DT 29762 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29762

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29762

Hints and tips by Mr K

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BD Rating  -  Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

Hello, everyone, and welcome to Tuesday. I would, as they say over here, bet dollars to donuts that today's puzzle is the work of our friend X-Type. No major holdups during the solve, although I did need the BRB to verify a couple of new words. But that's all good because both answers emerged from simply following the instructions provided by the wordplay, which is just as it should be. 

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    Officer who could get car crime initially confused with tip-off? (7,3)
TRAFFIC COP:  An anagram (confused) of CAR, the initial letter of CRIME, and TIP-OFF. The definition is sharpened by the rest of the clue 

6a    From the east, serves in Lebanese cafe (4)
ACES:  The answer is hidden reversed (from the east, in an across clue) in the remainder of the clue. For background on the bonus pic, which is real, watch this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=InV_pOvRORU

9a    The German paint finish -- it is giving you a skin complaint (10)
DERMATITIS:  Link together a German word for "the", a type of paint finish, and IT IS from the clue 

10a   Old northern Conservative with ecstasy a while back (4)
ONCE:  Fuse together abbreviations for old, northern, conservative, and an informal name for the drug ecstasy

12a   Hastily fasten  bridle, etc (4)
TACK:  Two definitions. Click on the buttons for a food of the bread kind and a zigzag in a sailing ship 

13a   Fish and chips cooked with lard (9)
PILCHARDS:  An anagram (cooked) of CHIPS LARD 

15a   Concerning the kitchen Lucy and I ran badly (8)
CULINARY:  An anagram (badly) of LUCY I RAN 

16a   It's curtains for the Yanks! (6)
DRAPES:  A cryptic definition of what long curtains are called here on my side of the Atlantic

18a   Nitrogen associated with the clear upper air, or lower? (6)
NETHER:  The chemical symbol for nitrogen with a noun meaning the clear, upper air (in crosswordland we also know it as a number because it makes one numb )

20a   Stingy Edward shut in the cupboard (8)
CLOSETED:  Stingy or miserly with a contraction of Edward 

23a   Old 'tec was agitated: came out in this? (4,5)
COLD SWEAT:  An anagram (agitated) of OLD TEC WAS. The definition references the rest of the clue 

24a   Taunt European going after rock (4)
GIBE:  The single letter for European goes after an informal name for a big British rock desired by some in Europe 

The runway at Gibraltar airport

26a   A bad actor returning to be servant (4)
AMAH:  A with the reversal (returning) of a bad or exaggerated actor. Click here for dictionary confirmation of the answer 

27a   Crete: place designed for a holdall? (10)
RECEPTACLE:  An anagram (designed) of CRETE PLACE 

28a   Occasionally, this journalist should get knotted! (4)
TIED:  Alternate letters (occasionally) of THIS with a usual abbreviation for a boss journalist 

29a   Easily disgusted? Don't eat fish before ten with us (10)
FASTIDIOUS:  Concatenate a verb meaning "don't eat", a usual two-letter fish, two letters that look like the digits representing ten, and US from the clue 



1d    It goes in and out, stirring up 28 (4)
TIDE:  An anagram of (stirring up) the answer to 28a 

2d    Communication from one who should inherit (masculine), so it's said (7)
AIRMAIL:  Homophones (so it's said) of a person who should inherit and of a synonym of masculine 

3d    Finn knees car drunkenly: it's a gift! (12)
FRANKINCENSE:  An anagram (drunkenly) of FINN KNEES CAR. The gift was given a long time ago 

4d    They could make waves in the beauty business (8)
CRIMPERS:  A cryptic definition of a device for making hair wavy 

5d    'A bird, otherwise?!' I yell in Spanish (6)
ORIOLE:  Assemble a short word for otherwise, I from the clue, and a Spanish exclamation of approval or encouragement

7d    Not able to rest in peace, with Scottish witch's spell (7)
CANTRIP:  A verb meaning "not able to" is followed by the abbreviation for rest in peace. Click here for dictionary confirmation of the answer

8d    Moves over and treads on assistant carrying son (5,5)
STEPS ASIDE:  Treads or walks followed by an assistant containing (carrying) the genealogical abbreviation for son 

11d   Brief exhalation of relief: 1950s troublemaker unable to see at a distance (5-7)
SHORT-SIGHTED:  Chain together a synonym of brief, an exhalation of relief, and an informal name for a type of 1950s troublemaker 

14d   I detest established imagery: I study nothing about object personifying cobblers (10)
ICONOCLAST:  Join together I from the clue, study or learn, the letter representing nothing, the single letter Latin abbreviation for about or roughly, and an object found in every cobbler's workshop 

17d   Not well: provide care for abuse (3-5)
ILL-TREAT:  After a word meaning "not well" comes one meaning "provide care for" 

19d   Working the land, up to a certain time in life (7)
TILLAGE:  A preposition meaning "up to" with a noun meaning a certain or particular time in life 

21d   Plant to mostly support firm (7)
TOBACCO:  Put together TO from the clue, all but the last letter (mostly) of support or promote, and an abbreviation for a company or firm 

22d   Spirit of place, in Switzerland? (6)
GENEVA:  A place in Switzerland is also one name applied to an alcoholic spirit made chiefly in the Netherlands 

25d   Looks up and down (4)
SEES:  A synonym of looks which is the same read up or down in the grid 


Thanks to our setter. My favourite today was the neat 13a. I also liked the quickie pun. Which clues did you like best?


64 comments on “DT 29762

  1. This started at a gentle canter, but as I carried on it became a stiffer challenge. Somewhat like this country, far nicer in the North than in the South.

    I didn’t know the servant at 26a nor the spirit at 22d, but the wordplay allowed me to finish in *** time.

    Last in was 29a, but I think 7d gets my vote for COTD, with a Mention in Dispatches for the four-word Quickie pun.

    Many thanks to the setter and Mr. K.

  2. This was a delight to solve and I managed it unaided. Mind you, I have not heard of 20a described as “mean”. Neither had I heard of the word for 7d but it could be nothing else given the wordplay. Plenty of anagrams to allow a foothold and lots of good clues. Like yesterday, it is difficult to pick a favourite but I will go with the “Lego” clue at 11d.

    Many thanks to the setter for a most enjoyable solve and many thanks to Mr. K. for the hints and kitties.

  3. Some inventive anagrams helped ease this to a **/**** result for me: I see from Mr K’s commentary that I successfully parsed 5&7d and 26a although they were all new words to me. The rest was high quality with 14d being my COTD. With thanks to Mr K and the setter.

  4. Took me a little while to tune in to the setter’s wavelength but once attuned it was a relatively quick solve with only having to check the spirit in 22d and the spell at 7d, both very sympathetically clued.
    I liked the clever anagram at 13a, the pun too, but top spot goes to 14d.
    Many thanks to the setter and to Mr K for the fun in the South Devon sun.

  5. There were a few challenges amongst the clues for this puzzle but, on the whole, it was pretty straightforward (1.5*/3.5*). I hadn’t heard of 26a but had heard of ‘ayah’ before. Perhaps it’s a spelling variation. The COTD for me was 1a with a nod to 29a and 14d. Thanks for the hints and the cat pictures to Mr K and to the compiler.

  6. Another enjoyable and fairly straightforward puzzle this morning, with several noteworthy clues vying for the top spot. 11d just gets the nod from me, ahead of 14d. The witch’s spell was new to me but the wordplay was spot on so no problems solving it.

    Many thanks to X-Type and Mr K.

  7. A light hearted puzzle today, enjoyed the solve and agree with Kr K’s **/***
    7d was new to me-confirmed in Chambers, also new was the spirit in 22d -thanks Mr K.
    Favourite was the 29a charade, liked the use of ten! also 24a made me smile, special mention for 14d and the Quickie Pun.
    Thanks setter for the fun.

  8. Well, you correctly identified me: I have obviously developed a style which the more observant can spot. I’m please that so many clues were considered worthy of comment: you know by now that my aim is to entertain and to raise a smile…and hopefully, you’ll see me more regularly from now on… Cheers! X-Type

    1. Thanks for popping in, always appreciated by us mere mortals, and thanks for a puzzle that did just just what you wanted it to X-Type.

    2. Thank you for a very enjoyable puzzle, one that was a pleasure to solve, rather than a slog. Would love more like this one 😊.

  9. Typically Tuesday – **/****.

    Candidates for favourite – 20a, 2d, and 8d – and the winner is 20a.

    Thanks to X-Type and Mr K.

  10. Another pleasant enigma. E came out first. I find 14d rather laboured and wonder what purpose is served by the “I” at the beginning of the clue. 7d now added to my vocabulary. Fav was 5a. Thanks for hints MrK and thank you to X-Type for the enjoyable puzzle and for popping in to see us.

      1. Greta, I realised that but that wasn’t the point I was making however X-Type has kindly explained for me.

    1. The “I” refers to the subject of the clue: he/she is talking about themselves, as encapsulated in the entire wording: and the reference to “object personifying cobblers” is poking fun at imagery in general (“cobblers” = “nonsense” as well as literally the cobbler’s implement)…

      1. X-Type, thanks so much for taking the time to elucidate. That does explain your clever thinking. 🙂

  11. The top half was a gentle exercise but the bottom put up a little more fight. Not helped by not knowing the Dutch spirit or 7d. I do have a vague recollection that 7d may have appeared in the dim and distant past but I had certainly forgotten it.
    On the whole an enjoyable puzzle.
    Thx to all

    1. I first attempted the DT crossword in 1978… and the 7d clue, with variations, appeared at least three times that year… haven’t seen it once in the last 15 years… a real blast from the past!

      1. Welcome to the blog, AndyS, and thanks for sharing that. I hadn’t met the 7d answer before solving this puzzle.

        I did find three appearances of 7d in the DT Cryptic this century, but they’re certainly not recent:
        Is liable to stumble as the result of trick (7) (DT 24600, February 2005)
        Is able to dance for a spell (7) (DT 24745, July 2005)
        May stumble on account of old trick (7) (DT 26037, September 2009)

        Elkamere’s Toughie 1745 included this clever clue: Will not split (Scottish spelling) (7)

  12. An enjoyable exercise this morning. **/*** I like the cat illustration for 25d. In Holland gin is commonly called 22d. I have no idea why. Favourite 11d. Thanks to all.

    1. Referring back to yesterday, we lived in Cheam Village and regularly walked in Nonsuch Park. In fact we planted trees there in memory of my parents. Such a pity the palace was pulled down!

      1. You and Tony Hancock DG! In fact I too grew up not far away in Kingswood but fings ain’t wot they used to be around that area any more!

          1. We would have overlapped 1944 – 1958 BD. I went to the hairdresser in Cheam for years!

              1. It was reputed that the inhabitants of Cheam would always add Cheam Village ACTUALLY to distinguish it from North Cheam. I understand that when anyone says Oh you come from Lytham St Anne’s the response will be ‘Lytham actually’. It’s what they call being English!

  13. Still in recovery following the vertigo induced by that tennis match on the Dubai helipad!
    Thoroughly enjoyable puzzle from X-Type and for once I knew the necessary GK. Wouldn’t disagree with our reviewer’s choice of favourites but would add 24a, the wording of which really made me smile.

    Thanks to X-Type and to Mr K for another of his entertaining and informative reviews.

    1. I would never, ever attempt to ascend an elevator to that tennis court, let alone play! Whoever thought of that?

  14. Hooray for the anagrams – they got me off to a flying start. 26a and 7d are new words to me.

    We had a lovely weekend in Staffordshire for the wedding of one of my nephews. A smashing little village, and despite the BBC’s forecast of thundery showers, we had perfect weather throughout.

    Today’s crossword soundtrack: Kate Bush – The Other Sides

    Thanks to X-Type and The Celebrated Mr K.

  15. I thought the type of ship epitomised by the Cutty Sark was a reasonable answer to 4d. Other than that, all good.

      1. Me too. In fact I chose it over the correct solution. Ho hum!
        Thanks to all for a fine Tuesday crossword and review.

  16. Likeable Tuesday offering. No-nonsense cluing, over in ** time with **** fun factor..
    29a gets my COTD
    Familiar with the spirit from visits to Mrs LrOK’s Opa in Holland, Oude Genever being his favourite tipple.
    Thank you to X-Type for the puzzle & popping in. Also Mr K for the usual succinct amusingly illustrated review.
    Beautiful day up here almost perfect low 70’s temperature, gentle breeze and lots of sunshine.

    1. George would agree about the Oude Geneva (and Oude Gouda) as he worked for a Dutch company for some years.

  17. 22 — i have tried and enjoed GENEVER . I was taken by surprise with the answer. . What does Geneva taste like ?

    1. Its very smooth but with that echo of juniper like ordinary gin. My cousin, who lived in Rotterdam for 40 years, used to gift us a bottle now and then. It’s delcious neat, on the rocks.

  18. I was delayed by putting Coiffure for 4d which matched 3 crossing words but made 13a unsolvable. (Yes, I know that’s the style, not the hairdresser or the implement)

  19. Another enjoyable solve today. 1.5*/****
    Favourites include 29a, 4d, 11d & 21d with winner 11d

    Thanks to setter and Mr K

  20. I enjoyed this with a few learning points along the way having been provided by clear clueing. Thanks X-Type and Mr. K.

  21. As Terrence said, thank goodness for the anagrams. I thought 13a was a wonderfully apt example. But I also put a star by 8d and 29a, but it was all enjoyable. Those kittens will get RSI from nodding their heads up and down. Many thanks to XType and Mr. K.

  22. Well, Mr X-Type, you entertained me and made me smile as well, so I thoroughly enjoyed the outing. 7d was new to me but with its lovely wordplay had to be what it was, so it’s my COTD. As I have said occasionally before, in general high praise of a cryptic, there’s not a dud in the grid, even though over here–at least in my enlightened part of the States–there is a distinct difference between ‘curtains’ and ‘drapes’ (that would be my shabby-genteel Southland). Thanks to Mr K for the review and entertainment and to X-Type for the pleasure and for joining us. ** / ****

  23. A real struggle in the NE corner and 12a also proved elusive, so thank you MrK for the explanations and hope we get more from Xtype

  24. Thoroughly enjoyable and satisfying.
    Loved 14d
    Left with two to go, 22d and 29a.
    Went away, came back and bingo, straight in.
    Many thanks X-Type and Mr.K.

  25. A brisk solve (sadly not unaided) early doors pre golf in lovely sunshine. The dreaded incorrect message flashed up & pressed for time revealed mistakes to see I had the 2nd & 4th letters of 4d wrong so immediately corrected. 7d needed confirmation & didn’t know the Dutch tipple either. The parsing of 18a & the IDIO bit of 29a eluded me too – always thought the fish was an ide & nowhere near twigging the IO was the ten bit.
    I thought it a quality puzzle with some excellent clues. 1,13,24&29a plus 5,11&14d all ticks for me. Top spot goes to 14d. Excellent Quickie pun also.
    Thanks to X- Type both for the puzzle & popping in & to Mr K – love the cats looking up & you can’t beat a bit of Creedence.

    1. So glad you said that, Huntsman – I thought it was an ide as well, but the hint calls it the usual two letter fish, so I’ll remember that for next time (*instantly forgets*)

  26. A perfect puzzle again, thank you X-Type, I loved it all. I only needed a dictionary to verify 7d and the meaning of 14d; knew the word, didn’t know what it meant. I didn’t know the spirit at 22d but I bunged in the answer, it had to be. Apart from the dictionary, no other help was needed. Fave was 13a.
    Thanks again X-Type, glad we’re going to see more of you, and much appreciation to Mr. K for my cat fix again.
    Yesterday one of the quickie puns was “cane toad”, in the afternoon my young lady found a teenage family of them by my garden gate and relocated them. That is scary, it means they’re hanging around here and the pets love to chase anything that hops. We’re spraying and hoping.

  27. I think I overthought 4d. Clippers used by hairdressers and sail on the waves.
    Thanks to X type and Mr K.
    Lovely puzzle.

  28. Thanks to X-type for a super puzzle today. Almost finished unaided, just foiled by 7d, and 22d, both new to me. I did put in clippers for 4d, but not changing it as I like it better that the actual answer. Thanks to Mr K. Actually finished before we headed off for our annual eye exams and only now having time to comment. Rather difficult as eyes are still somewhat dilated….

  29. Thank you to Messrs Type and Kitty; I thoroughly enjoyed the puzzle and the blog although the puzzle took two goes and I’d never heard of the fish in 29a.

  30. Never heard of 26a, I grew up with lots of Indian words as my father was there during the war (dhobi, jaldi, the list goes on) but not that one. Also the fish in 29a, Ide yes Id no, the gin in 22d or 7d. Hey ho! One lives and learns. Apart from that perfectly straightforward. Favourite was 2d. Thanks to X-Type and Mr. K.

  31. I assumed 22d was a reference to the improved Cold War atmosphere following the 1955 conference in ……….known as the Spirit of ……Perhaps both parsings were in the setter’s mind or am I way off the mark?

  32. I’m afraid I was on the wrong wavelength today. Started trying to solve late in the day but have lost interest with half the clues left to solve.

    Maybe tomorrow I will look at the hints or go straight for the answers.

  33. Lovely X-word. I am afraid I was a clipper and not a crimper. I knew that the barber’s clippers don’t make the waves in hair but the sea-going ones would. I thought it was a clever clue and unusual to find two words which could fit without stretching!

  34. 3*/4*….
    liked 7D “Not able to rest in peace, with Scottish witch’s spell (7)”

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