DT 29714 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29714

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29714

Hints and tips by Mr K

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BD Rating  -  Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

Hello, everyone, and welcome to Tuesday.  No surprises in today's puzzle – it is pretty much what we've come to expect on this day of the week. It did feel like there were a few more charades than usual, and towards the end of the hints I started to worry about exhausting my list of charade clue introductions. 

In the hints below most indicators are italicized, and underlining identifies precise definitions and cryptic definitions. Clicking on the answer buttons will reveal the answers. In some hints hyperlinks provide additional explanation or background. Clicking on a picture will enlarge it or display a bonus illustration and a hover (computer) or long press (mobile) might explain more about the picture. Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.



1a    Loved novel I'd read about maiden (7)
ADMIRED:  An anagram (novel) of I'D READ containing (about) the cricket abbreviation for maiden 

5a    Relative following soldiers heading west then east to get vengeance (7)
NEMESIS:  Putting the various bits in order, we are instructed to combine the reversal (heading west, in an across clue) of some usual soldiers, the single letter for east, and a female relative, informally 

9a    Somewhat alarmed, I called doctor (5)
MEDIC:  The answer is hidden as some of (somewhat … ) the remainder of the clue 

10a   A goddess intended heartless fun (9)
AMUSEMENT:  Link together A from the clue, one of the nine ancient goddesses who preside over the arts and sciences, and a synonym of intended minus its central letter (heartless

11a   Study of the population's pay her dogma almost spoiled (10)
DEMOGRAPHY:  An anagram (spoiled) of PAY HER and all but the last letter (almost) of DOGMA 

12a   Appeal for help by old pedestrian (2-2)
SO-SO:  An international code of extreme distress is followed by the abbreviation for old 

14a   Firm  arrangement (12)
ORGANISATION:  A double definition. Firm as in company. A third definition would be the album containing this   

18a   Prisoner's fast run in Greek hunt is fantastic (6,6)
HUNGER STRIKE:  The cricket abbreviation for run is inserted in an anagram (fantastic) of GREEK HUNT IS 

21a   Speed limit in Antwerp? First-rate (4)
PACE:  The final letter (limit in) of ANTWERP with first-rate or brilliant, informally 

22a   In favour of helping balance (10)
PROPORTION:  A short word meaning "in favour of" with a helping or allocation

25a   Switched onto email, excited (9)
EMOTIONAL:  An anagram (switched) of ONTO EMAIL 

26a   Out of bed and ready for trouble (5)
UPSET:  Join synonyms of "out of bed" and "ready" 

27a   A patient finally brought into that place? (7)
THEATRE:  The wordplay is A from the clue and the final letter of PATIENT inserted together (brought into) another word for "that place". The complete clue also serves as the definition

28a   Flat leads to tenancy excuses, difficulties and debts (7)
TEDIOUS:  The initial letters of (leads to) the next three words in the clue are followed by some debts stereotypically scribbled on a scrap of paper 



1d    A river disturbed a large group of vessels (6)
ARMADA:  Concatenate A from the clue, the map abbreviation for river, disturbed or crazy, and A from the clue 

2d    Married a French lady -- this is how to greet her (6)
MADAME:  Cement together the genealogical abbreviation for married, A from the clue, and the French word for lady or woman. The definition refers back to the lady in the clue 

3d    Startle fish then study where the blooming things go? (4,6)
ROCK GARDEN:  Put together startle or knock off balance, one of the usual three-letter fish, and a synonym of study (in the sense defined by the BRB as: A room devoted to study, actually or ostensibly)

4d    Drink before a crisis (5)
DRAMA:  A small dose of whisky comes before A from the clue 

5d    Ruder upsetting article that's disgusting couple, right? (9)
NAUGHTIER:  Glue together the reversal (upsetting, in a down clue) of a grammatical article, an exclamation meaning "that's disgusting", couple or connect, and the single letter for right 

6d    Satisfied, swallowing ordinary wine (4)
MOET:  Satisfied a requirement, containing (swallowing) the single letter for ordinary 

7d    One way to get rid of a creepy-crawly? Shake a leg (4,2,2)
STEP ON IT:  An informal phrase meaning "shake a leg" could, read literally, be a way to dispatch an insect or spider on the ground 

8d    Poet hints about dropping hearts when one wants an ace? (3,5)
SET POINT:  An anagram (about) of POET HINTS minus the playing card abbreviation for hearts (dropping hearts) 

13d   Experience support with stadium (10)
BACKGROUND:  Fuse together synonyms of support and of stadium 

15d   A second American turned up and maintained church's authority (9)
ASSURANCE:  Amalgamate A from the clue, the single letter for second, the reversal (turned up, in a down clue) of an abbreviation meaning American, maintained or operated, and the abbreviation for the Church of England 

16d   Delivery from trendy blokes in street (8)
SHIPMENT:  Trendy or in and some blokes or chaps are inserted together in the abbreviation for street 

17d   Story -- one acted out (8)
ANECDOTE:  An anagram (out) of ONE ACTED 

antidote, not anecdote

19d   Female is tackling adult about Oscar's mess (6)
FIASCO:  Chain together the abbreviation for female, IS from the clue containing (tackling) the single letter for adult, the single letter for about or approximately, and the letter represented in the NATO phonetic alphabet by Oscar 

20d   Links university with atheism, regularly (6)
UNITES:  The informal contraction of university with alternate letters (regularly) of ATHEISM 

23d   Plan to restrict one trial episode (5)
PILOT:  A plan or scheme containing (to restrict) the Roman one 

24d   Ancient Scot chose to be heard (4)
PICT:  A homophone (to be heard) of chose or selected 


Thanks to today’s setter. Top clue for me was 12a. Anyone else wonder if 7d and 8d being anagrams of each other was deliberate or accidental? Perhaps our setter will enlighten us. Which clues did you like best?

The Quick Crossword pun:  WAR + TAS + PORTS = WATERSPORTS

100 comments on “DT 29714

  1. When I first looked at this, it seemed very wordy, but as soon as I got into it, I found the style quite straightforward. Finished in ** time, 22a was my last in, because I was convinced it involved “RATION” and when the checkers disproved that, I was lost for words.

    I am now struggling to finish the Quickie.

    Many thanks to the compiler and Mr. K.

      1. I agree about 24a in the Quickie, Huntsman. I have never associated “germs” with the answer.

  2. I rather enjoyed this not too tricky Tuesday offering and had it all slotted in well before my early morning sea swim.
    I liked the simple but clever 12a, the amusing 7d along with 19d as it’s such a great word. 18&27a also appealed.
    Many thanks to the setter and to Mr K for the fun. Just enjoyed the OMD clip, what a great song.

    1. I have to agree, Bertie. With his ability and precision, Mr K should be reviewing the Toughies or at least the Thurs or Fri back-pager.

      1. Aw, thanks Jose and Bertie. I’m happy blogging Tuesdays because I imagine that early in the week there’s a larger audience of solvers who benefit from the hints, and because the rotating cast of setters means you’re never quite sure what you’re going to get on a Tuesday.

  3. Smashing crossword. I particularly enjoyed 18a and the close relationship between 7d and 8d.

    It’s two weeks now since Lola finished her steroids and to date, mercifully, no return of the awful problems from earlier in the year. She has an appointment with the vet on Friday (for her annual jabs) and so a handy opportunity for the vet to have another look at her.

    Today I am off out for my birthday lunch on the day I become eligible to claim the state retirement pension…

    Thanks to the setter and The Celebrated Mr K.

      1. Happy Birthday Terence. Enjoy your day. Retirement is all the sweeter, when you are getting what you paid in for all those years!

    1. Happy birthday T. Treat yourself to a celebratory glass of 6d or a bottle now that you’re in receipt of Rishi’s riches….

    2. Happy Birthday, Terence! Have a great day! Wonderful to hear that Lola continues to be well.

    3. Happy Birthday Terence. It’s also my Australian grandson Oscar’s fourth birthday today, so fitting he should be mentioned at 19d.
      Enjoyable solve, thanks to setter and Mr K.

    4. HBTY Terence. You have to ‘work’ a month in hand before you start to receive any moolah

      1. And we September babies were born nine months after Christmas so very special

        1. And we December babies are special too as our Mums and Dads were celebrating Christmas! I think the biggest shock of my life was discovering how babies were made and to my utter horror I realised that my parents had indulged in this activity TWICE!

            1. My daughter Charlie is the fourth generation of single girls on the mothers side

    5. Thank you everyone for your kind birthday wishes. We had a lovely lunch at the Runnymede Hotel, by the Thames.

    6. Happy Birthday, Terence. Hope you’re having a great day.

      That’s wonderful news about Lola.

    7. I think you may well have retired for the night but Happy Birthday Terence and I hope you have really enjoyed your special day. Good to hear that Lola is continuing to improve and good luck getting her to the vets!

  4. This was an enjoyable puzzle (1.5/3*) although I’d have liked it to last longer. There were some interesting clues that I hadn’t seen before and I found 7d amusing, whilst 15d subtly misdirected me but COTD was18a with misdirection and a cleverly phrased anagram. Thanks to Mr K for the hints and to the compiler for an entertaining puzzle.

  5. 2.5*/3.5*. I enjoyed this. With hindsight I don’t know why the bottom half took me several times longer than the top half to complete.

    My podium choice is 14a, 2d & 3d.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Mr K. Happy Birthday to Terence.

  6. Happy birthday, Terence. Reasonably straightforward solve this morning. **/*** For some reason, 14a took a while to dawn. Last one in, the answer staring me in the face so I’ve no idea why. I liked 13d, the topical 8d but my favourite goes to the Greek hunt charade at 18a. Thanks to all.

  7. 14a also my last one in, goodness knows why. Enjoyable while it lasted though. 18a my COTD. Love the cat pictures. Thanks to all.

  8. Nice and gentle. 5a was my favourite. The Toughie is also very approachable today. Thanks to the setter & Mr. K and a happy birthday to Terence.

    1. Agree re The Toughie, very quirky, and by a setter I haven’t come across before.

    2. First glance Toughie was beyond me ken. Will return tonight when the football commentators run out of superlatives about the England team (probably about 10 minutes in).

  9. Another enjoyable puzzle and finished unaided. Stars were placed by 22a, 3d and 7d but my COTD is the wonderful 18a with its great misdirection. I spent ages trying to use “con” followed by some kind of “fast run”. It was a very well hidden anagram and the thud from the PDM could be heard all over the house.

    Grateful thanks to the setter for the fun. Thanks to Mr. K for the hints, which I will now read and hunt for kitties.

    1. Me too with con at 18a. Had too chuckle last night at your contribution to the beer debate. I was just washing down a Tramadol with a gulp of that ‘nasty stuff’ – Bishops Finger (a snip at £1.20 a bottle from Sainsbury’s).
      The two pronged attack provided sufficient pain relief for a decent night’s kip.

      1. Who needs doctors?! :grin:

        Unfortunately, I have a few bottles of that horrible Bishops Finger left. I’ll just have to hold my nose and gulp it down to get rid of it!

    2. Me too on the con trail. Which meant that I was way off beam with 16d which is really so simple. That is what we love about this game!

  10. Thanks Mr K, and the setter — nice and Tuesdayish.

    Anybody else going to meet Dada on his UK tour? I’m off to a park in Manchester tomorrow evening.

  11. This was right up my street and finished in * time – the only hesitation being 16d where I was trying for a few moments to get in=trendy into the answer. Great fun so **** for that rating. With thanks to Mr K and the setter for brightening my morning.

  12. Gentle and enjoyable. 18a, 28a, and 3d take the podium today. Thanks to Mr K and today’s setter. ** / ***

  13. Very Tuesdayish but pleasant enough & all over in short order. 14a was last in & like Geta it took longer than it ought to have to see it for some reason. 5d also took a few moments to parse properly but otherwise plain sailing. I too noticed 7&8d were anagrams of each other & thought 12a a clever little clue. Podium spots for me were 18&21a along with 16d.
    Thanks to the setter & to Mr K for his always entertaining review.

    1. Wow. That 7 & 8d coincidence was well spotted. Obviously the Bishops Finger sharpens the wits.

  14. A typical second day of the week puzzle form both aspects of difficulty and enjoyment – **/****.

    I also saw the connection between 7d and 8d and I decided that it was probably a coincidence.

    Candidates for favourite – 5a, 5d, and 19d – and the winner is 19d.

    Thanks to the setter and Mr K.

        1. I thought like Huntsman you had been sampling the Bishops Finger. He made the anagram connection as well. Of course, if you are a strict teetotaller I do beg your pardon – I was jesting.

          1. There may be something to your theory, DG. My hint preparation was accompanied by a nice Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc.

  15. A pleasant, undemanding Tuesday puzzle – just right for a very warm day.
    18a amused and my favourite was 14a which took longer to find than it should have done.

    Thanks to our setter and to Mr K for the review – those kittens are growing apace!

  16. When I started this I wondered whether every answer would contain the letter M but was soon proved wrong. Enjoyed it without troubling what few brain cells I have left. It’s my birthday too. Thanks to the setter and Mr. K

    1. Happy Birthday, Joe! I hope you have a great day along with Terrence. I am raising my Katy to you and Terrence.

    2. Happy birthdays, Joe and Terence. Hope you’re getting good weather where you are.

      1. It’s my un-birthday. So I shall also celebrate a hint-free solve (and a wicket for England) by cracking open a bottle of Bicicleta. (Other pinot noirs are available.)

        Thanks to all for the entertainment.

  17. Fun coffee-break solve, nothing overly testing, generally smooth surfaces generating plenty of smiles, with a good range of clue types. Hon. mentions to 5a, 21a, 28a, and 19d, with my COTD going to 16d – not a difficult clue, it just ticked all my boxes.


    Many thanks to the Setter and to Mr K.

  18. Fairly straightforward, but like Huntsman & Greta 14a was LOI, taking nearly * time to see even with all the checkers. Just me being slow on the uptake.
    Go with SCs 18a as my COTD.
    Thanks to setter & Mr K.
    Sun trying to burn off the cloud up here but I wouldn’t fancy StephenL’s sea swim (our sea temperature is 12C).

  19. I live at the opposite end of the country to you LROK, on the South Devon coast where the sea temperature is a very bearable (but refreshing) 15°C.

  20. Yes a very nice Tuesday offering 😃 ***/*** Favourites: 12 & 22 across and 16 down. Thanks to Mr K and to the Setter 👍

  21. First time I’ve sailed through without stopping for a while, thanks for a good puzzle.

  22. Just the right mixture of put ins and head scratchers. Pocket Rocket was coming at 2 and just after one it began to pour with rain. I’m sorry to bang on about open gardens but I have not done it for several years and it is looming large in my legend. George got the mirror up but the angle is not right and also I need sunshine for a photo. Fortunately PR can come on Thursday at one. Not enough pussycats this week Mr K, thanks for explaining 12a – why are the four letter jobs often the last? And thanks to the setter – I put in rock salmon but soon saw the error of my ways. Thoroughly enjoyed Andy Murray’s marathon yesterday, lots of 8ds.

    1. I was with rock salmon for ages, DG. Annoying because once the wrong answer becomes lodged it is difficult to shift.

    2. Enjoyed Murray too, but does he have the stamina to last the course? Watching Federer just now, I wonder about him too!

  23. Just the right increase in difficulty to make it a fine Tuesday puzzle. 16d my clue of the day with honourable mentions for 5a, 18a, and 5d.

    My thanks to Mr K and the setter.

  24. Pleasant and straightforward with nothing too obscure or difficult. I particularly liked the simple 12a and the elegant 16d. Many thanks to both Misters and Happy Birthday to Terence.

  25. A very enjoyable puzzle! I particularly liked 11A and 27A — and got thoroughly led up the garden path by 5A as I spent a good few minutes trying to make “revenge” work (“RE” split both east and west, with ‘EVEN’ in there too as a slightly dodgy synonym for ‘relative’) … before going back to first principles and finally getting an aha moment, after which the NE corner crumbled. Not sure if that was the setter’s very cunning misdirection, or me just overthinking it!

  26. Very enjoyable solve again today, my cup runneth over. But my goodness, 7d … we would never do that. We always catch the interloper in an empty jam jar and relocate outside. Definitely for spiders. It’s mostly small lizards that we have to capture here. Thanks to the setter for a puzzle almost completed without help, and to Mr K for the pictures. 5a was a reminder to truly value good neighbours when you have them, rather than those in the picture.

  27. I am loving Tuesdays! The only one I didn’t get without help was 12a. I could only come up with Ho-Ho and Go-To as candidates for the answer and neither made sense. D’oh! The simplest are sometimes the hardest?!
    I liked the cleverness of 27a and the squirmy funniness of 7d.
    Thanks very much to the setter and Mr K (I very much enjoyed the vengeful neighbour picture).

  28. Got nicely misdirected by 18a before the penny dropped. Entertaining puzzle ***/****

  29. A nice puzzle for a Tuesday 2.5*/*** Learnt a new word in 24d.
    Favourites include 14a, 18a, 27a, 7d & 8d pair with winners 7/8d

    Thanks to setter and Mr K

  30. In agreement with everything above, a pleasant and gentle solve, I tend to find Tuesday easier than Monday.
    Favourite was 8d for topicality.
    Thanks to the setter and Mr K

  31. I finished this about a couple of hours ago but have been sidetracked, I needed to look at it again. This was loads of fun, of all things, I only had a problem with 5d! I had all the checkers and couldn’t see it, needed a little e-help nudge there. Fave was 8d as just as I solved it, Barty served an ace and won the set!
    Thanks to our setter, loved the fun, and thanks Mr. K for your hints and pics, the little ones are growing up!
    This is probably an unpopular (and old fashioned) remark, but I do enjoy seeing the players wearing white!

    1. I do so agree with you, Merusa, the white outfits are the best. Remember those halcyon days of John Newcombe and the like who didn’t grunt or lose their tempers and always looked as though they were enjoying themselves? The Men’s Doubles were a positive delight, full of trick shots and good humour.
      Sadly, like so many sports, once ‘big money’ became involved everything seemed to change for the worse.

      1. You are so, so right! I attended Wimbledon in the 1960s, Rod Laver et al! So much fun. And remember Gorgeous Gussie? I never saw her play but she certainly made the headlines in her Teddy Tinling outfit.

      2. So agree with everything you have said Jane. When the players helped themselves to a drink behind the umpires chair and chatted together. The days of Dan Maskell!

        1. To Manders and Merusa – I went to school in Wimbledon and in the upper forms after exams we were allowed to go to the courts and the officials would let us in, in our school uniform, In those days the society set would leave the ground at about 4.30 regardless of what was happening on court, to go home and change for the evening dinner/ball/theatre. They would hand their tickets to us and we would go in and sit in the best seats ! The people we saw playing the centre court – Hoad, Drobny, Schroeder, Connolly = AND there was a chance of seeing the boys from Rutlish school!

          1. Oh yes, Mo Connolly! So sad, she died too young. There was also Althea Gibson, Ken Rosewall, and many more. They had a grass court tournament in Montego Bay in the winter and a lot of the big names came. Betty Rosenquest married a local chap and stayed there. I was on our school team and went to watch them at Fairfield.

          2. Hi DG – I was thinking of you yesterday. As you may know, the DT Puzzles Editor publishes a weekly Puzzles Newsletter which contains a ‘clue-writing’ competition. The clue to be written this week is for ‘party piece’ – I wondered whether he’d accept a picture clue!

  32. Once again I did not find this as easy as the rest of you, needed the hint for 6d, not being a wine drinker I am not familiar with the different types of vinegar on offer. Still I enjoyed the challenge so thanks to all.

  33. **/***. Held up by the football rather than the puzzle. Great result for both. 5a my favourite. Thanks to all.

  34. Steady and enjoyable solve.
    Nice anagrams in 18a and 25a.
    Thanks to the setter and to MrK for the review.
    Happy belated birthdays to Terrence and Joe.

  35. Very enjoyable. Most went in smoothly and none the worse for it. 18a was my out and out favourite. Have we heard from Brian?

  36. Late on parade again from a coolish Brisbane as we head into the first full day of a snap Covid lockdown. Two quite straight forward offerings so far this week. I finished this one in fairly quick time so I tackled the toughie which brought me back to earth. My COTD, 7d. Very timely as Mrs Flying Fox wanted me to do that to a spider that snuck into our apartment. I caught it and took it outside where it can continue doing its job. Thanks to the setter and Mr K for the extras and music. 🦇

  37. Thanks to my early newspaper deliveries I made an early start on this today as I had a lunch party to organise so I was pleased not to come up against any real problems. SE was slowest. Failed to parse the disgusting part of 5D bung-in. Fav was the little 12a. Thank you Tuesday Mysteron and MrK.

  38. 2*/4*…
    liked 7D “One way to get rid of a creepy-crawly? Shake a leg (4,2,2)” as well as the pictures to Mr K’s hints.

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