DT 29809 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29809

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29809

Hints and tips by pommers

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Hola from the Vega Baja where I’ve had to dig out some long trousers for the first time this autumn.  It’s a bit chilly at blogging time which is a tad earlier than I usually get up.  At least I haven’t had to go as far as socks!

Today we have the normal Monday fare.  As usual there are three or four tricky ones but there are also enough gimmes and anagrams to get you the checkers you need. I don’t think many of you will have much trouble.

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.


5a           Available for one wrongly parted by force (25)
ON OFFER:  Anagram (wrongly) of FOR ONE with F(orce) inserted (parted by).

7a           A complex network to take one’s breath away (5)
AMAZE:  A from the clue followed by a complex network of which there’s a famous example at Hampton Court.  And here it is . . .

9a           Beginning to scare me, describing revolutionary’s plot (6)
SCHEME:  Take an S (beginning to Scare) and the ME from the clue and put them around (describing) crosswordland’s favourite revolutionary.

10a         Learned line to repeat (8)
LITERATE:  L(ine) followed by a word meaning to repeat.

11a         Squash up, then continue (5,5)
PRESS AHEAD:  A word meaning squash or bear down followed by a word meaning up, in a game of poker perhaps.

13a         Rebuke after wife stole (4)
WRAP:  This stole is one that a lady might wear around her shoulders.  It’s a W(ife) followed by (after) another word for rebuke or knock.

14a         Tale of woe, as difficult chance goes to waste around close of play (4-4,5)
HARD LUCK STORY:  The first word of the answer means difficult and the second means chance as in fortune.  To get the last word you need a word for goes to waste or goes off and reverse it (around) and then follow with a Y (close of plaY).  This couldn’t be an allusion to the England cricket team, could it?

16a         Some up in eucalyptus tree (4)
PINE:  A lurker hiding in (some) the middle three words of the clue.

17a         Corrupt deal, by implication? (4,6)
LEAD ASTRAY:  This is one of those backwards anagrams.  A phrase meaning to corrupt someone is made up of a word which is an anagram of DEAL followed by a word which is an anagram indicator.  It’s also one of those clues that’s easier to solve than do a hint for!

19a         Rating on manoeuvres in the dark (8)
IGNORANT:  Anagram (manoeuvres) of RATING ON.  Here’s some manoeuvres in the dark . . .

20a         Undergraduate ultimately failing to pass (6)
ELAPSE:  E (undergraduatE ultimately) followed by a failing or error.

22a         Unimportant  match (5)
LIGHT:  Double definition.  The match is one you might use to start a fire.

23a         Film of artist popular with staff (4,3)
RAIN MAN:  Start with the usual two letter artist and then the usual two letters for popular to get the first word of the answer.  The second word is one which can mean to staff or to crew.  An excellent film which I haven’t seen for years!


1d           Not quite twelve — sleep lightly (4)
DOZE:  A word for twelve without its last letter (not quite).

2d           Last, nevertheless (5,3)
AFTER ALL:  This phrase meaning nevertheless could be seen to describe the position of the one who comes in last.

3d           Left section with editor (6)
PARTED:  A section or piece followed by the usual editor.

4d           Barge in on a brat, upset about argument (10)
NARROWBOAT:  An anagram (upset) of ON A BRAT placed around (about) an argument.

5d           Perhaps Wilde‘s opening scene caused another rumpus initially (5)
OSCAR:  First letters (initially) of the previous five words.  For a few seconds I’d got Wilde’s opening as a W but fortunately I saw the error of my ways pretty quickly.

6d           Heavy wave sweeping over vessel in fairground ride (13)
ROLLERCOASTER:  A charade of a large wave and a type of ship which stays close to the shore and doesn’t venture out onto the ocean.

8d           Form of English inlet (7)
ESTUARY:  The form of spoken English which originated in London and the South East is also a type of inlet where a river reaches the sea.

12d         No doubt convinced, stop it! (4,6)
SURE ENOUGH:  A word meaning convinced or certain followed by what you might say to an unruly child to stop it misbehaving.

14d         Raleigh, at sea, produces something for shock? (4,3)
HAIR GEL:  This shock is the one which grows on your head.  The answer comes from an anagram (at sea) of RALEIGH.

15d         Piece of pork over — starts to reheat it on top of barbecue (5,3)
SPARE RIB:  A word meaning over as in left over or extra followed by the first letters (starts to) of Reheat and It and finally a B (top of Barbecue).  Yummy . . .

17d         Allowed to keep article over in outhouse (4-2)
LEAN TO:  Take a word meaning allowed, insert (to keep) an indefinite article and follow with an O(ver).  Split that lot (4,2) and you’ll get a sort of outhouse which is attached to the main house for support.

18d         Serious crime of beheaded parish priest (5)
ARSON:  A parish priest without his first letter (beheaded) gives you crosswordland’s favourite crime.

21d         Charitable donations to the needy members, we hear (4)
ALMS:  This word sounds like (we hear) some members – not legs but the other ones.

13a,14a and 17a are on my podium this week with 17a on the top step.  At least I’ve remembered to put in some blue this week!

Quick crossword puns:

TOP LINE:        WRACK     +     SORE     =     RACK SAW

BOTTOM LINE:     ODER     +     KNEEL     =     EAU DE NIL

THIRD PUN @ 15a and 17a:   LEAGUE     +     ALLAYED     =     LEGAL AID

84 comments on “DT 29809

  1. I was outwitted by 17a but the rest fell into place readily helped by solving some of the longer clues early. I’m not sure of the parsing of 8d but it can be nothing else given the checkers. No real “stand out” clues for me today although I did like 4d.

    Many thanks to Campbell for getting the cruciverbal week off to a good start and to pommers for the hints.

    Mild but dull day here in the Welsh Marches with rain threatening so jobs indoors today. The garlic planting will have to wait.

    1. Planted mine at the weekend, or at least the Pocket Rocket did, two elephant and some ordinary stuff. This year it was too pathetic to use. Many years ago we used to participate in the Royston ‘Jumelage’ with La Loupe. We stayed with a lovely family ( I told you recently about the daughter going to Victoria COACH station I think). I asked him about his garlic but it was handed down in the family from his grandfather’s grandfather. However we bought some at Chartres market for me to take back. On parting he gave us a box with some of his wine and a few cloves of his precious garlic for planting. I wrote to thank him asking when I should plant it. He replied the garlic of My grandfather’s grandfather should be planted in November. The garlic from Chartres should be ‘consummated’ immediately!

      1. I’m planting Albigensian Wight but I have no idea whether they will be good or not. I’m new to garlic growing so I’m very much in the experimental stage. I am tempted to get some elephants to give them a go.

        We used to bring back strings of garlic from Brittany when we camped there for the summer holidays.

    2. I had a problem with 8d and needed pommers explanation, then I remembered reading that Prince William speaks 8d English. I subscribe to the monthly Majesty magazine so read a lot about the Royals!

  2. My first thought was how black the grid looked, confirmed by a quick count revealing only 26 clues which contributed to a very quick solve. All good fun though and very enjoyable.
    Many thanks to Campbell and Pommers, nice to hear some OMD.

    1. Next month is the 40th anniversary of Architecture & Morality … how on earth is it that long ago?

  3. Just a steady solve to brighten a dreary damp morning.
    I must say I’m not impressed with the top quickie pun.

    1. I’ve never heard of the answer to the top line pun but it’s in the dictionary so I guess it’s right.

  4. A very pleasant crossword today, a 1.5* for difficulty and 4* for enjoyment.
    I was misdirected a number of times as in 4D’s barge wasn’t push out of the way!
    No particular favourite
    hanks to Pommers and the setter

  5. Light, fun, swift and it’s Monday … so very Campbell! A most enjoyable zip through while the coffee cooled a little, steadily working from N to S. No specialist knowledge required, some amusing puns, good surface reads (I particularly enjoyed the surface and answer of 5d) and typical Campbell polish.

    5d joined by 8d for Hon. Mentions, but COTD for me goes to the tremendous 17a.

    1* / 3*

    Many thanks indeed to Campbell, and to Pommers for the review.

  6. A pleasant enough Monday romp at */**. Like others above I thought the misdirect in 4d good and so that is my COTD. With thanks to the setter and pommers.

  7. I thought this was one of Monday’s better puzzles, with unusually refreshing clues, like 11a, 12d, and 17a, but 4d was my favourite of them all, a form of transport we don’t seem to have (or utilise) in these parts, where the low temperature tonight is due to hit the 40s (F). We ran the A/C on high just two days ago. Thanks to pommers for the review and to Campbell for the enjoyment. ** / ****

    Great come-from-behind, bottom-of-the-9th victory last night by the Atlanta Braves over the L A Dodgers. Jimmy and I jumped for joy…almost, since my jumping days are over.

    1. Please keep your cold weather to yourself up there, Robert. I don’t know why, but Floridians love when it gets cold here, I don’t, I live here ‘cos I love the heat, I hate wearing lots of clothes!

  8. A gentle start to the working week. */*** Favourite 4d. I spent an enjoyable week on a 4d some years ago on the Midlands canal system which was really just a floating pub crawl with some licks thrown in for some exercise. Thanks to all.

  9. 1.5*/4*. This was another lovely, light Monday puzzle with 17a my last one in and favourite.

    Many thanks to Campbell and pommers.

  10. Cruciverbal week makes a lenient start. Full parsings for 5a, 17a and 8d passed me by but, as SC says, checkers confirmed my intuitive hunches. What would setters do without the 9a revolutionary?! Couple of Favs – 13a and 20a. Thank you Campbell and pommers.

  11. Foiled by 17a – despite having every checking letter. I just couldn’t see it!
    However, smashing crossword by the Monday Maestro.

    More garden activity today – it is a certainty that we will (re)hire a gardener from next spring!

    Today’s crossword soundtrack: Kula Shaker – K

    Thanks to Campbell, and pommers and his trewsers…

  12. Just right for a Monday except for the paucity of clues to solve. Oh well that gives me more time for other things. The Quickie Pun tool I knew but not the perfume. Thanks to pommers for the review and Campbell for the puzzle.

      1. Definitely a colour, but perhaps the literal translation of ‘Water of the Nile’ has a ‘pong’.

      2. Golly bongs. I just assumed that anything called eau de something would be a scent or perfume. That’s what comes from being poorly schooled and from Coventry. I’ve just asked Saint Sharon what it is and she said perfume and claimed to be one up on me because ‘at least I had heard of it though’ Roll on beer o clock

            1. If you look at a paint chart, most colours have weird and wonderful names the relevance of which is seldom obvious.

        1. In the (very) olden days it was one of the colours you could choose if you were getting your married quarter redecorated. Another was magnolia and there may have been others, but I’ve forgotten them. I thought, because it sounded French it was quite exotic …

          1. I believe the military used this colour on quite a few things if my memory serves me correctly.

  13. Later solving the crossword than usual as Mr CS had a COVID booster jab appointment and I went with him – the fact that the Sea Scouts hut is just down the road from an M&S Food shop may have influenced my decision to drive him back!

    I bought a paper while I was there and was delighted to find the back pager actually on the back page. It took me a very friendly Monday time to solve. Thanks to Campbell and Pommers

    1. Hello CS, I’m not sure who to ask about this. I seem to have dropped off the daily email at 11ish and now have to go via the internet to see the blog and the comments. Is it possible for me to be put back on the daily email list as I really look forward to that email and seeing what everyone is saying. Thank you for any help you can give.

      1. I’m not sure about this. I see that one of the boxes you can tick in the comments section is “notify me of new posts by email”. Why not try that and see what happens in the morning?

        1. CS is right as usual, that’s the way to do it Greta. I wondered why I wasn’t getting e-mails too. Then I discovered that old banana fingers here had unticked that little box by mistake, whilst scrolling through the comments on my mobile phone. Its very easy to do.

      2. Funny thing Manders, same thing has happened to me. I’ve been going back to an old one and typing the new number in search.

          1. Well I’ve done that but it says I have to post a comment to save it so here is my comment!!

  14. A nice, light puzzle, which proved that crosswords don’t have to be convoluted and super difficult be enjoyable (1*/4*).i like 2d, 4d and COTD 14a. Many thanks to Pommers and Campbell.

  15. Nice, light start to the working/crosswording week with a few smiles along the way. 6d appealed and takes the honours today, just ahead of 17a.

    Thanks to Campbell and to pommers plus his blue pen!

  16. Another pleasant Monday puzzle, had trouble parsing a few, but with the checkers the answers seemed obvious. Thanks to all.

    PS I noticed early on it wasn’t a pangram 🤔🤪

  17. It’s Monday :good: It’s Campbell :good: 1.5*/4.5*

    Candidates for favourite – 13a, 1d, 8d, and 15d – and the winner is 1d.

    Thanks to Campbell and pommers.

  18. I wasn’t familiar with either of the Quickie puns so began to doubt it was our usual Monday man at one point. Typically plain sailing it was pleasant enough without being one of his best in my view – more fun to had in Rookie Corner. Top two for me were 4d & best of all 17a – Paul used the same wordplay device to clue one in his Graun prize on Saturday that only took me until Sunday evening to twig.
    Thanks to Campbell & Pommers.
    Ps I watched the superb concluding episode of series two of Jesse Armstrong’s Succession last night to whet the appetite for series three which starts tonight on Sky Atlantic. TV drama of the very highest quality & rightly award laden. Highly recommended.

      1. I agree, excellent bonus cryptic. Are you all getting Showtime’s ‘American Rust’ over there, starring Jeff Daniels in a career-topping performance? Not quite up to ‘Mare of Eastown’s level but really very good, very dark & very gritty.

        1. No we don’t have it over here yet Robert but will look out for it.
          Just finally completed & parsed Paul’s prize – 1d & 3d were driving me to distraction.

    1. Hi H, you finished the Graun prize I take it? Thanks for the heads up in 1d, very clever.

  19. Solved alone and unaided but totally failed to parse 17a.
    The homophone at 21d really does not work for me……my fault for being Scottish I suppose…..a strange choice for a setter named Campbell.

    Thanks to pommers and to Campbell

  20. Some very different feeling clues from our regular Monday setter I thought, inventive and entertaining. 17a was clever, and my favourite.

    Thanks to Campbell for the fun, and to pommers.

  21. Unusual for Campbell I found this tough to get into, for no obvious reason except my tardiness. Then smooth progress until slowed by the last couple as usual.
    4d my COTD always fancied a holiday on one.
    Thanks to Campbell for the work out.& pommers for the review.

    1. I check every week for a third pun. Never find one until you pop in and I have to try again. Thanks for the puzzles

  22. On a first glance through thought I was going to struggle and felt quite 19A, then 13A suddenly was obvious, and the NE corner fell. The film in the SE was the way in there, and slowly the whole thing emerged from the mist. Glad I 11A-ed, despite the 9As of the setter to distract. So the whole thing was a bit of a 6D.

  23. I’ve just added the third pun to the review. Never thought to look across two lines, d’oh!

  24. D’oh but surely we are not going in future to need to look across, up and down in search of several puns. IMHO maximum two will do.

    1. The more the merrier as far as I’m concerned, Angellov. I wonder if a Quickie made up totally of puns is possible?

  25. A nice gentle puzzle to start the (non)work week that I rate */**** Solved this on Sunday night as the rain eases off after the weekend, so no hints used. That’s always satisfying to do. SO many great clues it is hard to single one out but the top 6 clues for me were 11a, 17a, 2d, 4d, 8d & 12d with winner 4d.
    Clues that made me smile include 14a, 23a, 3d, 6d & 15d.
    Great clueing today and a fun solve.

    Thanks to Campbell & pommers

  26. Lovely puzzle for a Monday, many thanks to Campbell and Pommers. I liked it all, esp 4d. I suppose I shall have to do all the toughie now to find the other pun. Last night, nostalgic after looking through old photos I looked through my Commonplace Book kept by my bed. Along with funny things the children have said and the names of the 7 dwarves etc was stuck in a crossword, no 29,324, which had a Nina very cleverly reflected in the quickie. Anyone remember it?

  27. At last we got to finish one on the day due to a late start yesterday and a non start on Saturday. Straightforward but enjoyable. Needed the hint to fully parse 17a. Favourite was 14a. Thanks to Campbell and Pommers.

  28. First Monday telegraph for a while. Solved in double quick time on the bus, but the jiggling has rendered large parts illegible. 20a was LOI and 4d “narrowly” COTD.
    Thanks to pommers and Campbell

  29. 1/3. Enjoyable if over too quickly. Well clued and just right for a Monday. Thanks to Campbell and Pommers.

  30. I really like Campbell’s smooth clueing eg 17a 20a 8d 12d. Thank you Pommers for helping me with 11a

  31. A satisfying and enjoyable solve.
    Last in 11a after some head-scratching in spite of the checking letters.
    Parsed 17a correctly but had never given that type of clue such a neat definition as pommers.
    So, **/*****
    Many thanks Campbell and pommers.

  32. Got thrown off kilter by dishwasher repair man showing up during breakfast, pre crossword, and I’ve just discovered I’ve been doing the 678 prize crossword instead. Oh dear, although it is rather good. Will save today’s for later.

  33. Enjoyable Monday crossword 😃 **/*** Favourites 7 & 13 across 🤗 I must confess to not having come across “rack saw” before, it is apparently a wide toothed saw but what is it used for 🤔 Thanks to Pommers and to Campbell

      1. It is. The bench, or trolley, that the log sits on was cranked by hand lengthwise through either a band saw or very large circular saw blade. After the cut the log is wound back to be readjusted for the next cut. Similar mechanism to a rack and pinion. Done with an electric motor or hydraulics these days though! Forestry lesson over!

  34. Now, that was a lotta fun! Nothing too obtuse. Though I immediately thought of 8d for Inlet, I had no idea why, so thanks for that pommers. So much to like, fave for cleverness is 17a, but 4d for the “I wish I had” moment.
    Thanks Campbell for such fun and pommers for unraveling a couple.

  35. Thought this was going to be tricky with just 3 answers on first pass but it gradually came together.
    Nothing special as a puzzle.
    Thx for the hints

  36. Pleasant start to the week,**/*** for me. Not sure what the word in is doing in 4a apart from serving to misdirect, nor about the validity of the parsing 17a. But hohum what do I know!

  37. Straightforward enough, despite a slightly forbidding grid! Well and fairly clued, so all good fun.,,

  38. There have been various comments on 4d. However while narrowboats are often referred to as barges, this is not correct. They are two different types of vessel with the barge having a broader beam than the narrowboat. So I am afraid that the clue, good though it is, does not really work.

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