DT 29732 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29732

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29732

Hints and tips by Mr K

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BD Rating  -  Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

Hello, everyone. I was finding this puzzle typically Tuesdayish until I got hung up for a while on a cluster of clues down in the SW.  A peek at the Chambers Crossword Dictionary provided the inspiration needed to complete the grid fill. I thought there were a few particularly clever clues sprinkled throughout the grid.  All in all, the solve was good fun.

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    Telegram admitting dad's qualified (7)
CAPABLE:  Another word for telegram containing (admitting) an informal alternative to dad 

5a    Denies match official's welcoming cup-ties on a regular basis (7)
REFUTES:  A match official with his "S" from the clue containing (welcoming) alternate letters (on a regular basis) of CUP-TIES 

9a    Message this writer sent back with trouble (5)
EMAIL:  The reversal (sent back) of a pronoun the setter would use for themselves is followed by trouble or afflict 

10a   Pure evil's monstrous, monstrous (9)
REPULSIVE:  An anagram (monstrous) of PURE EVIL'S 

11a   All over Spain wife is after most suitable present (10)
EVERYWHERE:  Putting the ingredients in the order suggested by the wordplay, we assemble a charade of the IVR code for Spain, an adjective meaning "most suitable", the genealogical abbreviation for wife, and "present" or "in attendance" 

12a   Partially backing Starmer as the leader (4)
TSAR:  The answer is hidden in the reversal (partially backing) of the remainder of the clue 

14a   Adult prepared tortellini -- a popular pasta, perhaps? (12)
ALLITERATION:  The single letter for adult is followed by an anagram (prepared) of TORTELLINI A. The definition here is by example (perhaps

18a   Supports trendy contest (12)
CHAMPIONSHIP:  Follow supports or promotes with an old synonym of trendy or fashionable 

21a   Tense Independent editor gets married (4)
TIED:  Chain together the grammatical abbreviation for tense, the single letter for independent, and the abbreviation for editor 

22a   A thin boat at sea circles island home (10)
HABITATION:  An anagram (at sea) of A THIN BOAT contains (circles) the single letter for island 

25a   Criminal tries alibi, lacking right skills (9)
ABILITIES:  An anagram (criminal) of TRIES ALIBI minus (lacking) the single letter for right 

26a   Rodent entering that is foaming at the mouth (5)
IRATE:  A rodent inserted in (entering) the Latin abbreviation for "that is" 

27a   Tramp returning with incomplete clue? One's supposedly intelligent! (7)
DOLPHIN:  The reversal (returning) of tramp or walk heavily is followed by all but the last letter (incomplete) of a clue or tip 

28a   Beg chaps to leave maiden gift (7)
ENTREAT:  Some chaps minus the cricket abbreviation for maiden (to leave maiden) are followed by a synonym of gift 



1d    Sharp chopper -- ace cut (6)
CLEVER:  A heavy kitchen chopper minus the playing card abbreviation for ace (ace cut

2d    Pictures group mountain climbing (6)
PLATES:  The reversal (climbing, in a down clue) of the combination of a group or collection and a word for a high mountain 

3d    It requires guts to perform these dives (5,5)
BELLY FLOPS:  A cryptic definition of an unsubtle dive into water 

4d    Planet's core hot from top to bottom (5)
EARTH:  In a word meaning core or centre move the single letter for hot from top to bottom 

5d    Journalists are heading off with hotel employees? (9)
REPORTERS:  ARE from the clue minus its first letter (heading off) with some hotel employees who might carry things 

6d    Handled  fabric (4)
FELT:  A straightforward double definition 

7d    Dog ultimately cocks leg, producing state of panic (8)
TAILSPIN:  Concatenate dog or follow, the last letter (ultimately) of COCKS, and an informal word for leg 

8d    Son trying bad language (8)
SWEARING:  The genealogical abbreviation for son with trying or exhausting 

13d   London possibly is centre for ambitious moneyman? (10)
CAPITALIST:  Link together what London defines by example (perhaps), IS from the clue, and the centre letter of AMBITIOUS 

15d   Seclusion is, to a lion, wretched (9)
ISOLATION:  An anagram (wretched) of IS TO A LION 

16d   Country clubs in lush ground (8)
SCOTLAND:  The playing card abbreviation for clubs is inserted in a lush or drunkard, and that's all followed by another word for ground 

17d   Cloth from China and money from Saudi Arabia? (8)
MATERIAL:  What china means in rhyming slang is followed by the currency of Saudi Arabia 

19d   Tango is an energy drink (6)
TISANE:  Chain together the letter represented in the NATO phonetic alphabet by tango, IS AN from the clue, and the physics symbol for energy 

20d   Plan where camper might go (6)
INTENT:  The answer split (2,4) is where one might find a camper 

23d   Family  affair (5)
ISSUE:  A double definition. Emit would be a third 

24d   Heard of search for religious follower (4)
SIKH:  A homophone (heard of) search or look for 


Thanks to today’s setter. I smiled today at 12a, 14a, 27a, 7d, 16d, and 19d. Which clues did you like best?

The Quick Crossword pun:  HUE + MAN + RITES = HUMAN RIGHTS

86 comments on “DT 29732

  1. A slightly harder Tuesday offering for me. I did not understand 1d and 7d and forgot the other meaning of “china” in 17d. 14a eluded me so I had to use electrons and still didn’t understand it when I had the answer.

    Not a good day for me as far this cryptic is concerned. I put it down to the heat.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Mr. K.

    I have now looked at the hints and now get 1d. Duh!

    1. I got off to a bad start by making an anagram of ace cut = accute which could be sharp except that acute only has one ‘c’. You are right, it is the heat.

  2. 1.5*/3.5*. Another light and enjoyable puzzle to continue the week with my podium comprising 12a, 14a & 16d.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Mr K.

  3. As MrK has said, some great clues in this crossword. My last three in were also my favourites – 18a, 7d and 16d. This was a **/**** effort for me today. Thanks to the setter for great fun.

  4. I really enjoyed this, was right up my street, completed before a long cooling sea swim.
    In a very strong field my ticks go to the excellent 14&27a plus the canny 7,16&17d.
    Great stuff.
    Many thanks to the setter and to Mr K for the crusade in the shade.

  5. I found this puzzle most enjoyable, and it took me a full *** to complete, with all clues parsed.

    My last in was 7d which therefore gets COTD.

    Many thanks to the setter and Mr K.

  6. The south west corner took me almost as long as the rest of the grid to unravel. When the penny dropped for 27a, it became my favourite. ***/*** It took me a while to work out the explanation for 16d. An interesting bit of misdirection going on there and in 7d. I’m also slightly bemused by 2d. Is the answer synonymous with pictures? I suppose in terms of X-ray plates, it just about works. Or am I missing something more obvious. It is a bit warm! Thanks to all.

    1. Apparently 2d are full page illustrations in a book Greta. I have to admit to checking that one myself but with the wordplay and checkers it was simple enough.

      1. I’d forgotten that meaning. As you say, it was easy enough to work out, I just wasn’t 100% sure about the reasoning.

      2. Some non-fiction books have a list of 2d, separate from the list of chapters in the contents section. Lots of my geography texts have a plethora of such illustrations.

        1. My great-grandmother put together special editions of The Graphic, I think the forerunner of The Illustrated London News, in a book form. They are very heavy but interesting. I’ve used one “plate” as a gravatar, a lady on a horse around 1870, I’ll change Dad’s teddy bear for that one.

          1. As DG says, very nice indeed, Merusa. What a special great-grandmother you must have had.

            1. These books are HUGE, I only have one. It includes the Durbar in India with the P. and P. Of Wales, whenever that was. Also the reporting of the Great Tichbourne Trial, not sure of my spelling. I read it all, pages of it, when I was a teenager, lying on the floor as the book was too heavy to hold.

  7. Of all things it was 18a &16d that held me up – the former because I was trying to use the wrong fodder and the latter as a result of having a different meaning of ‘lush’ in mind!
    Top clues for me in this enjoyable puzzle were 7&16d.

    Thanks to our setter and to Mr K for another excellently illustrated review. We see bioluminescence in the waters off Penmon Point occasionally – quite an astonishing sight.

    1. I’ve just read yesterday’s Puzzles Newsletter, and I really liked your ‘Make amends in sticky situation (3)’, Jane.

      1. You didn’t rate my “Cook pickle (3)”, then. :-( Incidentally, the clue further up the list by Michael Callaghan is, I believe, none other than Prolixic.

        1. I went down the ‘Hit F9’ route but only got a mention – ne’er mind
          And yes, that be he

            1. Thanks Jose, one does one’s best
              About time we saw you in Rookie Corner, no?

              1. I might just do that, but I’ve no idea how to submit a puzzle. Do I just email it to BD?

                1. Yes, simple as that Jose – or send it to me first if you want a second opinion before you submit
                  BD has full consent to provide you with my email address if you ask him nicely
                  PS – Hello Dave, do we think next January is on?

              2. The DT Clue-writing contest: I have yet to see a winning entry appearing in the famous Daily Telegraph Crossword.

                Some of you have won the monthly competition … has your winning clue ever appeared in the paper?

                ps. I gave up years ago … not even a single Honourable Mention.

                1. Who was the world leader Chris referred to which they wouldn’t use in case it came up in a different context? Couldn’t work it out.

                2. Yes one of mine appeared, but it was a long time ago. I had another winner which has not (yet) appeared.

                3. I won the monthly Prize competition in Feb 2020, was second in Dec 2019 and have had other clues cited and a few Honourable Mentions in both the monthly and weekly/fortnightly fun competitions. My winning clue has never been used in a DT puzzle (yet). It’s easy to find out if a winning clue has ever appeared. Just type the clue into the Google search this site facility at top right-hand corner of this website’s Home Page and, if it has, it’ll take you to it.

                4. Mr K has occasionally identified a Tuesday puzzle as probably being from Chris Lancaster because it included a winning clue from the newsletter.

        2. I liked lots of the clues! But it’d be boring just to repeat Chris Lancaster’s list. I happened to particularly like Jane’s. That isn’t a criticism of any other clue that I didn’t mention!

      2. Thank you. I actually rather liked the second placed ‘if you’re in one, you need one’.
        Who knows which way the wind will blow in any particular week!

  8. Like others before me I enjoyed this. I particularly liked 3d and the use of “lush” in 16d was, I felt, rather cheeky. It was my COTD

  9. An interesting conundrum of a puzzle. (3*/4*). About half the clues were very straightforward and amongst the rest was a cluster of really tricky and well constructed brain-teasers. I liked 7d, 11a and 13d but 27a and 14a were my joint clues of the day. It took me a long while to riddle out the whys and wherefores of 16d, very devious. Thanks to Mr K for the hints and to the compiler for a thought-provoking and absorbing puzzle.

  10. I really enjoyed completing this fine puzzle, with 14a my favourite by a distance. The whole grid was beautifully clued and great fun to solve.

    My thanks to both Misters involved.

  11. Pleasant challenge with SW proving trickiest. 11a was a bung-in but was later parsed via MrK however not sure about ‘most suitable’ synonym(?). Daily dose of DT Cryptic leads to increasing number of similar chestnuts e.g. 9a and 7d today. Favs were 14a and 17d. 28a gift is a bit stretched. Thank you Mysteron and MrK (love the 1a illustration!).

  12. This crossword duffer enjoyed an easier puzzle than usual – but I still had to use the tips for a couple of answers. I would never have got 27a. so many thanks.

  13. Another typically Tuesday puzzle – not too challenging but very enjoyable – 1.5*/4*.

    Candidates for favourite – 11a, 27a, 1d, and 3d – and the winner is 3d.

    Thanks to the setter and Mr K.

    P.S. A reasonably ‘floughie-ish’ Gila Toughie today.

  14. 12a.The answer was the only one that would fit. But, I don’t seem how it fits the clue?

    1. Vince, have you read Mr K’s explanation for 12a? He explains it very clearly.

      1. Yes, RD, I have, but no part of the clue, when reversed, provides those letters in that order, that I can see.

  15. An absolute crackerjack of a puzzle and a joy to solve. The cluster in the SW that Mr K mentions deserves a round of applause, with two of my favourites embedded there, including 16d and 27a in a dead heat finish for the Gold, with 14a and 7d fleshing out the podium, and 18a earning a special honourable mention. Don’t know who the compiler is, but the grid has the spirit of someone who truly loves our language. Thanks to Mr K for the wonderful illustrations and to today’s setter. ** / *****

    A lovely Toughie to boot.

  16. Very enjoyable with a few head scratchers. Last one in the little 24d which held me up for ages. I don’t know why the people who advertise on the back page don’t incorporate the puzzle into the ad, that way people might actually read the ad instead of turning the page back on itself. Thanks to the setter and Mr. K.

  17. A very enjoyable puzzle today despite never having heard of the drink at 19d and no idea about 27a despite having all the checkers, both need the hints.
    Odd sitting indoors sweating while watching the sky darken with thunder!
    Thanks to the setter and Mr K

      1. Thanks Brian, Mrs 2P tells me that it is a tea like infusion, every day is a school day.

      2. I had forgotten the fact that M Poirot liked to take that particular drink, Brian. I now feel an urge to get out Christie books

  18. Quite tricky in places but enjoyable. Clever misdirection in 16d.
    Lots of nice anagrams to get you in the game.
    Thx to all

  19. A mild Tuesday puzzle and enjoyable enough while it lasted. It took me longer than it should have to locate the reverse lurker in 12a, but I’ve no idea why. 1.5*, 3*.

    * Do the words while and whilst sometimes (or even always) have the same meaning? I can never decide.

    1. I think “whilst” is English and “while” is American but don’t quote me on it!

      They both mean the same thing.

        1. They have the same surface meaning when adverbial or conjunctive.but ‘whilst’ cannot be used as a verb.My English teacher at prep school did not like the use of while instead of whilst and vice versa.
          However, I am probably wrong to describe the usage as ‘incorrect’. Apologies.

          1. I knew “while” could be a noun or a subordinating conjunction but how is it a verb? :scratch:

              1. So: Some people while away their mornings solving crosswords, whilst others waste their time on mere trivial pastimes. Would that be right?

                1. Whilst I am whiling away my time looking at the blog while I could be drinking! 🥃

  20. Hello again everyone. It has been a very busy few weeks with trips to family and visits from family while the garden was looking wild with weeds and that has taken a good week to get under control. Today for the first time this month I feel it can be brought back to a reasonable state.

    It’s good to be reading everyone’s comments again but we have just looked at the family visits in August and I fear I may be too busy and tired for much then.

    So here I am to say thank you to Mr K for the hints and to the setter for an excellent puzzle. The “lush” in 16d makes it far and away the best clue of the puzzle although the anagrams were as usual very helpful.

    1. Glad to see you back, Corky. I did ask about you in one of my posts, last week I think. You’ve obviously been too busy to find much time for reading, but have you read anything recently that you’d recommend? I’m spending a month or so of total escape, reading The Count of Monte Cristo.

      1. I read that soooo long ago, can’t even remember, but I do remember enjoying it bigly.

        1. ‘Bigly’ is right: 1276 pages, including endnotes, in small print, but I’m really enjoying it.

      2. Hi Robert, thanks for your interest in my absence. It has been a tiring but enjoyable time. Recently I have been rereading old favourites and tripe.

        The old favourites were The Whereabouts of Eneas McNulty, and The Secret Scripture, both by Sebastian Barry. Salutary writing about the problems of the nascent Irish State after WWI and the terror caused by both sides. I am rereading Louis MacNeIce again and section XVI is a chilling comment on his homeland.

        The tripe is the Mick Herron Slough House series. He has won several awards for this series but it is essentially passive brain reading stuff but quite enjoyable none the less. Very English humour of a low sort as Orwell might have said, more for the public bar than the lounge. I have also finished rereading Orwell’s novels and four biographies of the great man.

        Have you any recommendations of new American novels that are worth getting hold of or ones you think should be read by any one who considers themselves at least literate?

        Yes it’s good to be back.

        1. Mick Herron writes the most brilliantly clever and amusing stories. I have read the entire series avidly twice round.
          He is also very approachable and I quite often correspond with him.

          1. “…. brilliantly clever … stories” maybe? But what words are left for le Carre or Highsmith?

  21. Enjoyable puzzle 😃 19d was new to me, but I think that I said that last time it appeared 😳 but at least I recognised 3d from a few days ago! Favourites 18 & 27a and 17d 🤗 Thanks to Mr K and to the Setter

    1. Welcome to the site, Terry.

      The Chambers Dictionary entry for rial says The standard monetary unit of Iran, Oman and (also riyal) Saudi Arabia and the Yemen Arab Republic.

  22. Tremendous puzzle, most enjoyable. So many ticks for podium contenders, including a couple of lovely witty smoothly surfaced anagrams – 14a, 25a, 2d, 4d, 7d, and my COTD and LOI, 16d.

    1.5* / 3.5*

    Many thanks to Setter and to Mr K

  23. I hope the setter comes on board to claim this one, I want to know who she is. The SW held me up, I was in good company I see. I never did solve 24d, so thanks Mr. K for that. I needed electronic help with 11a, I should have just followed the instructions. It took ages, with the checking letters scratched all over my page, to get 16d – was on the wrong track for lush.
    There’s so much to like here, 14a and 27a stood out for me, but I think 16d takes the prize.
    Thank you setter, come back soon, and much appreciation to Mr. K for the hints and pics, I so look forward to those every Tuesday.

    1. I actually thought that it might be Chalicea, so your mention of a ‘she’ seemed reasonable.

      1. I’m not a setter spotter, Robert but it didn’t feel like a Chalicea to me. I usually get on well with her cryptics.

  24. Today was Reading Group day ang and my turn to host it so I have only just done the crossword as George is getting ready to go to Rotary – hurray, no cooking. Delightful puzzle after the stupid hiccup at 1d – – I think 27a was my favourite but 12a and 14a not far behind. At breakfast this morning I read yesterday’s mammoth exchange on face masks! Who would have thought it possible 18 months ago. How our lives have changed. Many thanks to Mr K (a bit short on cats, just an observation not a criticism) and to the setter.

  25. I too enjoyed this until I hit the SW corner. Needed hints to get going on the last four or so. Rials a bit obscure for me. Not sure how tension=t but i’m sure it is one of many conventions I’m unaware of. Loads of super clues though in the rest of the puzzle; so many thanks to the setter and for the hints above.

    1. Do you mean the T in 21a? This is the grammatical abbreviation t (used in dictionaries, etc) for “tense”, as in “past tense” for example. I assume …

  26. I think I made harder work of the SW than I should have, once I got 18a, 27a and 16d almost filled themselves in. Good crossword though. Favourite was indeed 18a. Thanks to the setter and Mr. K.

  27. Late look at the crosswords this evening having finally cooled down after a day out golfing – mad dogs & Englishmen etc. Thought this the best Tuesday puzzle for many a week. The SW held me up also & took the solve just into *** time (fractionally
    longer than the Toughie). I too thought there was an error with the Saudi currency but see that has already been dealt with. Big ticks for me – 14,18&27a plus 7,13,16&17d. Guess 16d will have to COTD as the parsing of it eluded me – I had sand as the lush ground hence couldn’t make head nor tail of the OTL.
    Thanks to the setter for a super crossword & to Mr K for the review – love the potting puss.

  28. Had another crack at this just now, with no success, only managed about two thirds of the answers. I hope it’s just a wavelength thing. Thanks to all.

  29. 3*/5*…..
    liked 27A “Tramp returning with incomplete clue? One’s supposedly intelligent! (7)” ….. amongst others.

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