DT 29747 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29747

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29747

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty *Enjoyment ***

Good morning from a damp, grey South Staffs.

For me, this was an extremely rapid solve, because the bits of GK needed fell into my comfort zone, and the wordplay made it easy to work out any unfamiliar terms. My * rating for difficulty reflects the time it took me. Others may differ.

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           Figure reportedly plump, that lady’s ancestor (10)
FOREFATHER – Put together something that sounds like (reportedly) a single-digit figure, another word for ‘plump’, and a pronoun for ‘that lady’.

6a           Returning, share carriage (4)
TRAP – Reverse (returning) a word for ‘share’ or ‘section’, to get a horse-drawn carriage.

9a           One making binders correct after failing to open (5)
ROPER – Remove the initial letter (filing to start) from a word meaning ‘correct’ or ‘appropriate’ to get someone who makes things used to bind stuff.

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10a         Soothe everyone English through endless tea (9)
ALLEVIATE – Put together another word for ‘everyone’, an abbreviation for English, a Latin word for ‘through’ or ‘by way of’, and TE(a) from the clue without its final letter (endless).

12a         Sports bats suppress noises (6,7)
SQUASH RACKETS – To get these sports bats take a word for ‘suppress’ or ‘keep down’, and follow it with a word for ‘noises’ or ‘commotions’.

Tecnifibre Carboflex Airshaft racket range review - Squash Gear Reviews

14a         Poorly rate poet’s musical work (8)
OPERETTA – Anagram (poorly) of RATE POET.

15a         Silk worker‘s rest on table (6)
SPIDER – Double definition: an arthropod which generates a silken thread; or a rest used in snooker or billiards.

17a         Rejected injection around November with outsize instruments (6)
BANJOS – Reverse (rejected) an informal word for an injection, wrap it around the letter represented by November in the NATO alphabet, then add the clothing abbreviation for ‘outsize’.

19a         View turned rigid on Time magazines (8)
GAZETTES – Start with a verb meaning ‘view’ or ‘look steadily’. Then put together a word for ‘rigid’ or ‘solidified’ and an abbreviation for ‘time’. Reverse the result and add it to the first part of the answer.

21a         Girls getting drunk with a new pink prosecco, maybe (9,4)
SPARKLING WINE – Anagram (getting drunk) of GIRLS A NEW PINK.

24a         Uncouth diner peeled limb attached to insect (9)
INELEGANT – Remove the outside letters (peeled) of (d)INE(r), then add a limb and a worker insect.

25a         What holds policeman back? Age (5)
EPOCH – An exclamation like ‘What?’ is wrapped round the reverse (back) of a familiar word for ‘policeman’.

26a         Removes contents of bottle (4)
GUTS – Double definition: a verb meaning ‘removes the innards’; or a noun, the Cockney rhyming slang for which is ‘bottle’.

27a         Discharges divisions including Royal Engineers (10)
SECRETIONS – Insert the abbreviation for the Royal Engineers into a word for ‘divisions’, to get some bodily discharges.


1d           Rage of social reformer gripping you, reportedly (4)
FURY – Insert the letter which sounds like (reportedly) ‘you’ into the surname of a Quaker prison reformer from the early 19th century who used to appear on the back of a £5 note.

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2d           Fencer’s thrust one support piercing uncovered area (7)
RIPOSTE – Put together the Roman numeral for one and something which will support a fence, for example. Then insert the result into the central letters (uncovered) of (a)RE(a).

3d           One’s eaten, holding lot in Chinese restaurant? (7,6)
FORTUNE COOKIE – Cryptic definition of something which you may be offered in a Chinese restaurant which contains a message about the future.

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4d           Shipments of tons managed before rests (8)
TRANSITS – Put together an abbreviation for Tons, a verb for ‘managed’, and another verb for ‘rests’.

5d           Mathematician from Spain developed rule (5)
EULER – The IVR code for Spain, followed by an anagram (developed) of RULE, to give us a Swiss mathematician from the 18th century.

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7d           Make further changes to last sheet of paper, presumably (7)
REAMEND – If you split the answer (4,3) you get what could be the last sheet in a large amount of paper.

8d           Purse’s tight, increase force (10)
PRESSURISE – Anagram (tight) of PURSE’S, followed by another word for ‘increase’.

11d         Politician‘s immorality with power over citizen (4-9)
VICE-PRESIDENT – Put together another word for ‘immorality’, an abbreviation for Power, and a citizen or inhabitant of a place.

13d         Burning artwork in future (10)
COMBUSTING – An artwork showing the head and shoulders of a person is inserted into a word for ‘future’ (as in ‘—— shortly’ in the trailers at the cinema).

16d         Relative died giggling with head falling off (8)
DAUGHTER – An abbreviation for Died, followed by a word which could include giggling, with its first letter removed.

18d         Most spruce home for birds including swallow (7)
NEATEST – Another word for ‘swallow’ or ‘ingest’ is inserted into a bird’s residence.

20d         US band in Toledo removing editor’s musical effect (7)
TREMOLO – Take out the abbreviation for ‘editor’ from TOL(ed)O. then wrap the result around a  US rock band formed in 1981 which finally stopped performing in 2011.

22d         Italy game tricky match (5)
IMAGE – The IVR code for Italy, followed by an anagram (tricky) of GAME.

23d         As I’ve shown, wordsmith uses traps (4)
THUS – Hidden in the clue.

The Quick Crossword pun BUST + IRK + ETON = BUSTER KEATON

59 comments on “DT 29747

  1. Exactly two weeks ago on Friday I wrote, “What a terrific selection of back-pagers we have been spoilt with this week.” I can now write “ditto” to that, with a sublime finish today from Mr X-less Pangram. This puzzle was 2.5*/5* for me thanks to brief, accurate cluing, with super-smooth surfaces throughout. My enjoyment rating this week has been 4.5*/4*/4.5*/5*/5*. 👍

    It was quite a struggle to select a podium choice from such a good selection. I’ll settle for 10a (lovely sentiment!), 21a, 25a & 13d but many others came into contention.

    Many thanks to proXimal for the fun and to DT for the review.

  2. Well it’s not often I am too far off the hinter’s assessment but I found this to be a definite ***. Having said that I did enjoy it so give it *** for that too. My COTD was 10a which I liked the construction of. It was pleasing to be able to correctly guess the GK which didn’t quite fall within my comfort zone. Thanks to Deep Threat and the setter

    1. Me also – I thought it was at least *** – it took me all morning to solve (much to the chagrin of my wife who wanted me to move a carpet upstairs !).

  3. On first read through I thought this was going to be quite tough but its bark proved to be worse than its bite. However, very enjoyable as is always the case with this setter.
    My medals are sprinkled amongst 17,25&26a plus 20&23d but could have mentioned several more.
    Many thanks to the X-man and and to DT (thought we may have had a clip of REM) for the fun in the sun (and rain).

  4. I’d have to give this a 2.5* for difficulty but I was watching the Olympics while I did the puzzle so that may not ba a fair assessment. Anyway, it was a very enjoyable crossword with a good variety of clues (5*). COTD for me was the clever triple meaning at 26a followed by a great anagram in 21a, the lego clue at 13d and 17a. Many thanks to DT for the hints and to the compiler (was it a pangram without the x?).

  5. This was the first puzzle I’ve had time for in a while, and what a delight. Lots of ticks, so too many favourites to list. The two clues that took me the longest to solve were the simple four letter ones of 26a and 23d. No excuse for the lurker. Thank you setter and DT.

  6. This may have been on the easier end of the spectrum, but what a beautifully-clued puzzle this was. Hugely enjoyable with a great mix of clues and an x-less pangram to boot. Terrific stuff.

    My thanks to proXimal for the challenge, to DT for the review, and congratulations to the crossword editor for a wonderful week of cryptics.

  7. Nicely clued puzzle ,lots of my favourite charades .Going for a **/****
    Some excellent surfaces eg 3d and 20d,I was not sure about the ‘tight, anagram indicator in 8d but as usual this was confirmed by my trusty Chambers -experience tells me that the setter is always correct!
    Hard to pick a favourite ,going for 17a for its topicality, cracking quickie pun too.
    Enjoyable start to the day ,now for some cricket.

  8. I had this completed in ** time – apart from 19a. After much head scratching I went off to do the Quickie, came back and still couldn’t get it. The best answer I could offer was CASETTES, wondering if there was an alt sp. I had even spotted the possibility of a pangram, but still the answer wouldn’t come. Much kicking of oneself ensued after the hints came out.

    Many thanks to proXimal and DT.

    1. I think I must be on the same wave length as you. Yesterday penitentiary today casettes.

  9. Fully agree with RD that it’s been a splendid week of back pagers & the Toughies have been great too. I certainly didn’t find this one a breeze but suspecting it was going to be an x-less pangram certainly came in handy with 1d & 17a. Though the answers were clear from the wordplay I did need to confirm a couple of things with Mr G (the Swiss numbers bod & the fencing thrust) both of which vaguely rang a bell. Pick of the clues for me was 13d & 15a reminded me of how difficult it is to play a shot using that particular piece of equipment & with the extended one even more so.
    Thanks to proXimal & to DT.

    1. I can still hear Bob Neathway’s words on how to use the various rests correctly. Where to position them and what cueing action to use for best effect. That was more than fifty years ago. The modern snooker players (mostly) follow his advice so it must have been right.

      1. Was it the Climax Snooker Club somewhere down near the lower precinct ?
        Remember bunking off school & spending some afternoons in there….

        1. I think that may be a seedy type of now. Best avoided. I played my early snooker at The Barras Green Working Mans Club.

  10. Satisfying puzzle to solve. On first glance I thought it was going to be a bit of a B, so I started in the S and from there made my way N, with 1d my LOI. It took a little while to get on the Setter’s wavelength but having done so it all fell in place rather more straightforwardly than I had feared might be the case.

    Great range of clues, generally smooth surfaces and plenty of smiles. Any GK was very G. Hon. Mentions to 25a, 7d, 11d, and 20d, with COTD to the delightfully deceptive 26a.

    2.5* / 3*

    Many thanks to Setter and to DT for the review.

  11. Thought this was going to be 3* at outset but quickly revised to 2* . Some excellent clues but 19a had me stumped for ages

  12. No sweat today but lots of fun. SE slowed me down a tad. 5d and 20d needed a bit of help. Last one in was 22d – clever clue from which I failed to suss ‘tricky’. 7d was Fav. Thank you ProXimal annd DT.

  13. What a delightful puzzle from the X-man containing all the right ingredients to suit everyone – Goldilocks would have been thrilled!
    Have to confess to leaving the binding person alone until the checkers appeared but that was my only slight hesitation.
    Singled out far too many potential favourites to mention so I’ll settle for saying I thoroughly enjoyed it all.

    Many thanks to proXimal and to DT for the review.

  14. An absolute delight from the X-man – 1.5*/4.5*.

    Because of my ‘written on the back of a postage stamp’ knowledge of fencing, I did have to check 2d in the BRB.

    Candidates for favourite – 24a, 26a, 7d, and 16d – and the winner is 24a.

    Thanks to proXimal and DT.

  15. I agree that it has been a good week for back page puzzles. Very enjoyable today. As usual the checkers got me through. Thanks to ProXimal for the early morning entertainment and to DT for the review. Tight does not make much sense to me as an anagram indicator but hey ho. If the setter sets and the editor allows then so be it. It was a good week for toughies too until I tackled today’s from Osmosis. Certainly not a puzzle for beginners. It’s the weekend peeps. Play nicely for Tilsit and Senf and I will see you all on Monday

        1. I suppose there have been occasions where I have been tight or all over the place

        2. Drunk, tight and tipsy are all known AI’s (certainly to me). Drunk is quite common and is used in 21a above. I guess there’s still quite a few more AI’s that haven’t been used/discovered yet.

  16. I really enjoyed this. I was in the cassette group too until I realised the Z was missing from the X-less pangram. I did not find it as easy at DT suggests and would give it 2.5* for difficulty. I actually managed a face to face visit with a doctor today. An area the size of my hand where my leg injury was, is still bright red, hot and raised and rather unsightly and oh so itchy. So now I have a steroid/antibiotic cream to put on – let’s hope it does the trick as its now 5 months on. Anyway, thanks to ProXimal and DT. All in all a terrific crossword week.

  17. A very pleasant puzzle for a Friday. I resisted the urge to bung in “Tennis” at 12a because it didn’t match the clue. At first, I had “excretions” for 27a and that made 22d impossible. Soon saw the error of my ways but I can’t see how “match” relates to it. Difficult to pick a favourite but I will settle on 13d.

    Many thanks to proXimal for the enjoyment and to DT for the hints.

    1. SC. Match = image is OK, as in spitting image. From Collins:

      in British English
      1. a representation or likeness of a person or thing, esp in sculpture
      2. an optically formed reproduction of an object, such as one formed by a lens or mirror
      3. a person or thing that resembles another closely; double or copy

  18. I noticed the likelihood of a pangram only after I’d solved those clues that contain Y, Z, J, K, and Q so went looking for the absent X until there was no more space to put one. Ergo, proXimal! That’s rather the way my mind worked on this one, which I didn’t find a walk in the park even though I enjoyed the tussle. Didn’t know who that social reformer was and don’t know anything about billiards or snooker, but those two clues rather solved themselves. Podium winners: 21a, 26a, & 13d. Thanks to DT and proXimal. *** / ***

      1. Still all over me. No joy at all. Persistent devil..

        Thanks for asking. How’s your game?

        1. Played well yesterday but got drenched so not much fun frankly – the highlight was the beer afterwards in the dry.
          Today’s Toughie currently impenetrable – taken an eon to get 8 answers.

          1. After invoking my electronic help of 5 letters, I yielded and submitted the lot. Result: 82% correct…but that includes bung-ins as well. A real tough Toughie, I’d say. I spent over an hour in bed with that rascal last night and gave it another look just now. Nada.

          2. Please don’t mention solving times. Those taking longer than an eon might feel inferior. Poor things. I have a completed grid but with ten of those I cannot see much relationship between the answer and the clue. How Dutch blogs Friday Toughies is beyond my ken

  19. Like most of us today I found the hinters assessment of difficulty a little off. I found it to be 2* to 3* but for all that very enjoyable once you got started which wasn’t that easy. I was decidedly unimpressed with 13d which was poor IMHO and not keen on obscure 18century mathematicians. I had enough of a problem with the reformer. However the wordplay on both was fair.
    Thx to all

  20. A very mild Friday puzzle. The clues were mostly straightforward, but very well-written and it felt more like a Monday than the end of the working week. It was enjoyable enough while it lasted. Fav: 7d. 2*, 3.5*.

  21. Agree with Brian’s ** plus assessment for difficulty but very absorbing with much to enjoy.
    Another who wondered if cassettes could have an alternative spelling (thinking I just couldn’t parse it)
    25a my COTD from a long shortlist.
    Thank you to ProXimal and DT.

  22. I found this to be the most challenging puzzle of the week, but really enjoyed solving it. 23d was my last one in because I am an eejit.

    Lovely Daisy was kind enough to ask after little Lola yesterday. Daisy – Lola is doing very well at the moment. She is now receiving half of a steroid tablet every other day, and (touch wood, etc) it seems to be keeping any infection at bay, whilst not giving her the strange side effects when she was on a higher dose. Since the introduction of the cat flap/door into the scullery door, she has total freedom in her life now and seems really contented. Here is a photo taken earlier this morning when she decided to take over my desk chair, in my study. I cannot imagine life without her. She has such a sweet nature – although the tiny mouse she brought in earlier this week may not agree (its next of kin have been informed; R.I.P.).

    Today’s crossword soundtrack: On Sky Sports – England making a minor comeback in the Test Match (our top three batsmen are not up to Test Match standard).

    Thanks to proXimal and DT.

    1. So nice to hear that Lola is happy and contented. That’s the only problem with car doors, you do have to contend with the occasional “present” the user brings you.

    2. A happy Lola is all we ask! At least she doesn’t bring in those huge lizards, just yesterday while watching TV, a particularly large one sauntered down the middle of the room and disappeared under the sofa. Poor little mouse!

    3. What a content puss! So pleased to hear our mascot is enjoying life, Terence. 🐈

  23. Nice, readily solvable crossword but I do have a problem with some of the definitions particularly 4d &19ac

  24. I went on pangram alert with D, G, M, W, X and Z still to go, so that helped no end. My fastest ever ProXimal solve, although that doesn’t mean it was impressive by most people’s standards. Favourite was 15a. Thanks to ProXimal and DT.

  25. Having had good results with both Jay and Ray T this week, I came back to earth with a bump today. Just can never get on wavelength with proXimal. Also, I have never player snooker, can’t eat Chinese food, and got stuck on silk worker being a worm, my efforts today were rather paltry. Despairing and going in for hints, I was further dismayed to see the * difficulty rating. Now I feel really stupid. Thanks to proXimal and Deep Threat.

  26. Definitely a *** for toughness for me, took ages to get a toehold and then had to prise the rest out with a crowbar. Last in was 27a which needed the hint. But at least I did better than yesterday’s effort(RayT ☠️). As always thanks to setter and hinter.

  27. What a good end to a good week. I needed DTs explanation for my bung in at 19a but other than that very enjoyable. 11d was my favourite as it is succinct and exactly as the clue states. Thanks to the setter and DT.

  28. Great puzzle; very enjoyable. Unusually for me I marked eight clues with an asterisk as outstanding (for me!) 19A & 26A were close but 13D was my favourite. Thanks to setter.

  29. Blimey, Deep Threat, only 1* for difficulty, surely you are taking the Michael? It took ages to get an entrée, then it did become easier, but it was still a hard slog. I’m that old that I don’t like the new spelling at 12a; I know, I know, “suck it up”, learn to live with it! As someone who is in an alien world with music bands, I felt pretty chuffed to get the band at 20d … where did that come from? Fave is 21a, ‘cos I solved it first and I’m partial to the stuff, but I did like others, 17a and 26a for example.
    Thank you proXimal for the workout and to DT for unravelling most of it for me.

  30. I must say I found this a tad harder than a one star, more like *** for me. Found it quite tricky to get through it and a couple I just could not figure out. Clues to like include 1a, 10a, 12a, 25a & 20d with 12a winner

    Thanks to proXimal and DT

  31. Gosh I think that I am a voice crying in the wilderness 😢 I found this very difficult needing several hints *****/** Favourites 12a & 13d possibly because on my first run through they were the only two I was sure of 😳 Thanks to DT and grudgingly to proXimal who I fear I may never understand🤔

  32. After a successful run over the past week I came down to earth with a bump on this one. Having struggled long and only got less than half the answers, I just gave up and obtained those answers from Saturday’s Telegraph when it was delivered early this morning. Sorry DT I didn’t even have the energy left to look at your hints, but will hope to learn something from them now, so thank you. Thanks to Proximal – I appreciate that you are well above my pay grade, but that’s my problem not yours.

    1. PS. I am even later than usual posting because having used up all my mental energy I then used up all my physical energy defrosting my huge chest freezer!

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