DT 29807 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29807

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29807

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Good morning from South Staffs on a damp, grey morning. Covid booster jab scheduled for this morning.

I found this puzzle reasonably straightforward, with just a couple of pauses for thought.

In the hints below, the definitions are underlined. The answers are hidden under the ANSWER buttons, so don’t click if you don’t want to see them.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a           Loose cows on farm creating potentially tricky problem (3,2,5)
CAN OF WORMS – Anagram (loose) of COWS ON FARM.

YOU HAVE JUST OPENED A CAN OF WORMS | Throw Pillow | skunkdog's Artist Shop


6a           Wild animal said to be nuisance (4)
BORE – This pest or nuisance sounds like (said to be) a sort of wild pig.

9a           It is hard backing second-rate horse essentially in race (7)
BRITISH – Put together a letter indicating second rate, the middle letter (essentially) of hoRse, IT IS (from the clue), and Hard.

10a         Inclined to cry, first of those facing reprimand (7)
TEARFUL – The first letter of Those, followed by another word for a reprimand or telling-off.

12a         Dance with student also involved in tempestuous affair (8,5)
HIGHLAND FLING – The usual letter indicating a learner or student, and another word for ‘also’, are placed between another word for ‘tempestuous’ (think of wind here) and a brief love affair.

Highland Fling Photograph by Sam Smith Photography

14a         Though appearing gutless, steals pounds (6)
THROBS – The definition is a verb. The outside letters (gutless) of T(houg)H are followed by another word for ‘steals’.

15a         Accommodation for sections of society (8)
QUARTERS – Double definition, the first being often used about accommodation for the military.

17a         Arabs, in theory, will secrete potent drink (8)
ABSINTHE – Hidden in the clue.

What is Absinthe and is it Legal? - Distillery Trail

19a         Those originally inside Rolls-Royce arriving at opera? (6)
CARMEN – Split the answer (3,3) and you could have a definition of people inside a Rolls-Royce or other automobile. As a single word the answer is an opera based on a story by Prosper Mérimée.

22a         Place near London, order fish there mostly for distribution (13)
HERTFORDSHIRE – Anagram (for distribution) of ORDER FISH THER(e) (there mostly).

24a         About to enter English court, Edmond’s case is established (7)
ERECTED – The Latin word for ‘about’ or ‘concerning’ is placed between an abbreviation for English and an abbreviation for Court, then the outer letters (case) of E(dmon)D are added.

25a         Over time medic provided gear periodically for vagrant (7)
DRIFTER – Put together an abbreviation for Doctor, another word for ‘provided’, and alternate letters (periodically) of gEaR. Then insert an abbreviation for Time.

26a         Flipping insect bite (4)
TANG – Reverse (flipping) a biting insect, to get the bite of something with a sharp flavour.

27a         Unknown’s article replaced by vacuous story expressing same idea (10)
SYNONYMOUS – Start with a word for an unknown author, then remove the indefinite article from the front and replace it with the outside letters (vacuous) of S(tor)Y.


1d           Caught boat regularly to circle posh island (4)
CUBA – The cricket abbreviation for Caught and alternate letters (regularly) of BoAt, placed either side of the letter often used to signify something ‘posh’, giving us an island country in the Caribbean.


2d           In no case is Italy blocking new anaesthetic (7)
NEITHER – An abbreviation for New and a volatile gas once used as an anaesthetic, with the IVR code for Italy inserted.

3d           Employment perk, something a hairdresser might suggest? (6,7)
FRINGE BENEFIT – The first word of the answer can also be a part of a hairstyle, the second a perk or advantage. Put together, these suggest a form of non-cash remuneration for an employee.

4d           Postponed number going around vessel’s cargo area (2,4)
ON HOLD – Reverse (going around) a two-letter abbreviation for ‘number’, then add the place where a ship’s cargo is stowed.

5d           Second American admitting irregular unit is insubordinate (8)
MUTINOUS – Another word for a second or short period of time and one of the usual abbreviations for ‘American’, wrapped round an anagram (irregular) of UNIT.

Mutiny On The Bounty Captain Bligh Under Guard Stock Illustration - Download Image Now - iStock

7d           Decision affecting lawful position of striker? (7)
OFFSIDE – Cryptic definition of a law in Association football which determines whether a striker is in a legal position to score a goal.

8d           Praising European Union record, good restricting international crime (10)
EULOGISING – Put together the acronym for the European Union, a record of activity, an abbreviation for International, a crime or moral failing, and an abbreviation for Good.

11d         Inexpensiveness of gold daughter accepted in good humour (13)
AFFORDABILITY – The heraldic term for ‘gold’ and an abbreviation for Daughter are put together and inserted into a word for good-humouredness.

13d         Love file sent with email message (10)
ATTACHMENT – Double definition, the first being love or affection for someone or something.

16d         Yard shut about when in the week? (8)
THURSDAY – Anagram (about) of YARD SHUT. This is a sort of all-in-one, with the answer telling us when the yard is shut.

18d         Unusually generous fortune finally escaping theatre worker (7)
SURGEON – Anagram (unusually) of GEN(e)ROUS, missing one example of the last letter (finally) of fortunE, giving us someone who works in a theatre, but not one with a stage.

20d         Rising Oregon tenor’s opening line for skilled musician (7)
MAESTRO – Put together the abbreviation for the state of ORegon, the first letter (opening) of Tenor, and a line of stitching, then reverse (rising, in a Down clue) the result.

21d         Familiar with gripping, tense, uplifting poems you articulated (4,2)
USED TO – Put together some poems and the letter which sounds like (articulated) ‘you’, insert an abbreviation for Tense, then reverse (uplifting) the result.

23d         Plant, one supported by stake briefly (4)
IRIS – The Roman numeral for one, followed by another word for ‘stake’ or ‘gamble’, minus its last letter.

Yellow iris | The Wildlife Trusts

The Quick Crossword pun SUNDAES + COOL = SUNDAY SCHOOL

71 comments on “DT 29807

  1. 2*/5*. A storming finish to a great week of back-pagers undoubtedly from the master of smooth surfaces. I found this very much a puzzle of two halves in terms of difficulty with the top half flying in and the bottom part needing quite a bit of teasing out.

    For a podium choice, pick any three.

    Many thanks to Silvanus and to DT.

  2. Very enjoyable, a few of the solutions came before the precise parsings but worked them out eventually.
    My ticks go to the amusing 12a, the clever 27a, 2d for the misdirection, plus the DD at 13d, my last one in.
    Many thanks to the setter and DT.

  3. I made a slow start and only found 4 clues that I could on the first pass. Tempted to give up, I persevered and started to guess the answers, using the checkers, reverse engineering the parsing and things progressed much more quickly (3*/2.5*). I didnt really have any favourite clues. Thanks to DT for the hints and to the compiler for a very cleverly contrived puzzle, akthough it wasn’t quite my cup of tea.

  4. Having looked at the Toughie and found I couldn’t even understand the clues, I turned to this with relief.
    A nice straightforward puzzle with my COTD being 1a.
    I nearly complained that 22a was nowhere near London when I realised I had the wrong county. Just one letter makes all the difference.

    1. I had the same thought about the county before realising the error of my ways – doubt we are alone.

  5. For me, not quite as much ‘sparkle’ as usual from Mr Smooth. For example, is the 22a ‘shire’ really a place or is it an area/region? 2.5*/3.5*

    Candidates for favourite – 19a, 2a, and 11d – and the winner is 27a.

    Thanks to Silvanus and DT.

    1. S. I would say that a “place” can be any point, town, area, region, district, county, country, etc. As in: If you want some great scenery then Derbyshire is the place to go.

      1. Then we would have to agree to disagree. Once ‘place’ is used for counties and larger areas it lacks the precision required by my Engineering Brain.

  6. As Senf says “For me, not quite as much ‘sparkle’”, and to echo Rabbit Dave “I also found this very much a puzzle of two halves in terms of difficulty with the top half flying in and the bottom part needing quite a bit of teasing out”.
    To complete my plagiarism I agree with Crisscross “I didnt really have any favourite clues. Thanks to DT for the hints and to the compiler for a very cleverly contrived puzzle, akthough it wasn’t quite my cup of tea”

  7. I made steady progress from top to bottom (with the exception of 7d, which I later bunged in) and ended with the COTD 27a. I was also amused, like SL, by 12a and very much liked the lurker at 17a. A nice, solid puzzle, and a good ending to a banner week of backpagers. Thanks to DT (especially for the Habanera) and today’s setter, who seems to be Silvanus. 2.5* / 4*

    The Boston Red Sox face the Houston Astros in the opening of the American League Championship Series tonight. Go, Sox!

    I’m nearly finished with the great John Le Carre’s final novel, Silverview, and it’s a corker.

      1. Saint Sharon has just downloaded a heap of books to her iPad and now it’s too heavy to pick up

    1. Oops. I just noticed: John le Carre’–no capital L. Sorry. RD and Greta: there’s an interesting review in this week’s Times Literary Supplement of Silverview that you might want to read after, of course, you’ve read the novel. Also, even better: Mick Herron’s more comprehensive review in The Guardian is a model of the genre and pays due homage to le Carre’.

      1. I watched Tomas Alfredson’s 2011 film of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy for the 3rd or possibly 4th time the other night as it’s back on the BBC iPlayer – every time I watch it I’m more impressed. It looks great & it’s a superb ensemble cast with Oldman never better ( forget Churchill) in my view. You get a glimpse of the back garden of my first flat in London as Smiley walks away from the bathing ponds on Hampstead Heath. My favourite of his novels but I’m probably influenced unduly by the Beeb’s great adaptation & Alec Guinness is one of my all time heroes.

  8. Fun while it lasted, which was surprisingly little time for a Friday puzzle. Didn’t particularly stand out for me and some of the surfaces were somewhat odd/laboured, but there were some very enjoyable clues – 1a, 17a, 8d, 11d and 21d, while my COTD goes to 27a.


    Many thanks to the setter and to DT for the review.

  9. Another perfect example of a puzzle doesn’t have to be fiendishly difficult to be hugely enjoyable ( today’s Toughie by Artix falls into that slot). 1 and 3d were neat clues, but my favourite was 18d.

    Thanks to Silvanus for a terrific crossword and to DT.

  10. This is the first unaided finish this week and the first on a Friday for a very long time. A slow start but then it all gradually fell into place. I could see 1a was an anagram but I didn’t solve it until the end for some unknown reason. No real favourites but I did like 14d.

    Many thanks to the Silvanus for the entertainment and to DT for the hints.

  11. Like others had an extremely slow start. Off to the farm shop for some lovely fresh veg (so much fresher than the greengrocer) then home and bingo, it just flew in. Managed about half the Toughie yesterday. Anyway thanks to DT and the setter. Now for some home made asparagus soup from the freezer.

  12. I, too, started slowly but thoroughly enjoyed solving this clever puzzle with its witty misdirections.

    Recalling my ‘famous last words’ from a couple of years ago, “Oh we don’t need a gardener – I can do it all!” Such a fool – today I will be outside fixing a fence and mowing lawns.

    Today’s crossword soundtrack: Kasey Musgraves – star-crossed

    Thanks to Sivlanus and the ever-reliable DT.

    1. T. I wonder if you’ve seen the set by The Specials, featuring a selection of songs from their new album Protest Songs 1924 – 2012. It’s been showing on a continuous loop for a few days on the BBC Red Button (still on there as I write). There’s a particularly excellent song, an old Talking Heads track called Listening Wind (1980), with terrific vocals from a really talented young (23) singer from Bradford called Hannah Hu. Her voice is reminiscent of a young Chrissie Hynde. Worth a listen just for that one song!

          1. No more procrastination Terence, you need to mend that fence and mow the lawns (only kidding). For me it was a walk along the road and round to the footpath behind my back fence, with a hedge trimmer and a rubbish bag, to cut back an overhanging honeysuckle. Much sweeping up was required, before lugging the debris and the hedge trimmer back home. At least the brown bin collections have re-started after a late Summer suspension due to a shortage of drivers.

  13. I didn’t notice 17a was a lurker and wondered quite how we ended up with the answer. Now I see. No particular difficulty with either top or bottom. **/*** Favourite 11d. Thanks to all. I too looked at the toughie and thought “maybe later”. I don’t think asparagus soup would help me there but it sounds lovely.

  14. Unlike others, raced through this until a shuddering halt leaving 19a, 13d and 20d.
    Pennies took some time to drop.
    All very enjoyable.
    So, ***/*****
    Many thanks to the setter and to DT.

  15. After a slow start found this about average Friday difficulty and overall took nearly *** time with **** fun factor. SW corner held out longest mostly taken up with working out 18d, my COTD.
    Although living up here it should have been 12a I suppose.
    Due respect to Jose but for scenery the Highlands is the place. Talking of scenery the programme “Dragon’s Back” (BBC iplayer) showed Wales off to its best. Watching the competitors made me question their sanity whilst being in awe of their fitness. I could certainly think of better ways to spend nearly £2,500 on a 6 day holiday.
    Thank you to setter and DT for the review.

    1. I only chose Derbyshire because it’s my home county. I’m glad you agree that the Highlands is a “place”, though.

      1. Jose
        I agree, 100%. As you said every spot on the map is a place.
        I was amazed to find out there is an App called “What Three Words”. Incredibly the App programmers have divided the world into 57 trillion 3m square( “places”) that are uniquely defined by three random words. Apparently one of the first question rescue teams now ask when speaking to people lost/ need rescuing is “Have you downloaded the What 3 Words app?”
        As far as I can see all the words are in English!

        1. A charity shop coming to uplift some stuff from me asked me for my What three words address.
          Wish the delivery folks would.

          1. You and me both Ora. Hermes keep photographing deliveries at some letter box I can’t find anywhere near me. W3W is so simple system yet so effective.

            1. I managed to find the doorway in the photograph that DPD sent me to say they had delivered my new vacuum cleaner. DPD were supposed to send the driver back there to get it and nothing was done for 10 days. Eventually, I went to the house myself and showed the person who lived there my photo. The driver had given the parcel to her 8 year old daughter, who answered the door, whilst her baby sitter was busy with their baby. It was put in their garden shed and i finally got it 3 weeks after it was supposed to be delivered.

    2. Godson is off to Inverness to visit his Mum tomorrow, I hope you’ve arranged some decent weather for them!

      1. M
        Who knows – weather forecast for today was rain actually had a reasonably sunny day. Tomorrow Mrs LrOK is running in the Alness Park Run & I am marshalling. Likelihood is rain therefore no matter what the forecasters say.
        Look after yourself and Sadie of course.

  16. A good workmanlike Friday puzzle, maybe a tad prosaic, but providing a reasonable challenge and plenty of enjoyment. Mostly fine clues, but no stand-out one for me today. 2.5*, 3.5*.

  17. This had just enough bite to make it a satisfying challenge to meet. Some clues seem to be rather broad these days as per 9a race and 23d plant. No bung-ins for a change which means all the clues parsed nicely hence yielding no standout Fav. TVM Silvanus and DT.

  18. Agree with RD that this has been a week of top draw puzzles and a ***/**** for me today.
    Favourits were the 11d and 27a charades , took a while to parse 20d re’line’
    Thanks to our setter and DT for the pics.

  19. After a couple of days of missing completion by one or two clues which needed help from the blog, I thought this was an entertaining Friday puzzle.
    Given that the alternative to 22a is even further from London than my home county it resolved the issue reasonably quickly. Particularly enjoyed 12a, 27a and 8d.
    Thanks to setter and DT!

  20. After a slow start, worked through this one alone and unaided….and corrected 22a when I looked more closely at the fodder.
    Very satisfying for me today.

    Thanks to DT and to the setter.

  21. Agree a nice end to a nice week of DT crosswords ( other crosswords are available 😬) 😃 ***/**** Favourites 12 & 19a and 3d 👍 Thanks to DT and to the Setter

  22. I found this thoroughly enjoyable and not too taxing, especially given that it’s a Friday. My only issue was that I spent quite some time after completion trying to find a hidden reason for the inclusion of “originally” in 19a to make the clue more satisfying.

  23. Many thanks to Deep Threat for his Hints and Tips and to all those who have taken the trouble to post comments.

    May I wish everyone a god weekend.

    1. First one I’ve managed to complete unaided this week, all the others had 2 or 3 unanswered , except for Thursday ( RayT 🥴). Started at a gallop slowed to a walk and finished at a trot. Liked 3 and 8d, and needed the hint to explain 23d. A good end to the working week, not that I’d know about that anymore 😁. Thanks to all.

    2. Thanks for dropping by, Silvanus and for a great puzzle. A great weekend to you, as well.

  24. Started off with a smile for the tinned farm animals and it remained on my face all the way through to the Quickie pun. On the way, I collected several clues for the podium including 1,14,26&27a plus 3&13d.

    Many thanks to Mr Smooth for a most enjoyable puzzle and to DT for the words and music.

  25. I started this but found it a bit tricky, then I had to leave to get my COVID booster. I’m now back home but the brain has gone, this happened with the first two jabs as well so I’m not surprised, and I’ve had to give up. Of the ones I solved, my fave was 3d.
    I see on the news that someone evil has killed Sir David Amess while he was holding a meeting of his constituents. C’mon, people, this is not supposed to happen in the UK, what has happened? I’m shattered to the core.
    Thanks to Silvanus, I’m taking to my bed to sleep it off! Thank you DT, I had no chance of completing this.

  26. First Friday Telegraph for a while but got there in the end. It seemed to be solved from the bottom up, and 6a was the last one in as I had bunged in pest early doors. Great puzzle and Great hints TYVM.

  27. Didn’t remotely peg this one as a Mr Smooth production. First in was 3d. Pretty obvious but didn’t read the clue properly & pluralised it. One of the problems with solving on the iPad is that you don’t necessarily clock that you’ve insufficient letters available as the S simply replaces the T at the end when inputting. The puzzle was plain sailing until 24a & 13d – the former proving a real head scratcher with the incorrect checker in. Even once I’d twigged my error 13d took an embarrassingly long time for the penny to oblige given that heaven knows how many waste of time emails & their infernal bloody attachments were the bane of my working life.
    Not one of his crackerjacks perhaps but a lovely puzzle to end the working (for some) week. 27a was my favourite.
    Thanks to Silvanus & to DT

  28. Not the easiest puzzle for a Friday this week. 2.5*/*** for me today. Top was easier than the bottom, again today.
    Clues for favourites include 10a, 14a, 15a, 22a, 3d & 18d with 18d the winner.
    Thought 22a was a good clue despite some contrary comments, as ‘place’ is a synonym for ‘area’ so to me it is perfectly good clue. In fact, it is now my winner for the day.
    Expecting about 173 mm of rain, (according to Mark Madryga), from now (Friday am) until Sunday morning … it is WET!!

    Thanks to setter and DT for hints

  29. Well I made harder work of this than I should have and ended up finishing at a Senf like canter. Hey ho! Tomorrow’s another day, what time I/we get to start it, if at all, heaven only knows. Several contenders for favourite but I’ll go with 1a because it amused me. Thanks to Silvanus and DT.

  30. Grandsons dropped off here last night as parents on way to Derbyshire. They came via Hertfordshire not Herefordshire as the county/place I stupid put for my answer. It was interesting as Dylan aged 8 helped me and really started to get the hang of it particularly with synonyms and anagrams. Thanks Silvanus and DT.

    1. I wonder how your grandson acquired the name Dylan? These things usually have a story behind them. Robert Zimmerman became Bob Dylan because he was a big admirer of Dylan Thomas. In the early 70s I bought my then girlfriend a huge teddy bear and we called it Dylan, after Bob Dylan. She loved it! We split up in 1990 and she left teddy Dylan behind. A few years later I met a woman who had a baby daughter and I became her godfather. I gave her Dylan when she was a tiny toddler. It was 3 times bigger than she and she absolutely adored it! 10 years later my goddaughter acquired a brother and, guess what, he was named Dylan after the teddy bear. I asked my goddaughter (now 28) the other week: “Whatever happened to that teddy bear Dylan?” She didn’t know, no idea. I wonder where he is now…

      1. I think the closing of tge name was quite random. His elder brother is William after his late grandfather. They both like the name and the paternal family is Welsh with a Welsh surname. I imagine more Dylan Thomas than Bob Dylan!

  31. The clue for 6a is completely hatstand! How it can be constructed makes you arrive with correct letters but not necessarily in the right order, reminiscent of Eric Morecambe vs André Previn !!

  32. I am working my way through a pile of crosswords so am rather late with this comment. I think 19 across is referring to Rolls and Royce, the men who originally founded Rolls-Royce.

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