DT 29779 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29779

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29779

Hints and tips by Falcon

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Greetings from Ottawa, where summer is rapidly winding down and we are desperately trying to squeeze in the last vestiges of beach time before the crisp autumn days arrive.

I found today’s puzzle to be a typical Campbell production – perhaps situated slightly toward the easier end of his scale. As usual, I got off to a roaring start and then had to work a bit to finish.

I have been unable to make anything out of the bottom Quickie pun – if, in fact, there is one today. I’m sure someone will quickly set me straight.

In the hints below, underlining identifies precise definitions and cryptic definitions, and indicators are italicized. The answers will be revealed by clicking on the ANSWER buttons.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought of the puzzle.


1a   Say nothing about a small band (4)
SASH — a sibilant admonition to say nothing containing the A from the clue and S(mall)

3a   Fellow holding a dart for toy weapon (10)
PEASHOOTERa man’s given name wrapped around a sibilant admonition to make yourself scarce a synonym for fellow, as in equal, around A and a synonym for dart; thank you, Vince, for the correction

9a   Area final curtailed, sadly (4)
ALAS — A(rea) and another word for final with its ultimate letter removed

10a   Go with guys foremost in the field (10)
DEPARTMENT — string together go or leave, another word for guys, and the initial letter of The to get a field or area of responsibilty (as in “Not my ____”)

11a   Half-cut, perhaps, I knocked over container for fish (7)
HALIBUT — HALF with its final letter removed, I from the clue, and the reversal (knocked over) of a container; the word “perhaps” seems to be superfluous

13a   Defiant words, accordingly, at that point (2,5)
SO THERE — synonyms for accordingly and at that point

14a   Ban professional taking part of former partner in show (11)
PROHIBITION — a shortened form of professional replaces the usual former partner in a show at which objects, eg of works of art, are displayed to the public

18a   Hear a shrink condemned religious sect (4,7)
HARE KRISHNA — an anagram (condemned) of the first three words in the clue; hands up, how many looked for a ‘sounds like’ clue?

21a   Miles must leave to dispatch shipment (7)
TRANSIT — remove M(iles) from a verb maning dispatch or send

22a   Homeless woman happy visiting cove (3,4)
BAG LADY — a word meaning happy contained in an inlet of the sea

23a   Concerning star turns, ring versatile musician (3-3,4)
ONE-MAN BAND — link together one of the two-letter terms denoting concerning or in the matter of (not the Latin one), a reversal (turns) of a word meaning star or celebrity, and another name for ring as an item of jewellery

24a   Contact everyone following onset of Covid (4)
CALL — another word for everyone following the initial letter of Covid

25a   Zoo attendant after opening as porter (10)
GATEKEEPER — a zoo employee following an opening in a fence

26a   Accomplished poet, we’re told (4)
DONE — sounds like (we’re told) an early 17th century English poet


1d   Ollie’s partner, famous comedian, in one- seater carriage (8)
STANHOPE — in fact two famous comedians; the British partner of American Oliver Hardy and a London-born American comedian who often joined forces with the crooner at 22d

2d   Horse: lad astride big one (8)
STALLION — a male offspring wrapped around big in height and a Roman one

4d   Upstanding before court (5)
ERECT — a poetic term meaning before and the street sign abbreviation for court

5d   Criticism surrounding drinks farce (9)
SLAPSTICK — a slang word for criticism enveloping a word meaning drinks like a cat

6d   Excellent tour taking in base (11)
OUTSTANDING — a short pleasure trip embracing a base on which something (a piece of sculpture perhaps) sits or is supported

7d   In it he besieged ancient Greek city (6)
THEBES — a lurker hiding in the second, third, and fourth words of the clue

8d   Somewhat  sooner (6)
RATHER — double definition; two adverbs, the first denoting to a limited degree, the second in preference

12d   Smart young person, promising Scottish author (6,5)
BRIGHT SPARK — full of hope and promise (as “a ____ future”) and the Scottish author of The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie

15d   Easily annoyed, bishop being pressed by two internationals on board (9)
IRRITABLE — the abbreviated title of an Anglican bishop sandwiched between two instances of the abbreviation for international preceding a board on which food might be served

16d   Recover, having been thrown into revolting moat in battle (3,5)
THE ALAMO — a word meaning to recover or cure contained in an anagram (revolting) of MOAT produces a memorable American battle; a devastating defeat at the hands of Mexican troops, the battle became a rallying cry for Americans

17d   Force, down a shade (4,4)
NAVY BLUE — a maritime fighting force and an adjective signifying feeling down or depressed

19d   Powerful  firm (6)
STRONG — a double definition in which the two definitions are essentially the same – if not identical

20d   The last word in extremely long-drawn-out elegy (6)
LAMENT — the last word in a prayer inserted between the initial and final letters (extremely) of Long-drawn-ouT

22d   Session in Crosby, perhaps ending in Bootle (5)
BINGE — an American crooner and actor (who often co-starred with one of the comedians from 1d) and the final letter of BootlE; the crooner was apparently well-known to engage in such sessions

The clues that I especially liked today both involve drinking – should I worry? I’m giving top spot to 11a over 22d.

Quickie Pun (Top Row): REEK + ROOTS = RECRUITS

Quickie Pun (Bottom Row) : RAYON + ROMP = ???

79 comments on “DT 29779

  1. 2*/4*. The usual light Monday fun.

    The first clue that caught my eye was 26a, and I instantly wondered if there might be a poet called “Abel”. Mr Google duly obliged with Jordan Abel – obscure to me but possibly not to Falcon or Senf – and I confidently wrote in “able” as my answer. The penny dropped much later that it was a rather more famous chap after I had solved 16d.

    My podium comprises 22a, 1d & 22d.

    Many thanks to Campbell and to Falcon.

    1. I don’t read much (well any) poetry these days so I have not heard of Jordan Abel but with the two checkers from 16d and 17d I did not have any problem with 26a.

  2. Took me a little while to get into this one taking me into ** time with ** for the fun factor. I didn’t know the Scottish writer in 12d but the clueing was clear enough. I liked 10a my last one in with it’s clever misdirect so that is my COTD. Thanks to Falcon for his work and the setter.

  3. Like NAS, I found this puzzle hard to get into. A reverse engineering technique of guessing the answers and then figuring out the parsing afterwards worked, after I had solved some of the more straightforward clues to give me some checkers. It wasn’t the most enjoyable crossword for me so 2* each for difficulty and enjoyment. The best of the clues were 8a and 16d. Thanks to the compiler ( not sure if it was Campbell) and to Falcon for the hints.

  4. Pleasant enough though with a somewhat dated feel to it.
    Nothing really stood out for me but if pushed I’d mention my last one in 10a along with 21a&8d
    Many thanks to Campbell and Falcon.

  5. Am guessing this isn’t a Campbell production as I can’t make head nor tail of the 2nd pun if indeed it is one, which I doubt, & note all the across answers in the Quickie begin with R. The cryptic was the usual straightforward Monday stuff with my only head scratch the parsing of 23a & I would have bet money & lost that the first word of 18a ended with an I & not an E. All over in 1.5* time. Favourite was 12d – loved her most well known novel & the film adaptation of it with Maggie Smith & Robert Stephens.
    Thanks to the setter & Falcon.
    Ps The bonus 673 cryptic is similarly benign but Rookie Corner an altogether different proposition.

      1. I watched a delightful 2019 film called Minari last night Robert. Worth catching if you’ve not seen it.

  6. Pleasant start to the day. Nothing too troublesome. A typical Monday solve. I don’t think that there is a second pun in the quickie but all off the across answers begin with the same letter. Off to The Driftwood Hotel for lunch today. The Roseland is looking great. It’s good to be back.
    Thanks to Campbell and to Falcon

    1. What a great shot Miffypops – there was a very similar boat drifting round light airs in Plymouth Sound today. They look very expensive but classy. As you are in that neck of the woods and if your pockets are deep enough try the Nare. They have a very sensible policy about children after about 6pm!

      1. We always have a lunch at The Nare. One year we heard some rather nice piano music and then some less accomplished playing. A brother and sister were playing the piano. The older sibling was very competent, the younger one less so. A joy to hear

      1. I’ve been trying to remember the words Pilot Cutter since I saw this boat and another come into Saint Mawes on Sunday. We are usually here when a number of them turn up for the weekend.

  7. Quite a number of clues defeated me after the first pass I only had three. Thankfully, all revealed themselves after much head scratching. Apart from 10a, which I had to use the hint for. A most enjoyable puzzle that was not all that straightforward. Many thanks to the setter (is it Campbell as there is no bottom pun in the Quickie?) and thanks to Falcon for help with 10a.

    1d amused me. When we were doing the fine art fairs, a man came up to me and asked if I had any 1d. I had no idea what 1d was so I asked my colleague across the row, who was selling 16C Chinese objet d’art. He didn’t know either but he had a dictionary. Trouble was it was a Cantonese dictionary. Anyway after much puzzling he looked up at me and told me with some astonishment that it was a horse drawn carriage. We both started laughing. How could he not see that there were no horse drawn carriages on my rather small stand? I later learned there is another form of 1d.

    1. I knew 1d from a youthful addiction to jane Austen and
      Georgette Heyer! I was impressed by your dahlias – you’d do well at our Dahlia Day. Perhaps you should start one in your village!

      1. I’m sure there are better dahlias in the village, DG. There are some very experienced gardeners there.

        I said my dahlia blooms were 8 inches but I was mistaken.

        They are 10.5 inches!

  8. I enjoyed this Monday coffee-break companion, and tackled it from the bottom to the top. Nothing too strenuous although while I knew that I knew the Scottish author’s name, I also knew that I couldn’t immediately recall it, so left that one until the end.

    Several clues got HMs for the wit and/or amusement factor – 14a, 18a, 4d, 7d, and 20d, but my COTD goes to 22d.

    1.5* / 3*

    Many thanks to Campbell (whom I do 8d suspect is the setter) and Falcon for the review.

  9. Very pleasant gentle start to the week but enjoyable esp after yesterdays crossword that put up a real fight.
    My favourites were 3a and 25a and I will even forgive 18a given that they are not really religious in the usual sense of the word.
    Thx to all

    1. Brian, surely Hinduism of which 18a is a branch is a religion (third largest in the world) in any sense of the word.

      1. The cryptic is one of mine.
        Couldn’t think of a pun for the bottom line of the Quickie with both words beginning with an R.

        1. I spent way too long walking round the house mumbling like an idiot until I realised there was no second pun. Thanks for the great cryptic.

          1. Before I can even start muttering to myself, I have to listen to online British speech samples to see if Brits might possibly pronounce the words differently than I do!

        2. Campbell
          Thanks for popping in (and the weekly challenge). Amazes me how you manage two puns week after week
          Today is simply the exception that proves the rule!

          1. Hi LROK, hope you are doing good? What so you think about Rose being omitted from the Ryder Cup team?

        3. Thank you for two more very enjoyable cryptics today, Campbell – your consistency, week-in week-out, is quite remarkable.

        4. Thanks for popping in, Campbell. Just shows what I don’t know about picking compilers; I thought you were trickier than you usually are, and perhaps it was the absence of a second pun. I do enjoy your Monday challenges, especially coming from this side of the Pond–clues like 1d, 12, and perhaps 25a.

  10. It’s Monday, but, with no bottom line pun, is it really Campbell? I would say yes and he is just trying to confuse us. **/****.

    Candidates for favourite – 11a, 14a, 20d – and the winner is 11a (my favourite on a plate).

    Thanks to Campbell and Falcon.

  11. Didn’t quite feel like Campbell to me–a bit more off-the-wall than his, I thought. I enjoyed the ‘Road to…” connection with 1d and 22d, as well as 5d and 17d. I agree with Stephen L: there did seem to be a mustiness about the whole endeavour, dated but fun. Thanks to Falcon and today’s setter. **/***

  12. A nice reasonably easy start to the week, just what I need😃 **/*** Favourites 1, 15 & 17d 👍 Thanks to Falcon and to Campbell. Sorry can’t help with the second Quicky 🤔

  13. Took sometime to get into but once in a steady solve to an unaided conclusion.
    Thought 12d a brilliant clue.
    So, **/****
    Many thanks to the setter and to Falcon.

  14. Not the most enjoyable Monday offering from Campbell. Like CC, I took longer to work out the reasoning for the answers than the answers themselves in a lot of cases. If I had to pick a favourite, I’d say 1d. The prize puzzle was more to my taste today. **/** Thanks to all.

    1. I thought the online-only prize puzzle today was very good – a similar level of challenge, and some wonderful clues. I thought 14d was super – and a cracking red herring! – easily my COTD across the two Monday Cryptic Campbells.

  15. Like Steve C I got off to a slow start and only had 3 in after the first read through and my last in was also 10a. I got there in the end with a few hints mostly at the NE corner. Perhaps it’s not the setter but my brain which is a bit off today; with the checkers in for 17d I spent far too long wondering if the shade was “baby” before the penny finally dropped after reading the hint; shaming!! I was rather pleased with myself getting the fish which would normally throw me and happy to see no cricketing or sporting terms so thanks to the setter as it may not have been the most smile-raising crossword but it certainly wasn’t the most frustrating or controversy-filled either.

  16. Enjoyable way to kick off cruciverbal week. SW corner last to acquiesce. Took while to parse 23a. 13a brought to mind current annoying practice of beginning response to a question with that two-letter word. Favs 11a and the to the point 8a. Thank you (one-pun) Campbell (?) and Falcon.

  17. Quite a light Monday puzzle, just the thing for the start of the week. I liked the simple 24a & 4d which have doubtless been used many times and my top two were 22a & 5d.

    Thanks to Campbell and to Falcon for the review.

  18. A nice and gentle start to the week. 14a and 22a were my favourites. Thanks to today’s setter and Falcon.

    1. Yes, you are absolutely correct. By the clear light of day, I see that my rather shaky attempt at a solution also doesn’t account for the letter “A”.

    2. That’s how I parsed it too. I’ve just read Falcon’s hint & reckon either works. I wonder what Campbell had in mind.

      1. I don’t think Falcon’s hint works, Huntsman, as ” make yourself scarce” isn’t the same as “dart”.

  19. Found this very difficult – not at all on the same wavelength as the setter but thanks anyway and for the hints which I needed quite a few of!

  20. A lovely start to the crosswording week, with 22d my top clue. This was pretty straightforward but highly enjoyable, so my thanks to Campbell and Falcon.

  21. Ah, it is Campbell… I was confused by the lack of a bottom end pun, and also by the ‘R’ factor on the across clues of the Quickie.
    As always with Campbell, very precise and ‘gettable’ with no knowledge of the Gojoseon, Xia, or Shang dynasties required.

    Thanks to Campbell and Falcon

    Yesterday we had a lovely afternoon at the Surrey Hills Wood Fair. A splendid example of a peaceful, rural England to which I try and cling.
    Oh – and we met this fellow:

    1. What a gorgeous bird, Terence. I’m a great supporter of the Owl Barn Sanctuary in Suffolk, which has had financial problems during the pandemic, when there were no visitors.

      1. We love that Sanctuary Chriscross and visit it every time we rent a cottage in Aldeburgh for a week, usually 2/3 times a year. Sadly since the pandemic the price for a cottage for 2 people has more than doubled so we haven’t been down to Suffolk. Last time we went one of the owls flew between mine and David’s head and we both felt its wings on our cheeks, it was lovely.

  22. Typical Campbell for me. Slow start then steady progress with the last 3 or 4 taking me into *** time.
    I find that some clues 10a, my LOI, take longer to see than others for no apparent reason.
    10a also my COTD.
    Thank you to Campbell and DT.
    Summer here is hanging on with lovely sunshine and a gentle breeze for Biggles’ morning beach excursion.

  23. A slow start for me too but finished in 2.5* time – thanks to Campbell and Falcon. I didn’t spot the anagram at 18a for ages.

  24. I’m no pedant (some may disagree) but in 1d hasn’t that one seater carriage got two people in it?

    Or didn’t the driver count in those days?

      1. I struggled with this but maybe it was because I had been out to lunch. Not that I had been imbibing (I shall do that at our WI committee mtg tonight) but I came to it late and rather frayed from the AGM of the Royston Ladies Luncheon Club meeting for the first time for two years, and a very disappointing meal. But I did finish it quite unaided so thanks to Campbell for stretching me and to Falcon for confirming my reasoning. I was surprised to see that Brian found it easy! Although actually every clue was fair and crystal clear once I twigged it. Roll on tomorrow

        1. Wow DG, our WI Committee meetings don’t include wine – I will suggest it for next month. Sorry you had a disappointing meal – where was it so we can avoid.

  25. Nice gentle start for the week with this puzzle. 2.5*/***
    Favourites 1a,11a, 23a & 17d with winner 11a

    Thanks to setter and Falcon

  26. I enjoyed this but thought it hard at first glance. Last three in 26a, 8d and 10a. Of those I left it a while and 8d jumped out at me when I returned. Thank you Falcon for the parsing of 14a. Now I understand it I will add it to my favourites. One to remember. Other favourites 1 12 and 17d. Thank also for the amended parsing (thanks Vince too) Of 3a as I could not fully parse. Very good Campbell.

  27. Today is Princess Sadie’s 10th birthday, please raise your glasses to my special girl!
    This puzzle was right up my straße! Perfect, I only needed help parsing a couple, so thanks for that Falcon. After yesterday’s struggle, this was such a treat. Every time I see 1d I remember Lady Hester, a bold, brave and liberated woman way before her time. I loved it all, hard to choose a fave, maybe 22a?
    Thank you Campbell, you’re a star, much appreciation to Falcon for the unravelling!

  28. A very enjoyable crossword after finishing the Monday Guardian. Some amusing comments on 225 of experts moaning how easy it was, and suitable riposte including your truly.
    I liked 26a, very good.
    I wasn’t convinced strong = firm in 19d.
    Thanks both.

    1. The Graun seem finally to be getting it about right with the Monday Quiptic slot. The last few weeks have been spot on in terms of the difficulty level. Not sure if it’s just me but the Everyman seems much more challenging of late though.

  29. I struggled to begin with, only getting 4 answers. Which I blame on us being up at silly o’clock to go for fasting blood work. But then everything started to come together and was very enjoyable after all. COTD was 17d. Thanks to Campbell and Falcon.

  30. 3 clues took nearly as long as the rest put together namely 10a, 22a and 17d for reasons best known to myself. Apart from that fairly straightforward albeit with a bit of head scratching. Hey ho! All done and parsed. Despite being last but one in I’m going with 22a as favourite. Thanks to Campbell and Falcon.

  31. Finished unaided but 10a took me nearly as long as all the rest put together, needless to say the LOI. Some quirky clues which needed a lot of thinking, but reasonably doable and quite enjoyable. COTD 3a and 23a. Thanks to Campbell,and to Falcon
    for the hints which I shall now enjoy reading. Thanks also for a quick quickie, which I completed in less time than it took to solve 10a.

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