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DT 29716

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29716

Hints and tips by Miffypops


+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

Reggies Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

Good morning from an overcast Barrel where your blogger today has been abused by his wife pinching and punching him and complaining about her morning cup of tea before arguing about the pronunciation of vegan. Our setter today, possibly Giovanni, has only provided a paltry twenty-eight clues to solve in a puzzle lacking food or drink. Heigh-ho. It’s only a crossword puzzle. There are things of more importance in our lives

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought. 


7a        Live next to farmland? That can be put up with (8)
BEARABLE:  A two-letter verb meaning to live or exist is followed by a type of farmland used for growing crops (much easier than tending to livestock so I am told)

9a        School hurt endlessly by quarrel (6)
HARROW:  A four-letter word meaning to hurt or injure loses its last letter and is followed by a noisy acrimonious quarrel

10a      Dog led off to be put in kennel, say? (6)
LODGED: Anagram (off) of DOG LED

11a      Approve of what twit here can be seen to do (4,4)
HOLD WITH: This phrasal verb meaning to approve of is clued by asking what the words twit here do with the word they contain within themselves. Kinder bloggers might embolden the letters concerned but I like you to have to do some of the work yourselves. It’s the way I roll

12a      ‘Customers,’ I plea, ‘must get special treatment. They are very valuable!’ (8,6)
PRECIOUS METALS: Anagram (must get special treatment) of CUSTOMERS I PLEA. These may be very valuable but surely not in minute quantities 

15a      Tense with father and son getting agreement finally (4)
PAST: An informal but endearing term for ones father is followed by the abbreviation for son and the final letter of the word agreement

17a      Pottery expert bringing learner aboard (5)
DELFT: A word meaning expert or neatly skilful needs to have the usual abbreviation for learner inserted to form a type of tin glazed earthenware

19a      A knight trailing behind king, hard ruler (4)
KHAN:  The letter A from the clue along with the abbreviations for king, hard and (in chess notation) the knight or horsey need to be arranged in the order suggested by the clue

20a      Soppiness conveyed by one way of thinking (14)
SENTIMENTALITY: A word meaning conveyed or possibly posted is followed by the letter that looks like the number one and the characteristic way of thinking of a person or group

23a      Next door there’s a player of records needing a bit of money (8)
ADJACENT: The letter A from the clue is followed by the letters suggested by a player of records (disc jockey, a man who longs to be in a band but cannot sing or play an instrument) This is followed by a small unit of currency, one hundredth of a dollar

25a      Changing address may be generating strong feelings (6)
MOVING: A double definition. The first being supposedly a very strenuous undertaking. I must say we loved every stretched out minute of it

27a      Margaret, having secured victory, is making high-pitched cry (6)
MEWING: This high pitched crying noise made by cats consists of a shortened form of the name Margaret surrounding a victory similar to that of England’s football team over Germany’s football team on Tuesday night. Oh yes indeedee!

Meg Merrilies by John Keats

Old Meg she was a Gipsy,

And liv’d upon the Moors:

Her bed it was the brown heath turf,

And her house was out of doors.

Her apples were swart blackberries,

Her currants pods o’ broom;

Her wine was dew of the wild white rose,

Her book a churchyard tomb.

Her Brothers were the craggy hills,

Her Sisters larchen trees—

Alone with her great family

She liv’d as she did please.

No breakfast had she many a morn,

No dinner many a noon,

And ‘stead of supper she would stare

Full hard against the Moon.

But every morn of woodbine fresh

She made her garlanding,

And every night the dark glen Yew

She wove, and she would sing.

And with her fingers old and brown

She plaited Mats o’ Rushes,

And gave them to the Cottagers

She met among the Bushes.

Old Meg was brave as Margaret Queen

And tall as Amazon:

An old red blanket cloak she wore;

A chip hat had she on.

God rest her aged bones somewhere—

She died full long agone!

28a      Precision of a Christian creed laid down by saints (8)
NICENESS:  A synonym of precision referring to a lack of anything wrong can be found by placing a creed adopted by the first ecumenical council in 325CE in the city of Nicaea after which it is named before two abbreviations for saint. Here endeth today’s lesson 


1d        The fellow leading soldiers up — a courageous man (4)
HERO: The male pronoun is followed by the reverse of a term used in the services for regular soldiers or ‘other ranks’

2d        Very sad end for establishment with smoke rising (6)
TRAGIC: The final letter of the word establishment is followed by the reverse of something that might be smoked, not a herring or a salmon but an aromatic tobacco plant

3d        The second character is one of the little women (4)
BETH: The second character of the Hebrew alphabet is also one of Louisa M Alcott’s little women

4d        Put back nearly all the bits of the bookcase? (6)
SHELVE: A verb meaning to put back, delay or halt a project either temporarily or permanently is what forms the horizontal boards in a bookcase minus their last letter 

5d        Portray footballer as a nuisance (8)
DRAWBACK: To portray here is to create an image using such things as pens, pencils, crayons or  charcoal. Add a footballer who helps defend the goal

6d        Match being held inside cannot upset competitor (10)
CONTESTANT:  A match, usually a sporting match between two countries sits inside an anagram (upset) of CANNOT

8d        Forbidden to go wild? Not in county town (7)
BEDFORD: Anagram (to go wild) of FORBIDDEN minus the letters I and N

13d      Classical poetry with phrases I’d translated about love (10)
RHAPSODIES: Anagram (translated) of PHRASES ID and the letter O (love in tennis)

14d      Ointment not to waste left hidden (5)
SALVE: A verb meaning not to waste or to keep safe sits around the abbreviation for left

16d      Volunteers covering a little land down under, a province, and an African country (8)
TANZANIA: The initials of the UKs volunteer army of yesteryear sit around the letter A from the clue, the initials of a ‘little land down under,’ Another letter A from the clue and a UK province of six counties. My first thought about the term ‘a little land down under’ was how rude and derogatory it was of the setter. My second thoughts are that the word little leads us to an abbreviation. A Google search of how big is New Zealand compared to the UK brought up one very interesting website suggesting that New Zealand was a lot less than perfect. It matters not to me. I’m not going anywhere abroad 

18d      Little kid facing monstrous mice is sending a message (7)
TOTEMIC:  A baby or toddler is followed by an anagram (monstrous) of MICE

21d      One gets cold and anxious, no end, when it’s freezing (3,3)
ICE AGE: The letter that looks like the number one is followed by the abbreviation for cold. This is all followed by a rather stretched synonym of the word anxious minus its last letter 

22d      Around five the French worker gets to bunk off (6)
LEVANT: Surround the Roman numeral for five with the French masculine word for the and an insect worker

24d      Quality of gem perhaps initially not evident (4)
TONE: The word describing a gem in a piece of jewellery needs its first letter removing

26d      Reportedly recognises organ (4)
NOSE: A homophone based upon a word meaning recognises or has knowledge of and an organ in the middle of ones face

Quickie Pun Lance + Allot = Lancelot

Blogged to the 1983 Wembley Arena concert by Joni Mitchell courtesy of YouTube. I’d forgotten this little gem of a recording. 


93 comments on “DT 29716

  1. I enjoyed today’s offering despite one or two obscurities such as 22d – I did not know the word meant to bunk off. I also thought 18d meant “ancestral” but I don’t have the BRB to hand to check. Putting “Tasmania” in 16d held me up for a while. I really must read clues properly. My COTD is 23a.

    Many thanks to the setter for a great challenge. Many thanks to MP for the hints.

  2. The right level of difficulty for a Thursday back pager – I concluded that it was definitely the work of Giovanni, especially when I got to 28a

    Thanks to Giovanni for the crossword and MP for the blog

  3. Very enjoyable. I thought at one stage The Don was giving us a pangram but alas a Q&X (I think) short. I shamelessly bunged in 28a but everything else flowed nicely with any slight obscurities sympathetically clued.
    11a and 4d were my picks.
    Many thanks to Giovanni and MP for the fun in the sun.

  4. Absolutely cracking coffee-break puzzle, thoroughly enjoyed this. 22d new to me but was fairly clued and could not have been anything else. 28a was close to being my COTD, the precision bringing to mind the prophecies of Agnes Nutter. A good range of clue types, wonderfully written, with great surface reads. Hon. mentions to 2d, 8d (& I don’t often nominate anagrams) and 28a, but COTD for me was 11a: very clever and it raised a big smile.


    Many thanks to Giovanni / the setter if it was someone else, and to MP for the review.

  5. Thanks MP for the enlightenment on 22d. I couldn’t understand where “bunk off” came into the answer either. How you came up with the explanation for 28a, I’ve no idea! It had to be from the checkers but the Christian creed of 325 bypassed my knowledge. I spent too long trying to find a breed of dog to fit 10a before the anagram dawned on me. A good work out this morning nonetheless. ***/*** Favourite 23a. Thanks to all.

        1. You obviously weren’t brainwashed in a Catholic school, Greta, as I was. Actually, this creed has appeared in Telegraph puzzles, in the past.

    1. G, 28a. I got this from the checkers, the definition and the “saints” indicating the SS ending. Then I Googled the first 6 letters of my guessed answer – and Bob’s your uncle! Apart from Bertie, there can’t be many people who knew the word without help.

      1. Are we presuming that church goers don’t do crosswords?! All clues are easy if their substance comes within your particular range of knowledge or experience. Good job this is different for all of us.

        1. I think the better known parts of the religious spectrum do not raise comments when used in Cryptic puzzles. The more obscure stuff nearly always raises comments. However ones mans obscure is another mans given. Religious education was a major subject at my infant and junior school. Hardly touched upon in senior school where they seemed to think being able to say The Lords Prayer and knowing that one got Easter Eggs on Easter Sunday was religious education enough

        2. No, Mhids, I wasn’t presuming that – it’s highly likely that some churchgoers also do crosswords. I was referring to anybody/everybody that has looked at this puzzle. And I still stick by my assertion.

      2. Just about every member of the Church of England will know the Nicene Creed. My best
        DT crossword mate is a member of our congregation and (in normal times) we would arrive
        on Sunday morning with the SPC to compare notes.

  6. Thanks to MP for the parsing of 28a which eluded me completely, 22d was a new word and so the SE quadrant took as much time as the other three put together!
    Enjoyed the remainder of the puzzle and a ***/***.
    Liked 11a when the penny dropped and the surface of 23a,favourites were 7 and 27a.

  7. I’d rate it only**/*** today. Never come across the meaning of 22d as that but dictionary confirms. Chambers suggests from Spanish/ Latin but online from a French expression as origin.

  8. Help! Where is today’s Toughie? 6 Japanese type number games is no substitute! Surely enough of us comment on it not to have CL discontinue it?

    1. I would imagine the page was wrongly set up for printing. The online version is fine. You’ll have mail in a minute

      1. Thank you so much! I really felt the Japanese puzzles in the dead tree version were an insult.

    2. Where are you looking for it. In the hard copy newspaper.? In The Telegraph Puzzles app?
      In the Daily Telegraph Subscription app? Or somewhere else? Hopefully somebody with the puzzles app will email you a copy. The Toughie is rather good today. Imagine my thoughts when I finished it earlier this morning and almost began reviewing it thinking it was the back pager

      1. In the newspaper version “Where the Toughie should appear, the Telegraph has reprinted (in larger type) the Sujiko and Suguru puzzles that also appear above the back-page cryptic! Oops, indeed.”

    3. Yes, JB I felt quite disappointed when I found there wasn’t a Toughie and I never thought I would ever say that!

  9. A thoroughly absorbing and entertaining puzzle to kickstart the day. Even the odd obscurity was properly clued giving us every chance of solving the grid. My favourite was 11a.

    My thanks to The Don for a fun challenge and to MP for his comprehensive blog.

    1. It’s only comprehensive because that was the type of school I should have attended

        1. Mostly the library. I had an agreement with my Dad that I would study what he asked me to learn as long as I didn’t have to go to school

        2. There’s nothing wrong with approved schools, I went to one myself. It was an excellent Grammar School – much approved by all! :-)

  10. Another enjoyable puzzle today, again the first half went in quite quickly, the second half not so quick. I would have thought there was only one way to pronounce vegan – veegan?! but other vegans may be available. I like my crispy bacon too much to be a vegan. Thanks to the setter and MP. I am still amazed at the size of your shed – oh dear, raining here and its our WI Strawberry Tea this afternoon.

    1. Well I beg to differ re vegan – rightly or wrongly I have always said “vaygan” – too late to change now!

      1. I have always pronounced it vee-gan. But maybe it should really be vedge-an. After all, it is all about eating only veg(etable) material.

    2. Do you say Las Veeeeeeeeeeeegas or Las Vaygas? So I always say Vaygan which Saint Sharon always corrects which makes me say Vaygan all the more. Marriage. That constant scoring of minor points over each other that makes married life such fun. I’ve also switched the labels on her spice jars. She hasn’t noticed yet but the Thyme is Cumin.
      As for the shed, there was a shed sized space so I built a shed to fit that space. Here is one of Saint Sharon of Quality Control

      1. MP, Las Vegas (the meadows) is not really relevant as it’s a Spanish word! Hope you’re ready for a lot of currified dishes if St. Sharon were to use cumin (spice) instead of thyme (herb).

      2. No 2 son, his partner and the vegan cafe in Herne Bay (I just asked!) all say v ee gan

    3. I’m not vegan, I won’t eat mammal. Manders, I miss my crispy bacon so much, nothing else, just the bacon.

      1. I am exceedingly old and have been around a bit and I have never, ever, heard anyone say vaygan.
        Not even Nigella.

        1. I’m pretty old too DG but obviously we have never met nor indeed discussed veganism!

  11. Looked very tricky on first perusal but as is so often the case quickly fell into place to give me a **/***. I went for the obvious for 3d, 22d and 28d which happened to be correct although until Miffypops hints I wasn’t entirely sure why! With thanks to the setter for a diverting test.

  12. Enjoyed this puzzle today. 22d a new word for me also. Got involved with crossbow bolt for arrow , arriving at correct answer for 9a nevertheless. Thanks to setter and MP.

  13. I managed to obtain this puzzle much earlier than normal and I found it approaching average difficulty for this excellent setter, with very good clues and an enjoyable solve. 2*/3.5*

    * Just an observation re the review, 21d: there’s no “stretching” here – it’s in the BRB and other dictionaries. As in: I’m anxious/truncated word in the answer to get this show on the road.

    1. After the homophone debate of last week maybe we can have a stretched synonym debate this week. I cannot remember who said it but either it is a synonym or it isn’t a synonym and therefore the word stretched doesn’t come in to it. Either way it seemed stretched when I wrote the hint.

      1. Not that I think it applies necessarily to 21d but would “obscure” be better than “stretched”?

        1. Obscure would be perfect but I like to save it to describe things that were immensely popular last century. Fawlty Towers for example

      2. Absolutely! In this case it definitely is a synonym and therefore the word “stretched” doesn’t or shouldn’t come into it.

        * I’d prefer to have a debate about using homophone indicators in Spooner clues – be much more interesting!

  14. Once again Giovanni has done us proud with only the SE hanging fire – 16d and 22d particularly – plus 28a. 2d was a bung-in but with hint help it became Fav. As is often the case with DG even the Quickie was nice challenge. Thank you Giovanni and MP.

  15. You creeding lost me today, miff me boy! Finished it without hints but chucked most of SE in!

    1. I chuck most of it in and wing it from there Chris. Nice to see you earlier this week.

  16. Puzzle of two halves for me. South completed with North virtually blank.
    Staggered through once 12a dawned (yes I knew it was an anagram & yes I was a metallurgist!).
    COTD was 11a.
    LOI was 17a. Stupid really as Mrs LROK had a Dutch mother so we have a bit of Delftware.
    Thank you to setter. Also to MP for the usual comprehensive review which was needed to explain 8d.
    Gorgeous day up here.

  17. Well… I found this really hard. I battled away for an age and then felt I had to run to Miff’s hints (for more than a handful), otherwise I would still be at my desk at this time tomorrow.

    I did enjoy the garden photos yesterday, with special mention to Miff and The Saint’s incredible transformation.

    Today’s crossword soundtrack: The Temptations – The Temptations Sing Smokey (1965)

    Thanks to the setter and MIffo.

    1. Thank you Terence. It helped that the garden had been well kept before the previous owner of the house was run over by a Leicester corporation bus and became indisposed. In order to make things easier the veg patch was slabbed over, then the lawn, then the rose bed. Once the slabs were moved it wasn’t too difficult to sort out. As Chairman Mao said, A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. After the patio base was dug out Saint Sharon levelled this heap out. Bless her

  18. I’m here because there was no paper toughie today. This nice Giovanni puzzle [who else?] took me about the same time as a * or ** toughie and I can’t really see much difference in the setter’s clueing. There’s one obscurity [22d – though it’s a nice clue] one I couldn’t parse [3d – Considered Greek but forgot Hebrew] and 2 lovely clues that raised a smile [16d and 18d]. In defence of Don patronising Kiwis surely there’s a big land down under [Oz] and a little one, plus lots of twiddly bits we don’t generally acknowledge in crosswords and that may not even count as down under.
    You back page fans need have no fear of the toughies, especially Mustafa G [4 above] – either you’re well up for em or your boss needs to know about the length of your coffee breaks.
    Thanks to Giovanni [if indeed tis he] and to MP for a fine blog.

    1. Ha! Sometime’s it’s a wavelength/mindset thing, and if one can tune in swiftly one is fortunate indeed. I signally failed to tune in to Robyn’s wavelength on Tuesday’s Toughie and found it a much slower solve than most of the contributors to the blog. I started to feel as though I could have grown the coffee beans from scratch while completing it, let alone just having a coffee-break.

      If you haven’t had a look at today’s Toughie I can heartily recommend it: an absolute gem from ProXimal, a(nother) cracker and very fairly clued.

      1. Yes, I know what you mean about wavelength. Gazza’s sent me the toughie and there’s sod all on the telly so I’ll have a go in a bit.

  19. So, here I am earlier than usual. I usually tackle the Toughie first before looking at the, putatively easier(!) back pager which today, being contrary, was on the inside page. Not a good day for the dead tree version.
    I, too, felt 16a was derogatory to our friends down under. How did the 2Kiwis feel about it?
    I felt very smug remembering the creed in 28a but had my comeuppance with failing 11a.
    COTD? Probably 13d which was a surprise. I always link the word to music.


    1. The setter’s description of NZ was perfectly OK by me – that’s exactly what it is. The area of NZ is slightly more than the UK – another small land, situated in the Northern Hemisphere. I accept your individual opinion, but I can’t see what is derogatory about calling a small land a “small land”.

      1. You wouldn’t say either were small if you had to paint them with a four inch brush

        1. Come on, MP, don’t be ridiculous! If you had to paint NZ, you’d use a roller. Anybody knows that!

          1. I wouldn’t spend however many hours on an aeroplane to get there. So it ain’t gonna happen with either a brush or a roller. We Coventry lads have sorted New Zealand. David Duckham and all.

  20. Tougher Giovanni than usual for me but thoroughly enjoyable. Many contenders for the podium today, but I’ve settled on 11a, 8d, 16d, with honourable mentions to 28a, 18d, & 19a. 22d was new to me but nothing else fit! Thanks to The Don and to MP for the little known poem by Junkets, my favourite poet. *** / ****

    Finished the challenging Toughie but need a bit of cyber-help to get there.

  21. Here I am later than usual. I enjoyed the puzzle, after a slow start and then a quick finish (2*/3.5*). I did know about the different creeds and though 28 a was a great clue, of the ‘lego’ type, Long with 20a. 11a was very wily and 13d a great anagram so they are joint clues of the day for me. Thanks to MP for the hints and the motto at the beginning and thanks to Giovanni.

  22. If this is Giovanni puzzle, I found it a gentle one for me given the trouble I usually have with his offerings. **/**** today. Favourite clues 9a, 10a, 27a, 16d & 18d with winner 27a
    New word in 22d for me.

    Thanks to Giovanni & MP

  23. Very enjoyable puzzle and I was bang on wavelength, so nice and smooth.
    Didn’t know 22d, but knew the creed (even though I don’t go to church), and needed the hints to parse 3d.
    Thanks to the setter and MP.

    PS Another great win for Cavendish (scroll on by if men on bikes is not your thing)

  24. Another enjoyable if tough (for me) puzzle. Solved alone and unaided but have to ad mit to bunging in 22d then checking it out.

    Thanks to the setter and to MP.

    Beautiful weather continues up here…..lovely bright sunshine.

  25. A bit of a slog for me today, particularly 22d and 28a. I thought I was in with a chance when the top half was quite friendly, but then I ground to a halt. What a sad picture in 20a. Thanks to Giovanni who always beats me, and to MP. I think my High School years would have been better spent in the library like MP rather than with the mostly uninspiring teachers we had there.

    1. Thank you for noticing the plight of the dog BusyLizzie. The hours spent in the library were preferable to the hours spent being beaten and bullied by the ‘teachers’ of the day. May they rot in hell one and all

  26. Smooth, enjoyable, unaided sailing until 22d which, to my shame, took a long time for the penny to drop.
    I will not again be nearly a victim of this much used, in its various forms, cryptic message.
    So, ***/ *****
    Many thanks Giovanni and Miffypops.

  27. What an entertaining lot of comments. Did this early this morning & it was surprisingly brisk solve as I usually find ProXimal tricky. The wordplay meant the answer to 22d was obvious but needed to check the bunk off context. 28a was last in & a complete bung in (suspect it wasn’t Brian’s favourite) & not entered with any confidence but the all correct message came up. Can’t say I’d have readily thought of the answer as a synonym of the definition (no issues with 21d though) & as for the wordplay – got the SS bit but know nowt about creeds. Super crossword with plenty of cracking clues & good surfaces. 11a my clear pick of the crop.
    Thanks ProXimal & to MP for the review/comments

  28. Late here today, had an appointment with my neurosurgeon – good news, all’s well! I was only able to solve a few before leaving, when I came back I picked it up again and answers started falling into place. The NE corner held out in the end and I needed help with the last four or so.
    Due to my CofE schooling, being chapelled and churched a few times a day, 28a presented no problems. I’d never heard the 22d meaning but it was easy enough to work out and that’s why we have dictionaries. Fave was 17a.
    Thanks to Giovanni and to M’pops for his help finishing.

  29. Have only just got around to the crossword as we had an ’emergency’ at the Almshouses this morning then emergency
    meeting this afternoon to deal with it. I am supposed to be retired. Very unhappy about no toughie for the bath, I shall have to do the polyword.
    No particular favourite today, but yesterday I really did like Supplier of three queens. I thought that was the best clue this year! Pocket Rocket
    came for two hours today and that is it. All the roses are bashed down by the rain, except for the beautiful pink roses woven through
    with lime green Alchemilla Mollis which looks fabulous, the snails have eaten the petunias. Now the weather forecast says rain on Sunday so no one will come anyway
    so I am laying in an extra supply of gin to drown my sorrows. Many thanks to the setter as always and to MP the Shedbuilder Extraordinaire
    for his entertaining hints.

    1. Provided you have a printer, the email I’ve just sent you should cheer you up

  30. Straightforward until it wasn’t with the last six clues taking longer than the the rest of the crossword. 27a solved when I stopped trying to fit a V in which gave me 21d. Though I had the little woman in 3d I needed the hint to solve 11a, wrong wavelength. Didn’t know the meaning of 22d but it had to be so I looked it up, I do now. As a non religious person the chances of me knowing the creed in 28a equate to zero so needed the hint for that too. 24d followed soon after. Favourite was 18d. Thanks to the setter and MP.

  31. Thanks to Giovanni and to Miffypops for the review and hints. I thought that this was really difficult. Could only solve 10 clues, before resorting to the hints. Needed 4 of them to finish. Not my cup of tea at all.

  32. As usual,,BD’s mine of useful information came handy for the alphabet in 3d. Knew she wouldn’t be called Beta.
    Put have with in 11a as I misspelled 4d. A slight touch of dyslexia.
    28a had to be that answer from the checkers and had to check the religious reference.
    Thanks to the Don and to MP for the great review. Noddy can be so wise.
    Great blog to follow. Smiled all the way.

  33. 28a, almost impossible unless you have specialised knowledge of theology.

    1. The answer can be worked out from the checkers which is how I arrived at it. Only one word will fit. The definition works well. A bit of reverse parsing should get you to the two parts of the wordplay. A look at the dictionary or a Google search will confirm your answer. Not impossible at all. We all have to do a little work sometimes.

  34. 3*/3*…..
    liked 2D ” Very sad end for establishment with smoke rising (6)”

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