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DT 29735

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29735

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Good morning from hot and sticky South Staffs.

It took me a little time to get going on today’s puzzle, but the answers gradually fell into place and the availability of checkers helped me to speed up.

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.


8a           Note producers — they might be tickled! (7)
IVORIES – Cryptic definition of an informal term for the keys of a piano.

10a         Achievement by that woman is something insignificant (7)
FEATHER – An achievement or exploit, followed by a pronoun for ‘that woman’.

11a         Change design reportedly for entrance to football stadium? (9)
TURNSTILE – Another word for ‘change’ or ‘transform’, followed by a homophone (reportedly) of another word for ‘design’ or ‘fashion’.

Turnstiles at the Wham Stadium © Steve Daniels :: Geograph Britain and  Ireland

12a         Small vegetable, smooth in appearance (5)
SLEEK – An abbreviation for Small followed by a vegetable which is a symbol of Wales.

13a         Individual cycling qualification (5)
RIDER – Double definition, the second being a qualification or exception in a legal agreement.

14a         Wind remained fickle, lacking intensity initially (7)
MEANDER – Anagram (fickle) of REMA(i)NED, without the first letter of Intensity.

Meander – Robert Hodgin

17a         Stupid action she condemned as naive (15)

19a         Wife placed on town’s tip putrid rubbish (7)
TWADDLE – Put together the first letter (tip) of Town, an abbreviation for Wife, and an uncommon word for ‘putrid’.

21a         Ancient people, practitioners of tattoo art some said? (5)
INCAS – This ancient South American people sound like (some said?) an informal term for people carrying out tattooing.

24a         Time of year for demonstration? (5)
MARCH – Double definition, the first being a month of the year.

26a         Ten entering a church in Devon town (9)
AXMINSTER – A (from the clue) and a type of church, placed either side of the Roman numeral for ten.

Axminster Carpet | #1476751126

27a         Runner runs left across island, alongside verge (7)
TENDRIL – Another verb for ‘to verge’, followed by abbreviations of Runs, Island, and Left.

28a         Proposition that he or employer will accept (7)
THEOREM – Hidden in the clue.


1d           Member of Weight Watchers, German chap? (6)
DIETER – Double definition: what a member of Weight Watchers is; or a German given name.

2d           Echo smart address chosen regularly for fellow soldiers (8)
COMRADES – Alternate letters (chosen regularly) of the first three words of the clue.

3d           Longed to dress Rob in such a suit (10)
PINSTRIPED – Another word for ‘longed’ wrapped round another word for ‘rob’ or ‘despoil’.

The Original Power Suit | Blue pinstripe suit, Designer suits for men, Pinstripe  suit

4d           Consequences of that farmer virtually being drunk (9)
AFTERMATH – Anagram (frunk) of THAT FARME(r), where ‘virtually’ tells us that the previous word is not quite complete.

5d           Girl is sort to go topless (4)
LASS – A sort or category of object, missing its first letter (topless) gives us a word for a girl.

6d           Uncontrolled hatred, common element throughout story (6)
THREAD – Anagram (uncontrolled) of HATRED.

7d           American negotiated, hard up and visibly embarrassed (8)
BROKERED – Another word for ‘hard up’ or ‘skint’, followed by the colour you go when embarrassed.

9d           Oscar escapes mounting disturbances and commotion (4)
STIR – Remove the letter represented by Oscar in the NATO alphabet from some civil disturbances, then reverse (mounting) the result.

15d         One responsible for lots being sold? (10)
AUCTIONEER – Not very cryptic definition of someone who holds a sale, one lot at a time.

16d         Unhappy, this writer’s upset over Queen wearing fur (9)
MISERABLE – Reverse (upset) a short way of saying ‘this writer is’, then add a type of fur wrapped round the Queen’s regnal cipher.

17d         Best friend supporting United let rip occasionally (8)
ULTIMATE – Put together an abbreviation for United, alternate letters (occasionally) of LeT rIp, and a friend or pal.

18d         Go around a metropolis mostly tight-lipped (8)
TACITURN – Another word for ‘go’, as in ‘it’s your go’, is wrapped round A (from the clue) and another word for a metropolis missing its last letter (mostly).

20d         Excellent band getting exposure (6)
AIRING – The two letters which look like the alphanumeric rating given by an insurance company to an excellent risk, followed by the sort of band you might have on your finger.

22d         Bright pink apron mum Penny possesses (6)
SHRIMP – Put together an exclamation for ‘mum!’ or ‘keep quiet!’, another word for an apron or border, and the abbreviation for a penny.

23d         Issue of revolting magazine (4)
EMIT – Reverse (revolting) the name of a distinguished American periodical.

25d         Leading man, extremely handsome Romeo, content to leave (4)
HERO – The outside letters (content to leave) of HandsomE RomeO.

The Quick Crossword pun ROAR + GERM + OAR = ROGER MOORE

88 comments on “DT 29735

  1. What a terrific selection of back-pagers we have been spoilt with this week. All have been very different in style, culminating with this 3*/5* gem from, I would surmise, Silvanus.

    With a nice variety of clue types, super-smooth surfaces, and two perfect homophones, this was a joy to solve. My page is littered with ticks, and I’ll mention just a few: 13a, 17a (what a belter of an anagram!), 1d, 15d, 16d &25d. However, my favourite and last one in was 22d.

    Bravo Silvanus, and thanks to DT for the review.

    1. Totally agree about the quality of this week’s puzzles. From Tuesday through to today my enjoyment rating hasn’t fallen below 4.5*.

  2. Found this a tough ***/*** struggle but as mentioned above perseverance eventually paid off. I always like it when Devon towns form a part as they come pretty easily to me. The anagrams all fell easily too. COTD for me was 19a but there were lots of other candidates. A nice breeze in Plymouth today thank heavens. A bit cooler than I was yesterday suited and booted driving a Formula Renault round Thruxton! With thanks to Deep Threat and the setter for a good Friday challenge

  3. It took me a little longer than usual to finish this and I wasn’t as enthusiastic as RD about the clues (2.5*/3*). The best if the clues, for me, was the cleverly constructed 7d and the witty cryptic definition 8a. I found 22d hard to fathom and was confused by the fact that some of the fauna it refers to are brown. Thanks to DT for the hints and to the compiler.

    1. I agree that 7d is cleverly constructed but I felt the word American wasn’t really necessary.

  4. I thought this was great, with 12a surfaces throughout, I was bang on wavelength from the off, giving me my fastest solve of the week. If I have one tiny criticism its that I thought 8a a tad weak but other than that top notch all the way through.
    In a mega strong field my podium consists of 18d as its a great word, 26a (lovely little town, next door to an even nicer one, Lyme Regis) but top spot the brill 3d, possibly clue of the week.
    Many thanks to the setter (Silvanus?) and to DT for the fun in the Devon sun.

    1. Just goes to show how we all look at puzzles differently, I thought 3D was possibly the weakest clue of the week.🥴

        1. 3d absolutely great clue. I got it straightaway which was a good start. I can see that some whose minds work differently, or who aren’t familiar with the term, could find it difficult.

  5. Like RD 22d was my last in & had to check it was the required colour. An excellent puzzle & I’d reckon Silvanus as the setter is a good call as there wasn’t a duff clue in there. Picks, among many to choose from, for me were 8,11&17a along with 3&16d.
    Thanks to the setter & DT.
    Ps The Toughie is at least doable for mere mortals for a change on a Friday which makes a pleasant change.

  6. I echo RD’s comments at #1. This was absolutely top drawer and completes a fine week of puzzles.1d was my final entry and favourite, although in fairness pretty much any of the finely-crafted clues could have come out on top.

    Thanks and congratulations to Silvanus for a super puzzle and to DT.

  7. This was mostly straightforward. **/*** The only hold up was 22d, my last one in, and a guess on the basis that it fit, contained an m and a p for mum and penny and the creatures can be pink! Thanks for the explanation although I wouldn’t consider an apron to be a rim. I’m sure it’ll be in a dictionary somewhere. I liked the German chap but my favourite is 3d. Thanks to all.

  8. Enjoyable and straightforward puzzle, and I was evidently on the right wavelength because it was over all too soon. Some good smooth surface readings, subteltly, and a lovely range of clue types. Plenty of podium contenders – 11a, 12a, 1d, 3d, 9d, 16d and 17d, but nothing stood out as being a COTD.

    Could not see the relevance of ‘American’ in 7d (my LOI): the answer is not a particularly or even specifically American usage.

    1.5* / 3*

    Many thanks to Setter and to DT for the review.

    1. Mustafa, according to the BRB “(to) broker” as a verb is American. It cites “(to) broke” as the UK version.

      So full marks to the setter for indicating it. It also helps the surface reading! Two birds with one stone.

      1. My BRB says of broker “n. one employed to buy and sell for others: a secondhand dealer; a go-between: a pander (obs): a petty or disreputable trafficker (obs) – v.i. broke to bargain, negotiate: to act as a broker (Shak.)”. Under brokerage, brokage and brokery there is also no reference to it being American.

        I do agree however that it makes the clue read smoothly, but it otherwise serves no purpose IMV.

        1. My BRB is the Revised 13th Edition. The headword for “broker” lists definitions as a noun. This is followed by the sub-head which gives:
          broke or (US) broker vi to bargain, negotiate; to act as broker.

          1. Mine is decades older (and sadly showing its age around the edges, however it is well-trained and tends to open almost at the page I want) but does not indicate that US usage: evidently Shakespeare must have been influenced by those darned Americans …!

  9. Nicely challenging. Went through several names for 1d but forgot the Weight Watcher synonym. Surely 17a is not necessarily stupid nor 22d bright although it was my Fav clue. Thank you Mysteron and DT.

    1. Not wanting to be seen to be correcting you again Angellov but stupid is not the definition and is part of the anagram fodder in 17a!

    2. Angellov, “stupid” in 17a is part of the anagram fodder and is not part of the definition of the answer. Incidentally, although I didn’t know it before today, the BRB describes 22d as “bright pink”.

      1. RD, I’m pretty sure that 22d can be white early in spring and late in the year and in between most are brown or pink with some red varieties, so the BRB is like the curate’s egg right in part.

        1. Shrimp is a name for the orangey sort of pink when a shrimp is cooked. I didn’t read the definition as necessarily a description you could give to all shrimps rather like sky blue.

          1. I must be rather literal minded. I immediately thought of the famous Morecambe Bay brown shrimps, which are sold potted, although the fact that shrimps turn a coral pink colour when cooked eventually led me to the right solution, Wanda.

      1. Yes indeed Jose🙂. Thanks Stephen, Huntsman and RD – that did in fact dawn on me afterwards – I am obviously the one who is “stupid”. I will have to try not to be so rash in my criticisms in future. 🤭.

  10. Another excellent production from our master of smooth surfaces and my only hesitation was over accepting the BRB’s definition of ‘bright pink’. Thought 27a was delightfully sneaky and my packed podium comprises 13,21&26a plus 1,16,17&18d.

    Many thanks to Silvanus for the enjoyment and to DT for the review.

    1. J. I’m only guessing here, I don’t really know anything about shrimps or their colour. I’m told that all shrimps of any colour turn pink/red after cooking. Could that be it?

      1. They certainly turn pink after cooking, I’m just not sure that it’s necessarily a ‘bright’ pink. Not to worry, it’s just nit-picking and I do like to ‘get one over’ on the BRB!

  11. Challenging but very enjoyable. I started, for no particular reason, in the south around Hampshire and Dorset and worked northwards, finally getting a bit stuck at Cumbria, with 1d the last one to arrive.

    Awaiting sixth visit from British Gas – two cancelled due to sickness; one contracted Covid. The other three – the gentlemen either confessed the problem was beyond them, or they didn’t have the necessary parts with them. We pay about fifty quid a month for this.

    Thanks to the setter and DT

    1. I feel your pain, Terence. We had a very cool Christmas last year courtesy of British Gas …..who similarly could not figure out how to fix our boiler. Our solution was to cut our losses and get a local plumber to install a new one ….we certainly were not about to let British Gas install a new one after the month of misery they put us through.
      Best of luck to you…..at least the weather is warm for you.

  12. A very enjoyable end to the (non) work week and a just right for Friday puzzle – 2.5*/4.5*.

    Candidates for favourite – 8a, 7d, and 16d – and the winner is 7d.

    Thanks to Silvanus(?) and DT.

  13. Setter here, many thanks to Deep Threat for his hints and tips and to everyone for their kind comments. Much appreciated.

    May I wish everyone a good weekend, thankfully it should be a little cooler for those of us in the UK.

    P.S. If Terence pops in later, he might be interested to know that last weekend I explored one of his regular haunts, Abinger Roughs, and a very pleasant place to stretch one’s legs it is too. Quick edit – he has popped in already!

    1. Thanks for popping in and thanks for providing us with another fine puzzle Silvanus. Have a cool weekend too.

  14. That was an enjoyable challenge. Like others, I took some time to get going having only six solved after the first pass. However, those six allowed me to get a foothold on the rest. It took me longer than normal but I got there in the end. I particularly liked 8a, 21a and the 28a lurker, which was well hidden. My COTD is 26a with 25d close behind.

    Many thanks to the setter and to DT.

    PS Assuming I have 1d correct in the Quickie, I cannot get 10a.

    1. Hi Steve: think ‘attractive’ as meaning ‘luring’ or ‘alluring’ for 10a on the Quickie.

      1. Thank you, Robert. I had 1d correct but the spelling of 8d was wrong. I used “K”! What an idiot. :roll:

  15. Tough start but once in it flowed well. Never heard of 8a tickling, I thought the term was tinkling the *******.
    Also should not 23d said revolving rather than revolting which makes no sense at all.
    Minor points in an otherwise good puzzle.
    Thx to all

    1. B, 23d. I assume the revolting relates to revolution. As in the peasants are revolting/uprising. Uprising (or revolting) is a good reversal indicator in a down clue. Does that make sense?

        1. Indeed, it is a well-known comedy line where the audience is expected to assume (wrongly) its more common meaning.

    2. Same here Brian re 8a but with I read it as that anyway & only alerted to it by your comment.

    3. Hi Brian, as one who used to tinkle the *******, I take great pleasure now in tickling them. Actually, we hear both verbs over here.

      1. As few of us are of a age to remember, there was a jazz pianist who said he tickled the whatsits, I can’t remember his name, was he the first?

    4. Tinkle or tickle, both are fine though in fact the latter is more widely used.

  16. A very enjoyable puzzle for me today. I have to confess to failing at 23d..just could not see it at all. But the rest all went in (eventually).

    Thanks to Deep Threat and to Sylvanus.

  17. Judging by the wide range of favourites so far, I’d say that Silvanus has again wrought many wonders in today’s puzzle, with such grand surfaces and so many delightful clues to choose from for the podium. I have been to the Devon town! My LOI was the Gold winner, 3d, with 18d, 17d, and 1a crowding themselves together for the other medals. It’s been an outstanding week here in crosswordland. Thanks to DT and to Silvanus. 2.5* / 4.5*

    Lacking three to finish today’s Toughie….

  18. A nice puzzle to end up the non work week. This was a fun solve on a warm Thursday evening with our new sheltie puppy romping around the back garden. He is so adorable! Rate this as **/****
    Some fun clues including 8a, 19a, 27a, 4d & 16d with winner 19a and runner up 27a

    Thanks to setter and DT

  19. This truly was excellent. Last corner in was SW but this is more about the way I worked it than difficulty. In fact the last in was 20 which is simple. As I think of lots as goods in sale rooms I inserted 15d without a second thought. What helped me were the checking letters in contrast to yesterday when there seemed to be so many with all or nearly all vowel checkers. Today I filled in 17d before I looked at the clue. I have rings round 13 17 21 and 26a and 1 7 16 and 18d. Thank you Silvanus and DT. I shall look at the Hints now.

  20. A good, solid puzzle with well-written clues providing a reasonable challenge and an enjoyable solve. I’ve ticked 16d and 18d. 2.5*, 3.5*

  21. I loved this. Hard enough to be a challenge yet straightforward if you follow the instructions. Perfect. Hard to pick a favourite but I’ll go for 17a. Many thanks to Silvanus and DT.

  22. Thank you Silvanus and DT for an excellent set of clues and tips. 22d as my favourite … but I would say that wouldn’t I!?

  23. Nice end to the week, tricky but solvable 😃 ***/*** Favourites 11, 13 & 24a and 22d 🤗 Thanks to DT and to Silvanus 👍 The heat wave appears to have departed from the East just as we set off for a week by the coast 😳

  24. I found this a mixture of gimmes and brain bogglers. I started at the bottom and was having difficulty breaking in, so I used e-help with the anagram at 17a to get me going and was all prepared to dislike this offering. Once started, I was off and did quite well. I struggled with one or two, 8a had to be and I bunged it in. Last in was 7d, I tried e-help but it said “no matches”, I was about to give up and check the hints when I had my Road to Damascus moment! Why on earth did I find that so tricky? Fave 18d, like the word.
    Thank you Silvanus for the fun and Deep Threat for unravelling a few for me.

  25. I must admit this “dealer” had me scraping for an “A” or “US”. As even the words and spellings of “Will Shakespear” are notoriously variable, e.g. he used “sidewalk” and he even spelled his own name 2 ways in his Will !! So perhaps we must take a lead from the Bard and not be too rigid on the evolution of language?! Thanks to all.

  26. Super puzzle today and agree the whole of this week has been a joy. The act at 21a seems to be proliferating – I just saw a youngish girl who didn’t seem to have a spare piece of flesh without a tattoo on it. What will these people look like when they are old and wobbly?! A bit like walking Picasso’s with bits seemingly in the wrong place. Anyway thanks to Silvanus for a great puzzle and DT for the hints. I see the Toughie has been given 5 stars for difficulty so I think I will give it a miss.

    1. “walking Picasso’s with bits seemingly in the wrong place” … Love it!

      That’s a description for the ageing of heavily tattoo’d people which I shall find very difficult to forget. I hope!

      1. M and MG. Walking Picasso’s? Does this need an apostrophe for a mere plural? You’ve got me thinking now …

    2. I’m glad someone else finds those tattoos repulsive. How anyone can defile their bodies like that is beyond comprehension. I know an anti-vaxer who has a number of them – so putting heavy metals into your body is OK but not a vaccine?

      1. Hi Merusa. Yesterday in S.Carolina there were 474 new cases, and 97% of them were unvaccinated. These anti-vaxxers are simply anti-humanity.

        1. As you know, I believe Florida is now the leader of the pack. With a Governor like deSantis, expect it to get worse …DT Mark II.

    1. Maybe we can have a go at the BRB about that one as well – once we’ve got them to agree that shrimp doesn’t equate to ‘bright pink’!

    2. Setters don’t necessarily stick to using the BRB as their only reference source (thank goodness!). Feather can mean something of negligible value; a jot. As in “I don’t care a feather”.

      1. Never heard that one, Jose! Plenty of others (including some rude ones!) but that’s a new one.

  27. Finished this almost unaided in 2.5″ time. COTC and LOI 21a. This puzzle was a relief on an exceptionally hot day in South Wales after the brain teasers of the last few days, so many thanks to Silvanus. Thanks also to DT for the hints which I shall now enjoy reading

  28. Having had my defence of climate change protesters on your site in the past deemed ‘political’ and therefore
    unwelcome, I was surprised that Merusa’s comment at 8.56 pm
    slipped through.
    Consistency please Mr Moderator.

    1. Yes, I know, I do tend to stretch things a bit – but then I do have seniority!

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