DT 29759 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29759

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29759

Hints and tips by LetterboxRoy

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty tbaEnjoyment tba

Morning All, sorry we are running slightly behind (almost all my fault – BD).

Fairly straightforward today but enough to think about – many thanks to today’s setter.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Move by government at last becoming economical (6)
BUDGET: Just as the clue says, a 5-letter word for move or shift, plus governmenT (at last)

5a    Extreme custom Dorset regularly observed (6)
UTMOST: The alternate letters of the 2nd & 3rd words of the clue

10a    Chose page thumb-marked originally in dictionary (5)
OPTED: The abbreviation for Page and T (thumb-marked originally) inside the abbreviation of a well known dictionary

11a    Introduce changes in rebate (9)
REDUCTION: Anagram (changes) of INTRODUCE

12a    Foretaste of survey on flipping English Received Pronunciation! (7)
PREVIEW: A word for survey after a reversal of ERP from the clue (?)

13a    Editorials beginning to alter, bringing Telegraph subscribers perhaps (7)
READERS: How said articles could be described, but alter the first letter

14a    State of bird having swallowed stone sadly (9)
MINNESOTA: A four letter bird that mimics around an anagram of STONE

17a    Reject skipper essentially going aboard small vessel (5)
SPURN: P (skipper essentially) inside Small and a ewer

18a    Sport in which Jack plays important role? (5)
BOWLS: A rather weak cryptic definition based on another meaning of Jack (noun)

19a    Court verdict makes sense (9)
JUDGEMENT: Double definition, not much more one can say about it really

21a    Twig at intervals swimming coach admits being confused (7)
CHAOTIC: The odd letters of TwIg inside an anagram(swimming) of COACH

23a    Conceded everyone was in debt (7)
ALLOWED: Our second chestnut; a shorter way of saying everyone had an amount outstanding

25a    Mask thief fashioned that’s rudimentary (9)
MAKESHIFT: An anagram(fashioned) of MASK THIEF

26a    Content leaving employment after month in music group (5)
OCTET: A three letter month followed by the outside letters of ‘entertainment’ (content leaving)

27a    Celebrity very averse ultimately to go hungry (6)
STARVE: A celebrity, the abbreviation for ‘very’ and the last letter of ‘averse’

28a    Meagre salary lieutenant’s right to divide (6)
PALTRY: Abbreviations for right and Lieutenant sit inside (divide) another word for earnings


2d    Loose way of working police officer rejects (5)
UNTIE: This copper is possibly Canadian, on a horse maybe – remove Modus Operandi from the front

3d    Sid signed off, getting dizzy spells (9)
GIDDINESS: A not very well hidden anagram of SID SIGNED, random names are always a giveaway

4d    Cast finished broadcast (5)
THREW: A homophone of over or finished

5d    Worker supports subordinate revealing secret (9)
UNDERHAND: A worker in a theatre or a farm is below (supports) a more simple word for subordinate

6d    Tea that’s inferior to instant coffee (5)
MOCHA: Our usual brew sits below (inferior to) a two letter very short period of time, colloquially

7d    Calculation device I’ll use, designed to impress friends occasionally around (5,4)
SLIDE RULE: Anagram of I’LL USE around the alternate letters of fRiEnD, reversed

8d    Old politician stops dog finding fluffy ball (6)
POMPOM: Abbreviations for old and Member of Parliament fills (stops) a dog (?)

9d    Complete agreement from offspring studying for degree? (6)
UNISON: A mild cryptic definition – how you could whimsically describe your lad in a further education establishment

15d    Improved demand for card game (9)
NEWMARKET: Split 3,6 this could indicate a potential, as yet untapped customer base

16d    Fair goal (9)
OBJECTIVE: An adjective and a noun

17d    Abrasive individuals rustling sheep, what they do reportedly (5,4)
STEEL WOOL: A homophone of what a sheep thief could be said to do

18d    Change into suit (6)
BECOME: A not unfamiliar double definition

20d    Dorothy is lifted, having worried up till now (2,4)
TO DATE: Reverse a short form of Dorothy, then add a term meaning ‘got at’ or worried

22d    Weapon that injures a troublemaker contains uprising (5)
TASER: A reverse lurker

23d    Appear in Cambridge Footlights, say, and behave badly (3,2)
ACT UP: How one could describe having a role in a play whilst at University

24d    Restaurant employee, one spilled Adam’s wine (5)
WATER: Male serving staff after removing the I (one spilled)

Some of the parsing did have me thinking and made for an enjoyable solve

What did you make of it?

The Quick Crossword pun: coup+weight=Kuwait

94 comments on “DT 29759

  1. First of all, many thanks for all of your good wishes on the results of my biopsy. I didn’t see them last night because after two nights of not sleeping at all, I crashed out and slept for 12 hours.

    It was also good to see Kath commenting, long may it continue. We all miss the Thursday Dream Team, Kath.

    Today’s puzzle was superb and I loved it. It took some teasing out but I got there for an unaided finish. Another puzzle that has so many good clues it is difficult to pick one out but I will go for 9d.

    Many thanks to the setter for a most enjoyable tussle. Thanks also to LBR for the hints.

    1. Stop press news – this evening I made the recipe in today’s DT for courgettes cooked with a tomato butter. I couldn’t get the orzo in our local farm shop but we had it with a quiche and salad. Delicious! Pleased you are feeling better.

  2. I thought quite tricky in the NW and last one in was 8d. Spent enough time on that to give a **/*** result for me. Lots of classically constructed clues and I agree difficult to pick a COTD but I agree with Steve Cowling that 9d just gets it. Thanks to Letterbox Roy and the setter for a good end to a good week of puzzles.

  3. Managed to finish without hints but so needed your help with understanding 13a, 2, 7 and 22d. Enjoyable nevertheless. Thanks to LBR and compiler.

  4. A very pleasant end to the (non-)work week, but, dare I say and for me, not really a Friday puzzle – 1.5*/4.5*.

    I did have a Hmm on the abbreviation of the 8d dog which I don’t particularly like, we wouldn’t call a poodle a poo would we, and I am more familiar with 24d being Adam’s ale rather than wine.

    Candidates for favourite – 12a, 26a, and 5d – and the winner is 12a.

    Thanks to the setter, who based on the smoothness of the surfaces might be Silvanus, and to LbR – let’s hope it is not another two years before your next blog.

    1. Fairly strait forward 2* territory. 3 clues held me up – 19a,21a and 16d. However as soon as I twigged 16 d ( just couldn’t find the word) the other 2 fell in place.

    1. Many Brits – and certainly us retired lawyers- spell 19a normally as ‘judgment’ .

      1. Even though both are fine, purists use the e as it derives from the French jugement circa 13th century.

        Us Brits don’t like the uge sound so we slipped in a d to soften it.

      2. Reminds me of my school English literature A levels when we studied Southey’s Vision of Judgement (which depicted King George III entering Heaven to acclaim and praise) and Byron’s satirical response Vision of Judgment, without the “e” as a barbed response. I think I have those the right way round!

      3. The BRB has both versions of 19a, separated by an ‘or’, with, if it has any significance, the ‘e’ version listed first.

  5. Apart from me getting in a muddle with 1a and 2d, which I bunged in, this was enjoyable and remarkably straightforward for a Friday (2*/3*). I found 17d quite amusing so that ias my COTD, with a nod to the fine geographical clue at 14a. Thanks to LBR for stepping into the breach to do the review and to the compiler.

  6. Another DNF I’m afraid. The pairing of 1a and 2d were my undoing as well. I thought the rest was a bit light, for a Friday, but those two just wouldn’t come. Definite Doh! moments when the electrons came up with the goods.

    Many thanks to the setter and LBR

    1. They were my last two as well, Malcolm – the parsing of 2d was one of my stumbling blocks

  7. Perhaps the most straightforward of this week’s puzzles but perfectly enjoyable nonetheless though all over a bit too soon. No real favourites but nicely clued throughout & Senf’s punt on the setter may well prove a shrewd bet.
    Thanks to the setter & LBR for reviewing it.
    PS 80% of the Friday Toughie is also surprisingly user friendly but the brick wall was bound to be encountered sooner or later.

    1. 80% of today’s Toughie is user friendly. I agree with that bit. The brick wall is thicker than a nuclear bunker with a brick wall around it buried deep underground and lined with lead

      1. The steel construction company for whom I worked for 27 yrs after moving to the village, doing their accounts and being the only woman on site! got a contract to make a bombproof cell for Fisons on the road to Cambridge. It was hugely top secret and was unbelievably strong. The company left the site and just recently the plant has been pulled down and replaced by a housing estate. I have often wondered as I drove past what the workmen made of this underground chamber, it must have been a devil to dismantle.
        (Can you in fact ‘mantle’?)

  8. What a difference a day can make. Today for me was a joyful exercise in the park. Have to admit to a couple of bung-ins viz 13a and 2d. Favs 23d with 26a running up. Thank you Mysteron and LBR.

  9. Super back pager today. Thanks to the setter and to LetterboxRoy. Play nicely over the weekend folks. See you all on Monday

  10. I’m also in the camp of 1a and 2d being my last in. Once I had 1a 2d came easily but couldn’t see the police officer till I read the hints just now.17d my COTD. Just done my stint of printing the Glaven Valley Newsletter – first 7 pages x 1580 copies! Temped to put a letter in the next issue warning people of the Pie man who charged me 24 pounds for 2 6 inch pies. Still smarting from that. Thanks to the setter and LBR for the blog – doesn’t matter if it’s a bit late, its good of you, and the others, to do it at all.

  11. Very enjoyable puzzle, smoothly and elegantly clued throughout.
    Took me a while to see how 12a could work and knew the Canadian police officer had to leave 2d but couldn’t quite see why. Everything else quite straightforward I thought, but a lot of fun.
    Favourites a toss up between 6&17d.
    Many thanks to the setter, has to be Silvanus, and to LBR for the top notch entertainment.
    Thanks again also to everyone who commented on my blog yesterday, all appreciated.

  12. I needed a teeny bit of help due to (absurdly, in retrospect) chucking in ‘predict’ for 12a. This led to 21-ish scenes at the top of the puzzle.
    Terrific crossword with 17d the most delicious.

    Today’s crossword soundtrack: The Beatles – Live At The Hollywood Bowl

    Thanks to the setter and to LB Roy.

  13. Yes, as Senf suspected and CS has since confirmed, it’s me again today.

    Many thanks to LbR for his Hints and Tips (I presume DT is on holiday?) and to all those who have commented/will no doubt comment later. May I offer my congratulations as well to StephenL for a very impressive debut in the reviewer’s seat yesterday.

    A good weekend to everyone.

    1. Neither DT or Dutch is available today so I volunteered
      Many thanks for an enjoyable challenge Silvanus

    2. Thanks for popping in and providing us with another great puzzle Silvanus, and I really appreciate your kind comment re my blog.

      1. Yes, quite possibly! I remember yours very well, LbR. My one and only time (so far) standing in for Prolixic.

    3. I find your crosswords very interesting Silvanus – never quite on my wavelength but always fascinating and slightly tricky. Thank you so much for popping in as it makes the day for humble folk like me.

  14. Straighforward and enjoyable although I did resort to the hints to parse 2d. Thanks to Silvanus and LBR.

  15. Completed alone and unaided hut needed help with the parsing of 2d…..had to be what it was but the policeman totally foxed me.
    Wasn’t sure that underhand meant secret, but the BRB confirms it does.

    So, a very enjoyable puzzle for me.

    Thanks to Silvanus and to LetterboxRoy.

  16. A nice puzzle to end the non-work week on, I thought. Best puzzle of the week in many ways. 1.5*/**** Enjoyable solve with nothing to scare the horses here. Favourites include 23a, 26a, 7d, 15d & 17d with winner by a country mile 17d … but 15d was a great runner up.
    I remember using 7d in university in physics and math, yet I don’t even think you can get them today. Time moves on as does technology, but it still was a very useful tool.
    Much to like in today’s puzzle.

    Thanks to Silvanus and LetterboxRoy

    1. Another thing I’m sure they don’t use today are logarithms, I wouldn’t even know how to use either of them today!

  17. A most enjoyable puzzle, a pleasure to complete. Not very “Friday-ish” and it all fell into place very smoothly, with 21a my LOI (a real Doh! moment when I parsed it) taking me to 1.5* time. So many good clues, from which I shall settle on 8d and 17d as being joint CsOTD.

    1.5* / 3.5*

    Many thanks indeed to Silvanus and to LetterboxRoy.

  18. Thank you setter and LBR and BD. Finished unaided but don’t think I would ever have parsed 2d. I might have done with a slight rearrangement of words. 17d was for me the outstanding clue with 21 and 23a and 8 9 and 15d highly commented. I have done the crossword most days during 2 week holiday but not always had time to comment. Quiet day in Fowey today after end of the regatta.

      1. A lifetime ago (when people still actually lived in the town) I had an office in Fowey. Very good exercise walking up the hill to the main carpark every evening!

        Winter could be an education. On the quiet darker evenings fishing boats would sometimes arrive silently at the Town Quay (above which stands the King of Prussia), at which point vehicles would appear from nowhere, with no lights of course, and there would be a very swift unloading of crates from the boat. Moments later the Quay wold be dead once again.

        A scene which has been repeated for hundreds of years!

          1. I’d be willing to bet that it does, Steve, albeit probably not on Fowey’s Town Quay …

            Rules on the landing of catches are necessary but still result in the ridiculous scenario of dead fish being returned to the seas rather than landed. Take into account the price of diesel and cost of crew wages … I’d bet it still happens. Not much different to Dr Syn and his brandy runners into Dymchurch, other than that brandy is cheaper than over-quota fish and shellfish!

  19. It seemed that the NW corner was the most difficult and I concur ,favourite was 2d and 1a the last in, it usually occurs that one and all seem to be held up by the same clue or clues.
    Anyway a top draw puzzle, next best clue was 17d for its surface and there was excellent cluing throughout, going for a **/****
    Thanks to our setter for the enjoyment and Letterbox Ray.

  20. 1a and 2d last in for me too. Numerous clues made me laugh, so high on enjoyment. Favourite being 17d. Many thanks to Silvanus and LetterboxRoy.

  21. Another excellent puzzle, thanks to Sylvanus and LBRoy for their respective efforts. I too liked 17d which I don’t remember seeing before, and 3D and 23d, too many to count. 15d was our favourite family game at Christmas as most of us could join in and the excitement would mount as the pennies piled up on the ‘horses’. I still have a carved wooden box full of pennies and ha’pennies with which we played.

    1. You obviously lived in a ‘posh’ family, DG. When spending Christmas at my granny’s house, we always used spent matches to score 15d!

        1. We spent hours at Christmas playing 15d but our Illegal tender were a old farthings. Just loved the robin on them .

  22. I seldom class a crossword as read &write, but never on a Friday! It was very enjoyable nonetheless. I still have my 7d from schooldays, but never used since 1969! Thanks to Silvanus and LbR. I’m intrigued as to the brick wall to be encountered inside later

  23. Late today after tussling with the Toughie into the wee hours. I too hit that brick wall–kapow! But I found this lovely Silvanus offering most enjoyable, with lots to like, especially 18d and 7d. Thanks to LBR for parsing 2d for me and for the overall review. And the usual hearty thanks to Silvanus.
    ** / ***.

    1. I’m always intrigued that you do the Toughie first. I always use the backpager to warm up my brain for the Toughie tussle – even on days when I’m blogging the Toughie. It probably has something to do with all the years I solved the backpager before the Toughie was ‘invented’

      1. I typically (in late evening, four nights a week) begin with what once was the toughest of all for me, the New York Times crossword–the Thursday and Friday ones, most notably; then I do the Guardian Quick for a break; then the Toughie. (I march to the tune of a different drummer.) After the Toughie (regardless of my success there) and a snooze of a couple hours, I look at the Quickie and the Cryptic (your ‘backpagers’) as my desserts. Later in the day: When reading our local newspaper (hard copy!), I end up with the comics and the L.A. Times puzzle, which has become my favourite of all of them. Do you work the NYT and the LAT as well, CS?

        1. No. I do the two DT puzzles and the times every day and, depending on the setter. I do the Guardian, Independent and Financial Times. This week I’ve also test solved six crosswords

          1. I’m all admiration for both of you, that is quite an accomplishment! I only do the DT backpager, but did the quick today as well – I have no idea why!

  24. Thanks to Silvanus for the usual entertaining puzzle and to LbR for the blog.
    The clues I liked best were 1a, 2d and 18d.

  25. A lovely smooth set of clues from Silvanus that were a delight to solve. Picking a favourite from such a great selection is tough, but I will add my name to those who liked 9d. 2d was delightfully tricky to unravel.

    Thanks to Silvanus for the tussle and to LBR.

  26. This was for me more ‘doable’ than previous offerings this week although I also needed the hints to parse 2d which I would nominate for my COTD
    Many thanks to the setter and for the hints

  27. Well, I found this v tough – 3 sittings, 2d last in and needed help to understand the parsing….

  28. 2*/5*. I completed this top notch puzzle with surfaces to die for over breakfast and have been out visiting my 96-year-old aunt since then. I was in no doubt then that this was the work of Silvanus, and I see he has since popped in to confirm this.

    7d brought back some memories of yesteryear. I still have mine from my schooldays and my several granddaughters (but not the 17-day-old one) are all fascinated by it, although I suspect they think grandpa is an old fogey still to have such a prehistoric device. (I’ve still got my book of log tables too!)

    Picking a podium choice was a labour of love, and 13a (my last one to be parsed), 19a, 4d, 16d & 18d made the cut.

    Many thanks to Silvanus and to LbR.

    1. I also have my logarithm book – we actually made a cover for it as a book binding exercise in the art class. Never opened it since I left school!

  29. Had to leave before the review came up as I was meeting a friend for lunch over in the Conwy valley – lovely lunch but four very harassed people trying to run the place between them. There’s definitely a great shortage of staff in the hospitality industry post-covid restrictions, such a shame with so many ‘staycationers’ around.
    Anyway – the crossword from Mr Smoothie was a delight as always and my picks for today were 2,6&17d. Could be persuaded towards several others but those were my immediate ‘ticks’ so I’ll stick with them!

    Many thanks to Silvanus and to LbR for standing in for DT.

  30. Thanks Silvanus for a great puzzle with 17d as my CotD ( but not so keen on 18a, sorry). Also thank you LBR for explaining the 22d lurker which I got but could not understand why

  31. I enjoyed this a lot, even though I found it a tricky mental workout and failed on two. I never did get 17a or 17d, if I’d been able to solve it 17d would have been my fave, but I didn’t, so I’m opting for 15d for the fun we had playing it. I bunged in 2d but failed to parse it, so thanks for that LBR. I had 18a right but have no idea what that’s about.
    Thanks Silvanus for the fun and to Letterboxroy for unravelling a few!

  32. Def one to start at the bottom. That was pleasant and understandable, the top half however was a very different proposition.
    Very tricky indeed and must admit most of the top was filling in suitable words which were correct but bore little relation to the clues. Not a pleasant solve at all.
    Top half **/***
    Bottom *****/*
    Thx for the hints

  33. Nice crossword, a little tricky in the NW 😬 ***/*** Favourites 14a and 8 & 17d 😃 Thanks to 📮Roy and to Silvanus.

  34. I enjoyed today’s puzzle and fairly sailed through which makes a change on a Friday. Particularly liked 7d and 17d. Last ones in being 1a and 2d failed to parse the latter until reading the blog. Many thanks to Sylvanus and LBROK.

    Finally, brought my husband (Bill) home late afternoon today having being kept in overnight after gall-bladder op which is not unusual in itself. However, I would have appreciated a call to confirm that was the case last night and not have to spend some considerable time on the phone locating him and being told “still coming round from anaesthetic. No news, ring back tomorrow after 10am”. Jack the Russell now crashed out catching up on his lost sleep due to pining for his master!

    1. You appear to have muddled me with Labs, included a B in his and allocated an OK to my handle Hilary
      Could be worse, Beaver (tut-tut) called me Ray, not Roy (they aren’t even close on the keyboard) – I would have thought it fairly obvious! :smile:

      1. Hilary,
        Any review I did could well be a puzzle in itself which I don’t think is the objective.
        Perhaps you meant LBR – OK, Which his review certainly was.
        Sorry to hear about Mr H being kept in overnight, probably due to his operation not being at the expected time. Hope all OK now he is back home (hopefully).

      2. Oh Dear! LetterboxRoy I thought I would pop back in and just seen my Faux Pas! My sincere apologies and to LabradorsruleOK! I plead a stressful couple of days! Goodnight and have a lovely weekend.

  35. Only clue I struggled with was 2d. Even when the penny dropped I still wasn’t convinced I had the right answer. I couldn’t get past that untie would be loosen rather than loose.

    Very enjoyable solve regardless!

    Thanks to all.

  36. Agree with Brian that the bottom half was a pleasant gift. The top half was rather more difficult with the NW going in more easily than the NE. 2d couldn’t have been anything else but the parsing was impossible until LbR enlightened me.

    Thanks to LbR and Silvanus.

  37. As usual didn’t get to this until next morning with my cuppa tea in bed whilst the wife snoozes. Enjoyable puzzle – thanks to setter and Letterboxroy for the hints which helped me understand why I had a couple of answers . Last two in where also 1a and 2d. COTD for me 17d.

  38. This was way way beyond me – I’m not complaining, it’s just that the setter is a lot cleverer than I am. Thanks to setter and to Letterboxroy for the hints.

    1. You keep typing your email address with .con rather than .com which means you go into moderation. You are, by the way, not alone in doing this as Miffypops does it all the time :roll:

      1. Only on my iPhone when I’m at a pub. If I could remember my email shortcut I wouldn’t have to type it all in oh so carefully

  39. Loved this one. No English towns or royalty. Just the right difficulty. Almost got them all out, 1a last to go, but unlike others 2d fell early. **** for enjoyment, only because I need to leave some wriggle room :-)

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