DT 29803 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29803

Daily Telegraph Cryptic 29803

Hints and tips by pommers

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Hola from the Vega Baja where we seem to be having a pretty mild autumn which is very pleasant.

Not much to say about the crossword except it’s just what I’ve come to look forward to on a Monday. Not too difficult but elegantly clued with two or three tricky bits to keep one on one’s toes.  Hope you all enjoyed it as much as I did.

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.


8a           Careless fellow caught out by chance (9)
HAPHAZARD: Take a word for a fellow and remove the C (Caught out).  Then follow (by) with a word which can mean to chance or wager.

10a         Put up beams in the auditorium (5)
RAISE:  This word meaning to put up sounds like (in the auditorium) a word for beams of light.

11a         Desert contains nutrients? Really! (3,8,4)
FOR GOODNESS SAKE:  Take a word meaning to desert or let go and insert a word for nutrients which can also mean piety or virtue.  When you’ve done that split it (3,8,4) to get a phrase meaning really.

12a         Model of a scene I love in play (7)
DIORAMA:  I from the clue and an O (love) inserted into a play.

13a         Famous cricketer, wicked guy bagging runs (7)
BRADMAN: Start with a word for wicked followed by a guy and insert (bagging) an R(uns) to get a famous Australian cricketer, arguably the greatest batsman of all time.

15a         I gawk at thresher at sea, a predatory creature (5,5,5)

19a         Face a fine promenade (7)
AFFRONT:  A from the clue followed by F(ine) and then another word for the promenade in a seaside resort.

22a         Came to study about revolutionary (7)
REACHED:  Came to as in arrived at is a word meaning to study, at university perhaps, placed around (about) crosswordland’s favourite revolutionary.

24a         Show follows sort of blue film (8,7)
MIDNIGHT EXPRESS:  Start with a shade of very dark blue and after it (follows) put a word meaning to show.

26a         Rogue failing to get in large country house (5)
VILLA:  Take a word for a rogue or bad guy and remove the IN from the end (failing to get IN).

27a         Criminal on the run casing Conservative Club (9)
TRUNCHEON:  Anagram (criminal) of ON THE RUN placed around (casing) a C(onservative) gives a policeman’s club.


1d           I must leave leading cook (4)
CHEF: Take a word for leading or most important and remove the I (I must leave).

2d           Trouble opening up in temple (6)
PAGODA:  The usual word for trouble and a word for an opening or space are all reversed (up in a down clue).

3d           Mix-up involving plastic card, so ready money required (4,4)
HARD CASH:  A word for a mix-up or stew has an anagram (plastic) of CARD inserted (involving).

4d           Braved winds heroically, say (6)
ADVERB:  Anagram (winds) of BRAVED.

5d           Force spring in lock in unlawful act (8)
TRESPASS:  A spring is inserted into (force . . . .in) another word for a lock of hair.

6d           Head of department is member to win over (6)
DISARM:  A charade of D (head of Department), the IS from the clue and a member.

7d           Gala pie, ultimately, after endless cheese (4)
FETE:  A Greek cheese without its last letter (endless) followed by an E (piE ultimately).

9d           End  use (7)
PURPOSE:  Double definition.

12d         Follow mother’s belief (5)
DOGMA:  A word meaning to follow or tail followed by your mother.

14d         Exposed, king in small valley, climbing (5)
NAKED:  A word for a small valley is reversed (climbing in a down clue) and has a K(ing) inserted (in).

16d         Very hot current round mouth of river (8)
TROPICAL:  Take a word meaning current or up-to-date and put it around (round) an R (mouth of River).

17d         Arrived and got ready to play outside right (6,2)
TURNED UP:  Take a phrase meaning you got your musical instrument ready to play and put it around (outside) an R(ight).

18d         A grant secured by the gymnast, maybe (7)
ATHLETE:  Start with the A from the clue.  After that you need the THE from the clue with a word meaning to grant or allow inserted (secured by).

20d         Female taking the part of male in mean con (6)
FIDDLE:  A word meaning mean or average has its M(ale) changed to an F(emale).

21d         Volunteers reach island, one in the south Pacific (6)
TAHITI:  The usual volunteers followed by a word which can mean reach, a target perhaps,  and finally an I(sland).

23d         Mountain cat almost catches a llama-like animal (6)
ALPACA:  Take a Swiss mountain and the CAT from the clue and remove the last letter (almost). Into that insert (catches) the A from the clue.

24d         Some criticism over turn (4)
MOVE:  A lurker hiding in (some) criticism over is your turn in a game of chess perhaps..

25d         Forward pass not penalised at first (4)
SEND:  Take a word meaning pass, as in I pass a lot of time in the pub, and remove the P (not Penalised at first).

I think my favourite today was 25d but 11 and 13 across are both worth a mention.

Quick crossword puns:

Top line:       WART     +     ABHORRED     =     WATERBOARD

Bottom line:     MUSTERED     +     CEDE     =     MUSTARD SEED

43 comments on “DT 29803

  1. I agree with pommers at **/**** with some satisfying clueing including my COTD the well disguised 4d. 18d was a close second. Thanks to pommers and the setter for a great start to the week.

  2. Like pommers, I enjoyed this very much. Some terrific clues; it was incredibly helpful to be able to solve the long ‘uns early on as that was the gateway to success for me. As usual with Campbell, no in-depth knowledge of Chinese dynasties was required. I wonder how Robert will get on with 13a!

    Today’s crossword soundtrack: Tears For Fears – The Tipping Point

    Thanks to Campbell and pommers.

    1. Am in a bit of a soul music phase at the moment T. Today’s listening – American Love Call by Durand Jones & the Indications & Soul Power by Curtis Harding. Both worth a listen to.

    2. Robert actually knew who 13a was (just as you know who Babe Ruth was, I imagine, Terence), and I liked the clue’s cleverness too.

      1. Sure do Robert – and Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippin… and Marcus Allen and Dan Marino and ….I could go on!

  3. A mist wnjoyable, quite light puzzle with some well-worded clues(*/****) I liked the three long across clues and the variety in having a cryptic definition for 11a, a charade for 18a a d a smashing anagram for15a. Other candidates for a mention were 8a and 4d, which was well misdirected. I do enjoy Campbell’s cluess so thanks for a jolly good puzzle and thanks to pommers for the hints.

  4. I thought this was a whole lot of fun, very cleverly and wittily clued all round as is usual from this setter.
    Just about every clue could have justifiably been on the podium but I’ve gone for the clever 4&25d with top spot going to the very amusing 11a.
    Many thanks to Campbell and Pommers.

    Another blue skies day here in South Devon.

  5. Another very satisfying Campbell challenge with which to start the week, although I felt it was not quite up to his usual standard. Good fun nonetheless, and a steady, even, progression from N to S, with 27a appropriately enough my LOI.

    Now listening to the great Moroder soundtrack from the film of 24a. Enjoyed the wit of 3d and 7d in partcular, with 4d my COTD my a clear margin.

    1.5* / 2.5*

    Many thanks to Campbell and to Pommers.

  6. This was a funny old one for me. I completed it quite quickly but the reasoning eluded me in say 8a, 23d and 25d. 11a was my COTD, very clever. Had my flu jab on Friday and find I have to have a shingles jab too – didn’t know they existed. Unfortunately I cannot see any blue in Pommers’ hints so perhaps he didn’t enjoy it as much as I did. Anyway thanks to him and the setter.

  7. A typically gentle & delightfully clued puzzle to kick the week off with. 11a was my pick from any number of fine clues. The bonus cryptic was also very enjoyable. Coincidentally I recently watched Alan Parker’s brutal 24a again for the first time in many years & certainly wouldn’t have it up there with his best work. A far cry from his wonderful series of Cinzano ads with Rossiter & Collins
    Thanks to Campbell & Pommers.

  8. Going along with the general mood so far, this was a light but fun start to the crosswording week – a perfect antidote to a very tough Rookie Corner puzzle. My rating is 1.5*/4*. The only thing that held me up was to check the spelling of the small valley in 14d. I have only ever known it as “dene”, but I see “dean” is a valid alternative.

    With plenty of choice for a favourite, 11a wins the day.

    Many thanks to Campbell and to pommers.

  9. Nice friendly start to the week. I had a lot of ticks, with 27a, 3d and 7d finally selected for the podium. Thanks to today’s setter and Pommers.

  10. 11a wins the Gold! It made me laugh and fall in love with the setter’s art all at once. Really (as in ‘truly’). And I really enjoyed this fine puzzle last night after jubilantly watching the Boston Red Sox (my team) come from behind in the bottom of the 13th inning and beat the T.B.Rays 6-4. It wasn’t one of the great ones like 13a who literally knocked the ball out of Fenway Park, but a backup catcher who joined the game late in the day. Right now, Christian Vazquez could be elected Mayor of Boston!

    Oh yes, the puzzle: As something of a grammarian, I also liked 4d and, as a film buff, I enjoyed 24a (for Brad Davis’s performance, though not the film very much). Kudos too to 8a and 13a. Thanks to pommers and Campbell. 2.5* / 4*

  11. Excellent, friendly start to the week. Hadn’t heard of that small valley before. 4d is my pick of the bunch.

  12. Pretty straightforward Monday fare. I liked 13a and 24a but my favourite has to be 11a. **/*** Thanks to all.

  13. I got on well with this despite needing a couple of hints to get me across the line. Very enjoyable for a Monday with quite a good satisfaction factor. My favourite and COTD is 13a.

    Many thanks to Campbell for the workout and to pommers for the hints.

  14. As ever Campbell delivers another Monday masterpiece. Good clueing nothing too esoteric, no wierd GK required and some that bring a smile when the penny gently drops.
    Go with 11a as COTD.
    Thanks to Mr C & pommers for the hints, blue or no blue!

  15. 11a for me too. Very inventive, which sums up my feelings about most of this excellent and thoroughly enjoyable puzzle. Our Monday setter on top form, and much appreciated.

    Thanks Campbell and pommers.

  16. The careless fellow haunted me for a while but caught him with the help of a couple of checkers.
    Top two here were 11a & 3d.

    Thanks to Campbell and to pommers for the review – enjoy your mild weather, you deserve something of a break!

  17. A nicely gentle kick-off to the cruciverbal week. Always encouraging when first across clue goes straight in as today which delivered a goody to join 11a and 17d for special mentions. Surely 9d is only just cryptic. Thank you Campbell and pommers.

  18. It’s Monday. That explains it then. An enjoyable stroll through some very nice clues. Thank you Campbell. Thanks also to pommers for the blog. If this weeks back pagers are as good as last weeks we are in for a treat. The Toughie Setter schedule looks good too. Dada, Logman (No Jay back pager on Wednesday) Micawber and Artix. Bring it on

  19. A nice friendly Monday puzzle, which came as something of a relief after the almost impossible Rookie

    Thanks to Campbell and Pommers

    1. Intrigued by your Rookie Corner comment I attempted the same breakfast test (only mine was 2 normal size Shredded Wheat & coffee) – I got the 3 linked clues & nowt else. 10 mins later, a further 4 & then common sense kicked in & gave up.

  20. With some ‘self-inflicted injury’ in the SW, misspelling a bung-in of the first word of a show, not a film, in 24a, I made heavy weather of this. Oh dear.

    Standout favourite 11a.

    Thanks to Campbell and pommers.

    1. Might that be that skating musical that nearly drove me out of Manhattan when I saw it?

      1. Yes it was, and, of course, the first word is 9 letters not the 8 required by the clue so I did make a complete mess of it.

  21. I was surprised at how long it took me to solve more than 2 clues. I thought I was going to have to throw in the towel but I persevered and, finally, everything fell into place. Didn’t feel like Monday at all.
    Had my flu jab on Saturday. As in previous years, no side effects at all. I was lucky as the surgery’s supply ran out shortly afterwards. Kent is not doing very well at the moment but at least we got fuel yesterday.
    My COTD is 15a as I had to steel myself to look at pictures of “Jaws” on the internet . Didn’t do my nerves any good at all!

  22. Great puzzle clever misdirection good Monday afternoon fun with 16d as my cotd thank you Campbell and Pommers

  23. Found this a puzzle of two halves, top went in quickly with a slow down in the bottom half. 2.5*/**** for today. Some wonderful clues include 11a, 24a, 27a, 5d & 12d with 11a winner but 27a is a close second.

    Thanks to Campbell and pommers

  24. Not the most difficult provided you stuck to the definition and ignored the often bizarre wordplay as in 24a.
    All in all a bit weird.
    Thx to all

  25. almost completed early this morning when had to leave off for a long day starting with a flu jab. I had 2d but just couldn’t parse it for some reason. 9d jumped out for me when I returned to it. Fine puzzle. I only circled one favourite 16d for the surface reading. I have decided that it is the ones I complete quickly that don’t have a lot of circles. Thank you Campbell and Pommers.

  26. 2*/5*…..
    liked 3D “Mix-up involving plastic card, so ready money required (4,4)”

  27. Trying to get to grips with 22 across. Got the answer but can’t see where the study comes in.

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