to yesterday where I was looking something up for every clue it seemed. I did like 5d, it opened up so much, but fave has to be the lovely word at 11a.
    Thank you Campbell for the fun and BD for your hints and pics.

  29. That was a delicious piece of cake. 5d went in early which helped across the board. I’m with MP in having misspelt 9a so German with couldn’t be used in 4d which was last to go in when the penny eventually dropped. 7d is becoming a bit of a chestnut. 20d is hardly a dish. Fav 3d and 8d parsed nicely. Thanks Campbell and BD who presumably knocked this off in nothing flat,

    1. If you poured some milk in a 20d and gave it to Lola, wouldn’t that then become the cat’s dish?

  30. 3d I was sure that I had seen this clue somewhere earlier today …

    … almost the same as 17d in today’s Prize Cryptic No 662.

  31. I’m in the “I found this trickier than most” camp this evening. Got there with a bit of electronic help. I should really try and make inroads into this on a Monday before dog training and then the pub. The chances of me commenting tomorrow equate to zero as I’m busy almost all day, mostly pleasure. Favourite was 18a. Thanks to Campbell and BD.

  32. Completed earlier this afternoon but then got involved in the garden etc before catching up with Wimbledon and watching the last couple of hours of the Murray match.

    Many thanks to Campbell for an enjoyable puzzle to start the week and to BD.

  33. Alone! Unaided! Again! Thanks to Campbell, and to BD for the hints, which I check always just to make sure. And to everyone for the comments, especially Terence – I’m so happy Lola is doing well. 🙃

  34. “Fairs badly”. Works for me.
    Isn’t all the criticism a teeny bit pedantic? It’s like calling a spade an earth inverting implement. And a nail an inter-fibrous friction fastener. Hope this makes Campbell feel better ! (with acknowledgement to “Mad” magazine, circa 1970)

  35. I managed every single answer except 17 down as I’d never heard of it! I will store it away for future clues. A really fun crossword for me and so exciting to do unaided. I have noticed that if I can do the quick crossword I’m more likely to complete the cryptic. No idea why! Today I glanced through the cryptic and answers just leapt out at me. Never experienced that before. Lots of fun reading everyone’s comments. Lovely to start the day with laughter. Many thanks to Big Dave and Campbell.

  36. Very slow start but finished at a gallop in the second pass, all unaided. 2.5*/3.5*. Some very clever clues but COTD 26a. Many thanks to BD for standing in on the hints which were not needed but which I shall enjoy reading, and to Campbell for an enjoyable Monday.

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