DT 29750 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29750

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29750

Hints and tips by Mr K

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BD Rating  -  Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

Hello, everyone.  Today we have a quality puzzle of about average Tuesday difficulty. Nothing too obscure or contentious, I think. I look forward to reading what everyone else thought of it. 

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 kitten 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    Look after husband with sliced bun? (7)
HAIRCUT:  A look or manner comes after the genealogical abbreviation for husband, and that's all followed by a synonym of sliced. The ? indicates a definition by example 

5a    Everyone in performance is superficial (7)
SHALLOW:  Another word for everyone inserted in a performance or production

9a    Country engaged in informal talks (5)
MALTA:  The answer is hidden in (engaged in) the remainder of the clue 

10a   Local creeps -- they might leave you under the table (3-6)
PUB-CRAWLS:  Another word for your local is followed by creeps or slithers 

11a   Single cat hunted a cuckoo (10)
UNATTACHED:  An anagram (cuckoo, as in crazy) of CAT HUNTED A 

Cat hunting cuckoo clock

12a   Called newspaper about its leader (4)
RANG:  An informal word for newspaper containing (about) the leading letter of NEWSPAPER 

14a   Flying by US jet, Clive's not without bias (12)
SUBJECTIVELY:  An anagram (flying) of BY US JET CLIVE 

18a   Important  piece of music (12)
INSTRUMENTAL:  Double definition. Music without words 

21a   Ships disposing of second-rate cereal (4)
OATS:  A synonym of ships has the letter denoting second-rate deleted (disposing of second-rate) 

22a   Proposed spicy English meal at a restaurant? (5,5)
TABLE D'HÔTE:  Link together proposed or put forward for discussion, spicy or fiery, and the single letter for English 

25a   Career talk prepared no student for acting (9)
CARETAKER:  An anagram (prepared) of CAREER TALK minus the letter indicating a student or learner driver (no student) 

26a   Relative entering that is foolish (5)
INANE:  An older female relative is inserted in (entering) the Latin abbreviation for "that is" 

27a   Determined detectives in action (7)
DECIDED:  The abbreviation for some usual detectives is inserted in an action or act 

28a   Disturbance after old boy's rude (7)
OBSCENE:  A disturbance or unseemly display of feelings comes after the abbreviation for old boy 



1d    Sweet sound of buzzing insect (6)
HUMBUG:  The sound of buzzing with a generic insect 

2d    Poorly, for example? Not half! (3,3)
I'LL SAY:  Poorly or sick with a short alternative to "for example" 

3d    Adjust cargo at sea, losing jack? This could be the answer (10)
COASTGUARD:  An anagram (at sea) of ADJUST CARGO minus the playing card abbreviation for jack (losing jack). The definition refers back to the rest of the clue 

4d    Greek character in bed brought up issue (5)
TOPIC:  A Greek letter inserted in the reversal (brought up, in a down clue) of a small bed. The answer is also one of these: 

UK chocolate bars – the answer is number 6

5d    Small uniform daughter wears guiding signal member of the clergy (9)
SUBDEACON:  Assemble the clothing abbreviation for small, the letter represented in the NATO phonetic alphabet by uniform, and the genealogical abbreviation for daughter inserted in a guiding signal (daughter wears guiding signal) 

6d    Mocking after adult's wrong (4)
AWRY:  Mocking or sardonic comes after the single letter for adult 

7d    Legislator left a whiskey? God! (8)
LAWMAKER:  Concatenate the single letter for left, A from the clue, the letter represented in the NATO phonetic alphabet by whiskey, and another word for God

How did whisky vending machines never catch on?

8d    Smart alecs guess why I broke no hearts (4,4)
WISE GUYS:  An anagram (broke) of GUESS WHY I minus the playing card abbreviation for hearts (no hearts) 

13d   Random things tennis players do? (3-3-4)
HIT-AND-MISS:  The two possible outcomes for tennis players receiving a ball. One usually good, the other not so much 

15d   Spot of bother with group of animals -- half of shed is filled to capacity (3-6)
JAM-PACKED:  Put together a spot of bother or a pickle, a group of animals, and half of SHED 

16d   Tattered cover did split (8)
DIVORCED:  An anagram (tattered) of COVER DID 

17d   Obscure boozer in east Morecambe? (8)
ESOTERIC:  A boozer or drunkard is inserted between the single letter for East and who Morecambe defines by example (?)

19d   Spirit or beer after getting married (6)
MORALE:  OR from the clue and a type of beer come after the genealogical abbreviation for married 

20d   Demanding slice off European (6)
SEVERE:  A verb meaning slice off is followed by the single letter for European 

23d   Slow, large vessel (5)
LARGO:  Follow the clothing abbreviation for large with Jason's mythical vessel 

24d   Learning to ignore last boss (4)
STUD:  A word meaning learning or research minus its last letter (… to ignore last


Thanks to today’s setter. I thought this puzzle finished strongly, with big ticks for 15d, 17d, and 19d. But my favourite clue was found further up the grid, at 12a. I also thought the quick pun was rather good. Which clues did you like best?

The Quick Crossword pun:  ODE + ERR + CLONE = EAU DE COLOGNE

78 comments on “DT 29750

  1. All completed in *** time, I was beginning to think we had another pangram, but it wasn’t to be. 14a was my last in because I had convinced myself that the U had to be after the J involving JUSTICE somehow. When all the checkers had fallen into place, the answer was obvious.

    Many thanks to the setter and Mr K.

  2. I thought this was great, witty, cryptic and clever. The anagrams with their closely related surface reads (3d in particular, one of the best I’ve seen for a while) were all excellent but my podium contenders are 10a plus 7,8&17d. A pleasure to solve, let’s hope the setter makes an appearance.
    Thanks to the aforementioned setter and to Mr K for the fun in the South Devon sun.

  3. Very good puzzle. Largely plain sailing but some great clues. 22a was my last one in and favourite with honourable mentions as well going to 1a and 17d.

    Thanks to Mr K and today’s setter.

  4. Well if it was average in difficulty my brain clearly wasn’t switched on as I found this decidedly tricky. I took an embarrassingly long time to see the 14a anagram & even longer to twig the 9a lurker, the latter finally allowing me to finish the NW which was problematic to say the least. Last in was the 2nd word of 2d which necessitated a few mental trawls up & down the alphabet before the penny dropped. Anyway I thought it a super puzzle & better than most recent Tuesdays. Ticks went to 1&22a along with 1,2&17d with top spot going to 22a.
    Thanks to the setter & to Mr K – excellent music clip

  5. I didn’t find this one easy either. ***/*** Some good clues but quite a few obscure ones too. I thought 1a was dcidedly peculiar. Fortunately, I spotted the country lurker straightaway or I’d have found that corner even more difficult. Favourite 17d. Thanks to all.

  6. Not the easiest puzzle and very idiosyncratic in parts. I would rate it OK but no more.
    Thx to all

    1. I have to agree with Brian, idiosyncratic sums it up for me, at least for half a dozen clues.

    2. I agree. The two answers containing apostrophes threw me. Should they not be indicated e.g. 22 across 5,1’4 rather than 5,5, or is that not how things are done in Crosswordland?

  7. 2*/4*. I could kiss the setter and/or editor today for enumerating 22a & 2d correctly showing the apostrophised words in each case. Wonderful! Let’s hope that starts a trend for accuracy.

    This was good fun with 17d my favourite.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Mr K.

    1. They did not show the apostrophes on the online version and these were the two answers that eluded me.

      1. I agree. I printed off the online version which for example, suggested 22a was two five letter words. Completely threw me and led me to not finish the crossword.

        1. Welcome to the blog

          You’ll have to add something to your alias to avoid being confused with the Brian who has been commenting on the blog for years and years

  8. Like a few others, I found this hard to get into and the clues were very well contrived to give maximum misdirection, especially some of the anagrams, which were very good (2*/4.5*). 14a was a super example of the latter and I liked the lego type clues, 22a, 1a, 17d. The COTD for me was the all in one clue, 3d, which was fiendishly clever. All in all a very enjoyable puzzle, so thank you to the setter. Thanks to Mr K for the hints.

  9. A very pleasant Tuesday puzzle – 1.5*/3.5*.

    With regard to RD’s elation at Comment 7, apostrophisation, like italicisation of ‘pun clues’ in the Quickie, apparently not possible in the on-line version.

    Candidates for favourite – 10a, 12a, 18a, and 17d – and the winner is 10a.

    Thanks to the setter and Mr K.

  10. Lovely puzzle today which I completed alone and unaided and understood the parsings…..it’s been a while since that happened, so hurrah for me !

    Thanks to the setter and to Mr K…..particularly enjoyed the flashmob. Joyful indeed!

  11. A very enjoyable and clever puzzle that kept me entertained throughout. 22a and 17d came out on top of my podium this morning. Nice to see the old boat again at 23d. It has been in dry dock for a while I think.

    Thanks to both Misters involved.

  12. Some ingenious clues in this highly rewarding nay brilliant offering which I managed as a */**** puzzle. So many contenders for COTD but 17a got it for me just ahead of 22a. Thanks to Mr K and I would be interested to know who the setter was – I don’t think my brief read of the above comments reveals but I’ll re-check after lunch.

  13. This was a really pleasant loaf exercise with ingenious clues. NW slowest to fall. Agree with StephenL that 1a is a bit iffy. Favs were 10a, 22a and 2d. Thank you Messrs. Ron and K. Great Quickie pun.

  14. Well, I’m with Huntsman in that I didn’t get on very well at all. In fact, I could copy his post almost word for word because I had problems with the same clues. I found it a bit impenetrable to begin with but I gradually made inroads and it soon became apparent that it was a very good puzzle. The lurker at 9a was hidden in plain sight so much I missed it. I liked 7d but my COTD is 17d.

    Many thanks to the setter for the struggle, for me, today. Thanks to Mr K for making sense of parts of it.

  15. I struggled to get into this puzzle and found it a tricky fellow to unravel. I enjoyed the anagrams.

    For the first day in half a century there is no rain forecast so I may be forced to mow the grass. Writing the previous sentence has almost certainly guaranteed a torrential downpour after luncheon.

    Today’s crossword soundtrack: David Crosby – For Free (2021)

    Thanks to the setter and The Celebrated Mr K

  16. Even without the online enumeration for 2d and 22a, I thought that those two clues were the icing on the cake today. The clever 3d was my LOI, and that ‘sweet’ in 1d is new to me but what else could it be? Excellent puzzle. Finished in good time, with thanks to Mr K for the entertainment and to the setter for the enjoyment. ** / ****

    The delta variant has now become the DeSantis Variant in Florida (last name of the Republican governor) as the number of new cases there soars well beyond the worst a year ago.

    1. I have left my house only once since discharge on May 10th! This man is totally out of hand and responsible for so many deaths.

    2. Just got back from the supermarket here in Covid ravaged florida, and half the customers weren’t masked. Mostly young people, probably the same ones refusing to be vaccinated. We usually go when they first open, and the few customers are older like us, and all masked. This isn’t going to bode well for us here. Our Governor is not doing the right thing, and appears to be marching to a different drummer. And we know which one.

  17. Just 1a that took the edge off an otherwise very enjoyable and fun-filled puzzle. It’s been raised before but when it will be accepted that a style such as a bun involves no cutting at all!
    Quite a crowd jostling for podium places – 10,22&28a plus 1&17d. Think 10&22a share the honours here.

    Thanks to our setter and to Mr K for his usual top-notch review. Nice to see those kittens coming on so well.

  18. Thanks to the setter and to Mr Kitty for the review and hints. A very enjoyable puzzle, with some very clever clues. I thought 2d was very original. I liked 1a & 1d, but my favourite was 10a. LOI was 18a. Was 2* /4* for me.

  19. Very nice crossword 😃 ***/**** the only reason for xxx was, unbelievably, I had to have help with 2d 😬 Favourites 1 & 3d. Thanks to Mr K and to the Setter

  20. I’ve just picked this up and started with 1a. I’ve not looked at any comments as don’t like to do that until I’ve finished. However, no complaints about this clue as it’s easy to solve but the answer does not fit. A bun could be just the opposite.

      1. I can’t sit back as my two grandsons won’t allow me. Thus many interruptions today. My husband who said he definitely would not go to Falmouth to The Working Boat bar after the sailing (having over-indulged on Sunday after no pubs and clubs for 17 months) has succumbed to temptation. I am only mildly reassured that he has some dignitaries from your part of the world with him. I’m trying to figure out exactly where your photograph is taken from. St Mawes is becoming unrecognisable. I have sat today watching the complete demolition of a house someone paid £2m for a few months ago. Crazy!

        1. I cannot believe anyone would alter St Mawes- it was so lovely. The first time we went there elder daughter, just out of nappies, had an accident and we spent most of the day trying to find her a pair of knickers. They were henceforth known as the St Mawes Drawers. Happy memories.

          1. We’ve had various accidents here too including an outbreak of nits which infected lots of family and friends that year!

  21. Another nice puzzle for a Tuesday with no real hang ups.
    Some great clues including 10a, 11a, 22a, 2d, 7d & 13d with winner 13d as it was my first in, but all were really good clues.
    Didn’t really like 23d or 24d. but that’s just me. Who am I to criticise?

    Thanks to setter and Mr K

  22. Good fun, straightforward, nothing esoteric. Generally quite concise clueing, 20% anagrams just about the acceptable limit, otherwise nice range of clue types in a very accessible puzzle. N followed by S with no real delays. Proper Tuesday backpage fare.

    HMs to 10a, 12a and 1d. COTD to 17d.

    1.5* / 3.5*

    Many thanks indeed to the Setter, and to Mr K

  23. A ** for difficulty but very entertaining especially 2d and the cunning lurker in 9a. Wish I could spot the Tuesday setter(s) but cannot identify any characteristics. Thanks anyway and also Mr K of course

  24. Good puzzle for Tuesday with 17d my favourite today. 10a and 3d get very honourable mentions in a puzzle with many good clues.

    Thanks to the setter and to Mr K for his useful blog.

    But what were the hints for apostrophization? Couldn’t see or find any.

    1. As identified by RD at Comment 7, 22a (d’hote) and 2d (I’ll), were (correctly) apostrophised, (5, 1’4) and (1’2,3), in the dead tree version of the puzzle.

      1. Indeed, but I download the puzzle. In the end they could only be what they were but why can this not be done online.

        Oh, and thanks Senf for taking up my question.

  25. Again at first glance this looked tricky but soon got into it. 2d held me up for a bit as the electronic version has no apostrophes, can’t think it would be rocket science in 2021 to be able to put them in. 22a likewise but clever clue. If LROK looks in, have a look at the Glaven Valley Newsletter this month. A really lovely true story on page 17 by Sarah Woodhouse ( who is James Blunt’s aunt I think). Thanks to the setter and Mr K for the cat pics.

    1. I’m not LROK and have no connections to Glaven Valley but I couldn’t resist having a look at the newsletter…..what a great story! Thank you for drawing it to my attention.

      There’s what looks like an excellent recipe for apple cake in the newsletter too which I have copied out. It should come in handy as we seem to have a bumper crop of apples this year. Not many plums coming, very few greengages and sadly no damsons at all. Don’t miss the plums, but oh the damsons and greengages…they are treats. Still, next year…….

      1. We have left our Damson trees behind in Downtown LI. So no Damson Gin this year. We have plenty left from previous year to see us through.

        1. We have 3 in Stadhampton and still a few bottles of damson gin and also vodka (equally delicious) left over from last year

        2. We’ve still got Blackberry Brandy and Blueberry Gin from last year but I’m hoping for some Mulberry Brandy this year. The Black Mulberry tree we had pruned, which stops fruit formation, a year or so back is fruiting this year.

          I have to keep the Mulberry Brandy away from my friends. The last time I served it after lunch, it was devoured and I was left with none!

          1. We had a black mulberry tree at Lordship Farm reputed to have been planted in the 1700’s. The ducks used to fly up and eat the berries and I can confirm that if they then flew over the washing line the resultant stains were immovable!

  26. Found this slightly harder than yesterday’s,**, but still completed unaided, although I did look at the hints afterwards to explain a couple. Had a hiccup with 3D as I put au instead of ua even though I did many of them for the queen. Never heard of 5d but it had to be what it was. Loved 16d as it brought back happy memories. Thanks to all.

    10a should appeal to Miffypops

  27. Late to solve today but a pleasure when I got around to doing so. Hairstyle or haircut? Is there really any difference? Thanks to the setter for the puzzle and thanks to Mr Kitty for the review

    1. Yes there jolly well is! A bun is a hairstyle or hairdo. I have never had one but imagine I would have to grow my hair if I wished to sport one!

      1. Absolutely right. I sometimes wore my hair in a bun if it was not up and no scissors came near my hair for years!

  28. I’m in the tricky camp today, but I did find it enjoyable. I agree with Jane re 1a, not the best clue among some real treats. I did, however, have to use e-help for what should have been very doable anagrams. Fave was 17d with honourable mention going for 22a. I also have to mention the two kitties at 11a, they’re growing apace.
    Thanks to our setter for the fun and to Mr. Kitty for unravelling some for me.

  29. I struggled a bit with this one…own fault really for using the wrong 3-letter first word for 10A (..the ‘iron’ one starting with ‘B’) despite having been on many throughout the years! Messed up both my NW and NE corners until, eventually, the penny dropped!
    Anyway, the rest seemed to fall into place after that (even without the apostrophes which would have been useful in the online version) and enjoyed overall – especially the anagram types.
    Thanks, as always, to today’s setter and to Mr K for the blog, hints and pictures.

  30. Not my cup of tea today, but it could be because I had to leave in the middle of solving for a dental appointment to start work on replacing a bridge. Back now with a still partly numb mouth, and rather grumpy, I didn’t find it easy to fill in the blank squares. A few were rather oddly clued IMHO. But I still have Monday’s prize cryptic and the NTSSP so not to worry. Nothing hot or cold for 2 hours now and I am dying for a coffee…. Thanks to setter and Mr K.

  31. re 1a, there is no funny sign after bun on my iPad download. So, took rather longer to solve.

  32. Much harder than usual for a Tuesday.
    Loved 3d and 22a.
    So, ****/*****
    Many thanks to the setter and Mr. K for the review and especially the music. Uplifting.

  33. This puzzle was given ** difficulty , as was yesterday’s . I completed 29749 very quickly , but I found 29750 extremely difficult

  34. I for one would have struggled without the apostrophe’s. Funny they weren’t in the electronic version, one wouldn’t have thought it was beyond the wit of man to put one on a website. I can’t remember which my favourite was as I’m down the pub and the crossword is at home. Oh well. Thanks to the setter and Mr. K.

  35. I found it tricky but doable, for some reason my LOI was 19D, and my COTD was 1D for its simplicity and fun.

  36. I enjoyed it. No complaints save for 1a. It is a wavelength thing(no pun intended). Last two in were 18 and 14a. I would have struggled with 2d and 22a without the apostrophes. Favourites 10a and 1 15 and 23d. Thanks setter and Mr K. I shall now look at hints to confirm some of the parsing.

  37. I thoroughly enjoyed this except for 22a. I have spent quite a bit of time in France and have never come across this term. Even the hint didn’t help.

    Thanks to all.

    1. It used to be common in UK. In a restaurant one would be offered either the A la Carte menu or the Table d’hote menu. To be fair I haven’t been given this choice for some time. Probably an age thing.

  38. A great puzzle once again done in the middle of a sleepless night with a cup of cocoa. If I don’t get a nights sleep soon I shall explode. 10a,25a,3,8 and 13d caught my eye. Thanks Mr K for the update on the kittens, that is a tummy ready for a tickle! And to the setter for amusing me. 22a LOI don’t know why as I’m old enough to remember it. No one is going to read this but the compunction is there to have a say!

    1. When very desperate diasygirl I take half a tablet of phenergen which you can get over the counter

  39. I usually do the crossword in bed before lights out, and then read the blog with my morning cup of tea which is why I rarely comment. I loved the Morecombe clue! Thank you setter and Mr K.

      1. My darling blind cat, sadly no longer with me and greatly missed. He always curried up with me when I sat down, and slept in my arms. He also used to climb up my husband’s legs and drape himself over his shoulder like a scarf. A very brave cat. Thank you for noticing and for reading my late post.

    1. I’m glad to find someone else who does the crossword in bed before lights out. Unfortunately unlike NJoy I am usually still finishing the puzzle with my morning tea and so haven’t got around to reading the comments at that stage. That is normally done after breakfast. I did like your cat – such a lovely but such a sad story.
      Many thanks to Mr. K – I needed a lot of help from the hints in order to finish, and thanks to setter for providing a challenging brain exercise.

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