DT 29756 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29756

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29756

Hints and tips by Mr K

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BD Rating  -  Difficulty ** Enjoyment *****

Hello, everyone, and welcome to Tuesday. It is a long time since I had this much fun solving a Tuesday puzzle. The setter had me hooked with the definition in 1a, and it just got better from there.  A few of the clues were so good that I had to wonder if anything similar had appeared before. So I consulted my database of over half a million cryptic clues and, while the answers have of course been seen previously, the wordplay for those clues is both original and much better than anything that I could find. If I wore a hat, it would be off to our compiler. Brilliant work!  I hope we see more like this in the Tuesday slot.

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    Scandinavian almost admits criminal must refuse job (7)
DUSTMAN:  All but the last letter (almost) of a native of a particular Scandinavian country contains (admits) an anagram (criminal) of MUST 

5a    God -- a church answer for something that makes everything better (7)
PANACEA:  A Greek god known for his pipes is followed by A from the clue, the abbreviation for the Church of England, and an abbreviation for answer 

9a    Writer's novel I want (5)
TWAIN:  An anagram (novel) of I WANT 

10a   One perhaps makes you ring  author (9)
GOLDSMITH:  A person who might make you a ring of precious metal is also the name of an author 

11a   Purses out, rushed to find shop (10)
SUPERSTORE:  An anagram (out) of PURSES with rushed or dashed 

12a   Combs over regularly -- it gets blown in the wind (4)
OBOE:  Alternate letters (regularly) of COMBS OVER 

14a   Enough lace is prepared for seat (6-6)
CHAISE-LONGUE:  An anagram (prepared) of ENOUGH LACE IS 

18a   Massage report's sure captivating son -- it reduces wrinkles (7,5)
TROUSER PRESS:  An anagram (massage, as an imperative) of REPORT'S SURE containing (captivating) the genealogical abbreviation for son. Readers unfamiliar with the answer can read about it here   

21a   American swallowing nothing? On the contrary, one's probably hammered (4)
NAIL:  Inverting the wordplay (on the contrary), the answer is found as a synonym of nothing containing (swallowing) the single letter for American 

22a   Friend in European city follows daughter, mum or dad? (10)
PALINDROME:  Concatenate a friend or mate, IN from the clue, the genealogical abbreviation for daughter, and an European city.  The ? at the end is important here, because it indicates that MUM and DAD define the answer by example 

25a   Hostility from Tyson -- I am mad boxing him, at heart (9)
ANIMOSITY:  An anagram (mad) of TYSON I AM containing (boxing) the central letter (at heart) of HIM 

Mike Tyson boxing

26a   Artist father's gone to bury (5)
INTER:  An artist who works with brushes minus an informal synonym of father (father's gone

27a   Demolish half of Rhodes, ancient city (7)
DESTROY:  One half of RHODES is followed by an ancient city 

28a   Commitment from kings and queens perhaps beginning to change direction (7)
LOYALTY:  A word for what kings and queens define by example (perhaps) has its first letter changed to the one representing the other handedness (beginning to change direction



1d    Hate delta on eastern river (6)
DETEST:  Assemble the letter represented in the NATO phonetic alphabet by delta, the single letter for eastern, and a river in Hampshire 

2d    Monkey with one's food (6)
SCAMPI:  A monkey or rascal with the Roman one 

3d    One in favour of the Queen's new crimson hat (10)
MONARCHIST:  An anagram (new) of CRIMSON HAT 

4d    New lamp left off, producing hours of darkness (5)
NIGHT:  The abbreviation for new with a synonym of lamp minus the single letter for left (left off

5d    Large animal opposite brook (5,4)
POLAR BEAR:  Opposite or diametrically opposed with brook or tolerate 

6d    Relative picked up hot snack (4)
NOSH:  The reversal (picked up, in a down clue) of a younger male relative is followed by the single letter for hot 

7d    Game writer heading off to purchase container (8)
CRIBBAGE:  A writer or copyist minus their first letter (heading off) containing (to purchase) a container you might take shopping 

8d    Adult allowed to wear most of these jumpers? (8)
ATHLETES:  The single letter for adult is followed by allowed or permitted inserted in (to wear) all but the last letter (almost) of THESE.  The ? indicates another definition by example 

13d   Initially often overheard pronouncement, say, with a bloomer? (4-1-5)
OOPS-A-DAISY:  This is one of those rare all-in-one clues.  The wordplay instructs us to take the first letters (initially) of the next four words in the clue and then append A from the clue and a flower (bloomer) that has a yellow disc and white rays. The entire clue also serves as the definition, with bloomer being an informal word for an absurd blunder 

15d   At home with Brazilian money -- pity penny's missing, actually (2,7)
IN REALITY:  The usual short word meaning "at home" is followed by the Brazilian currency unit and PITY minus the single letter for penny (… penny's missing

16d   Measure  flag (8)
STANDARD:  A double definition. Flag in the sense implied by the surface reading 

17d   Government plot is deviously taking in one Conservative (8)
POLITICS:  An anagram (deviously) of PLOT IS containing (taking in) both the Roman one and the single letter for Conservative 

19d   Somewhat dim or talentless human being (6)
MORTAL:  The answer is hidden as part of (somewhat) the remaining words in the clue 

20d   End of lockdown too soon? Virtually (6)
NEARLY:  The end letter of LOCKDOWN with an adverb meaning too soon 

23d   Wally distastefully pens upsetting poem (5)
IDYLL:  The pair of words at the start of the clue hides (pens) the reversal of (upsetting, in a down clue) the answer 

24d   River at the bottom of low uncultivated land (4)
MOOR:  The map abbreviation for river comes after (at the bottom of, in a down clue) low like a cow 


Thanks to today’s setter. I thought almost every clue today was a winner, but if I had to pick favourites I'd go with 12a, 22a, and 13d. Which clues did you like best?

The Quick Crossword pun:  OAR + LAB + HOARD = ALL ABOARD!

91 comments on “DT 29756

  1. To me, this did not have the feel of a Tuesday back-pager. I had it rattled off in */** time, about three-quarters of the clues solved on the first pass. The last one in was 10a because I don’t know the author.

    I don’t think 1a exist any more. They are Recycling and Waste Management Operatives. Also experts in strewing waste all over the road.

    Many thanks to the setter and Mr. K.

  2. I thought this the best Tuesday puzzle we’ve had in a long time & by some margin. Not particularly difficult but full of excellent clues. The standouts for me were 1,5&22a along with 5,7&13d & with the gold medal award to 22a.
    Thanks to the setter & to Mr K for the review which I’ll now read.

  3. I must have been bang on wavelength from the off as I found this very gentle but a great deal of fun. LOI and only real penny drop moment was 10a.
    I liked the contemporary touch of 20d but favourite in a strong field was 22a.
    Many thanks to Mr K and the setter for the fun.

  4. I enjoyed this one too, Mr K (2*/4*). The clues did have a freshness to them and had that touch of wit and humour that is so difficult to achieve. Ia was my COTD (unlike Malcolm, ours, to whom I am most grateful, don’t strew rubbish all over the road and run most of the way on their round). I’d give a mention to 2d and 23d too and being one of those ‘anoraks, who enjoy a good anagram, I liked 14a and 18a. Thanks to Mr K for the hi ts a d to the mystery compiler..

    1. Have to agree with you Chris re 1a. Mine do a sterling job and worked all through lockdown too. Like Mr K, I take my metaphorical hat off to them.

      1. Well count yourself lucky. We only get ours emptied about 3/4 times. The same contractor is responsible for street cleaning. Our road hasn’t beem cleaned for over 7 years. I placed an official complaint in 2017. The computer says the matter is still “in progress”.

        And now the road is full of broken glass as someone has just taken out the windows of a workman’s van with a golf club. Happy days.

    2. I am also very impressed by our dustmen, (garbage men over here). They have worked non stop throughout Covid, and are always cheerful, arriving like clockwork two days a week. On Fridays, we have a wheeled stand that holds our recycle yellow (paper) and blue (glass, metal and plastic) boxes, one above the other. Our current crew even take the time to put the two containers back on the stand, in the correct order. I was glad I was out there one morning and was able to give him a big thumbs up, which was rewarded with a huge smile.

  5. Agree with Mr K, this was a fun puzzle top draw wordplay, took my mind off the cricket! ,lots of cracking clues,22a has to be my favourite, what a surface- closely followed by 10a.
    Going for a **/*****
    Thanks setter for the pleasure and Mr K for the pics.

  6. This was certainly different to the usual Tuesday fare. Very enjoyable. **/**** I can’t recall ever seeing 13d as an answer before now. 10a was very clever, lovely misdirection. Favourite 22a. I wasn’t very keen on 2d. A weak clue compared to the rest. Thanks to all.

  7. 2*/4.5*. This was light and wonderfully enjoyable.

    My biggest hold up was struggling to parse 6d. The simple reason was that today’s very nice Dill puzzle in the Indy contained “picked up” twice as a homophone indicator and that stopped me for a while from thinking of it also being a reversal indicator in a down clue.

    I have only ever known 13d to start with “whoops”, but it works just as well with “oops”, and makes it onto my podium alongside 1a & 22d. The Quickie pun was great too.

    Many thanks to the setter – please reveal yourself – and to Mr K.

    1. Our esteemed editor did identify the setter of last Tuesday’s back pager, with the Clue of the Week, in yesterday’s Puzzle Newsletter and I am inclined to think that he might also be the setter of today’s. However, he was identified by his ‘real’ name rather than an alias so I am not inclined to repeat it here but he might have set puzzles as Flimsy and Nitsy in other locations.

      But, of course, I might be completely useless as a setter detector.

      1. If you are right about the identity of the setter it is no wonder his clues are so reasonable because he is apparently a primary school teacher!

      2. I believe that CL reveals the setter of a puzzle only if they don’t wish to remain anonymous. So it is fine to say here that last Tuesday’s puzzle, like many before them, was set by Anthony Plumb (see https://bestforpuzzles.com/people/p.html and http://bigdave44.com/roger-squires-rufus-and-anthony-plumb-flimsy/).

        A way to find if he also set today’s puzzle would be for many readers to email puzzleseditor@telegraph.co.uk nominating 22a, say, as their pick for best clue of the week. If it wins, the setter could be revealed in next Monday’s puzzle newsletter.

          1. That’s as cunning as a fox who’s just been appointed Professor of Cunning at Oxford University.

        1. I do know of one setter who was quite surprised to see his ‘real’ name in the Newsletter as provider of the Clue of the Week but perhaps CL has instituted a policy of checking with the setter first since then.

  8. Before I settle down with my lunchtime drink and this puzzle, is there any recent news on our poorly contributors? I don’t wish to intrude but we do care about our fellow bloggers don’t we?

  9. Numerous achievable anagrams oiled the wheels of this well crafted */*** puzzle. Last two in were 1a and 2d but the rest were a write-in with my COTD being 22a although there were many contenders for that prize. Thanks to Mr K for his work and our illustrious setter whoever that may be.

  10. Must be me but I found this about average Tuesday difficulty ** but extremely enjoyable and amusing so **** fun factor.
    22a my COTD but it could have been any one of half a dozen.
    Thank you to setter and Mr K for the reviiew.
    25a reminded me, over 25 years ago we had a black lab pup we named Tyson, as he was always biting our older lab’s ears.

  11. I agree that although not that difficult, this puzzle was a lot of fun. Just the thing for a dull morning. Thanks to setter and Mr Ok x.

  12. Super puzzle today with such a lot of good clues. 22a my favourite and it would be invidious to point out those not up to honourable mentions so best to say how very good overall were the clues.

    Thanks again to Mr K for his entertainment and also to our setter for such quality.

    Could someone today please let us know how Kath is progressing. It seems a long time since we had an update but I may have missed it. Thanks.

    1. Hi, Corky. Kath joined us briefly last Thursday, I think it was, and she sounded great. Said that she would be back soon.

  13. What an enjoyable puzzle we have today – lots to like. Our 1a guys are fantastic, They have even started my mower as I’m too feeble to get it going. Our new one arrived last week and, hurrah, I can start it easily so the 1a guys have one less job here. 13d last in as I also think it is whoops! Thanks to the setter for a great puzzle and Mr K for the blog and the pictures.

  14. This was a very clever and enjoyable puzzle with lots of excellent clues but 22A was superb. Thanks to Mr K and the setter.

  15. I did like 22a and 13d. I had the justification for 7d slightly wrong, assuming the container was ‘cage’ (which doesn’t really make sense I know), so thanks to Mr K for putting things straight.

  16. I’m ashamed to say that I was beaten by 2d and had to use eHelp. It turned out to be a great clue among many great clues. In fact, too many great clues to give one the top spot although 22a was just ahead of the game.

    Had to use the iPad for the first time today. What a strange experience! I had to hit the keys twice to get the letters to register.

    Many thanks to the setter – more please. Thanks also to Mr. K for the hints. I will now go searching for kitties.

    1. I do all of my computer work on an iPad Steve. It is the single most useful tool that I have ever owned. It can take a bit of getting used to but that shouldn’t put you off. With a bit of thought and application you will usually arrive at what you want. Our three desktop PCs lie redundant waiting for me to dispose of them safely. There will be no going back.

      1. I’m afraid I’m a die-hard user of the dead tree version, MP. I use the iPad for many things but I prefer to put pen to paper when it comes to crosswords. I’m a dinosaur! 🦕

        1. I had to resort to doing the crossword on the iPad when my printer packed up some time ago. As MP says, you quickly get used to it. My son actually sorted the printer out for me while he was here a couple of weeks ago but I haven’t bothered printing out the puzzles again. No going back.

            1. Me too. Half the pleasure is holding the pen and doing scribbles on the side. And the joy of getting an adjacent advertisement with a lot of white writeable on space!

    2. That’s on the DT puzzles app presumably Steve. I have the same experience & it’s incredibly annoying. I only use the site now to do the extra cryptic on the Monday now that the Toughie is included in the digital pack – oh & if I need the help of a letter reveal which the site grants which is looking distinctly probable given my slow progress with today’s Toughie.

      1. Help will be offered at 2.00 pm Huntsman. If it is any consolation both CrypticSue and I thought to be a genuine Toughie. Perseverance is the key

      2. It isn’t the app, Huntsman. I paid an extra subscription and I go to the the DT website to access puzzles.

      1. and here it is. i was given the tip by someone else here.

        go to settings

        to general

        to keyboard

        turn off auto capitalisation

        1. Thanks Banksie. Sorted.
          I do wonder why the DT puzzles app is the only site I’ve ever encountered where having the auto caps on had this effect.

  17. Delicious crossword – beautifully put together. All the answers were there, without the requirement of a master’s degree in 15th century Hungarian politics.

    How times have changed since the 1a people would wear huge jackets with leather shoulders so that they could carry heavy iron bins, tip the contents into the cart, and then return the bin to the exact same spot, and not as now, just hurl the modern plastic ones in the vague direction of one’s house.

    Thanks to the splendid setter, and The Celebrated Mr K.

  18. I am definately a novice and have learned a lot from your helpful site – Thank you – I have never added a comment before but completing this was the most fun. In most cases the penny dropped at just the right moment with some clever clues and lots to make me smile.
    Thanks again to whoever set this.

    1. Welcome to the blog, Karen.
      Now that you’ve introduced yourself I hope that you’ll become a regular contributer.

  19. What seems to be a typical Tuesday puzzle and I am beginning to wonder if we have one Tuesday setter (see my reply to RD at Comment 7) – 1.5*/4*.

    Favourite – a toss-up between 18a and 22a – and the winner is 18a.

    Thanks to the setter and Mr K.

  20. I have to agree with earlier commenters that this was right up there among the best in terms of enjoyment and smooth clueing, with misdirection and humour aplenty. 1 and 22a were my favourites this morning.

    Congratulations and thanks to our mystery setter, and thanks, too, to Mr K for his usual comprehensive blog.

  21. Lovely puzzle to solve after scuffling with The Toughie. Quit a few smiles along the way too. When I was quite small I used to watch the workers at 1 across and my ambition was to join them when I grew up. Alas I never made the dizzy heights but our local district council has been offering positions with an immediate start and tempted as I am I don’t think that I will be taking up their offer anytime soon. I do leave them tins of orange or lemonade most weeks though. Thanks to both setter and Mr Kitty

  22. I must withdraw my comment last week to the effect that DT Cryptics seemed to be getting gradually more challenging because today’s was for me probably the plainest sailing ever. It was nevertheless great fun. I don’t usually grade but this is definitely */*****. Initially tried to use type of bread for 6d (surely solution is not necessarily snack but rather meal or food). Also tried to come up with name of writer for 7d. Two Favs 12a and 24d although using a low chestnut. Thanks so much setter (do tell us who you are) and MrK. Quickie pun also amused.

  23. I often find Tuesdays a bit of a strain but todays was excellent. I particularly liked 1a, a real smiler. 26a took some untangling.
    A real pleasure to solve.
    Thx to all

  24. Agree with all that has ben said. The clues were a delight to read, never mind solve. The wit contained in the clue and consequent delight on solving made this a fab puzzle, sadly over all too soon. My cap is doffed to the setter.

  25. A curate’s egg (in the modern sense of the term, not the original “just being polite” sense) of a pretty straightforward puzzle where there were some imaginative and great clues (HMs to 5a, 10a and 4d, COTD the outstanding 22a) but I felt the entire puzzle was let down through being dominated by a single clue type – 8 out of only 30 clues, more than a quarter.

    I know it’s my hobby horse, so feel free to scroll on by.

    That imbalance really spoiled the puzzle for me as clue after clue emerged as being yet another of the same type. In the Rookie’s Corner Prolixic has said in their review of the current puzzle that 4 lurkers (in 32 clues) were too many, and I feel that way about the appearance here of so many anagrams, which to my mind quite detracted from the excellence of some of the other clueing.

    1.5* / 2*

    Thanks to the Setter for some quite brilliant gems, and to Mr K for the review.

    1. Mustafa G
      August 11, 2021 at 12:19 pm
      I agree, MP. And for me there are so many other different, challenging, amusing clue types that seeing maybe a quarter or more of a puzzle consisting of anagrams just comes over as a wasted opportunity, much as I admire anyone for successfully putting together a grid of 26-34 or more interlocking words, let alone compiling the clues to find those words and then subjecting their efforts to public scrutiny!

      To Stephen’s relief (and others, I guess), I shall stop going on about it

  26. A pain-free solve but so very enjoyable. If it was set by the person to whom Senf alluded then he’s unlikely to pop in but it would be so nice if he did.
    Not playing favourites today, too many excellent clues to choose from, so I’ll just say many thanks to our setter and of course to Mr K for the review and kitty pics. Also, a big thank you for the delightful rendition of Gabriel’s Oboe, such a shame that, from what I read, the film it was written for didn’t live up to the brilliant music score.

    1. Yes Jane, thanks for the tip-off. I have only just listened to the recording of Gabriel’s Oboe – delightful.

  27. I really enjoyed today’s puzzle and so many excellent clues. It makes a change for me to finish it this early in the day though it’s probably because of the persistent drizzle preventing me getting into the garden and no dog walking. We are both isolating before my husband (Bill) goes into hospital for his gall-bladder op on Thursday. Jack the Russell doesn’t seem to mind being deprived of his constitutional. Fast asleep in his basket and his master the same but In his arm-chair. Peace! Many thanks to Mr K and the mystery setter. Good start to the week!

  28. A relatively straightforward puzzle for Tuesday with a couple of quirky clues, but overall a nice solve.
    2.5*/**** my rating.
    Clues to like include 1a, 22a, 25a, 13d & 24d with winner 13d and runner up 1a and both made me laugh.
    A great puzzle today.

    Thanks to setter and Mr K

  29. Best puzzle in months. 2.5/5. Took a little teasing out in parts but very fairly clued and some neat misdirection. Favourites from a strong field were 22a and 13d. Thanks to the setter and Mr K.

  30. Quite a masterful grid today, even though that little monkey held me up for a time. Like so many others, I thought that 22a, 13d, and 1a were the creme de la creme of a very enjoyable puzzle. 1a brought back great memories of Our Mutual Friend. Thanks to Mr K for the music and the review and today’s gifted setter. ** / ****

    We’re being lashed here on the Carolina coast by some outer bands of Tropical Storm Fred, but we’ve seen much worse.

    1. Stay safe Robert. I hope it gets no worse. Here, it is rather chilly, the temperature having crept reluctantly into the low 60’s with a cold, blustery breeze. It’s not gardening weather and my lovely Bluebird Hibiscus looks as reluctant to be out there as I am.

      1. Thanks, Chriscross. Back when I was still able to garden a bit, I had a pet potted Hibiscus that often spent part of the winter in the warm den with me. I dearly loved that flower. Now I have Spanish Bayonets indoors with me. They are easier to maintain.

        1. I didn’t know they grew indoors, I must try, but they might be a bit large for my sitooterie. I’ve got sanseveria (spelling?) aka mother-in-law’s tongue in the UK, rabbits’ foot fern, begonias, and a few different dracaenas. I can’t garden outside any more, this is my substitute. P

  31. All finished this morning apart from 3d which took an age. Great puzzle. Outstanding clue was 22a and runners up 1 and 5a and 2 and 13d. Thanks setter and Mr K. I will look at the hints and other comments later but have a boat to catch.

  32. Such a clever xword today please can we know who the setter is? Thanks MrK for the hints

  33. I got stuck on a few clues, but once I figured out which wavelength I needed, it was a very enjoyable solve. Nothing require a deep dive into GK, nothing obtuse. Definite COTD for me is 13d. Thanks very much to the setter, would love to see more like this one on offer. Thanks also to Mr K, particularly the SW corner where I was a bit slow on the uptake.

  34. Yup, most enjoyable! I had the wrong author at 10a and he made no sense; per BD, if you can’t parse it, it’s probably wrong, and it was. This meant I failed at 6d, but that was my error. Here in the US, they spell the second word of 14a “lounge”, I always cringe. There are so many treasures here but I think 13d wins, very smile worthy.
    Thank you setter, please visit again soon, and thanks to Mr. K for our hints and pics. Re the pic at 5a, yes indeed they do!

  35. Having struggled on the last few Tuesdays today was an absolute joy as I raced through this at lightening speed, for me, enjoying every clue on the way. Happy days. Favourite was 18a. Many thanks to the setter and Mr. K.

  36. We did a crossword from another paper the other day and were utterly stumped by the parsing of one clue. ‘Little money gained from shopping in the centre (8)’ T_O_E_C_. The answer is obvious and there’s only one. Neither of us could make head nor tail of it.

  37. Thoroughly enjoyed this today, even though it wasn’t very difficult.

    COTD was 1a.

    Thanks to all.

  38. I totally agree! What fun! I put smiley faces next to the clues I love, and today there were many, and even doubles 😊😊

  39. I agree with everyone that this was a cracker, especially as it had my name in it! 22a was outstanding, I shall have to write it down on my commonplace book. Had a difficult and complicated day (yesterday now) and consequently cannot sleep so it has been an excellent accompaniment to a cup of hot chocolate. Many thanks to the very clever setter and to Mr k for his notes and cat pictures. Was the cardboard box procured especially for the twins?

    1. Hi, DG. It’s two boxes that I connected together just for for the twins. They particularly like the shoe box because it has a hole at the bottom through which a kitten can poke its paw. That’s what they’re doing in the picture.

  40. Really fun puzzle this one. As usual didn’t get to it until this mornings cuppa in bed. Spent ages on 7d even though had the answer early but couldn’t fit it with my (as it turned out) incorrect spelling of 14a. COD for me was a tie between 13d and 22a.

  41. A challenging but very enjoyable crossword, with many excellent clues, which I finished unaided. Difficult to choose COTD from all of these but must be shared between 1a and 22a, although many others deserve to be there too. Thanks to setter for the enjoyment and to Mr. K for the (unneeded) hints.

  42. 2*/4*….
    liked 3D ” One in favour of the Queen’s new crimson hat (10)”
    & the video in the hint to 2D “Monkey with one’s food (6)”

  43. Just completed this on the morning that the death is announced of the inventor of 18a.
    Peter Corby…rest-in-press

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