DT 29804 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29804

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29804

Hints and tips by Mr K

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BD Rating  -  Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

Hello, everyone. Today we have a solid and pleasant puzzle. Just what you expect on a Tuesday.

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    Most nasty blokes circling area in front of estate (7)
MEANEST:  Some blokes containing (circling) the single letter for area are placed before (in front of) the address abbreviation for estate 

5a    Notable person from Belgrade cut debts? (7)
SERIOUS:  All but the last letter (cut) of a person from Belgrade (or anywhere else in the country containing it) is followed by some debts that might be scribbled on a bit of paper 

9a    Hawk grabbing river fish (5)
TROUT:  Hawk tickets, perhaps, containing (grabbing) the map abbreviation for river 

10a   Authentic old Spanish coin -- is it brought back with cents? (9)
REALISTIC:  Link together an old Spanish coin, IS from the clue, the reversal (brought back) of IT from the clue, and the single letter for cents 

11a   New Tory visit embraces upper-class flair (10)
VIRTUOSITY:  An anagram (new) of TORY VISIT contains (embraces) the single letter for upper-class 

12a   Mark slinging every other character out (4)
SIGN:  Alternate letters (… every other character out) of SLINGING 

14a   Wife leaving when cot light's off? Sleeper may want these on (12)
NIGHTCLOTHES:  An anagram (off) of WHEN COT LIGHT'S minus the genealogical abbreviation for wife (wife leaving

18a   Spies man with lash developing flogging skill (12)
SALESMANSHIP:  An anagram (developing) of SPIES MAN LASH 

21a   Rally vehicle going west then east (4)
RACE:  The reversal (going west, in an across clue) of a road vehicle is followed by the single letter for east 

22a   Steady partner for person in the same club (10)
STABLEMATE:  Join synonyms of steady and of partner 

25a   African plain almost peaceful -- get idealistic at first (9)
SERENGETI:  Chain together all but the last letter (almost) of peaceful or calm, GET from the clue, and the first letter of IDEALISTIC 

26a   Scoundrel taking head off freshwater mammal (5)
OTTER:  A scoundrel minus his first letter (taking head off

27a   Evident eating a cold ham might do this (7)
OVERACT:  Evident or public containing (eating) both A from the clue and the single letter for cold 

28a   One puts gear on  sideboard (7)
DRESSER:  Another name for a sideboard also describes someone putting their gear or clobber on 



1d    Reason I vote differently after Macron's summit (6)
MOTIVE:  An anagram (differently) of I VOTE comes after the first letter (… 's summit) of MACRON 

2d    Sailor with paddle departs on a boat? (6)
ABOARD:  One of the usual abbreviated sailors with a paddle and a timetable abbreviation for departs 

3d    Fan his aunt set spinning (10)
ENTHUSIAST:  An anagram (spinning) of HIS AUNT SET 

4d    Spells  words (5)
TERMS:  Double definition. Longish spells at school, perhaps 

5d    Catches up with a chapter on American slave (9)
SPARTACUS:  Concatenate the reversal (up, in a down clue) of catches or nets, A from the clue, an abbreviation for chapter, and an abbreviation for American 

6d    Weak female leaves bar (4)
RAIL:  The single letter for female leaves another word for weak 

7d    Completely incorrect? Correct! (8)
OUTRIGHT:  A synonym of incorrect (as in the count was incorrect by five votes) is followed by another word for correct 

8d    Smooth-tongued learner ignored head's complaint (8)
SICKNESS:  The letter indicating a learner driver is deleted (ignored) in an adjective than could mean smooth-tongued, and that's followed by a head or cape

13d   Telephone some hotel instead of small caravan (6,4)
MOBILE HOME:  A telephone that fits in your pocket is followed by SOME from the clue with the letter represented in the NATO phonetic alphabet by hotel written instead of the clothing abbreviation for small 

15d   The man on craft considered sincere (9)
HEARTFELT:  Glue together a pronoun meaning "the man", craft or skill, and a synonym of considered

16d   English Signal Officer initially concealing urge for drink (8)
ESPRESSO:  The initial letters of ENGLISH SIGNAL OFFICER are containing (concealing) urge or strongly encourage 

17d   Adult ordered a claret according to individually priced menu (1,2,5)
A LA CARTE:  The single letter for adult with an anagram (ordered) of A CLARET 

19d   Insect -- chap's holding it up (6)
MANTIS:  A chap with his S from the clue containing (holding) the reversal (up, in a down clue) of IT from the clue 

A New Zealand weta

20d   Tense mistake creating fear (6)
TERROR:  The grammatical abbreviation for tense with a mistake or slip 

23d   One left enthralled by friend's physique (5)
BUILD:  The Roman one and the single letter for left are together contained by (enthralled by) a friend in America 

24d   Spain callously captures member of ancient empire (4)
INCA:  The start of the clue hides (captures) the answer 


Thanks to today’s setter. Top clues for me included 18a, 27a, 1d, and 23d. Which ones did you like best?

The Quick Crossword pun:  COP + ERR + MINDS = COPPER MINES

61 comments on “DT 29804

  1. I felt this was more like a Monday offering. More than half of the across clues answered on the first pass, everything filled in by the second pass. All over in * time. Must be a wavelength thing.

    COTD was 10a for me.

    Thanks to the setter and Mr. K.

  2. 2*/3*. This was light and enjoyable although I do think the American friend in 23d should have been indicated as such (as Mr K has done in his review 👍).

    My top two were 18a & 27a.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Mr K.

  3. A swift and amusing coffee-break challenge, a gentle prod to the snoozing grey cells. Ticks to 1d (broad smile), 5d and 24a (lovely combined smooth reading and solution), with COTD to 18a, a similarly good surface and solution.

    RD – the term for friend in 23d seems to be very widespread down here in the south west, at least (I don’t know about in the northern reaches of these isles, that area between Taunton and Inverness) and whether abbreviated or in full I’m not sure it would be regarded as an American term any longer.

    1.5* / 3*

    Thank you to the Setter, and to Mr K.

    1. Mustafa, in my experience – “buddy” yes; “bud” no. Undoubtedly it’s coming and, like King Canute, I am powerless to stop the tide. :wink:

    2. I agree, M. You often hear things like “Watch yer back, bud” in the construction industry and have done for a few decades.

  4. A pleasingly straightforward and enjoyable puzzle with no obscurities or detailed GK to hinder what was a swift solve. I haven’t looked at the Toughie yet but hope that is more testing. 18a has a great surface and was my COTD.

    Thanks to both Misters involved in today’s production.

    1. As Huntsman indicates below, Dada less ‘Tough’ than usual. I would have liked for it to have been a Sunday PP.

  5. Lovely puzzle today with 18a being my COTD. We get our meat from a farm shop in Briston where they have their own Aberdeen Angus herd. Have always noticed a small sign to Norfolk Sea Larder which is down a little track and decided last week to have a peek. Fantastic crabs, lobster and huge array of fresh fish at half the price you pay nearer the coast. My crab was delish. I divert: Thanks to the setter and to Mr K for pictures. I had a go at Rookie Corner yesterday and managed just 4!

  6. Not quite as swift a completion as Malcolm but I’d have been in his slipstream. Perfectly pleasant but nothing to write home about. 5d was my favourite & also liked the surface reads at 11&18a. Dada’s Toughie is also pretty accessible & I’m not sure it’s any harder than many of his Sunday puzzles.
    Thanks to the setter & to Mr K.

  7. Somewhat Jay-like, but I doubt that it is he, as I got a very good start by going Up the Downs – 2*/3.5*.

    For 5a, it did take me a while to remember which country Belgrade is ‘in’ these days but I got ‘there’ without having to look it up.

    Candidates for favourite – the aforementioned 5a, 27a, and 19d – and the winner is 27a.

    Thanks to the setter and Mr K.

  8. As Mr K said, this was a solid Tuesday puzzle. 18&22a probably top the leader board here.

    Thanks to our setter and to the afore-mentioned Mr K for the review – the feline giving it his all in the hidden pic for 27a made me laugh!

  9. Kids’ play today thanks largely to a plethora of anagrams. Smoothest run was in the North. I liked 5d. Perhaps 23d friend becomes anglophile by the addition of ‘dy’ (have only just read your comment RD – great minds think alike or is it fools seldom differ?!). Thank you Mysteron and MrK.

  10. Apparently, new starters at primary school have older children as ” buddies” to help them out. I doubt that is unique to south Kent and I have no idea when primary school children all became American but there we are! Lovely little puzzle, No hold ups anywhere although I did think the real was Brazilian currency and, therefore, of Portuguese origins. What do I know. Favourite 5a. **/*** Thanks to all.

    1. I first came across the buddy system I’m primary schools where a ‘ buddy bench’ was a bench a child could sit at during playtimes when he or she wanted somebody to play with. Other children were encouraged to befriend those on the buddy bench or invite them into their games. What a lovely idea and a fine alliterative name

      1. My primary school headmaster introduced the buddy system at my primary school in the 1940s. And he actually called it the buddy system.

        1. Goodness. At my primary school you learned how to fight fairly sharpish or suffer the consequences!

  11. I concur with previous comments, light but enjoyable, I don’t think I’ve done many quicker.
    Top three for me were 27a plus 7&23d.
    Many thanks to the setter and to Mr K for the stroll in the South Devon sun.

  12. Agree with Mr K on a **/***, clear cluing throughout with no obscurities, liked 22a, a few old chestnuts-how often do 25a and 26 appear?
    Anyway enjoyed the solve,thanks to Mr K for the pics.
    Just completed the DADA Toughie, as Huntsman says-pretty accessible and lots of fun,

  13. A double dose of gentility today. Possibly the easiest pairing of a back pager and a toughie ever. Ta to all concerned

    1. “Traps” upwards is “spart” AC (a chapter) US is American and Spartacus was a slave. :grin:

    2. I couldn’t parse Spartacus either because I was looking for a synonym for catches up rather than a synonym for catches backwards!

  14. A pleasant solve with only a couple requiring the hints. I worked through it steadily without encountering anything that stood out so no COTD from me.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Mr K for the hints and kitties.

  15. Straightforward if somewhat pedestrian Tuesday offering. Pleasant with nothing to cause (much) offence or get excited about.
    The long angrams helped progress & 18a gets my COTD.
    Thanks to setter & Mr K for the usual informative review.

  16. Enjoyed this puzzle which was in my comfort zone for a change. Like others, found 23d’s “friend” uncomfortable and would have preferred an alternative meaning to have been clued. 1.5*/****

  17. Many of the clues were pretty straightforward but there were some odd synonyms such as 5a and 22a ( is serious the same as notable and what do stablemates have to do with a club unless it’s a boxing club perhaps?) . 25a and 5d were the best of a fairly ordinary set of clues. So it’s 2*/2.5* for me. Thanks to Mr K for the hints and the cat pictures and to the compiler.

    1. Think “homme serieux” in French. The opposite is quite an insult in that language so it’s a fair synonym to me.

  18. Nice puzzle with elegant clues and no silly words. Great way to start the crossword week.
    No favourites, all good.
    Thx to all

  19. Completed in * time whilst picnicking at Treen campsite between climbs. Very enjoyable and was right on my wavelength. 7d was my favourite. Thanks to MrK and the setter for *** enjoyment.

  20. Lovely crossword, right at my level. My level stalled at ‘beginner’ and has not evolved, but it’s the enjoyment that counts.

    I am so late today. I woke at 7:00am, fell back to sleep and then it was 11:55am. I even missed the dustbin fellows and their noisy cart.

    Today’s crossword soundtrack: Brandi Carlile – In These Silent Days

    Thanks to the setter and The Celebrated Mr K

  21. Another quick solve. No holdups save for parsing the slave and checking how to spell the African plain. A lot here seemed very familiar. Favourites 10 22 27 and 28a and 15d. Thank you setter and Mr K.

  22. A gentle challenge but very enjoyable.
    Sorry if I sound like a pedant, but otters are not exclusively freshwater mammals. This time last year, the current Mrs Shabbo and I were sitting on rocks in the SE corner of Mull watching a family of otters play in the sea, with white tailed eagles flying overhead and red deer stags roaring on the hillside. Total bliss!

    1. I had to chuckle at your term: “the current Mrs”, which sort of implies (hopefully jokingly) a sense of impermanence. It reminded me of my old mate Paul Mitchell, a typical Yorkshireman with a very dry sense of humour, who used to wind-up his betrothed in the pub by saying things like: “Jane has agreed to become my first wife.” :-)

    2. Thank you, Shabbo, I’ve watched sea otters on several occasions but forgot to make a point of saying so when I left my comment this morning.

  23. Straightforward and enjoyable 😃 **/*** Favourites 22a, 8 & 16d 👍 Thanks to Mr K and to the Compiler 🤗

  24. Very late today after another very late evening of baseball and puzzles, both enjoyable. On the crossword front, two quick finishes; on the baseball, another joy-filled, bottom-of-the-9th walkoff win by the Red Sox, who now advance to the divisional title in the American League. No particular favourites from the backpager, just a pleasant solve, though I was a bit surprised to see 5d there. Thanks to Mr K and today’s setter. ** / ***

  25. A relatively easy and straightforward puzzle with NE last area completed. 2.5*/*** today.
    Candidates for favourites 5a, 9a, 13d & 17d with winner 13d

    Thanks to setter and Mr K

  26. Help! Can anyone tell me, in words of one syllable, how to put my iPad keyboard back together? I’ve got half in miniature on the left and half on the right and I have no idea what I’ve done.

      1. Thank you, M’pops and BusyLizzie, worked a treat! Such a relief, I feel so hopeless when things like that happen? I think what the hell did I do? Does that mean I’ve ruined my iPad forever? Panic over, love you both.

    1. Yes MP is right. Try to type a comment so the keyboard pops up, then press on the keyboard icon in the bottom right corner. You should get an option to unsplit.

  27. Not sure I would rate this as “kids play” today, but it was enjoyable. Just got held up by a few towards the end, mostly because I was barking up the wrong tree. At least I know how to spell 25a across, as it has come up several times in recent cryptic and GK puzzles. Can’t say I ever heard “bud” or “buddy” until we moved across the pond. It’s one of those words like “honey” that refuse to come out of my mouth 😊. Thanks to setter and Mr K.

  28. My fastest solve ever but enjoyable nevertheless. Favourite was 5d. Thanks to the setter and Mr. K.

  29. 2/3. Relatively smooth completion with a short hold up in the NE quadrant mostly trying to remember where Belgrade is. No standouts today but a pleasant mix of clues. Thanks to the setter and Mr K.

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