DT 29773 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29773

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29773

Hints and tips by pommers

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Hola from the Vega Baja where the intense heat has finally abated.  Very pleasant weather with plenty of sunshine but not the crazy temperatures of the last couple of months.

The crossword is another example of the usual Monday fare but I thought a tad trickier that normal.  There’s three or four clues which are quite obscure but there’s enough gimmes to give you the checkers you need.

As usual the ones I liked most are in blue.  The definitions are underlined in the clues and the answers are under the “click here” buttons so don’t click on them unless you really want to see the answer.  Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a           Wizard’s local in Herts town (73)
POTTERS BAR:  Cryptically this town in Hertfordshire might be thought to be the local pub of the wizard created by J.K.Rowling.

6a           Report made by knight during case (4)
BANG:  Put the abbreviation of knight in chess notation inside (during) a case or piece of luggage.

10a         Article: key passage (5)
AISLE:  An indefinite article followed by what a key is in Florida.

11a         Decide to turn off before pit (9)
DETERMINE:  A word meaning to turn off or put off followed by (before) another word for a pit or colliery.

12a         Move on horseback, approaching hurdles (2,6)
UP STICKS: A word meaning on horseback followed by a slang term for hurdles in a steeplechase.

13a         Pressure escort to appeal (5)
PLEAD:  P(ressure) followed by a word meaning escort or go first.

15a         Put away gun, sort he loaded to protect student (7)
HOLSTER:  Anagram (loaded) of SORT HE around (to protect) the usual letter for student.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen loaded used as an anagram indicator before but as it’s a slang term for drunk I think it works fine.

17a         Receives inside information about savings (4,3)
NEST EGG:  First you need a word meaning receives or obtains and put it inside (inside) another word for information.  Having done that you need to reverse the lot (about).

19a         Decay, reportedly beneath and round building (7)
ROTUNDA:  First another word for decay and then four letters which aren’t a word but if pronounced sound like a word meaning beneath.

21a         Striking foreigner in street (7)
SALIENT:  Another word for a foreigner or extraterrestrial inside (in) the abbreviation of street.

22a         Check the compiler’s not all there (5)
BARMY: Not all there as in a bit loopy.  It’s a check followed by how the compiler would refer to something he owns.

24a         Skilfully handling  English novelist (8)
FIELDING:  Double definition. There have been several English novelists with this name but perhaps the best known are the one who wrote Tom Jones and the one who wrote Bridget Jones’s Diary.  Talking of Tom Jones . . .


27a         Smitten with cycling star — our editor! (9)
ENAMOURED:  Take another word for a star or celebrity and move the last letter to the beginning (cycling).  After that you need the OUR from the clue and the usual editor.

28a         Synthetic material you’ll find in many longbows (5)
NYLON:  A lurker hiding (you’ll find in) in many longbows.

29a         Obscure European coin worth ten cents (4)
DIME:  A word for obscure or not very bright followed by E(uropean) give you the US coin worth ten cents.

30a         Naively optimistic, continued drinking whiskey next to Romeo (6-4)
STARRY EYED:  Take a word meaning continued or remained and insert the letter represented by Romeo in the phonetic alphabet and a type of American whiskey.  Hands up all those who thought, like me, that there was going to be a W in the answer!


1d           Map of factory, incomplete (4)
PLAN:  Another word for a factory without its last letter (incomplete).

2d           Appraise one in storyline, one like Brian Trubshaw? (4,5)
TEST PILOT:  The first word of the answer means to appraise or try out and the second is an I (one) inserted into (in) a word for the storyline of a book or film.  A bit of general knowledge here but I think the guy’s well known enough.

3d           Regular time for meeting (5)
EVENT:  A word meaning regular followed by T(ime).

4d           Subordinate going on about right cocktail (7)
SIDECAR:  A word meaning subordinate, as in not the main issue or incidental, followed by two letters for about and an R(ight).  Took a while for the penny to drop on why the first part of this was subordinate.

5d           Train as mobile mechanic, say (7)
ARTISAN:  Anagram (mobile) of TRAIN AS.

7d           A-team notwithstanding (5)
ASIDE:  The A from the clue followed by the usual word for a team.

8d           Glutton welcomes embracing start of diet — funny guy! (6,4)
GREEDY GUTS:  You need a word for welcomes as in says hello and into it (embracing) you need to put a D (start of Diet) and an anagram (funny) of GUY.

9d           Offer of support also set out (8)
PROPOSAL:  First you need a support and then an anagram (set out) of ALSO.

14d         Lacking money for a buttery biscuit (10)
SHORTBREAD:  A word for lacking followed by a slang term for money.

16d         Misguided notes involving northern New York poet (8)
TENNYSON:  Star with an anagram (misguided) of NOTES and into it insert (involving) an N(orthern) and the usual two letters for New York.

18d         Always without, failing to get by (9)
ETERNALLY:  You need a word meaning without, as in outside, and remove (failing to get) the X (by, as in 2 by 4 = 2 x 4).  I nearly gave up on this but then the penny dropped with a clang that the Kiwi’s probably heard in NZ!!

20d         American, leader of team leading early on (2,5)
AT FIRST: Start with an A(merican) and a T (leader of Team) and then a word meaning leading.

21d         Narrow lake in poster (7)
SLENDER:  L(ake) inserted into (in) a poster, as in someone who posts letters.

23d         True masculine domain (5)
REALM:  A word for true followed by M(ale).

25d         Showy dresser, extremely dishy? (5)
DANDY:   Here extremely means the first and last letters. So, the first and last letters of DishY are?

26d         Girl in papers supporting soldiers heading off (4)
ENID:  Start with one of the words for soldiers without its first letter (heading off).  After that (supporting in a down clue) you need two letters for papers as in identity papers.

As the Tour of Britain bike race started yesterday I think 27a is my favourite for its topicality with 25d and 17a on the podium..

Quick crossword puns:
Top line:              REEF     +     HERD     +     PANE     =     REFERRED PAIN

Bottom line:        PURR     +     LEEK     +     WEAN     =     PEARLY QUEEN

102 comments on “DT 29773

  1. Another great start to the week and a most enjoyable solve with just the right amount of gimmies and headscratchers. I did have a few hmms, though. I cannot see what whiskey has to do with 30a unless that is how too much makes you look. Neither am I too sure about the first part of 25d or where the funny man comes into 8d.

    Just seen the funny man!

    Despite these, it was a satisfying puzzle to solve and my COTD is 1a.

    My thanks to Campbell for the fun and to pommers for the hints.

    I thought the Quickie was rather tricky today. It was easy to get the wrong first words to the puns so that they made no sense.

      1. That song (which is my only reference for the term) makes it sound like whisky (or possibly even whiskey) is a different drink from rye, because they were drinking both of them.

        Whereas 30a requires whiskey to mean rye, not be a separate drink.

        Any drinkers want to deconfuse me?

          1. The standfirst says it’s to do with the mash used — which made me wonder who drinks whiskey with a plate of mash — but I think that’s saying whisk(e)y is a type of whisk(e)y?

            The good old boys were drinking both whiskey generally and also a specific type of whiskey? Akin to saying: “The kids were drinking milk and semi-skimmed”?

            1. For the milk I try to drink straight from the cow. No processing whatsoever. It’s difficult but not impossible to find helpful dairy farmers

        1. I thought of Dapper Dan as the dresser and then “dy”, but that Dan is an American and unlikely, so thanks for the explanation.

  2. All completed in */** time, but I failed to fully parse 27a and 18d. I didn’t know the author in 24a, either.

    COTD is 8d for me.

    Many thanks to the compiler and Pommers.

  3. An enjoyable start to the working week with some clever wordplay on show here, the prime examples being 17,27&30a plus 4,18&25d so they get my ticks.
    Many thanks to Campbell and to Pommers for a first class puzzle and review.

  4. Very gentle, as is the 672 cryptic, but enjoyable nonetheless. Thought I was going to complete in under * time for the first time ever but 6a&25d pushed me just over the mark. 12a was my favourite along with the usual high quality Quickie puns. 8Ball at Rookie Corner well worth a gander & more of a challenge.
    Thanks to Campbell & Pommers.
    Ps A great day of sport ahead. Go on the boys at The Oval & the girls in Ohio….

  5. 0.5*/4*. It doesn’t have to be tough to be enjoyable, as proved by this excellent puzzle. I flew through this with only slight pauses for thought needed to parse 18d & 25d.

    Many thanks to Campbell for the fun and to pommers for the review.

  6. Very Mondayish as per the habit of Campbell. I thought Henry for the novelist, this being The Daily Telegraph after all but then remembered that Bridget Jones Diary began as a column in this very newspaper so it could indeed be Helen. Thanks to pommers for explaining 8 down and to Campbell for creating it.

    1. I think Henry Fielding although I tend to think of him as a playwright and satirist before Novelist. He was of course all of those things.

  7. I completed this in less than 2* time but, like Pommers, couldnt fathom 18d so I just bunged it in. It was entertaining and had a few head scratchers in the SE so 4* for enjoyment. I like 1a and 8d, which both made me laugh. It’s not often I choose anything to do with cricket as COTD but today’s double meaning in 24a for one of the authors, whom I studied for A leve is mine today. Thanks to Pommers for the hints and helping me parse 18d and to Campbell for a crossword w4hich was a lot of fun.

  8. The top half really flew in and thought it was going to be * for me. Then the bottom half slowed me up. Last one in was 18d but I wasn’t really sure how I got there. Also 25d – I took the extreme of dishy as the last two letters and wondered where the Dan came from. So thanks to Pommers for the great reveal. Rang the surgery this morning at 8 am – I was 17th in the queue! Amazingly, and I mean amazingly, have got an appointment for David to see a nurse prescriber today. As I think he is on the verge of pneumonia am great relieved. Thanks also to the setter really enjoyable.

    1. Well done! I have failed to get an appointment to SEE the doctor after having a worrying diagnosis given over the phone following the tests I had done 6 weeks ago. What is going on?

  9. A very enjoyable start to the week. Took me ages to see the parsing of 18d, very clever. Hadn’t heard of Brian Trubshaw but solved before needing to look him up. 25d was my favourite.

    Thanks to today’s setter and pommers.

  10. I’m afraid I found this a bit of a slog. Just couldn’t get on the right wavelength. All finished and correct but more by luck than judgement.

  11. Um, could anyone explain the parsing of 4D please? It couldn’t be anything else but… Doing my head in!

    1. A four letter synonym of subordinate as explained by Pommers, is followed by (goes on) a two letter abbreviation for circa(about) and the abbreviation for right.

    2. Side = subordinate. The abbreviation for circa (c) = about plus r for right. A sidecar is a cocktail. Can’t remember what’s in it!

  12. Started with a giggle at 1a and made good headway with just a slight pause to justify 18&25d.
    1a heads the leader board here with 12a & 25d coming up on the rails.

    Thanks to Campbell and to pommers for the review – yes, I did go looking for the whisky!

      1. More loyal to the distilled in Manitoba Crown Royal! And, even more loyal to single malts from the wannabe Peoples’ Republic north of Hadrian’s Wall.

          1. Ooh, wish I could afford Glenmorangie, yum. My Famous Grouse was sold out for my last delivery, I’m having to get used to Johnnie Walker Red Label.

              1. I agree Black Label is pretty good but not in my budget! I like my FG, have been drinking it for years, but the Red Label isn’t too bad.

    1. Jane it is correctly whiskEy in the clue which is what justifies rye , as opposed to whisky, as in Scotch which is malt.

  13. It’s Monday :good: It’s Campbell :good: 1.5*/4.5*

    No problems with Mr Trubshaw but he might be ‘niche’ GK for others. Most well known for being the lead 2d on the UK half of the Concorde programme in the late 60s/early 70s.

    Candidates for favourite – 1a, 19a, and 2d – and the winner is 1a.

    Thanks to Campbell and pommers.

    1. In 1969 when Corcorde made its first UK flight from Filton to RAF Fairford, flown by 2d, we lived in Swindon & were in the back garden when we heard this loud noise & looked up to see this gorgeously shaped plane flying overhead. A never to be forgotten occasion.

      1. It used to fly over our garden in Cheam Village. A beautiful plane. We have one at the IWM in Duxford, it is surprisingly narrow inside.

        1. As I recall, the Concorde at Duxford nearly didn’t happen as it had to fly in before some of the runway was ‘lost’ to the M11 and the road builders weren’t going to wait!

        2. it used to fly in around 4pm each afternoon and was quite clearly visible, and noisy, from Clapham Common where I lived at the time,

        3. Yes we visited Duxford in 2016 and stepped inside the Concorde passenger cabin, and were surprised at how narrow it was.

        4. I remember when visiting the UK in the late 80’s and early 90’s, I was staying in Henley and remember it flying over the area too. Really impressive.
          I also saw a take-off from Heathrow and that was much closer. An amazing sight.

      2. I used to live at Hampton Court – was always annoyed when Concorde flew overhead, as all the visitors would stop
        looking at the palace and just look up into the sky!

    2. This discussion has reminded me of two ‘quotable’ quotes from Sir George Edwards chairman of the British Aircraft Corporation during the time of the Concorde and Jaguar fighter aircraft programmes.

      I was in the audience for the first – in a speech given to a military audience he spoke of ‘walking along the gloomy corridors of power looking for a faint glimmer of a coherent policy.’

      In the second, that a friend was in the audience for, he reminisced that ‘if I have learnt one thing from conducting international collaborative programmes it is never do them with the French.’

  14. Gentle this morning but enjoyable. Like others I didn’t fully understand 18d, my last one in so thanks for the explanation. I’d never heard of the gentleman in 2d either but guessed he must have been one. Favourite 1a. Thanks to all.

  15. Typical Campbell, 90% straightforward (especially if you knew of 2d) but the last few needed teasing out. Took ages to see 30a even though the answer jumped at me. Didn’t parse 18d so thanks to pommers for the enlightenment.
    COTD was 18d now I see the reasoning, with 1a the R/U.
    Thank you Campbell and pommers

    Covid running wild in Scotland. In many areas of the Central Belt according to the present data if the current rate continues all the population will have tested positive before Christmas!

    1. And rampant in Florida, where our numbers are so bad our Governor won’t permit daily reporting of the numbers. However we can read them in the out of state newspapers and they are really scary.

  16. Terrific crossword from Campbell – always a great start to the week.

    Today’s crossword soundtrack: Sky Cricket – a heart in the mouth / edge of the seat day as England do their best to throw away the potential to win the Test Match. One of those marvellous days in cricket, where, on the last afternoon, any result is possible. Come on, Joe!

    Thanks to Campbell and pommers.

  17. Enjoyable puzzle to start the week.
    All finished in good time but required Pommers hints for 18d & 25d, which were straying into ‘Toughie’ territory as clues

  18. That was a great relief after that which was a grind for me yesterday. SW corner last to fall. Three bung-ins due to lack of parsing – 17a, 18d and 26d. Fav 12a but surely the first two letters indicate on horseback but not necessarily on the move! 🏇. Thank you Campbell and Pommers.

  19. It has all been said. Stars by 1a and 16d but I also liked 19a and 24. Many thanks to Setter and Hinter – they sound like estate agents or solicitors.

  20. Very pleased to complete this unaided although I needed the the hints to explain the why’s and wherefores of 22a, 27a,4d, 8d, 18d and 25d. I remember someone commenting here that if you could not parse them you haven’t really completed them, but who cares about that I’ll still claim it as a victory 😊

    1. A completed grid is a completed grid howsoever you get there. A lot of my answers go in because they are the only word that will fit the space.

  21. Another enjoyable Campbell puzzle for the start of the week. I fair ‘cantered’ through it although I had not fully understood my answer for 18D – very many thanks Pommers for the needed explanation – ‘by’ = ‘x’…not one I’d come across before…hopefully tucked away now for the next time!👍

  22. Can anyone help? Part of my usual lunchtime ritual involves finishing reading all of the paper including the Bridge and Chess columns. Telegraph Towers have struck again as those each of those two columns today consists of a large red rectangle containing just the words BRIDGE and CHESS in white letters.

    Undaunted, I turned to the Telegraph online, but can I find the BRIDGE and CHESS columns there? No! And the search function seems as good as useless. Does anyone know where these columns are hiding online please?

      1. Thank you for trying. Sadly when I expand the picture to a size where I might be able to read it the text becomes illegible.

  23. Nice start to the week plus the sun is shining 😎 ***/*** Favourites 1, 12 & 19a 👍 Thanks to Pommers and to Campbell

  24. This needed too many bung ins which were thankfully explained by Pommers. Overall manageable and quite enjoyable. Thanks to Campbell and Pommers for the parsing.

  25. Hi, y’all! I’m back after taking a week off to settle my scattered brain and nurse my wounded spirits. Loved today’s puzzle, which really taxed my UK knowledge to the Nth degree but I managed to finish in good time, unaided, only needing pommers’ help to parse 18d. I did have to google Mr Trubshaw for confirmation of 2d. I was one of hundreds of excited Charlestonians who welcomed the Concorde to Charleston back in the 90s (I think); it was carrying a number of famous golfers (Ryder Cup maybe? I’m not a golfer.) It was a gorgeous sight to behold. Thanks to pommers and Campbell for the entertainment. ** / ****

    Thanks to Jane for speaking on my behalf in my absence, and to those who wished me well. And in keeping with my wont, I’d like to recommend the new novel by Damon Galgut, whom I consider South Africa’s finest living novelist. The title is The Promise, and it is absolutely wonderful.

    1. So nice to see you back, Robert, we missed your comments. I hope the brain and spirits are fully restored now.

    2. Probably for the 1991 Ryder Cup at Kiawah Island. While Concorde was flying it was quite usual for the European team to fly in it to an ‘away’ fixture in the USA. Concorde would also do a ‘fly over’ of the course for the ‘home’ fixtures.

  26. Sorry I’ve not been around but I’ve been out all day sorting out our friend’s apartment for a guy who wants to rent it for 9 months, so well worth the effort. I’m happy to see that all queries have been answered by others so well done all.

  27. I’m glad your week off refreshed you Robert. We missed you. It reminds me that we had a young Dutch girl staying with us and she was troubled by an irritating cough. Our elderly next door neighbour said to her ‘Oh, you’ve got a wee cough’. No, she replied. I am here for a month!

  28. I thought this a little trickier Campbell for Monday but lots of good stuff. I had no idea how to unravel 18d, just bunged it in as it fit and meant always, and I have Manders to thank for pointing out “rye” which explained so much.
    Fave is 1a, but 12a and 8d deserve honourable mention. I’m old enough to remember Trubshaw, well into my airline career by then.
    Thank you Campbell for the fun and pommers for explaining so much.

  29. A puzzle of two halves … top was a quick finish with no hints and then the bottom slowed me down with some hints needed. 3*/4* today for me.
    Favourites were 1a, 19a, 2d, 14d & 16d with winner 1a with 2d a close runner up.

    Thanks to Campbell & Pommers

  30. At this time of the afternoon it has pretty much all been said, so I will just add my thanks to Campbell for a thoroughly enjoyable puzzle, and to pommers for his usual excellent review. Congratulations to India for their hard-fought victory.

  31. For a few glorious moments I thought it was going to finish unaided, but in the end I needed the hints for 18d and 25d. Nevertheless a very enjoyable puzzle, with big thanks to Campbell for a good start to the week. COTD was 1a. Thanks also to Pommers for those much needed two hints.

  32. Must have been on the setters wavelength and it was almost a R&W for me.
    Very enjoyable for all that.
    Thx to all

  33. As I live in 1a, I thought I’d pop in today to say I thoroughly enjoyed this and was completely on the setter’s wavelength. So thanks to the setter for the geographical mention and for the fun and thanks to Pommers for the explanations to a couple of my answers (18 and 25d).

  34. Same for me Brian. The better half had her CT scan this morning. Had two left when she came out, which she duly finished before we were out if Chichester!
    Thanks setter and MP whose hints I have enjoyed reading.

  35. First comment in a long while, but as I was born in and still live in 1a, I felt I needed to mark the occasion! I regularly seek clues from this blog and love reading the comments. I’m always very grateful to the bloggers and setters who have kept me sane through repeated lockdowns. Many thanks to you all.

  36. Very late on parade as no signal on Thurlestone Beach where Wendy and I spent a very pleasant day. The sea temperature felt increasingly amenable as we swam more frequently.

    I found this one from C a little odd and had question marks against my answers for 17a and 18d but thanks pommers for putting me right. All in all a nice **/*** I thought.

    1. Your mention of it gave me a nice reminder of so many happy family holidays spent in Thurlestone in days of yore.

      1. Good oh. Just back from another visit. Just in case you are heading that way there are temporary roadworks which have closed the road in Thurlestone so you have to access down easily jammed narrow lanes via South Milton at present

  37. All pretty straightforward for me this evening, completed in the pub, so enjoyable all round. Didn’t have a problem with 2d. Hard to pick a favourite from so many contenders but I’ll go for 18d. Thanks to Campbell and Pommers.

  38. A pleasant but challenging puzzle.
    Like many others, help with parsing 18d gratefully received.

    (Gasp at the Grocer’s apostrophe in the hint though…!) ;-)

  39. All is good today. Alit if agreement among the troops. Bertie seems to have jumped off our bus no complaints. Excellent puzzle. Ease if solving does not detract. Like others my last two in were 25d and 18a. I did manage to parse the former but would not have parsed the latter unaided. Favourites – 1 12 17 24 and 30a and 8d. Thank you Campbell and Pommers.

  40. So pleased to see that 1a is someone else’s home town – it was mine for 14 years before and after WW2. I believe Acker Bilt started his life of fame in the station pub there.
    Finished unaided except for three in the E which defeated me – I notice even Pommers had trouble parsing 18d. Thanks to setter for some difficult brain exercise and to Pommers for hints which I will now enjoy. Think 1a has to be my fav!

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