DT 29729 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29729

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29729

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Good morning from South Devon, where last week’s rain has given way to some sunshine.

Again, because I’m on a limited internet connection, this week’s blog is lacking in pictures or music. Quite tricky today, I thought, well into my *** time.

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           Offensive criticism (6)
ATTACK – Double definition: a military offensive; or some negative criticism.

4a           Funeral item that may require a DJ? (5,3)
BLACK TIE – Something often worn, usually by men, as a mark of respect at a funeral. If the answer appears as the dress code on an invitation, it means that a dinner jacket (DJ) should be worn.

10a         Union territory where rat meets defeat (4,5)
SHOP FLOOR – Another word for ‘rat’ or ‘grass’ is followed by another word for ‘defeat’.

11a         Pinches snacks (5)
BITES – Double definition, the first perhaps referring to the effect of winter cold.

12a         Cheers before I advance in final (4-3)
TAIL-END – Put together another word for ‘Cheers!’, I (from the clue), and another word for ‘advance’.

13a         Lent ear to broadcast — it’s never-ending (7)
ETERNAL – Anagram (to broadcast) of LENT EAR.

14a         A model revolutionary, he was fabulously creative (5)
AESOP – A (from the clue) followed by the reverse (revolutionary) of a word for what models do.

15a         Perhaps corner rook or knight? (3,5)
SET PIECE – A phrase from sporting jargon, relating to a pre-arranged move from a static start, which could also describe what a rook or knight is in relation to chess.

18a         Old royal part of London (8)
VICTORIA – A former Queen, or the railway station named after her.

20a         Part of spring is damper — field to get cut occasionally (5)
APRIL – Alternate letters (cut occasionally) of dAmPeR fIeLd.

23a         Where food’s prepared in high-vis vest? (7)
WORKTOP – Double definition: the part of your kitchen where food preparation may be carried out; or what a high-vis vest may be.

25a         Take a drag and give a smile? (5,2)
LIGHT UP – Double definition: to start a cigarette; or the effect of a smile on one’s expression.

26a         Yes-man now transferring a forward (5)
TOADY – Another word for ‘now’ with the A moved one place forward.

27a         Wind up getting unfair tie rearranged (9)
INFURIATE – Anagram (rearranged) of UNFAIR TIE.

28a         Holding back, washes it antiseptically in part (8)
HESITANT – Hidden in the clue.

29a         Tired of notice about fish having to be put back (6)
SLEEPY – Another word for ‘notice’ or ‘spot’ wrapped round the reverse (having to be put back) of a type of fish.

Down

1d           One may snarl at a snail meandering about (8)
ALSATIAN – Anagram (meandering about) of AT A SNAIL.

2d           River in question’s somewhere near the Equator (7)
TROPICS – Another word for ‘question’ or ‘theme’, plus the ‘S from the clue, wrapped round River.

3d           Drinks maker initially cautious of price cap being raised (6,3)
COFFEE POT – Put together the first letter (initially) of Cautious, OF (from the clue), a price or charge, and the reverse (being raised) of another word for ‘cap’.

5d           How someone on Mount Rushmore looks over the top (6,4,4)
LARGER THAN LIFE – Double definition, the first being a reference to the giant sculptured heads of US Presidents on the side of that mountain.

6d           Telegraph guy? (5)
CABLE – Double definition, the second being the sort of guy that keeps a marquee up.

7d           Little bird — one about to go under an enormous boat, that would be unfortunate (7)
TITANIC – Put together a small bird, AN (from the clue), the Roman numeral for one, and the Latin abbreviation for ‘about’ or ‘approximately’.

8d           They display art in moderate sizes (6)
EASELS – Another word for ‘moderate’ or ‘relax’, followed by two examples of clothes size.

9d           Prophetic part of CV? (3,11)
JOB DESCRIPTION – A cryptic definition. The basic meaning is a simple recitation of what one has been doing on a CV. The ‘prophetic’ part is a reference to the Old Testament prophet renowned for patience in the face of adversity.

16d         Gore perhaps after airgun exploded, covering uniform first (9)
INAUGURAL – Anagram (exploded) of AIRGUN, wrapped round the letter represented by Uniform in the NATO alphabet, and followed by the short form of the first name of US Vice-President Gore.

17d         Czech beer served up for a Yankee — ice-covered? (8)
SLIPPERY – Reverse (served up) a Czech beer, then add another word for ‘for a’ and the letter represented by Yankee in the NATO alphabet.

19d         Advances where parents say children shouldn’t play (7)
INROADS – Split the answer (2,5) and this is where parents tell their children not to play.

21d         Some expensive car — target when upwardly mobile in this? (3,4)
RAT RACE – Hidden in reverse (upwardly mobile) in the clue.

22d         Son touched by woman doing magic turn (6)
SWITCH – An abbreviation for Son followed by a female magic worker.

24d         Secret meeting to get crack on street (5)
TRYST – A crack or attempt, followed by an abbreviation for STreet.


The Quick Crossword pun PARA + KEATS = PARAKEETS

103 comments on “DT 29729
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  1. I thought the synonym in 11a and the cryptic answer to 9d both a bit stretched forgive me setter. Otherwise a fiendish but fair set of clues gave me a ***/*** coffee morning. My favourite was 5d. I am also in South Devon Deep Threat and in Millbay Marina where it is VERY busy with helicopters and the massive yachts all darting about getting ready for Sail GP this weekend. Amazing weather here. Thanks to you for the hints and the setter for the challenge

    1. NAS, 11a and 9d. I know you are merely voicing your opinion (which is fair enough) but I thought I’d reply to give a different angle and for the benefit of other readers.

      9d: see my reply at #3, below.

      11a: I assume you refer to the first definition in the clue. Pinch can mean nip and you can do both using the teeth. And I reckon that relates OK to the answer.

  2. Cracking puzzle from the “master of misdirection” the X man Slowish start for me but a fast finish with the benefit of a few checkers.
    In a super strong field my ticks go to 10,12&15a plus 16d. Great stuff.
    2.5/5*
    Many thanks to ProXimal and DT for the fun in the hot sun.

  3. 2.5*/4.5*. A delightful puzzle to end a very good week of back-pagers with the exception of yesterday’s.

    Although it’s a nice idea, I don’t think “part of CV” even with the question mark is an accurate definition for 9d. A CV is a summary about a person not a work activity.

    My top clues today were 23a, 5d (my favourite), 17d & 19d.

    Many thanks to I assume Zandio and to DT.

    1. Agree with you about 9d RD. The 9d should be received by the person writing the CV not the other way around.

    2. I thought it was a pangram minus the X but as neither yourself or DT has mentioned it I’ve probably not looked closely enough!

          1. Talking of Specsavers, here’s an exchange between myself and the late, great Tstrummer from 2015. Commenting on here was much more fun/interesting back then:

            Jose
            December 30, 2017 at 10:24 am
            That’s very sad news. I really enjoyed reading his comments on here. I well remember this one from 2 years ago, when the snow was falling on the website screen. Ts came back with this cracking witty retort:

            Jose
            POSTED DECEMBER 15, 2015 AT 11:51 AM | PERMALINK
            I’ve just been to collect my new specs from Specsavers and have come into the museum to read the blog on a computer. All I can see is white dots floating about all over the place. I’m taking the ruddy things straight back! ……………. :-)

            Tstrummer
            POSTED DECEMBER 16, 2015 AT 12:25 AM | PERMALINK
            Shouldn’t have gone to Specsavers!

    3. RD and the others, 9d. The “part” and the ? are vital elements. The J.D. (the answer) isn’t the thing normally provided by the employer to potential applicants. Here “part of CV” is a whimsical/cryptic way of say saying the list of previous jobs held by the applicant (which is part of the CV), or a historical personal J.D. Most CVs are written for job-seeking purposes and nearly always include a list of previous jobs.

      1. I reckon we are going to have to agree to disagree (again!), Jose. :wink:

        A JD is a formal detailed document not a list of jobs (even whimsically). In the days when I was involved in hiring people if anyone had included a JD for one or more of their prior roles in their CV, their application would have gone straight into the bin.

        1. But you are not just disagreeing with little ‘ol me (who is insignificant), you are again disagreeing with the setter, the Editor and many solvers (including experts) who, like me, have interpreted the clue without contention. I know what a JD normally means (as I inferred before) but here, in a cryptic clue, the literal/conventional use is obviously not being used and you have to think laterally/cryptically to see that. But I do, as ever, politely respect your opinions :-)

            1. Imply is listed as a synonym of infer in the BRB – with the confirmation that it has been for over 4 centuries!

        2. In the days when I was involved in hiring/engaging people (including QS’s, Estimators, Contracts Managers, Architects, Accountants, etc) I would expect any CV (included with a job application) to include details/descriptions of all prior roles/jobs since the applicant left school/university. If they didn’t, they’re the ones that might end up straight in the bin. Our working careers seem to have been spent in very different spheres!

          1. Prior roles, obviously. JDs, absolutely not!

            My last word on this is not to lose sight of what a good puzzle this was.

            1. It isn’t the formal JD document (with capitals), it is merely a (historical) “job description” included in a CV. I have already clearly explained that.

                  1. My point, Jose, was that you are truly impressive in your efforts to justify the unjustifiable. :wink:

                    And that really is my last word on this which I expect the rest of the commentariat will be greatly relieved to hear. 🤐

                    1. See WW and Senf at #17, below. My explanation is correct! And you can’t reply because you have already “last word” twice already and thirds isn’t allowed. :-)

                  2. My last comment at 6.59 should have read:

                    See WW and Senf at #17, below. My explanation is correct! And you can’t reply because you have declared “last word” twice already and thirds isn’t allowed. :-)

                    1. * Last word on this marathon “Job Description” debate. From CL in the latest Puzzles Newsletter:

                      The previous Friday’s Telegraph Crossword also caused consternation, this time with a clue for ‘job description’:

                      Prophetic part of CV? (3,11)

                      The cryptic reference to the prophet Job was appreciated by many; what wasn’t appreciated was the thought of a job description being part of a CV, with some pointing out that a description of a job you are applying for wouldn’t be on a CV. However, a CV traditionally contains a precis of each recent position held by a candidate – or, in other words, a description of each of their jobs.

                      I rest my case …

          2. I rarely looked at any CVs. They are all the blooming same anyway. I had only two questions of prospective employees. Can you do the job? Will you turn up? If the answer to the first was no then I asked will you learn how to do the job? I have always had the best employees who allowed me to be absent but safe in the knowledge that all would be well. Personality over qualifications every time. All else is a waste of everybody’s time

            1. I’d agree with a lot of that, MP. But what it’s got to do with the nuances of this clue I’ve really no idea?

            2. I always automatically disregarded any cv that listed hobbies. In my sphere, nobody had time for them unless they listed pub in which case they were being honest enough to merit a job! Seemed to work.

            3. Thank God hiring at all levels and in all situations isn’t simply based on “personality over qualifications”! It just might work in the catering trade.

              1. Absolutely! My brother has no real qualifications but has a great personality. So if I ever require brain surgery I’ll let him have a go at it.

      2. I was confused by this answer. During my working life a CV (or Resume over here) was what you submitted in response to an advertised position. The Job Description was what the potential employer provided, briefly in the ad, and more fully if you made it to the interview. Having said that, on said CV, you would be expected to list your qualifications and working experience to date, including a brief description of what each of your previous jobs involved.

        1. Exactly, BL – the lucid voice of sanity! Your CV would include a list of your previous job descriptions. And one item of that list would be a “job description” – or just one “part” of your CV. Why anyone would be fooled into insisting that it was some other different document is beyond my comprehension.

          1. I’m late to the show here Jose but I’m with you all the way.

            A JD an employer gives to an applicant is the job you are going to do if you get the gig.

            So, all you need to do is copy and paste it on to your CV as that is exactly what you did.

            It’s not rocket science…unless the job was at NASA.

  4. The clues in this puzzle were very well disguised, to the extent that, at one point, I had 11 with question marks besides them. Fortunately there were straightforward clues and anagrams to use as checkers, so I eventually finished it (2.5*/3*). My favourite clue was5d. Thanks to DT for the hints and to the compiler

  5. A steady jog today, with little to hold me up. Completed in ** time, I thought 15a was the pick of the bunch. I also echo the sentiments about 9d, but you might put a little JD into a CV if it was relevant.

    Many thanks to the setter and DT.

  6. Thanks to the setter for an early morning wake up call. Thanks to DT for the review. I enjoyed this puzzle a lot. Just right for a Friday. The sun is out. The lawns have been mown. The cat is asleep in the carrots. Beer o clock is approaching fast. What’s not to like about life. Please play nicely for Tilsit and Senf over the weekend and I will see you all on the other side.

    1. Bearing in mind that I seem to remember you only moved in the spring I am impressed with your vegetable patch (and the lovely cat). This was my haul this morning.

      1. Fresh broad beans, yum, yum, yum! They’re as rare as hen’s teeth here – you can get the dried ones, can’t remember what they’re called, you can’t even get tinned ones.

      2. Lovely haul, DG. My peas are coming up for picking and I’m already lifting the first earlies. The onions will be ready in a couple of weeks. I will then have my favourite job after they have dried for a while. Making an onion string is one of life’s pleasures.

        The tomatoes in the pots are looking sad but the one I planted by the pergola post is going great guns.

        That’s it from Adam the Gardener! (Anyone remember him?)

    2. Your veg patch puts mine to shame, MP. I can’t see one single weed whereas mine has loads! Also, how do you keep carrot fly away? I don’t grow carrots because the little blighters get them every time.

          1. It’s supposed to help if you plant a row of marigolds next to the carrots to mask that carroty smell.

            1. Marigolds in the vegetable plot, Chris? Well, ours is a kind of cottage garden so why not?

              I have also been told that carrot fly can’t fly above 18 inches. I wonder if it would help if I sowed them on the top of the local hill. 🤣

  7. I didn’t realise this was a proximal production. I found it fairly straightforward and I often struggle with his grids. **/*** I liked 5d and 17d but my favourite is 15a. I agree with others’ comments about 9d and 11a but they couldn’t be anything else. Thanks to all.

  8. Hard to look beyond the brilliant 5d for my COTD. Like others, 9d did not quite work for me unless I am missing something. Overall this was pleasantly tricky in places to make it an enjoyable all round solve.

    My thanks to Zandio, if it is indeed one of yours, and to DT.

  9. A proper Friday puzzle for me ,excellent diverse cluing from Mr Misdirection,
    Took a while to get going and a ***/**** for me,
    Favourite was 5d, which took all the checking letters and provided the D’oh moment, 9d was a close second.
    Thanks to DT for the parsing of 12a.

    .

  10. Hadn’t given much thought to the origin of the 17a beer so that’s one for the memory bank. The ‘union territory’ raised a smile but my favourite has to be 5d.

    Thanks to our setter (Zandio?) and to DT for the review. Hope you both enjoy the remainder of your holiday.

  11. This is one of my weeks in Devon and I am not far down the road from Plymouth. Clear blue skies and helicopters. What a delight! Unfortunately we are too far inland to watch the yachts.
    Enjoyed this crossword. COTD 4a
    I would now tackle the Toughie but, not only is it an Elgar but my dead tree version has a crease running down the down clues. That really is a bridge too far!

    1. My heart sinks when I see an Elgar Toughie because half the time I don’t even understand the answers when they come out!

        1. Have a crack anyway. I’ve got ten answers so far. That’s nine more than normal on a Friday.

          Just be ready for French, Italian, Latin . . . .

              1. Your comments aroused my curiosity. I don’t very often get time to do the Toughie but I had a spare hour today so I had a go. It’s definitely a struggle, 10 so far but I’m not sure of some of them. 4d is positively ingenious.

  12. Another great work out – the RHS went in quicker than the left but all in all good fun. At last the sun is out here and forecast to stay that way for a while. Thanks to the setter for a great puzzle and to DT for once again showing me how I got there, like Beaver above, although I had the answer to 12a, just couldn’t see it.

  13. A terrific puzzle and I made steady progress until 10a stopped me in my tracks. I simply could not get it at all and in the end I resorted to the hints. Realised my mistake immediately – I had divided the answer into 5 4 and not 4 5! Had I divided correctly this would have been an unaided finish. Darn!

    Not too sure about 11a. I have never associated that particular word with “pinch”. Plenty of excellent clues so picking a favourite is tricky but I do like 12a and this is my COTD.

    Many thanks to the setter for the entertainment and many thanks to DT for the hints.

      1. Lesson learned, Huntsman. It was drilled into us at school. Read the question three times before answering!

        1. I still make a point of telling my grandkids that because it was drilled into me too. And then I don’t myself!

  14. Slow in the uptake today particularly in NW. Needed help with 9d which facilitated the home run but agree this is not part of job description but rather a vacancy. 12a cheers always grates. Not sure whether 25a is actually to take a drag. Thank you Prolixic and DT.

  15. 5d certainly is the COTD for me, if not the COTW, in this puzzle which I made heavy weather of, especially in the NW corner. 10a is a term I’m unfamiliar with (and Google indicates that it is British in use), though the clue is fair enough, and it held me up for some time. Beyond that, I really enjoyed the solve, with 5d, 17d, and 19d taking the honours. I agree that 9d stretches credibility a bit too far, if I understand what a CV usually comprises. Thanks to DT and today’s setter for classic misdirections. **** / ***

    1. Think of the great Boulting brothers 1959 comedy, I’m All Right Jack, with Peter Sellers as the shop steward. Great film if you’ve not seen it.

  16. On the tough side for me but about typical Friday difficulty I thought. Into *** time. Really enjoyed it so **** fun factor. Held up as I had “indoors” in my head for 19d
    The long clues took some head-scratching but both worked for me and get joint COTD.
    Thanks to setter & DT for confirming 16d.
    Lovely sunny day up here now.

  17. I have to say that I disagree with our vacationing blogger and say that this was quite straightforward and completed at a Tuesday like pace – **/****.

    I have no problems with 9d – over here there are some who consider that a CV should include a statement of ‘my ideal job’ – but, perhaps that is fantasy rather than prophesy.

    Candidates for favourite – 10a, 5d, and the aforementioned 9d – and the winner is 10a.

    Thanks to the setter (must be Zandio?) and DT.

  18. I thought that this was a very fine Friday back-pager and an excellent warm-up for the fortnightly joust with Elgar. Many thanks to the setter and DT.
    I’ve whittled down my podium selections to three: 10a, 15a and 26a.

  19. Another excellent Friday production! A bit more difficult than the average back-pager (which is good) providing a reasonable challenge and much enjoyment. Best of the week in my book. 3*/4*

  20. A nice puzzle to finish up the (non) work week. Overall been a good puzzle week IMHO.
    **/**** for me today. Completed right side first then NW with the SW finishing up. Messed myself up mis-spelling 1d DUH! … thus making it really hard to complete 14a, until the penny finally dropped! What twit I am. Favourites include 4a, 1d, 2d, 5d & 19d with winner 5d. Also 25a, 17d & 22d made me smile.

    Thanks to setter and DT

  21. Most enjoyable and satisfying solve – many thanks to setter and to DT for the review. I appreciated the brevity of the varied cluing, the scarcity of anagrams (only 4 of 30, I think) and the wit throughout. Only cloud in the silver lining was 9d: I echo the unease voiced above.

    Podium places to 25a, 26a, 5d, 6d, 8d and 19d; COTD to 14a: wonderful clue and I laughed out loud.

    2.5* (slowed by NW) / 4*

    Now, can I be bothered to face the tortuous frustration of today’s Toughie?

  22. That was a bit of a struggle but we managed it by using the hint for 9d with which we were struggling. Otherwise everything fell into place despite cunning misdirections. I agree that 5d was a cracker, George got that and 15a. He usually has his mind on loftier things than the puzzle whilst having lunch! 16d was crafty and I liked 23a.
    Junior grandson finally got his physics degree after much tribulation (did I tell you? Forgive me if I did, not boasting just so relieved) and has an interview next Tuesday where he has to present a 30 minute lesson. He has chosen Hook’s Law. I am so happy he seems to be doing something positive. Thanks to Deep Threat and to the setter. I have given up on the quickie. Far too hard. Best or Lennon? Dead surely.

    1. DG – Best and Lennon floored me too but discovered their names are both associated with transport locations!

      1. I think that one will got straight over most people’s head and zoom on into infinity. But not me! Mind you, I did have to Google Mr Hooke to find out what you were on about. And it’s a good joke, very subtle and amusing! :-)

        1. Jose
          Thank you
          As a metallurgist who did hundreds of measurements of the elastic limit of steels I was very familiar with said Law.

      2. Yes, that is very droll. Stretching things – haha, very quick. As my mother would have said,
        have you been eating vinegar from a knife!

  23. I must have been on the right wavelength today as I breezed though this in a very respectable, for me, time. Favourite was 5d. Thanks to the setter and DT.

    1. Hi Zandio…As I failed to thank you in my original comment, may I humbly do so now for providing us with a fabulous puzzle that was straight off the top shelf.

    2. Many thanks for a great puzzle, Zandio. It would have been a finished unaided for me if I hadn’t messed up the word split at 10a. ☹️

  24. At first glance seemed impenetrable but after I started with 24d all went well. Of the two long clues 5d came more quickly but I loved the biblical reference in 9d. I felt a great d’oh moment when I got it so will not split hairs. Very curiously it was 1d that held me up. I was sure it was going to be an obscure animal with a double A somewhere. I even had to juggle around with the non checking letters. Other favourites in addition to the two long ones are 10 23 and 26a and 2 -6 and 17d. If I wanted to be picky which I don’t I would query whether 3d is a drinks maker. Thanks setter and DT.

  25. I started out on fire, well, by my standards, but failed miserably in the SW corner. I went in for hints for two and that helped me to finish. I had no idea what “high-vis” meant, I think I get it now, sorta Britspeak. I thought the answer to 16d was “gore”, so thanks for the enlightenment DT, I had no idea. I used e-help to get 9d, fortunately I had lots of checkers.
    My fave hands down is 5d, but I liked lots more, a great puzzle.
    Thank you Zandio for the fun and DT for unravelling so much.
    I got in the pool yesterday, only the second time in four months. I’m hoping I’m getting my confidence back, it was so delightful and I felt so much better!

  26. Super puzzle very enjoyable. Did need the hints to fully explain 17d which seemed a very clumsy clue but no matter, the rest was delightful.
    Thx to all
    ***/****

    1. Brian
      You are definitely mellowing. A biblical reference clue “delightful”. I never thought I would see the day!
      :smile:
      Enjoy the golf.

  27. Made nearly as hard work of this as I did trying to play a course off the back tees today that is too long for me. Suspected it was Zandio & I do sometimes struggle to get on his wavelength. Got there eventually & thoroughly enjoyed the tussle. I’m with those who have reservations re 9d but it’s a minor quibble. Loads of big ticks in an excellent puzzle – my picks were 10,15,23&26a plus 5,19&24d. COTD has to be 5d.
    Thanks to Zandio & DT

  28. A bit of a mixed bag for me today, with some answers leaping into the page, and the rest putting up a fight. Didn’t know the Czech beer of course, although we have both recently developed a taste for Guinness, for medicinal purposes of course 😊. 13a was helped by the fact that I have recently finished Lisa Scottoline’s book “Eternal”. It’s fiction but based on the terrible actions in Rome in the years leading up to, during and shortly after World War II, a tragedy for the Jewish people. I learnt so much from this book, better than any history class at school. Really puts the “suffering” during Covid in perspective.

  29. Based on a first pass I felt I was unlikely to finish, but answers steadily fell into place and got there in the end with a pleasant feeling of achievement…..

  30. Finished this one without hints, which is is the first time i a week or two. 10a was my cotd, and the yes men were my last ones in, I leterally has to run through the whole alphabet several rimes before it clicked. So obvious once you get it! All clued very fairly in my view ( I did have concern about the cv, but Jose your arguments easily convinced me, in that the cv does contain a description of previous jobs.

  31. Glad there was controversy over 9d. It gives me an excuse for not getting it. I was looking for something dystrophian! I liked 5d the best.

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