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DT 29788

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29788

Hints and tips by Miffypops

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Good Morning from Barrel where life is continuing to replicate our recent holiday in Cornwall. The sun shines. The food and drink are superb and not much gets in the way of our leisure. Today’s puzzle has a good set of entry point clues to get you going and a couple of stretchers to slow down your journey to the finishing post. I’m not convinced that it is the work of Giovanni though. Would he clue the first five letters of 12 across in such a way?


Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a        Scientist‘s obit chimes with organisation (10)
BIOCHEMIST: A straightforward anagram to start us off. OBIT CHIMES is the anagram fodder and the words ‘with organisation’ suggest the scrambling of these letters

6a        Get away somewhat unscathed (4)
SCAT: The answer lies hidden within the words of the clue. As indicated by the word somewhat

9a        Weapon that’s carried by actor with a small part? (5)
SPEAR: Extras in films are known as spear carriers. What they are said to carry is a weapon

10a      Ritual banishment when former partner ignored (9)
TRADITION: A word meaning banishment by force needs the regular term for ones old partner removing

12a      Gas with person swearing: very unusual scene before church (13)
EFFERVESCENCE: A four part charade all in the right order. 1 what one who uses the F word might be called (5) 2 The abbreviation for Very (1) 3 An anagram (unusual) of SCENE. 4 The abbreviation for the Church of England (2]

14a      Tour with Bake Off possibly rash (8)
OUTBREAK: Anagram (off) of TOUR BAKE

15a      Teens regularly autograph banner (6)
ENSIGN: The alternate letters (regularly) of the word teens are followed by a verb meaning to autograph

17a      Emphasise anxiety (6)
STRESS: A double definition. Need I say more?

19a      Severe virus almost goes active (8)
GRIEVOUS: An anagram (active) of most of the word VIRUS and GOES

21a      Smooth pistachio nuts eaten by horse? All but the middle (13)
SOPHISTICATED: An anagram (nuts) of PISTACHIO sits inside a type of horse minus its middle letter

24a      Singer seen and heard performing (2,7)
ED SHEERAN: Anagram (performing) of SEEN and HEARD

25a      Schemes as injury reported (5)
BREWS: A homophone (reported) of a word that sounds like the mark that appears on one’s body after an injury

26a      Something Woody occasionally targeted (4)
TREE: The alternate letters (occasionally) of the word targeted

27a      Rules about film in Oscars? (10)
STATUETTES: A set of rules or laws sit around the commonly used name of a Steven Speiberg film from the last century. The film title is actually three words longer than what is used here


1d        First  defeat (4)
BEST: A clever double definition made simple by the answer to 1 across giving the first letter

2d        The opposite of fast? (7)
OVEREAT: To fast here is to forego food. The opposite of that

3d        The horrid ref’s playing for County (13)

4d        ‘Mother’, one ace opener for Lennon work (8)
MATERIAL: A dated informal noun meaning mother is followed by the letter that looks like the number one, the abbreviation for ace and the opening letter of the word Lennon

5d        Mount   plate (5)
SCALE: A double definition. The second possibly being organic

7d        Bill Clinton’s third to imbibe a new wine (7)
CHIANTI:  A bill referring to a sum owing plus the third letter of the word Clinton sit around the letter A from the clue and the abbreviation for new

8d        Offer head sympathy (10)
TENDERNESS: Two synonyms required here. One for offer and one for head where the head in question is a geographical feature

11d      Certain home study experiment up to it (13)
INCONTESTABLE: A four part charade in order. 1 A word meaning at home. 2 A word meaning to study 3 An exam 4 To be capable of doing something

13d      Stable and happy with little sister locked up (10)
CONSISTENT: A word meaning happy, satisfied or untroubled sits around an abbreviation of the word sister

16d      District court supporting troubled prince (8)
PRECINCT: An abbreviation of the word court follows an anagram (troubled) of the word PRINCE. Here is a clip of my grandsons playing in the upper precinct Coventry. Best watched with the sound on

18d      Answer extract from letter I posted (7)
RIPOSTE: The answer lies hidden within the words of the clue. As indicated by the words exact from

20d      Strange soldiers with time for scrap (7)
ODDMENT: A synonym of the word strange is followed by a general term for soldiers and the abbreviation for time

22d      One could make a fortune with this! (5)
TAROT: A cryptic definition of a method of fortune telling for the extremely gullible

23d      Love to leave haven unchanged (2,2)
AS IS:  The central letter of a haven in a desert needs to be removed

Quickie Pun  Billed + Dings + Sight = Building Site


68 comments on “DT 29788

  1. I thought this was very well constructed and managed it in ** time just. Thanks to Miffypops for the explanation of 9a: it had to be that but I hadn’t a clue why! My COTD was the clever 27a and last one in was 19a which I stared at blankly for a while until clocking the relevance of active. With thanks to the setter for a *** puzzle on the pleasure scale.

  2. Very enjoyable, the best “non Ray T” Thursday puzzle for quite a while I thought.
    I liked several,10,14,27a plus 23d foremost amongst them. My favourite however was 24a.
    Many thanks to Giovanni (if it was he) and MP (particularly for explaining my 9a bung in) for the entertainment.

  3. I thodroughly enjoyed this intriguing puzzle, whoch had a nice mix of the straightforward and quite testing in its clues (3*/5*). It had a certain freshness originality about the clues and I’m not sure who compiled it. 12a across made me laugh out loud, for the sheer effrontery of it and 11d was pretty good too. I got stuck by putting serve for 5d ( I was thinking of to plate a meal as a verb and of mount being synonymous with serve in animal breeding) before the penny dropped. 22d and 24a held me up for a time too. Altogether a wily challenge. Thanks to MP for the hints and to Mister Ron, the compiler.

      1. I was convinced by it and stuck to it, buckle and thong, until common sense prevailed and I realised the whole NE corner was out. Sometimes my mind is like a tram, not deviating from the perceived trackway. Hey ho.

  4. This was a very pleasant and appealing puzzle with some excellent clueing. 24a was a lovely anagram with a great surface, but my favourite was 27a. My thanks to our setter and of course MP.

    The Toughie is very accessible too.

  5. I needed help with a couple – one was 10a, which I didn’t understand until I read MP’s hint. There were many great clues and 23d was in the running for my COTD until I solved 12a, which I thought was a very clever clue. Good to see a competition winner being included so congratulations to Mr. Lloyd-Jones.

    Many thanks to Giovanni and MP.

    Happy Birthday to Orphan Annie! :rose:

    1. Oh, if there’s a competition-winning clue in there, that surely IDs the setter as being Chris Lancaster?

      Which clue is Mr Lloyd-Jones’s?

        1. Thanks — that is a good clue!

          For anybody else wondering, it was announced in the Telegraph Puzzles Newsletter of September 2, 2019 — so over 2 years between revealing the winning clue and its publication.

          1. It seems there’s been a long hiatus in incorporating the monthly clue-writing winners into the crosswords. I’m fairly sure none of the winning clues that came after today’s have been used yet. (Cheers!)

  6. Much to my surprise for a Thursday, I finished this before breakfast — so it didn’t feel like a Giovanni to me either. Thank you to whoever set it; solving it was fun.

    I particularly liked 12a’s swearer, 26a’s Woody, and 27a’s Oscars?

    Thank you to Miffypops for explaining the carriers in 9a and 11d’s studying, which I hadn’t previously encountered. Checking, Lexico/Oxford labels it “archaic” — but still assigns it definition 4, higher than the still-in-use senses of a convention (5) and steering a ship (6).

    1. Me neither, and I once flew on 55 Squadron RAF – the badge was known as the ‘spear chuckers’ !
      PS Miffy if the DT is still available to my inbox – count me in!

  7. Some tricky cluing today, a wide variety and nothing obscure, the long charades took a bit of parsing after the bung ins!
    The definition for 4d was a new synonym for work to me.
    Really enjoyable and a ***/****, favourite was 27a, last in was 25a-needed the checking letters.
    Thanks to setter and MP for the pics, coincidentally rewatched Notting Hill yesterday when Topol, the 10a pic,was possibly mistaken for Ringo Star ,there is a bit of likeness!

  8. re: 16d
    Miffypops – thanks for the clip of your grandsons playing in the water – it brought a smile to this miserable old git’s face (mrs s’s words not mine).

  9. Lovely puzzle. Largely straightforward but with a couple of tricky ones to make it nicely challenging. Toss up between 10&27a for pick of a fine bunch. A couple shy of completion with the Toughie but the 3rd & final 5hr + round in the Cotswolds beckons.
    Thanks all

    1. I always said that I could tape the conversation of our local golf society after a days golf and replay it week after week. It never changed and slow play was always mentioned. Why you all cannot realise just how long a round takes and live with it I do not know. But I do that golfers will always bring it up

      1. It’s because tha knows nowt about golf MP. To each his own.
        If you had come back from Cornwall in your super new Lexus behind 3 cars straddling the 3 lanes of the M5 all doing 45 mph with an open road in front of them you would have some idea. Especially if you were paying upwards of 50 quid to use the road.
        You have my sympathies H.

        1. I regularly drive in the M6 knowing that my speed will be restricted by road works. I know it will happen so I live with it. It is not if a golfer will mention slow play but when he will do so.

            1. Twas surprisingly speedy at 4hrs 30 mins & we missed an in depth discussion with our buddies in front on how we all fared on the preceding hole on at least 5 tees. A minor gripe really – the course good, the weather super & the company congenial. Oh & the Hook Norton beer went down a treat so who cares really.

  10. I didn’t think this felt like Giovanni’s work either and if it has a winning clue by one of our Rookie’s in it, then it surely must be the work of the Editor.

    Thanks to whoever set it and to MP – lovely to see the grandchildren having fun in the water

    The Toughie today is a thing of great joy and not particularly difficult so do give it a go

    1. For those solving today’s Toughie online (puzzles.telegraph)

      12 … heartlessviolent reaction (8)

      appears in the paper as

      12. … heartless\violent reaction (8)

  11. Great crossword! No requirement for a Master’s degree in Japanese art.
    I particularly enjoyed the clue for 12a, and the clever twist of Lennon at 4d.

    Heart rate and blood pressure back to normal after Chelsea’s penalty shoot-out win over Aston Villa last night. H loves a penalty shoot out – I dislike them as I always feel sorry for the poor soul who misses, or has his penalty saved. If it was me, I would dream (or rather, have nightmares) about it forever.

    Today’s crossword soundtrack: Laura Nyro – New York Tendaberry

    Thanks to the setter and The Miff.

    1. Great album. I may be the only person in the country who owns four Laura Nyro T-shirts, unless you know different! (One of them is the above image, and another is the original cover for that LP.) I’ve been a fan since I was 17.

  12. Most enjoyable although like Graham, the parsing of 9a escaped me. I particularly liked 12a and 21a. Thanks to MP and today’s setter.

  13. My first reaction to 12a was “surely not?” I didn’t expect to find that in a DT crossword. It did make me laugh. An entertaining puzzle all round. ***/**** 24a with the well disguised anagram is my favourite. To my own amazement I’ve not only completed the toughie for the last couple of days but solved them faster than the cryptics. The toughie compilers must be in a very benevolent mood. Thanks to all.

  14. Enjoyed this puzzle, 2/3rds done in record time, the last clues took ages.
    If not claimed would like to take up the subscription offer.

  15. If that was a Giovanni I will eat my hat because I really didn’t enjoy it. Not sure whether I have heard of 9a and only vaguely know 24a rather Ned Sherrin comes more readily to mind (dates me!). Last in was 4d as wasted time thinking around John Lennon works (crafty misdirection). Nearly bunged in bash for 1d. Thank you Mysteron and MP.

    1. I’d never heard of 24a, struggled with it and, frankly, lost interest when I went to the hints for the answer. DNF in the SE corner.

      1. I thought you did that on purpose to see who’s awake. Either that or the sun was over the yardarm rather earlier than usual this morning in Barrel.

  16. Found this quite tough & needed e help with 19a because I missed “active” as the anagram indicator.
    Enjoyable puzzle with lots of interesting clues. 12a COTD with 27a a close second.

    Thanks to Mysteron & MP for the usual entertaining reviews.

    Had an email this morning from my former energy supplier that they had ceased trading. Problem being I had changed supplier last Thursday. Could well be a bit of trouble ahead id OFGEN allocate me a supplier when I have already changed!

  17. Sorry, this was supposed to be reply to LBOK.
    I haven’t heard a dicky bird from Avro so guess I will follow guidelines and sit tight for the timebeing and await contact from OFGEM whilst expecting a heavy price rise. 😡.

    1. Angelov
      Of course OFGEM are saying don’t switch but I opted to 3 weeks ago & the switch, according to my new supplier happened last week. Trouble is the old supplier is still talking to me as their customer!
      Our pre-swap supplier had announced a price increase of 35% (& we were not on a cheap tariff) from October 1st hence the switch.
      Not possible you think because of the energy cap? They were 100% green so the cap didn’t apply!

  18. Great crossword . . . **/*** for us.
    My only quibble is with 10a.
    Ex(10a answer) doesn’t mean banishment to me. Rather the opposition.
    Don’t have a BRB any longer but found this definition.
    a formal process by which a criminal suspect held by one government is handed over to another government for trial or, if the suspect has already been tried and found guilty, to serve his or her sentence.

    1. The 10a synonym is supported by several thesauruses Pommette. I guess that’s all the setter needs to justify the clue.

  19. I am cross because I still cannot get the DT to answer my emails, letters even, asking for my grandson to receive the DT digitally. I see nowhere in the offer where it says that it is only for existing digital subscribers in fact it says digital AND print and we have the printed version. Grrrr. Grouse over this was a delight on a warm autumn day. I came unstuck with 9a as I put in sword thinking that an extra with only one word was a small part! And I had to do a reveal for 5d as it just would not come. Thanks for the delightful clip of the boys MP, it reminds me of a similar scene in a big square in central France where Jeremy went up to greet a large Alsatian which decided to play and chased him into the fountain. 10, 14 and 27a had stars as did 16 and 23d. Hope the weather is like this tomorrow in Wells Manders – I wonder if I’ll see you out shopping! Thanks to the clever setter and to MP

    1. Daisy,
      Try 0808 196 8080 during working hours – I had a problem today about subs and it was sorted out fairly quickly (once I’d got the right number) !

  20. This was a lot of fun! 12a surprised me and made a me laugh. I don’t think that I’ve ever heard 24a perform, though my rock-star guitarist partner tells me that he is popular over here, among certain ‘cowboy chords’ fanciers. But it was a very clever clue. Thanks to MP and today’s compiler. **/****

    The Toughie today was a joy to solve, very different and strange but most refreshing.

  21. Definitely a puzzle of two halves. The top was very good with some elegant clues, the bottom half however was a totally different animal. Very tricky and very little fun. 19a was particularly unpleasant.
    Not one for me I’m afraid.
    Top ***/****
    Bottom *****/*
    Thx for the hints

  22. Very enjoyable. Anyone else get sidetracked by solving 22d as DOUGH (money/fortune cookie ingredient)??

  23. Excellent mix of hard and easier than hard.
    Satisfying nevertheless.
    Last in 5d which pushed me into *** time.
    Many thanks to the setter and to Miffypops.

  24. Another great puzzle today so thanks to all – have even managed to complete the Toughie so feel I am on a roll! And my tomatoes are ripening fast.

  25. Very disappointed to find Mr Sheeran in today’s puzzle. Almost brought on a fit of the vapours.

  26. I was another held up by 5d, where I kept thinking ‘stage’, though it could only fit one half of the clue.
    Favourites were 12a, 14a, 3d and the Clinton clue at 7d.
    Some extra context for the Lennon clue – ‘Mother’ was the very first track on his first official solo album post-Beatles, hence “opener”.
    Thanks to Chris Lancaster (and the setter, if it isn’t him) and Miffypops.

  27. Decidedly a tricky little puzzle today. Top half wasn’t bad but the bottom caused a bit of head scratching. 2.5*/**** for today for me in the end, with the SE last area to fall. Wasn’t keen on 24a as this was very specific rather then a general answer to the clue.
    Favourites today 12a, 15a, 19a, 27a & 8d with winner 12a. Many good clues today so hard to pick top 5 today.6a, 25a, 2d, 7d, 8d, 13d & 23d all made me smile as I solved them.

    Thanks to setter and Miffypops

  28. Nice puzzle I found it mostly straight forward apart from the NE 😳 needed assistance with 10a & 4d, ****/*** Favourites 8 & 20d Thanks to MP and to the Compiler 👍

  29. First things first, very many happy returns Orphan Annie. I hope you’re keeping well and still doing crosswords.
    I found this a strange offering, I know I’m not particularly knowledgeable about rock stars, which is what I assume 24a is, but surely he’s pretty obscure? The top half was doable, 3d was fave as it was one of my first solves, then I had to use e-help for so much more. I laughed at 12a and liked 8d, so all was not lost. Maybe I should learn a bit more about rock, a bit late for that.
    Thanks Mr. Lancaster, sorry I’m such a dinosaur. Huge thanks to M’pops for that clip of the boys having such fun. Surely there’s nothing mor guaranteed to raise the spirits than a couple of kids screaming with laughter! Made my day.

    1. Hi Merusa, Mr 24a is very famous, though perhaps not so well known on your side of the Atlantic.

    2. Music is obviously subjective and different people are familiar with different genres and eras. But 10a is currently at number 1 in the singles chart with Shivers, having last week replaced Bad Habits, also by him. The latter was number 1 for 11 weeks — putting it in the list of top-10 longest-running number 1 singles of all time. He already had another song, 2017’s Shape of You, in that list, after it spent 13 consecutive weeks at number 1. (Top is still Frankie Laine, with I Believe)

      He’s arguably the only artist to have twice replaced themselves at number 1 in the UK charts, though John Lennon (him again!) did it once as part of the Beatles and again as a solo artist (albeit posthumously the second time).

      There was a week he had 9 songs in the UK top 10 (after which the rules were changed to prevent that happening again).

      His 4 most recent albums have all gone to number 1 and each spent over 100 weeks in the charts. He’s headlined the Glastonbury Festival. The Official Charts Company deemed him the ‘Official Number 1 Artist Of The Decade 2010–2019’.

      So 10a is possibly the least-obscure UK pop artist of the past few years! If the crossword is going to include any cultural references — and I think it makes it more varied and interesting when it does — then it’s inevitable that some solvers won’t have previously encountered some of them. But 10a surely qualifies as about as famous as anybody gets.

      1. Agreed. The size of these stadiums that Ed Sheeran will sell out next summer confirms his popularity

      2. I bow to your superior knowledge, and I also admit that my last pedestal stars were the Beatles! Yes, I’m that old. I’ve lived in the US for over 40 years now, I like Dolly Parton and Jimmy Buffett. My preference is to listen to more calming music, though I do listen to “jump-up” music on my iPod shuffle in the pool to get the old joints moving. J

  30. Way off wavelength as I was yesterday so I have my grumpy hat on. Never heard of the actor in 9a, who has? Can’t be bothered to mention the others. Favourite was 24a. Thanks to the setter and MP.

  31. Quite light for a Thursday, I thought; it sometimes goes like that.
    Thanks MP, I could not parse 9a, I have never come across the meaning of ‘spear carrier’ before.
    24a was a very good anagram.
    Thanks both, Ryder Cup tomorrow.

  32. After much hard labour I have finally finished with help for 14 and 24a. I was sure 14a was an anagram but just couldn’t see the obvious answer – by than my poor brain was totally exhausted . there were many misleading clues but thought 22d rather poor. I was determined to finish this but it was so much beyond my pay grade that it was not very enjoyable. 9a had to be but was explained by the hints. 12a had to be COTD for making me laugh whatever one may think of the first five letters.

    Thanks to a very clever setter and to MP for all the hard work producing the hints.

  33. Delightful and unusual I thought. Mr Lancaster hasn’t owned up so I would not attribute it to him. I thought the whole thing was very clever and fun. SE definitely the last in for me. 19 a 25a and 27a which became a favourite. No help needed but had to go through the alphabet for one or two. Other favourites 10 and 14a and 2 11 13a 20d. I am not surprised that 24 a is not known to some but amazed that 9a was not known. Very common name for a person with a walk-on non-speaking role. One step ahead from an extra! Thanks setter and hinter.

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