DT 29798 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29798

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29798

Hints and tips by Mr K

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BD Rating  -  Difficulty ** Enjoyment ****

Hello, everyone.  After the first few clues today I thought I was in for a fast solve and an early night, but then things got a lot more interesting and entertaining further down the grid.  Great surface readings throughout, too. Most of the current group of Tuesday compilers don't comment here, which is a shame, but I hope that today's setter at least visits the blog and reads the comments. I'm sure they'll be very positive. 

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    Elderly wife stuck in vehicle, creating conflict (4,3)
COLD WAR:  Elderly or aged and the genealogical abbreviation for wife are together inserted in (stuck in) a road vehicle 

5a    Shorten a game (7)
ABRIDGE:  A from the clue with a card game

Yes, it's a picture of A _______

9a    Try penetrating cunning jargon (5)
ARGOT:  A try or attempt inserted in (penetrating) a noun synonym of cunning 

10a   Harry sure loves US! (9)
OURSELVES:  An anagram (harry) of SURE LOVES. The capitalisation of US is just misdirection, perhaps intended to make the solver think of the Sussexes

11a   Children captured by that mean, horrible enforcer (7,3)
HATCHET MAN:  An abbreviation for children is contained by (captured by) an anagram (horrible) of THAT MEAN 

The girl version of the answer

12a   Prison  disturbance (4)
STIR:  Double definition, the first one being slang 

14a   Change to a signorina's make-up (12)
ORGANISATION:  An anagram (change) of TO A SIGNORINA 

18a   Moving into Africa -- it gets approval (12)
RATIFICATION:  An anagram (moving) of INTO AFRICA IT 

21a   Fallen tree trunk around northern pine (4)
LONG:  A fallen tree trunk is wrapped around the single letter for northern. Picture hint: the cat is very _____ 

The cat is very _______

22a   I'm flipping irritated after one male entered the country (10)
IMMIGRATED:  After the Roman one and the single letter for male comes the reversal (flipping) of I'M from the clue and a synonym of irritated 

25a   Prevent everyone going east of woodland (9)
FORESTALL:  Another word for everyone following (going east of, in an across clue) a woodland 

26a   Made bedspread black for queen (5)
BUILT:  In a padded bedspread replace the chess abbreviation for queen with the pencil abbreviation for black (black for queen) 

Black bedspread with a queen (cat)

27a   One whinges a lot about railway, darling (7)
CRYBABY:  Link together the single letter Latin abbreviation for about or roughly, an abbreviation for railway, and an affectionate synonym of darling 

28a   Animal paddled here by the sound of it (3,4)
ROE DEER:  This animal is a homophone (by the sound of it) of a phrase that could mean "paddled here" 



1d    Two short blokes dance (3-3)
CHA-CHA:  Two copies of another word for bloke minus his last letter (short

2d    Smooth section of recital, e.g. at opera (6)
LEGATO:  The answer is hidden as a section of the remainder of the clue 

3d    What sorceress might do with burning ship (10)
WITCHCRAFT:  Concatenate the single letter for "with", a burning you might want to scratch, and a synonym of ship

 The order given by Spanish commander Cortés to his men upon reaching Mexico in 1519, to ensure that there was no turning back

4d    River also rising, trapping small perch (5)
ROOST:  The map abbreviation for river is followed by the reversal (rising, in a down clue) of a synonym of also containing (trapping) the clothing abbreviation for small 

A perch-shaped cushion

5d    A wobbly Israeli on top of trapeze? (9)
AERIALIST:  The wordplay is the fusion of A from the clue, an anagram (wobbly) of ISRAELI, and the first letter of (top of) TRAPEZE. The entire clue can serve as the definition 

6d    Regretted vulgar broadcast (4)
RUED:  A homophone (broadcast) of vulgar or coarse

7d    Bird and dog unite (8)
DOVETAIL:  A peaceful bird with dog or follow 

8d    Lay down each narcissus initially on tomb (8)
ENSHRINE:  The initial letters of EACH and NARCISSUS are followed by the tomb of a saint or other holy person 

13d   Pleasing story about a very old upper-class Republican (10)
FAVOURABLE:  A story with a message is wrapped about the letter combination formed by joining A from the clue, the abbreviation for very, the abbreviation for old, the single letter signifying upper-class, and the single letter for Republican 

15d   Escort agency below adult clubs (9)
ACCOMPANY:  An agency or business comes after (below, in a down clue) both the single letter for adult and the playing card abbreviation for clubs 

16d   Rich for life with no European in charge (8)
PROLIFIC:  Assemble "for" or "in favour of", LIFE from clue minus the single letter for European (with no European), and the abbreviation for in charge 

17d   Pop singer risqué -- not cold fish (8)
STINGRAY:  After a singer whose career took off in the late 70s put a synonym of risqué from which the single letter for cold has been deleted (not cold) 

19d   Street with widespread discord (6)
STRIFE:  The abbreviation for street with widespread or abundant 

20d   Regularly sends in rubbish, upsetting my boss (6)
EDITOR:  Follow alternate letters (regularly) of SENDS IN with the reversal (upsetting, in a down clue) of an informal word for rubbish. The definition has our setter identifying his boss 

23d   Ne'er-do-well I had left with the Queen (5)
IDLER:  Cement together the contraction of "I had", the single letter for left, and the Latin abbreviation for Queen Elizabeth 

24d   Part of Russia is actually up here? (4)
ASIA:  The wordplay directs us to an answer hidden in the reversal of (part of … up, in a down clue) RUSSIA IS ACTUALLY. The entire clue can serve as the definition 


Thanks to today’s setter. Lots of great clues in this puzzle made it hard to pick a favourite. But if I had to, I'd go for 20d. Which clues did you like best?

The Quick Crossword pun:  CAN + NUN + BAWL = CANNONBALL

71 comments on “DT 29798

  1. Really enjoyable. A puzzle of two halves for me, the top basically wrote itself in, but the bottom was somewhat trickier and more fun.
    My ticks (all in the South) have gone to 26&27a plus 20d with top spot going to the very smooth and clever 16d. Great stuff.
    Many thanks to the setter and to Mr K for the top notch entertainment.

  2. 2*/4*. Excellent! This was not too tricky but very enjoyable with the magnificent 10a the outstanding clue.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Mr. K.

  3. A bit of a curate’s egg for me (2*/2.5*). Cthere were a lot of straightforward clues but some of the more difficult clues seemed to be based on rather odd synonyms (8d, is a shrine the same as a tomb; 3d is an itch the same as burning ; 14a, is make up the same as organisation?). It’s probably all in the BRB but it stretched synonyms do detract from my enjoyment of a puzzle. Thanks to the compiler for their efforts and to Mr K for the hints and cat pictures.

  4. Top draw cluing today and concur with Mr K on the great surfaces, going for a **/****.
    Finished in the SE corner ,D’oh moment with 26a enabling the parsing of 20d.
    Difficult to pick favourites, liked 27a and 11a which led me nicely astray, I thought it was to do with the dreaded ‘child catcher’ from the musical.
    Thanks to setter and Mr K for the picks- excellent pun too.

  5. Good fun whilst it lasted. 26a was my favourite. The toughie is also quite approachable today. Thanks to both setter and Mr K.

  6. I also slowed down in the bottom half. I can see where CC is coming from with some of the synonyms, especially 14a, but I suppose it’s all fair game in crossword land. **/*** Favourite 10a. Thanks to all. The toughie was easier than the cryptic for me today.

  7. Fully agree with Stephen. I thought the south quite tricky. I was pushed into *** time by the time I stumbled over the line with my 26a bung in which I failed to parse despite thinking quilt. I live in hope that sooner or later I’ll get a grip on these bloody chess abbreviations/references. Top 3 in order for me today were the super surface at 10a, the neat homophone at 28a & 13d.
    Thanks to the setter & to Mr K
    Ps Having read Chris Lancaster’s How long is too long? puzzles newsletter email just before starting the Toughie it was more than a little ironic that I finished it in 1.5* time, less than half the time of my previous Toughie fastest finish. Guess it must be a Chalicea puzzle & I’d say it was far easier than the back pager.

    1. 9a was a new one for me but got it from the clueing. I thought **/*** and most enjoyable. My favourite clue was 3d which I thought cunning. Thanks to MrK and the setter.

  8. A very enjoyable solve, and as others have mentioned trickier bottom half than top. Took a while for the parsing penny to drop for 26a. I’ll make that my joint favourite along with 10a.
    Now let’s see if the Toughie is as easy as a couple of earlier commentators have said. Wish me luck!

    1. Relatively I found the Toughie more straightforward than this Ray.
      I am by no means of Toughie ability so not often I have a completely unaided Toughie solve but managed it today.

  9. I will go with the flow and nominate the brilliant 10a as my favourite from a very good selection of clever and inventive clues. Under normal circumstances 26a would have taken top spot, but 10a is in a class of its own. The grid was a perfect example of an uncomplicated puzzle that was graced with excellent surfaces, creating a most enjoyable solve.

    Take a bow, setter, and thanks to Mr K for his usual comprehensive blog.

  10. Thoroughly enjoyable, nicely clued.
    10a brilliant.
    Got there in ** time.
    Many thanks to the setter and to Mr.K, great illustrations.

  11. The consistency of Tuesday puzzles continues – **/****.

    Candidates for favourite – 5a, 26a, and 7d – and the winner is 7d.

    Thanks to the setter and Mr K.

    Definitely a Floughie second puzzle and, as Huntsman commented and for me, somewhat less of a challenge than this back pager.

  12. Loved your illustration for 21ac Mr K. We found this a speedy and enjoyable solve. The ‘dubious’ homophone in 28ac and the ‘burning’ in 3d held us up briefly. Indeed 10ac is a star clue.

  13. No great problems except for 3D, a very poor clue imho. Since when did a itch burn?
    Loved 10a and 25a, very clever clues. On the whole I found it all a bit too wordy for my taste, one of those where it simpler to find the definition and then work out the wordplay.
    Thx to all.

    1. Itch and burn when used as verbs in the sense of to long for are perfect synonyms Brian.
      “He was itching/burning for a fight”.

    2. Hello, Brian. Yes, “burning” generally implies more intensity than “itching” but, as Stephen L and Huntsman demonstrate, they’re interchangeable enough for crosswordland.

  14. Very nice 😃 ***/**** Favourites 10 & 28 across and 6 down 👍 Thanks to Mr K and to the Setter 🤗

  15. 10a is indeed a goodie in a splendid crossword but I can’t put it in the pantheon as the surface read isn’t quite there.

    It needs the word ‘the’ to make it a belter because on its own it’s an adjective.

  16. Most enjoyable Tuesday fare in which I had to piece together the unknown 9a but didn’t encounter any other problems.
    Podium places handed out to 1,10&25a plus 16d.

    Thanks to our setter and especially to Mr K for his review and always entertaining illustrations. The 5a pic is mind-blowing and I loved the sign accompanying 27a.

      1. Thanks — I don’t think we’ll be in the area anytime soon, but that certainly looks fun.

  17. For me, the most enjoyable crossword I’ve seen for ages. No irritating abbreviations or slang, albeit 9a was new to me. Thought 8d was stretching the synonym a bit but more than compensated by 10a, which was just genius. Special mention, too, for the pure Basil Brush moment at 28a; made I laugh out loud! Ta very, the setter.

  18. Finished in *** time, but only because 22a remained unsolved for quite a while. It’s not a word that gets used much; people ’emigrated’ and became ‘immigrants’, rather than ‘immigrated’ and become ’emigrants’. Despite the two meaning exactly the same thing.

    Many thanks to the setter and Mr K.

  19. Like others, the top half fell into place so quickly that even though the bottom was a bit of a struggle all was done in ** time. Overall a lot of fun, ****.
    COTD 10a with 26a a close second.
    Thaks to setter and Mr K.

  20. Unlike others, I found this a struggle and needed to resort to Mr. G. occasionally. Despite that, it was most enjoyable although I had no real favourites.

    Many thanks to the setter for the challenge and to Mr. K for the much needed hints.

    I discovered an Asian Hornet in the garden yesterday. A beautiful animal but, unfortunately, it attacks our Honey Bees.

  21. A very enjoyable steady solve. I didn’t know 9a. Last one in 26a and definitely COTD 10a. I thought the clues were very fair and the perfect level for me. Thanks to the setter and Mr K.

  22. Flying visit from me. Great puzzle – particularly enjoyed 10a.

    Thanks to the setter and The Celebrated Mr K.

  23. Eventually finished this but did not enjoy it at all. Maybe because I was in a bad mood having to move my car in Holt 3 times whilst having an eye test to avoid the thoroughly obnoxious traffic warden. I ask you you, who can do their shopping in 20 minutes? Anyway thanks for the cat pictures.

  24. I agree that the first half just fell into place and I thought we would be done before we’d finished eating. But then we were slowed down in the south – and by having to dash out and rescue the washing off the line. The weather ap did not forecast rain! 10a was my favourite- do they know that we are all slightly embarrassed by them? Stars by 25,26 and 28a and 16d. Thanks to the setter for the workout and to Mr K for the explanations and the long white cat, could it be trained to act as a draught stopper?

        1. For such publicity shy folk, they seem to be in thee news an awful lot. My mother always warned me about ‘wearing my welcome out’.

  25. Fun while it lasted, some good lurkers and amusing homophones, nothing overly challenging. Generally great surfaces, a pleasure to read.

    Hon. mentions to 10a and 28a, COTD to 7d.

    1.5* / 2.5*

    Many thanks to the setter and to Mr K.

  26. Lovely puzzle today which I solved alone and unaided.
    Did, however, spend some time saying ‘forest all’ to myself before the penny dropped.

    Thanks to the setter and to Mr K.

    Very wet here now…and cold. Heating cranked up and indoor games today. Managed to offload some more apples to the roofer and his apprentice who bravely fixed one of our slates in the rain. Hats off to them for even coming out today.

  27. Sailed through the North then a bit choppier in the South, particularly Southeast. Anagrams and lurkers reduced the difficulty level.
    10a was early leader but then 26a and 28a joined as co-Favs. IMHO supposed synonym for agency in 15d is rather far-fetched. Altogether an enjoyable solve. Thank you incognito setter and MrK.

    1. 15d. I was just wondering, isn’t an agency a c*****y, business, firm or organisation that provides a particular service on behalf of another business or person?

  28. 2/4. Like Mr K, I started like a rocket but slowed considerably as I went down the grid. Favourites were 10&25a. Very enjoyable solve and review. Thanks to our setter and Mr K.

  29. A nice Tuesday puzzle. New word for me in 9a. **/**** for today.
    Favourites include1a, 5a, 28a & 3d with winner 28a

    Thanks to setter and Mr K

  30. Lovely puzzle, fast finish but not as fast as the Toughie’s. 10a and 16d my co-winners for the day. Thanks to Mr K and today’s setter. ** / ****

  31. I see that the list of clues nominated as favourites today is long. That’s a sure sign of an excellent puzzle. I hope our setter sees that, and perhaps takes a bow here.

    1. Chalicea has sort of outed Chris Lancaster on MP’s blog as the compiler of today’s puzzle, and noted that the Toughies now have a separate editor.

  32. Like several others, found top half easier to solve than the bottom half, which took longer. Didn’t help myself by spelling 5d wrongly at first, and not knowing the 9a word. And of course I fell into the trap of trying to think of a country for 22a. But another enjoyable puzzle so very happy. Nothing obtuse or requiring a deep GK dive. Thanks to setter and Mr K.

  33. I started the puzzle and thought ‘i like this, it’s Chalicea” The only setter I can recognise. Then when I had finished and came to look at the blog. I realised it couldn’t be as she had set the Toughie. Luckily I didn’t read the hints but went straight to the comments. Then I realised that I hadn’t a clue what people were talking about. You’ve guessed it I’ve done the Toughie. Now for this crossword.

  34. Very enjoyable although I needed my husband to solve 10a and electrons for 8d (I wouldn’t call a shrine a tomb…). Thanks to Mr K for the explanations (still struggling with rode=paddling?!) and the setter. **/****

  35. Like most here, I sailed through the north, solving 11a immediately with “job” as the second word without a backward glance, didn’t see the anagram. Yes, I spelt 5d with an “o”, all right, so what, I’m that stupid. I never did get 26a, I thought of the answer but failed on the why. That was very clever. I’ve got scratchings all over my paper trying to solve the 14a anagram, eventually using e-help.
    I liked lots, a most entertaining offering, 20d was memorable, but fave is 7d.
    Thank you setter, I wish I knew who you were. Tuesdays are always fun for Mr. K’s pics and cats, love them.
    I learnt a new word today, “petrichor”! Who hasn’t gone outside to sniff the air after rainfall, especially after a dry spell when the earth goes schlurp as it sucks up the rain.

    1. Thanks, Merusa, always nice to hear that the pics are appreciated. Petrichor is a great word. I checked my dictionaries, and found that while it isn’t in the BRB, it does appear in Collins and the ODE. So perhaps we’ll meet it here one day.

  36. Thoroughly enjoyed this today. The SE corner slowed me down a bit, but that only added to the enjoyment.

    Big moment of mirth when I solved 28a. 😀


    Thanks to all.

    1. 10a seemed obvious to me, but thought 26a was brilliant….I agree with Chriscross re stretched synonyms….

  37. …..also very happy that nothing obscure or too difficult to spell (think Irish PM for instance)….

  38. A brilliant crossword- with lots of favourite clues – 25a, 26a and 28a included. Top spot in a crowded podium goes to the utterly brilliant 10a which made me smile out loud.

  39. Haven’t read all the comments but had to dash off and play darts, tough job but someone has to do it. After an iffy start I managed to win more games than I lost. Favourite was 10a. Thanks to the setter and Mr. K.

  40. Thanks to everyone who commented today. Thanks also to our compiler, who may or may not be Chris Lancaster.

    I wonder if 10a will win clue of the week in the Puzzles Newsletter.

  41. Quick and enjoyable solve late last night. Rather tired after Ferry and train home from Isle of Man. What a place – in some respects more foreign than foreign but in others much more English than England. SE corner took the longest. Agree 10a best clue. As at a loose end this am I did Chalicea’s toughie. Delightful but an even quicker solve than this one.

  42. Finished unaided, although some were parsed after the answer was known. How can one choose a COTD from such an excellent set of clues, although maybe 10a takes the biscuit for various reasons. Harry as an anagram indicator made me laugh. Thanks to setter and to Mr. K whose hints I will now read.

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