DT 29765 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29765

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29765

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Good morning from South Staffs. My thanks to LetterboxRoy for filling in last week while I was otherwise engaged.

Something of a mixture this morning, with some easy clues to get you started, and others which are more convoluted, and in some cases I’m not convinced that the parsing works properly.

In the hints below, the definitions are underlined. The answers are hidden under the ANSWER buttons, so don’t click if you don’t want to see them.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.

Across

1a           Ready for a dogfight — with dangerous canines? (5,2,3,5)
ARMED TO THE TEETH – The canines here are in your mouth.

Armed to the teeth by FontesMakua on DeviantArt

9a           In need of exercise book here? (9)
GYMNASIUM – This clue becomes clearer if you put a comma or question mark after ‘exercise’, making it clear that this is an instruction to reserve a place at the answer if you need exercise.

10a         They often cause bother, being available in two sizes (5)
LOUTS – Two different clothing sizes, placed either side of a word meaning ‘available’, as in ‘her latest novel is — next week’.

11a         Memento queen left in ice for restoring (5)
RELIC – The Latin abbreviation for a queen, followed by an anagram (for restoring) of ICE with Left inserted.

12a         Coppers locate writer in square by church (9)
NINEPENCE – Put together a square number, something to write with, and an abbreviation for ‘church’.

13a         Dog deposited between two men (8)
ALSATIAN – A two-letter name and a three-letter name, placed either side of a word that can mean ‘deposited’, giving a well-known breed of dog.

The German Shepherd Dog ( Alsatian ) Club of the U.K. Home

14a         Eggs on fire — tucked into lettuce! (6)
COAXES – Another word for ‘fire’ or ‘sack’, with a type of lettuce wrapped round it.

16a         Catnap where wild animals are facing west, standing in all other directions (6)
SNOOZE – Reverse (facing west) a place where a collection of wild animals may be found, then wrap abbreviations for the other three directions around the result.

18a         Retired nurse I retrained to secure body parts (8)
ARTERIES – Hidden in reverse (retired) in the clue.

22a         Drunk and turned out of work (9)
REDUNDANT – Anagram (drunk) of AND TURNED.

23a         Down with articles in EU languages (5)
UNDER – Put together examples of indefinite and definite articles in two languages spoken in the EU. The answer, like ‘down’ can mean ‘in a lower position’.

24a         One may get dropped making ascent unwell (5)
AITCH – If the ascent is a hill, and unwell is ‘ill’, what has been dropped?

25a         If you need to step on it, don’t step on it (9)
FOOTBRAKE – Cryptic definition of a control ina car which you would not use to go faster.

26a         Performed hip-hop in street raising money to offer poor (8,3,4)
STRAPPED FOR CASH – Start with an abbreviation for ‘street’, then add a phrase which could mean ‘performed hip-hop’ (apparently) and ‘in return for money’.

Down

1d           Country‘s odd-looking regalia (7)
ALGERIA – anagram (odd-looking) of REGALIA.

2d           Speaks softly, silence getting endless praise (7)
MUMBLES – Another word for keeping quiet, followed by another word for ‘praise’ minus its last letter (endless).

3d           Documentation for person with extra land? (4,11)
DUAL CITIZENSHIP – Cryptic definition of the status of someone who belongs to more than one country.

4d           Relation moving from Japan? (8)
ORIENTAL – Anagram (moving) of RELATION.

5d           Kind of chap that sits in shade (6)
HUMANE – A shade or colour wrapped round another word for ‘chap’.

6d           One usually starts with nothing — but this represents high earnings! (9,6)
TELEPHONE NUMBER – Cryptic definition of a string of digits usually starting with a zero, which can be used metaphorically to describe a very high earnings figure.

7d           Who in France tucks into wild oxen as a regular event? (7)
EQUINOX – Anagram (wild) of OXEN wrapped round the French for ‘who’.

8d           Hotel tosses out person holding a party (7)
HOSTESS – The letter represented by Hotel in the NATO alphabet, followed by an anagram (out) of TOSSES.

15d         Forget about crash? (5,3)
WRITE OFF – Double definition: to forget about, or stop pursuing, a debt; or a cer crash that isn’t worth repairing.

16d         Beefy cuts across river and barely runs (7)
STREAKS – Some cuts of beef wrapped round the abbreviation for River, giving us a verb for running ‘barely’.

17d         OAP‘s diamonds stored where East-ender’s weapon is kept (7)
OLDSTER – An East-ender’s gun may be kept in something lacking the initial 24a. Insert the abbreviation for the diamond suit in a pack of cards to get the answer.

19d         State intervening in Egyptian aid, Nile rising (7)
INDIANA – A US state is hidden in reverse (rising) in the clue.

20d         Loose stones coming down on church make a horrible noise (7)
SCREECH – An area of loose rock on a hillside, followed by an abbreviation for ‘church’.

21d         Little mischief-maker with remote turned over lottery (6)
RAFFLE – Put together another word for a sprite or fairy and another word for ‘remote’, then reverse the result to get a type of lottery.


The Quick Crossword pun CHEST + ORNAMENT = CHESS TOURNAMENT

69 comments on “DT 29765
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  1. For information: John Halpern (Paul/Dada) has left a comment on yesterday’s Toughie blog informing us that his guest on his Zoom call this evening is to be Brian Greer (his predecessor as our Sunday setter, Virgilius).

  2. I was just one short today. 16d, very clever now I see the answer! I was even toying with SIR-IAN-S but couldn’t parse it fully!! I even thought that it might be a pangram, but we were left without J & V.

    I’m one short in the Quickie too, 23d.

    Many thanks to the setter and DT.

  3. Puzzle of the week for me, zany, witty and cryptic with some very nice misdirection.
    The answers went in readily enough but it took me a little while to satisfy myself of all the parsings
    I liked several including 9,24&26a plus16d with 14a just shading them for top spot.
    2.5/4.5*
    Many thanks to Zandio and Deep Threat for the top notch entertainment.

  4. Wow. What a great puzzle. I normally have one or two contenders for COTD but today virtually every clue in this **/***** was a winner. Absolutely brilliant. Thanks to Deep Threat and the setter.

  5. Like DT I thought this was a mixed bag (3*/3.5*). There were some great cryptic definitions such as 1a, 25a and, my favourite, 3d. 16a was a really great lego clue too. However, there were some less well-written clues too. I wasn’t keen on 23a, 24a and 6d although I could just about see what the compiler was driving at. Many thanks to the compiler and to DT for the hints.

  6. 3*/4*. This was a bit off the wall but a lot of fun. I agree with DT that there were some easy clues to get you started but there were also a few really tough ones which took some teasing out. I suspected a pangram might be on the cards but it ended up with no J or V.

    The surface of 14a made me smile and 6d was my favourite.

    Many thanks I assume to Zandio, and also to DT.

  7. A tad easier than recent Friday puzzles and certainly more accessible than yesterday’s puzzle. Nice to meet the two lads at 13 across again. you have both been missed. Thanks to DT for explaining the ‘performed hip hop’ part of 26 across. I’m sure there will be a few strippers about the place today. Thanks to the setter. I enjoyed your puzzle. Thanks to DT for the blog. It always amazes me that ridiculous records like those illustrating 16 down actually made it into the charts of their time. Who bought this rubbish? Possibly the same people who bought records by Queen

  8. I found this fairly straightforward but hugely enjoyable. Too many great clues to pick a winner. Thanks to today’s setter and DT.

  9. That really was a veritable barrowload of fun and I was so sorry when it ended. So many terrific clues hence I too can’t single out Fav(s) but 10a and 12a are perhaps a bit loose. Thank you very much Zandio (?) and DT.

  10. An excellent puzzle to finish the working week, full of fun and tricky enough in places to keep us on our toes. 6d just took the top spot as favourite ahead of 1a. My thanks to Zandio for the challenge and to DT.

  11. Curmudgeon of the day here – this was a real head scratcher, perhaps wrong envelope with, possibly, a soupçon of wrong newspaper, or perhaps I have been tackling too many other newspapers’ puzzles – ****/**.

    But, I did find some candidates for favourite – 5d, 16d, and 20d – and the winner is 16d.

    Thanks to Zandio(?) and DT.

  12. I found this puzzle quite difficult today and as RD says it was somewhat ‘ off the wall’ . I thought that it was very inventive and going for a***/**** as I really enjoyed it
    Needed most of the checking letters before 3d became apparent, liked the whole SW corner ,
    Favourite was the brilliant 26a.
    Many thanks to our setter and DT’s pics-nice to hear Mr Stevens again!

  13. A great puzzle and most enjoyable. I needed to resort to the hints for a couple and kicked myself once I had. Was on pangram alert when I saw X, Z and why but it was not to be. I loved 9a and 14a along with many others. However, my COTD has to be 1a given my erstwhile profession.

    Many thanks to the setter for the entertainment and to DT for making sense of the few I could not get.

        1. I’ve looked at the Toughie and got precisely four – the central group of three letter answers. As it’s Elgar, I doubt I will get any more so the PDM will elude me. :smile:

  14. A very enjoyable puzzle. I haven’t heard the expression in 6d used to describe silly amounts of money for years. ***/*** It took me ages to spot the reverse lurker in 18a. My last one in. Nicely disguised. Favourite 26a. Thanks to all.

  15. ‘A bit off the wall’ certainly describes this one from my point of view and I’m not sure how much of it I found enjoyable.
    14a made me laugh once I’d stopped looking for ‘eggs’ and correctly adjusted my pronunciation – beyond that it was 1a & 5d that ‘floated my boat’.

    Thanks to Zandio(?) and to DT for the review.

  16. This was fun, took me ages to understand 16d and never twigged 23a but how clever is that! Favourite though has to be 26a. Thank you DT for explanations and to Zandio 😊

    1. We are all different! 16d seemed obvious to me but 14a held me up for ages and definitely my COTD once I saw it….more generally, great puzzle, by a good margin the most enjoyable of the week thus far…

  17. Completed unaided but spent an age on 3d before the penny dropped.
    Brilliant clueing eg 24a and 5d
    So ***/*****
    Many thanks to the setter and to DT.

  18. Another difficult puzzle for me, agree that it was a bit “off the wall”. Probably about Friday level which took me *** time. *** fun
    14a brought a smile but 16a gets my COTD. Unlike others 6d didn’t quite work as I associate the plural with salaries.
    Thank you setter for the challenges & DT for the review.
    Another beautiful day up here. Solar panels working overtime.

  19. Enjoyable, reasonably straightforward, plenty of chuckles and smiles. LOI was 3d – I always think of that as being a status, not as being documentation.

    2.5* / 3*

    Many thanks to Zandio and to DT.

  20. That was a rousing end to the week. I particularly liked 16 and 26a and 20d and like others I was on pangram alert. We ventured up to town yesterday to lunch with my brother who was staying at Brookes’s whilst his wife was in hospital. It was SO busy. Seething with people and loads of children of course, I was very nervous and so pleased to get home. It cost us all of 50p to park the car all day at the station in the next village! Bargain of the day. We wore masks all day but, apart from on the train, very few other people wore them. We used the bus rather than the underground when we got to Kings Cross, I could not face that. This has been a week I am glad to see the back of, only good thing was seeing my brother and his wife after two years. Many thanks to the setter and to Deep Threat.

  21. Wild and great fun. I think SL’s ‘zany’ is most apt for this joyride of a puzzle. I managed to answer 6d correctly but I haven’t a clue about UK 6ds; otherwise, I parsed all the rest quite happily. I agree with Jane’s top three choices: 14a, 1a, and 5d–with many runners-up. Thanks to DT and Zandio.
    ** / ****

    1. I think it is very clever that you chaps know who the Compiler is. I have never got a clue……

      I recall Kath in lighter days telling me how to recognise RayT but still can’t even get that very often.

      If today is indeed Zandio Robert well my hat is off to him👍👍

  22. Great puzzle completed unaided in good time. 9a my COTD. There’s more to this clue than is mentioned in the hint. Another meaning of the answer is a European secondary school preparing students for university. So an exercise book, or several, would be handy there.
    Thanks to DT and the setter

  23. Hello all, compiler here. Thank you very much for the analysis and discussion, and of course for some nice comments. Have a great weekend.

    1. Thank you for popping in, Zandio and for a great puzzle. A few defeated me but, hey, it is Friday! :good:

      Have a good weekend, yourself.

    2. Hello Zandio. What a lovely start to the bank holiday weekend you have given us. Thank you and I for one look forward to more of the same or similar 👍.

      1. Best puzzle I have ever done Zandio. I went to college with a chap who’s dad was Editor of the Times crossword for many years surnamed Grant and started to learn then but have only really taken it up in the last few years as a slightly regular thing.

        Well done

  24. A great puzzle so much better than yesterday’s as Bruce would say🤪. Needed the hint on 6d, I had the second word but not the first, also needed help on 16d which is a great clue. Wouldn’t say I found the rest easy but got there eventually. As for 26a I really don’t like rap music (age thing?) ,I tell my granddaughter it’s spelt with a silent c. Thanks to all.

  25. A brilliant challenge with so many original clues … if only I had not chosen ‘plate’ as second part of 25a! Thank you Zandio and DT

  26. Lovely puzzle. Much better than yesterday. Which I thought was a drag. Several hours of my life I won’t get back!
    Loved the PDMs today. Plenty of them for me.
    Thanks to Zandio and DT
    ***/***
    How are all the green tomatoes from last week. Any progress?

    1. Still green. I’ve placed banana skins around but maybe I need more. Or I’ll just be patient and wait. :grin:

      1. If all else fails, my old mum gave me a recipe for a delicious green tomato pickle which I could send across to you. The measurements are in old-fashioned things like quarts and gills but my younger daughter seems to have mastered the art and I now have several jars which taste ‘just like mum used to make’. Absolutely perfect accompaniment to cheese, cooked meats etc.

            1. We have had half a dozen ripe out door tomatoes so far and a few more are turning.any surplus will be used in green tomato and bell peeper chutney.

      2. One year, i wrapped the green tomatoes individually in newspaper at the end of the season, put them in a drawer in the garage with a couple of ripe tomatoes and they ripened and lasted us until Christmas

        1. I didn’t bother with the newspaper just put the green ones in the drawer where I keep my tea towels and they all eventually ripened and kept for ages.

          We cannot grow tomatoes outdoors here but are starting to get our crop from the greenhouse .
          I have a recipe for tomato relish which uses red tomatoes if anyone would like it.

  27. Found this puzzle a little tricky in some spots. Had the wrong answer in 6d for a while, yet only two of the letters were wrong for the across answers. Weird! ***/**** for me today.
    Clues for favourites 1a, 9a, 12a, 24a & 7d with winner 24a.

    Thanks to Zandio and DT

    1. How lovely to hear from you, Mary. Please let us know how you’re going on – we do miss your lively contributions.

  28. Found this difficult in places and I also (as always) missed the reverse lurker 😬 Nonetheless an enjoyable and clever puzzle 😃 ****/*** Favourites 16d & 14a 👍 Thanks to DT and to Zandio off to watch the golf: Curtiss Cup from sunny Conwy, European Tour from Crans Montana in Switzerland and the PGA FedEdEx BMW at Caves Valley, Baltimore. Enjoy the Bank Holiday. Hope the sun returns as it is cold and grey here in the East 😨

  29. I made some silly mistakes which took me a long time to unscramble. I was convinced 5d was hombre. 4d took a while as I missed the anagram and I could not parse 12a. NE last in. Took me a while to remember that expression for big money. Favourites 16 24 and 25a and 3 7 8 16 and 21d. Thanks setter and hinter

  30. All done but a bit of a ‘curate’s egg’ for me with some provoking an appreciative nod & smile, while others a bit of an eyerolling ‘meh’…
    Think I enjoyed yesterday’s more, but I’m still exteremely grateful to Zandio for the challenge and, of course, to DT for providing today’s blog ‘n hints – a couple of which were used to confirm some of the slightly more obscure parsings.
    Cheers!

  31. Bizarre, a bit like swimming in molasses whilst sipping champagne! Some real treats mixed in with head scratchers. I’d never heard of 6d as high earnings but the checkers meant it had to be, plus I used e-help for that one and it agreed with me. Quite extraordinary. I loved 1a, a great help. I also liked 20d, very clever.
    Thanks Zandio, and thanks for popping in. Much appreciation to DT for unravelling that lot.

  32. An early morning solve, another trip most of the way up the pangram path & a very enjoyable Friday puzzle. Can’t say it struck me as being overly zany while doing it but looking at it again before posting suppose that’s fair comment. Last in was 18a which accounted for 25% of the solve time & frustration was beginning to mount when I clocked it was a lurker. I’ll plump for 9a as my favourite.
    Thanks to Zandio both for the puzzle & for popping in & to DT for the review which I’ll read later.

  33. Definitely a mixed bag for me, with some going straight in (1a) and others holding out for quite a while. Just wish this hadn’t been a Friday puzzle as I never get to them until lunch time, so little time to ponder. 6d was right over my head as telephone numbers don’t start with a 0 over here, and I have no idea what that has to do with high earnings. Still don’t understand 21d. But what I could do, I really enjoyed. Thanks to Zandio and to Deep Threat for helping me finish.

  34. Loved this clever puzzle although very challenging and needed help with the reverse lurker (I was convinced there was an anagram in there somewhere) and also 15d which was easy but I couldn’t see it. Thanks for the hints and to the setter for his ingenuity, lots of fun

  35. Miffypops advised me yesterday that this one was ‘accessible’. Found it to be so until I hit a brick wall last night in the NE corner, which seemed to stop my 5 unaided in a row chance! But just come back to it and finished straight away as so often happens. A very nice mix of clue types, liked the simple 25a double meaning.
    Thanks to all.

  36. Thanks to Zandio for a brain teaser difficult enough to be enjoyable, finished unaided. COTD 16d – it took me a long time to see the obvious there. Runner up COTD 25a. Thanks to DT for the hints which I shall now enjoy reading, and also for all the comments which I also enjoy reading.

  37. 4*/4*…
    liked 9A “In need of exercise book here? (9)”…wonder if Zandio intended the French connection ?

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