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DT 29741

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29741

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Good morning from South Staffs on a slightly damp morning.

Until I got the first couple of answers in today’s puzzle I thought that it was going to be difficult, but once a few checkers were in place my solving speed increased.

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.


1a           Sisters have this responsibility ahead (8)
FORWARDS – Double definition: split the answer (3,5 to get the responsibility of hospital sisters; or the direction which is ahead.

5a           One shows one’s sad to split (4)
TEAR – Double definition, the first being something you might shed if sad.

9a           Detectives crack, getting wind up (8)
DISSOLVE – The abbreviation for a set of senior detectives, followed by what you do when you crack a crossword clue.

10a         Promises magic times (6)
SPELLS – Triple definition: a verb meaning ‘promises’ or ‘indicates’; a noun for an ingredient of magic; and some periods of time.

11a         Using force in street unacceptably after wife leaves (8)
STRONGLY – The abbreviation for STreet, followed by a word meaning ‘unacceptably’, minus the abbreviation for Wife.

12a         Expansion keeping Times in rear (6)
BOTTOM – A period of economic expansion, with two abbreviations for Time inserted.

14a         Promoted team relegated — it’s over! (6,4)
UPSIDE DOWN – A promoted team could be described as this (2,4). Then add another way of saying ‘relegated’.

18a         Playing card incorporating old-fashioned diamonds is familiar (10)
ACQUAINTED – A high-ranking playing card is wrapped around another word for ‘old-fashioned’ or ‘curious’, then the abbreviation for the diamond suit is added to the end.

22a         Grasp mat shoved over to conceal labels (6)
STAMPS – Hidden in reverse (over) in the clue.

23a         Leave via Acton, unusually (8)
VACATION – Anagram (unusually) of VIA ACTON.

24a         Love gear, popular creation (6)
ORIGIN – Put together the letter which looks like a love score at tennis, another word for ‘gear’ or ‘clothing’, and another word for ‘popular’.

25a         Seal needs a blue place to live (8)
BUNGALOW – Put together something used to seal a barrel, A (from the clue), and another word for ‘blue’ or ‘depressed’.

26a         Figure half-a-dozen will turn up (4)
NINE – Start with the single digit for ‘half-a-dozen’, then rotate it (will turn up) to get the answer.

27a         Was banking made secure using pressure not force? (8)
DEPENDED – Start with a word for ‘made secure’, then replace the abbreviation for ‘force’ with the abbreviation for ‘pressure’.


2d           Weight rose rapidly up, partly in place of relaxing (6)
RESORT – Hidden in reverse (up, partly) in the clue.

3d           A cycle put together roughly (6)
AROUND – A (from the clue) followed by a cycle or repetition.

4d           Loving deep novel that’s coming out (10)
DEVELOPING – Anagram (novel) of LOVING DEEP.

6d           Former cop journalist blasted (8)
EXPLODED – Put together the usual prefix for ‘former’, a disparaging (or Blytonesque) term for a policeman, and the usual crossword journalist.

7d           Reference given by uncle? (8)
RELATION – Double definition: a reference or connection; or someone of whom an uncle is an example.

8d           HQ designed without a cellar (8)
BASEMENT – A headquarters or starting point, followed by another word for ‘designed’ or ‘intended’  with the A removed.

9d           Little sprint (4)
DASH – Double definition, the first being a small addition to a mixed drink.

13d         In which we see authors retail imagined and true shapes (10)
LITERATURE – Anagram (imagined) of RETAIL, followed by an anagram (shapes) of TRUE.

15d         Papers showing what striker wants from full-back — Rio, for instance (8)
PASSPORT – Something any footballer wants to receive from a teammate, followed by the sort of place of which Rio is an example.

16d         A boring broadcast on quiet times is often part of this formula (8)
EQUATION – Anagram (broadcast) of ON QUIET, with A (from the clue) inserted, or boring in.

Quadratic Formula: Real or Complex Solutions - Expii



17d         Tents pitched on major road by extremists in Green lobby (8)
CAMPAIGN – Put together a collection of people in tents, two letters which look like the alphanumeric designation of the Great North Road, and the outside letters (extremists) of GreeN.

19d         Loveless dance, the French twist (6)
TANGLE – A Latin American dance, minus the letter which looks like a love score at tennis, followed by one form of the French definite article.

20d         Packed and shaved, getting the middle bit twice (6)
FILLED – Start with a word which can mean ‘shaved’ (a piece of wood or metal), then double the middle letter to get the answer.

21d         Recognised novel being read aloud (4)
KNEW – A homophone (being read aloud) of a word for ‘novel’.

The Quick Crossword pun CARRY + OKAY + BAAS = KARAOKE BARS

103 comments on “DT 29741

  1. Also thought it looked tricky initially, but then got through it quickly. I liked it.

  2. A balanced **/*** affair where as Deep Threat says cross checkers helped. Particularly for me on 1a which I nominate as COTD and was my last one in. 13a was a well disguised anagram and I took a little while to ferret out the reverse lurker in 2d. Most enjoyable and with thanks to DT and the setter.

  3. I found this extraordinarily difficult and was lucky to finish it with copious assistance from the Thesaurus (5* for difficulty/2.5* for satisfaction at having finished). The clues were convoluted and devious to say the least. Some of them were really good. 14a was really amusing and my COTD, whilst 15a and 8d were also quite well put together. It was a bit oof a slog, however. Thanks to DT for the hints, I needed them to understand the parsing of some clues. Thanks to the compiler for his or her efforts.

            1. Problem is I was trying to turn the word six upside down…. Duh. Of course engineering better half got it right away.

      1. I agree. I did finish in the end unaided after a long haul but need to look at the parsing for some. Although hard work it was enjoyable. 1a fav although one of the last in.

  4. Wowzers, this was a bit of a head scratcher for me, don’t know it I was off form, but I did get it all finished well before my morning sea swim, with just one parsing issue my only problem. Required a fair bit of lateral thinking so I’m going for Zandio as the setter.
    Wasn’t too keen on 20d but did like 1,914&27a plus 8d.
    Many thanks to setter and DT for the workout.

  5. I thought this would not be out of place as a midweek Toughie, so was surprised to see the difficulty rating. It was, however, very thought-provoking and a good challenge for a soggy Shropshire morning. I loved 14a, with an honourable mention for 1a.

    Many thanks to our setter, presumably Zandio, and DT.

  6. I really struggled on this though the time taken didn’t really reflect it. I had to guess quite a few answers before I worked out why it was what it was and even wilh Deep Throats help it took ages for the penny to drop on 26a. I had FOUR as the answer for starters VI vsIV

    1. I still haven’t had my penny drop! I know IX is the answer, but where did the S fit in? Am I barking up completely the wrong tree?

    2. My memory (ha-ha) tells me that we have had 26a, or something very close to it, before, perhaps in the ‘opposite direction’ 9 becoming 6.

      1. I haven’t seen it before. Took me a while as I was struggling with VI and IV. Luckily unlikely last letters helped me to see the light.

  7. Found this really difficult and had to get help from DT. Must be something I am missing, I get 26a as a figure, but I dont get the rest of the clue? Many thanks to the setter and especially DT

  8. 5*/4*. My goodness that was really tough with the top half even harder than the bottom. Perhaps it’s a wavelength thing but I wonder if DT and I were solving the same puzzle.

    Most of the clues were excellent but a few were convoluted to the point of being admired rather than enjoyed.

    The surface of 13d was bizarre even by this setter’s standards and I didn’t find “imagined” a convincing anagram indicator.

    My podium selection is 1a, 9a & 14a.

    Many thanks to, I assume, Zandio and to DT.

  9. Stephen L’s ‘Wowzers’ is just about right for this crackerjack. At one point, after my second time through, I had 17 unsolved clues but some lateral thinking–really obliquely lateral in some cases–finally paid off and I finished unaided and quite delighted at the end. Big shouts out for 14a, 1a, & 17d. Whatever DT’s illustration was for 23a (a video apparently), it was banned in my “country on copyright grounds.” Thanks anyway to DT and to our setter. *** / ****

    I made it into the homestretch on an Elgar Toughie last night, still three or four shy.

    1. It was Cliff Richard singing ‘Summer Holiday’. You probably haven’t missed much!

      1. Well, thank goodness it wasn’t Pavarotti or Callas…but then I didn’t think it would be.

      2. We couldn’t get it either, but do have nostalgic memories of the film from our courting days. Will always remember being in a crowded cinema and everyone groaning when it started in black and white. Then the London buses turned red and we all cheered when we realized it was in fact in colour. Happy memories that that tune always brings back.

    2. I have just completed it Robert, with 28a my final entry. Plenty of bung-ins, so looking forward to the review later.

        1. Is Elgar any easier than yesterday’s Kcit which I’ve started this morning & is plenty hard enough for me – the east currently a no go area.

    3. The video was a clip from an old 60’s movie, Robert, ‘Summer Holiday’ with English singer Cliff Richard (I had a big crush on him in my youth).

      1. And me, Chriscross, I seem to recall that it was obligatory to choose between Cliff and Elvis in those days!

          1. I went to see Adam Faith perform live at the local cinema, with a friend who had a crush on him. I was more impressed with Gene Vincent, who was the supporting act.

            1. For once I haven’t got a ticket to show. I’ve never seen any of the above live although we have seen Cliff at Wimbledon

                1. He has only sung during the rain break once. We missed that. Bill Clinton shook my hand when he visited

  10. As above, failed to parse 26a until coming here, and now kicking myself. Otherwise **/*** though it seemed tougher than the time actually gave it – that make sense? Had to think differently for most of the clues, so quite refreshing to solve. thanks to setter and DT.

  11. Oh dear! Thank you to DT for helping with so many blank squares, but many congratulations to the setter for a tough puzzle and some original clues.

  12. I thought this puzzle was quite difficult today ,not sure where DT got his ** from! going for a ***/****, agree with Young Salopian that it would not go amiss as a midweek toughie.
    Quite a few bung ins with the parsing coming later.
    Liked the surface of 16d, thanks DT for the quadratic equation solver-took me back to school days.
    Diverse cluing throughout, lots of head scratching, anyway most enjoyable-thanks setter.
    Last in was 26a,nice when the penny dropped, favourite was 25a for an excellent surface.

  13. All came together quite nicely, a great puzzle. Some cracking clues, 14a and 26a were my favourites. Thanks to the setter and DT.

  14. A very strange puzzle for me and rather difficult. I did it on my Kindle so I can ask it if I have the right answer. I got them all correct but had no idea why as with 26a when nothing else fitted. Some were sort of too straightforward so I doubted myself, 8d I couldn’t see the HQ and 7d couldn’t see the reference. So a load of bung ins which meant reading the hints after I had finished was very enlightening. Thanks to the setter and DT. To Angelov, in response to your comment yesterday, I have quite a lot of samphire in my fridge at the moment!

  15. I found this very hard and, therefore, there was little enjoyment in it for me. I needed quite a lot of hints – far too many for my liking. Still, I will conceded that it was a very clever puzzle and I liked 14a, 26a and 6d, which is my COTD.

    Many thanks to the setter for the brain bashing and to DT for making sense of it for me.

  16. A real curate’s egg for me especially with the double unches in the corners – ***/***.

    Candidates for favourite – 12a, 14a, 24a, 3d, and 6d – and the winner is 14a.

    Thanks to the setter and DT.

  17. It’s reassuring to know that I am not alone in having struggled with this, particularly in the SW, to begin with but overall the brain exercise was satisfying. 26a was bung-in as was 20d – d’oh, d’oh! Thanks Mysteron and DT.

  18. On the whole very enjoyable and a vast improvement over yesterdays offering.
    Can someone please explain 26a, the hint makes no sense at all.
    My favs were def 8d and 28a both well written clues.
    Thx to all

      1. What sort of mind comes up with clues like this. Bizarre.
        Thx for explanation I would never in a million years solved that. Clues like this make me want to run away screaming vowing never to pick up a crossword puzzle again!

  19. Some lovely clues here such as 26a and 20d but who is the setter? Thank you whoever you are and of course DT!

  20. A few odd surface reads which would point towards Zandio being our setter but a couple of smiles along the way made for an enjoyable solve.
    Top three here were 1&14a plus 8d.

    Thanks to Zandio (?) and to DT for the review and video gems from the past.

  21. Thankyou D.T.I find I can solve most puzzles these days ,even Thursday but for some reason struggle on Friday.Your advice and humour are greatly appreciated.

  22. Just reading the review, and far be it for me to question the master, but I wouldn’t have interpreted 7d as a double definition? For me the definition is “reference” with the rest wordplay, an uncle being an example of the solution, hence the question mark.

      1. Once I forgot about pawnbrokers I got this. I thought relation with the ? means that uncle is an example of one of these. Had to think about reference but thought of reference and relation in a phrase – relation to/reference to. Not looked at the hints so I may be wrong.

      2. Impossible! Definitely the hardest in the four months since I’ve started on cryptics. I dread to think what a rated 5 difficulty would look like. Still, enjoyed some of the NE corner. Thanks to DT for making some of it possible!

        1. You’ve changed your alias – both this new one and your original one should work in future

  23. Very hard going.
    5 or 6 definitely in Toughie territory.
    Thought 26a brilliant but naughty.
    So, ****/******
    Many thanks to the setter and DT.

  24. A few iffy surfaces notwithstanding I thought this an excellent puzzle. I’m firmly in the camp with those who found it difficult. A curious mixture of some pretty straightforward clues & some real head scratchers well worthy of Toughiedom. 4 clues in the SW (18&26a +16&17d) took longer than the rest of it so it was laboured solve. Can’t decide whether I love or loathe 26a but there were plenty of big ticks in my book – 1,9,&14a + 6,8,17&20d with the excellent 14a top of the tree.
    Thanks to Zandio & DT.

    1. Absolutely agree with all you say and am going to leave it at that because JL are delivering a new fridge freezer in an hour and george is panicking that they will neither get the new one in or the old one out. Help. And it is raining of course. Thanks to the setter and DT, 27a was LOI.

  25. Very tricky indeed, and like so many of us, I didn’t understand 26a until my arrival here today. A good workout but a bit of a trek.

    Further torrential rain here, which is beginning to go beyond ‘it’s good for the garden’ into ‘it’s drowning everything’ – especially the younger plants.
    However, give me this weather every day rather than the debilitating heatwave of a couple of weeks ago.

    Today’s crossword soundtrack: Poco – Rose Of Cimarron

    Thanks to the setter and DT

    1. I think we have discussed Rose of Cimarron before Terence. A track I mumble along to knowing none of the lyrics until I sing out Rose of Cinnamon every time the chorus comes round.

  26. Dare I say this on an Elgar Friday? The Elgar Toughie grid was filled in more quickly than the back pager. However I have little idea about the relationship between clue and answer in the Toughie whereas I fully understand the back page connections. 26 across reminded me of the short sighting boating lake chap. “Come in number nine. You’re time is up.” Come in number nine. You’re time is up” Number nine please come in. You are over your time” “Are you having a bit of trouble number six?”

  27. Hello, compiler here. Thanks very much for the analysis and discussion. Sorry to say I agree that in 13d, “imagined” is not a convincing anagram indicator — it should have been something like “fantastical” or “strange”. Tsk! Have a good weekend.

    1. Thank you, Zandio both for the puzzle and for popping in. You thrashed me today but then it is Friday and should be tougher. Although I didn’t finish, your cluing was very fair. :good:

      Have a great weekend yourself.

    2. Great puzzle Zandio for which I needed DT’s hints at the last. Some great clues of which I will mention 1 and 14a.

    3. Thanks, Zandio, for a really testing workout–which I did manage to finish without any hints–and for joining us.

  28. Trickier at the top than the bottom. My favourite was 26a

    Thanks to Zandio and DT

  29. Found it difficult today but made it through to the end without resorting to the hints.
    Enjoyed that the difficulty came from good clues that were solvable by lateral thinking rather than obscurities and general knowledge clues.

  30. A very nice puzzle. Mostly good clues providing a decent challenge; quite tricky in places and a satisfying solve. Best of the week, I think. My only slight quibble, hardly worth mentioning, was shaved = filed in 20d. There’s a rudimentary difference, isn’t there? No stand out favourite. 4*, 4*.

    1. I thought the synonym pretty tenuous too but did like the wordplay element of the clue which I can’t recall coming across before

    2. I”ll just shave a couple of thou of this for a better fit. I’ll just file a couple of thou off this for a better fit. Say no more!

      1. Yes, that’s exactly how I eventually convinced myself it would be (just about) OK. But, being an analytical so-and-so, I still can’t find shave = file anywhere. But it’s a mere trifle, I suppose.

  31. This was a very boring crossword. I particularly didn’t like 26a, which I thought was a stupid clue.

  32. This was so difficult and I’d given up on the Elgar in the hopes of whistling through the back page. How wrong I was.! 26a was clever and 12a a little naughty.
    Now another look at Mr Elgar with virtually zero expectations. Why do I bother!

  33. A nice Friday crossword but I still do not understand 26a, really enjoyed this, any help with parsing 26a is appreciated in advance.

    1. As Jimi Hendrix once sang
      If a six, turned out to be nine
      I don’t mind. I don’t mind

    2. Hope you’ve got it now you have read all the additional hints. Forget Roman numerals and just think about 6 and 9. If you still don’t get it read this upside down! A clue yo be filed away for use again I think.

      1. Thamk you It finally sank through the various layer of my head into head, thank you everyone and have a good weekend

  34. Found it hard to get on – and remain on – the setter’s wavelength here, and so felt this was the toughest backpager I’ve seen in a good many weeks – certainly a candidate for a Wednesday / Thursday Toughie. Having said that, my groans as each penny dropped were audible leaving me wondering why it had all taken so long, but I often get the same sensation after finising an Elgar grid.

    On the subject of grids this has to be one of my least favourite – four separate puzzles, each only connected to the central anchors by a single letter, and each quarter with a double unch. Good variety of clues, well-hidden lurkers, admirable shortage of anagrams. Some very good smooth surfaces, but a few were to me distinctly the opposite (especially 13d). Thought it was going to be a pangram, but no.

    I found W harder than E, and SW toughest of all. COTD 25a.

    4.5* / 2*

    Many thanks to Setter and to DT for the review.

  35. Thanks to Zandio for a most enjoyable puzzle and to DT for some very necessary hints. Favourite today is 14a with honourable mentions for 1a and 25a.

  36. Zandio brilliant I thought although didn’t like 15d much. Blame myself as not the first time I’ve seen the answer for papers. I was fixed on ID! Thanks DT too. I did not recourse to the hints although I thought I would have to. I did not think I had the patience to work out the SW for myself. I wrote out the checkers and gaps for some of the down clues which helped. I was pleased to get 18a which helped enormously with 16d. Definitely a wavelength thing as I could not get into yesterday’s at all but this was no more than *** time for me. Favourites 1 14 18 25 and 26a and 6 13 and 17d.

  37. A nice puzzle to end up the week. 2.5*/**** with some nice misdirecting clues in this puzzle, too.
    Clues for favourites 1a, 26a, 6d, 17d & 19d with winner 1a today, and 17d runner up
    Heading for close to 38C today in the lower mainland of BC today. So many wildfires, too, throughout the province.
    It is HOT and tinder dry.

    Thanks to setter and DT

  38. I felt like I was swimming in molasses, I was so far off wavelength. Even though I got an answer, I struggled to find the why. That was hard graft! Having to utilise far too much e-help. Fave, and first solved, was 25a.
    Thank you Zandio, and much appreciation to Deep Threat for sharing your secrets.

  39. All I can say is that it was easier then yesterday’s. I said on Monday that the difficulty didn’t augur well for the rest of the week and how prophetic those words have turned out to be perhaps, unbelievably, Wednesday’s excepted. I don’t do Friday’s toughies these days but all the toughies I did were easier than the cryptic’s. Enough I hear you cry. So I’m going with 26a as favourite because I thought it was rather neat once I got on wavelength. Thanks to Zandio and DT.

  40. Thanks to Zandio, but too tough for me, I had to look at the heading a couple of times to make sure I hadn’t printed the wrong crossword. Did finish, but only with looking at several hints. I would never have reasoned out 26a. Hope you are all coping with the storm over England today. Read possible 75mph winds. Over here they would have us all indoors, with the hurricane shutters closed, wondering when the power was going to flicker and die. The US is just awakening to the Delta threat now, and masking is being mandated in several places. I was happy to pick up two fabric sets today, previously retailing at $25 each, now on sale at $5.90. Lucky for me the retailer didn’t realise the market for these just increased again.

  41. I actually managed to finish this and really enjoyed it. My last ones in were 15d and 16d. And whilst I was pleased to have worked out the Rio football, I couldn’t parse the formula part. Thank you DT for helping me with that and for your blog. A big thank you Zandio for a wonderful puzzle. And thank you to everyone here at Big Dave’s; a few years ago this would have been beyond me.

  42. Tough took two sittings and the hint for 1a to get me home. NW corner held out not helped by having “dram” for 9d which I thought so clever (and I thought I deserved one after my efforts). Sorry Zando much prefer my answer!
    14a my COTD with 26a R/U (from earlier comments it looks like a “Marmite clue”.
    **** time then needed hint for 11a.too tough to be more than * **

    oooThank you Zandio & DT for the invaluable review .

  43. Apologies – forgot to thank Zandio and DT in my earlier comment. Can’t agree with DT’s rating – it has to be 3.5*/4*. A really first class puzzle.

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