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DT 29813

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29813

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Good morning from South Staffs, where the day has dawned bright and clear.

I found today’s puzzle reasonably straightforward, with no major hold-ups.

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           Issue bullet that’s harmless at close range (5-5)
POINT-BLANK – An issue in a debate or argument, followed by a bullet which makes a noise but does no damage.

6a           Second in craft (4)
SHIP – An abbreviation for Second, followed by another word for ‘in’ or ‘trendy’.

9a           Shocking forbidden passion — love found by you and me (10)
OUTRAGEOUS – Put together another word for ‘forbidden, another word for ‘passion’ or ‘anger’, the letter which looks like a love score at tennis, and a pronoun for ‘you and me’.

10a         Good to get massage and something to eat (4)
GRUB – An abbreviation for Good followed by another word for ‘massage’.

12a         Like a play on words lacking core discipline (6)
PUNISH – Remove the middle letter (lacking core) from a word which could mean ‘like a play on words’.

13a         More intelligent British having longer showers? (8)
BRAINIER – An abbreviation for British, followed by ‘having longer showers’ or ‘wetter’.

15a         Friend in form? (12)
SCHOOLFELLOW – Mildly cryptic definition of someone in the same class at school.

18a         Feel war should be replaced, say, in this social system (7,5)
WELFARE STATE – Anagram (should be replaced) of FEEL WAR, followed by another word for ‘say’.

21a         After reflection during Whitsun, I’m retiring — end of the line (8)
TERMINUS – Hidden in reverse (after reflection) in the clue.

22a         Very cold spell — one bear’s home, perhaps conserving energy (3,3)
ICE AGE – The Roman numeral for one followed by what would be better described as a bear’s prison in a zoo, wrapped round Energy.

24a         Maiden about to meet king’s brother (4)
MONK – Put together the cricket abbreviation for a maiden over, another word for ‘about’ or ‘concerning’, and the chess notation for a king, to get someone who lives in a religious community.

25a         Mail unfair in review for novel (10)
UNFAMILIAR – Anagram (in review) of MAIL UNFAIR.

26a         Outstanding student in head-to-head fight (4)
DUEL – ‘Outstanding’, as a debt might be, followed by the usual crossword student.

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27a         Using odd bits of turkey, guys cook American — awesome! (10)
TREMENDOUS – Put together alternate letters (odd bits) of TuRkEy, another word for ‘guys’, another verb for ‘cook’, and an acronym for some Americans.


1d           Encourage seafront exercises (6)
PROMPT – A common shortening of a seafront walking area, followed by some physical jerks.

2d           Games console given without wrapping — that’s mean (6)
INTEND – Remove the first and last letters from the name of a Japanese producer of video games and consoles, to get a verb for ‘mean’.

3d           Crane’s action when flying across the Atlantic? (12)
TRANSOCEANIC – Anagram (when flying) of CRANE’S ACTION.

4d           Told a tale showing origins of love in ‘Edwin Drood’ (4)
LIED – The first letters (showing origins) of the last four words of the clue.

5d           Sitting on the fence — Tyne ritual when drunk (10)
NEUTRALITY – Anagram (when drunk) of TYNE RITUAL.

7d           Awful run with kid falling in burrow (8)
HORRIBLE – Put together an abbreviation for Run and  another word for ‘kid’ or ‘tease’. Then wrap another word for ‘burrow’ around the result.

8d           Knockout round involving locals? (3,5)
PUB CRAWL – Cryptic definition of an activity involving the consumption of alcohol in a series of hostelries in quick succession.

11d         Hitchcock, say, would do this kind of political manoeuvre (6,6)
DIRECT ACTION – As (verb, noun) the answer is what Hitchcock or any other film maker does to get his picture made. As (adjective, noun) the answer is the sort of political protest favoured by the sort of people who glue themselves to motorways, largely unhindered by the police.

14d         Behind European athlete, one that came first (10)
FORERUNNER – Put together a word for ‘behind’ or ‘in favour of’, an abbreviation for European, and a type of athlete.

16d         Ordered to wed, Tim was unfaithful (3-5)
TWO-TIMED – Anagram (ordered) of TO WED TIM.

17d         Barrier placed around Lima or another city (8)
FLORENCE – Put together the letter represented by Lima in the NATO alphabet and OR (from the clue), then wrap a sort of barrier around the result, to get the English name of an Italian city.

17 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Florence | PlanetWare

19d         Turned over in pontoon, I sacrificed fortune needed to win here (6)
CASINO – Hidden in reverse (turned over) in the clue.

20d         Design has been put into that man’s suit (6)
HEARTS – ‘That man’s’ can be rendered as ‘he is’, contracted with the aid of an apostrophe. Wrap that contracted form around some design or skill, to get a suit of cards.

23d         North-bound motorway service area for pigs? (4)
FARM – Put together the abbreviation for a motorway and an acronym for one of the armed services. Then reverse the result (north bound, in a Down clue) to get somewhere you might find pigs.

The Quick Crossword pun INDIE + NILE = IN DENIAL

79 comments on “DT 29813

  1. Another enjoyable puzzle to end the crosswording week. Mind you, I have a few I am not too sure about because the parsing doesn’t jump out at me – 22a for example. Given the checkers, I’m sure my answer is correct but I cannot see why at the moment. I will continue to peruse it. The four letter ones were the stars for me with 26a being my COTD. I spent ages on it before it fell with a satisfying clunk.

    Others may say I did not finish unaided because I could not work out the parsing of a couple but I agree with the Rules of Completion given by Miffypops. A completed grid is a completed grid. (No exclamation mark).

    Grateful thanks to the setter for the fun challenge. Thanks, also, to Deep Threat for the hints, which I will now read.

    PS – a satisfying Quickie pun today, I thought.

    1. On the 6th day he did the SPP and the 7th he tackled Dada. Friday the end of the crosswording week Steve, never.

      1. I never used to do the Saturday and Sunday puzzles, LROK so Friday was the end of the cross wording week for me. It has stuck in my brain despite now doing the prize puzzles (thanks to Big Dave).

        1. For me there’s the crosswording week, and the crosswording weekend – the former will (hopefully) end later today with a completed Toughie, while the latter starts tomorrow, or on Sunday if time does not otherwise permit.

    2. 1 across was upsetting on one count, and technically inaccurate on another. First count, the news from the States of a cameraman killed and another injured on a film set from an accident involving an ‘imitation’ gun – the poor setter couldn’t have foreseen that. But secondly, with the firearm I was familiar with, the British Army standard rifle of Ww2 the Lee Enfield, it was potentially lethal up to about 20 yards when using ‘blanks’. The blank was the usual brass cartridge loaded with the usual cordite, packed in tightly with wadding but no bullet. When discharged this wadding produced a dangerous missile at close quarters but was ok when fired at an ‘adversiary’ across a field. When practicing therefore, we were under strict instructions NOT to fire it point blank for danger of death.

  2. I too found a few I couldn’t parse, Steve but it was a remarkably approachable puzzle for a Friday. There were some nice clues, including the long anagrram at 3d and rhe reverse lurker at 21a, my joint CsOTD. Many thanks to DT for help in parsing a few clues and thanks to the compiler.

  3. Relatively gentle for a Friday.
    A workmanlike progress to conclusion.
    8d made me chuckle.
    So, **/****
    Many thanks to the setter and to DT

  4. Straightforward leaving much required time for Elgar. 8d seemed a bit odd and I wondered whether I had missed something but apparently not. Thanks to DT and today’s setter.

    1. I think the “round” in the clue refers to a round of drinks and the “knockout” could be split 5-3 meaning to do something in quick succession?

      1. I been on plenty of pub crawls in my time. I don’t remember doing the pubs in quick succession.

        1. The article in yesterday’s business section on the hole borer they are going to use to tunnel under “Long Itchington Wood, Warwichshire brought you to mind MP.

          1. HS2 and the devastation it is causing throughout its route was the main reason for us moving away from Long Itchington. I do not go anywhere near the HS2 route unless I have to. The total destruction of the landscape makes it look like a war zone. As long as their pay packets are filled the workers will destroy anything in its path with no concern for historical value, ecological value or any value at all Shame on all concerned on this vainglorious project that will benefit nobody at all at a cost that will never be counted. Nice of them to tunnel beneath the wood. Here is a photo of the destruction caused in order to prepare for tunnelling. I need a pint now and I know a place that will sell me one. Hopefully a blast of a live Bob Dylan concert will cheer me up

            1. MP my apologies I did not wish to “poke the lion”
              When I read the article I wondered if there was a connection between HS2 and you leaving.
              HS2 to people remote from it like me is just an extravagant white elephant. For those directly affected by the grounworks it must be like thousands of them arerampaging across beautiful places that they have held dear throught their lives.
              Where do I send the money to pay for that pint?

              1. The lion needs poking and poking and poking LBROK.
                As for that pint, we spend enough time in Scotland. Inverness cannot be that far from Dalmally and just as you visited me, I may well visit you. Ora Isn’t safe either but don’t hold your breath while you are waiting.

            2. I find it so sad that we have to tear up or tear down everything we have in order to modernize. My house is nearly 100 years old, when I’m gone they’ll tear it down to build a modern one. Jamaica is another place, all the beautiful Georgian houses are now deserted and slowly sinking into ruin. There is a Jamaican Preservation Georgian Society, mainly in England, but the problem is that if they do fix them up, no one wants to live in the “bush” any more. Living miles away in isolation is something we took for granted when growing up. Oh dear, I have gone on a bit.

  5. I had Pub Brawl for 8d, where i thought the knockout was indicating a fight of some description. Could both answers be correct?

    1. I did too, and I also had Pole runner Pole being the usual European, but I think both of DT’s interpretations make more sense now. 17d was my most satisfactory PDM and gets COTD from me. Pretty goog going for a Friday for me.
      Thanks to setter and DT. Time to do battle with Elgar in toughieland

  6. I thought this was a consistently classy puzzle that I found not very taxing for a Friday but very enjoyable.
    I’m still struggling with the parsing of one clue, but I don’t like to be beaten so will ponder further
    Lots to like, my Friday winners were 1a plus 2,7,8&23d.
    Many thanks to the setter (could it be Silvanus again?) and DT for the top notch entertainment.

    Ps .. Anyone else think of Bruce Springsteen re1a

    1. Yes – I was listening to The River earlier, as I heard that Bruce and The E.St. Band may tour next year. Hope they come to UK

        1. Steve Van Zandt was at Badlands Record Shop in Cheltenham with owner Phil Jump a couple of weeks ago

  7. Pretty much plain sailing this morning with only a few minor hold-ups to slow the solving process. I spent too long trying to fit round into 1a, for example. The concise 16 and 23d were my co-favourites.

    Thanks to our Friday setter and DT. I am about halfway through the Elgar which is testing me to the full.

  8. “Oh what a beautiful morning” – the sun is shining brightly in West Sussex, the crossword was fun from beginning to end with no hiccups and DT’s hints have provided some emotive nostalgia via Dave Allen and Flanders & Swann. What more could an addicted cruciverbalist ask for? My two simple Favs were 6a and 16d. Thank you Mysteron and DT.

  9. I thought our setter made a poor choice in his wording of the clue for 22a and I agreed with Dave over his choice of answer for 8d, otherwise quite an enjoyable Friday puzzle.
    3d took the honours here with a mention for the inebriates of Tyneside.

    Thanks to our setter and to DT for the review.

  10. Hello, compiler here. Thanks for the analysis and discussion. Possible alternative answers are an interesting hazard, because to avoid them the compiler or editor has to spot something that isn’t necessarily obvious. They tend to get picked up if the editor (when solving) thinks of the alternative answer first. In this instance, the alternative isn’t in Chambers so we wouldn’t have used it. However, I now see that Chambers hyphenates the answer — oops! Have a good weekend.

    1. Zandio,
      Thank you for popping in and the Friday test.
      I find that solving the backpage puzzles I have to “spot things that aren’t necessarily obvious” every day! 🤔

    2. Thanks for a very satisfying puzzle, I just got really stuck on 24a and needed Deep Threat’s hints (crickety clue). I really liked 12, 25 and 27a and 17d.

      1. 24a stumped me too. I had the answer but the “why” escaped me, I just bunged it in at the end.

  11. A lot friendlier than yesterday’s puzzle for me. ***/*** I didn’t really grasp the why of 22a although it had to be. Favourite 3d. Thanks to all.

  12. Sorry Zandio, not a lot of fun for me, with Hmms on 15a, 22a and 8d, saved by the Quickie Pun – 2*/2.5*.

    Favourite – the aforementioned Quickie Pun.

    Thanks anyway and thanks to DT.

      1. 15a – as DT said mildly, but I would say barely, cryptic.

        22a – also as DT said ‘what would be better described as a bear’s prison.’

  13. A bright and breezy Miffypops thought this a jolly good effort for a Friday back pager. Most went in without a struggle but a few had me writhing about. Thanks to Zandio who has claimed ownership and to DT for the review. The ‘Beside The Seaside’ song has different words to those sang after rugby matches back in the day.

  14. 2/3. Generally very satisfactory but didn’t think knockout in 8d was needed – there again I’m no expert. 26a was my COTD closely followed by several of the other 4 letter letter answers. Thanks to Zandio and DT.

  15. Most enjoyable, tackled from the bottom up and finishing (after a brief perplexed pause) with a sudden rush in the NW. Many delightful clues of which HMs go to 2a, 6a, 24a, 2d (wonderful!) and 11d, while COTD goes to 12a, which brought the great ISIHAC to mind!

    Was unconvinced by the phrasing of 8d – knockout seems superfluous and I cannot see what it contributes to the answer, although that may just be my contact lenses or the beer goggles!

    2* / 3*

    Many thanks to Zandio, and to DT for the review and YT clips.

  16. 2*/4*. A light but fun Friday puzzle to finish this week. I was going to guess that Zandio was the setter but I see he has beaten me to it!

    I had a lot of ticks on my page, and 12a just noses in front to take top spot.

    Many thanks to Zandio and to DT.

  17. A nice straightforward puzzle for this Friday that is eminently solvable. */**** for me.
    Clues for favourites include 9a. 10a, 15a, 1d, 2d & 23d with winner 23d and 2d the runner up. Lots to like in this puzzle and hard to keep favourites list short.

    Thanks to setter and DT

  18. I am another one who had ‘pole runner’ until my iPad told me I had something wrong so had to have a re-think.

    I took the knockout in 8d to indicate the effect the said activity has on the participants by the end of it, and as such I thought it was fine.

    All in all very enjoyable. Many thanks to Zandio and DT.

  19. Most of this went in very satisfactorily and swiftly. What’s more I enjoyed it. Favourites 22a and 1 and 2d. I could not parse 23d, however. I fell into the trap of 8d and went for brawl. It was knockout that did for me. I could not see point of its inclusion on a crawl. Thank you setter and DT for putting me right.

  20. A mild puzzle today when compared to most Friday back-pagers. But plenty of entertainment/enjoyment whilst it lasted. No particular favourite this time. 2*, 3.5*.

    *Not sure what the problem with 22a is. Maybe connotations relating animal welfare perhaps? If so, fair enough.

    *I had a pleasant little surprise this morning. I walked into town to do a bit of shopping at Morrisons and on the way out there was a store assistant (or “colleague” as they like to be known these days) with a pallet full of produce – giving stuff away for free! So I chose a pack of seedless black grapes. Not often you get summat for nowt!

  21. At one point, I had big gaps in the NW and SW, but Firenze came to the rescue in the SW and that ‘forbidden passion’ brought me its forbidden fruit finally in the NW. Solving those pesky corners brought a 27a sigh of relief. A bit woolly-headed last night, I suspect, thanks to having attempted the Elgar before the backpager. Wacky me. 8d, which I ‘solved’, still seems a bit loopy to me. I especially liked the Hitchcock clue and those cranes flying across the Pond. Thanks to DT and Zandio. *** / ***

    Re the Elgar: the best I’ve ever done on one of his. Still…DNF.

    1. Thought you might have mentioned John Boorman’s superb 1967 crime thriller (1a) – Lee Marvin’s career best performance & a must see if by any chance you don’t know it.

  22. As I have said, I enjoyed this. Didn’t get round to the crossword yesterday as I went to the Fitzwilliam with some friends to see Gold of the Great Steppe,findings from recent digs in Kazakhstan. Incredibly impressive. The quality of the craftsmanship done in 700 BC was amazing. If you look carefully at the discs on the RHS you will see the tiny shanks for sewing them to costumes. It was all fabulous and lunch at The Ivy afterwards. You won’t see me for a couple of days, elder grandson gets married tomorrow and DD2 (who is 60 today) and I will have to watch DD1 like a hawk as she doesn’t really understand what is happening. I have rung the home this morning to make sure no one leaves her alone after she has had her hair done to stop her smarming it down with brown sauce or fairy liquid, as is her wont! So, birthday party tonight, leave at crack of dawn for wedding on Saturday and family lunch on Sunday before the happy couple go on their ‘mini-moon’. Wish us luck, I am very nervous. Have fun with the weekend crosswords.

    1. How wonderful to have a double celebration and be able to get the family together . Hope all goes well

    2. Thinking of you Daisy! I know it’ll all go smoothly, you’ve got help from family and good vibes from us all.

  23. Needed hints to finish this and explain a few bung ins, but enjoyable all the same. Thanks to all.

  24. Like many I opted for brawl in 8d with ko causing the misdirection. Otherwise a fun solve in **/*** time. Favourites the two 4 letter ones 23 and 24.
    Thanks to Zandio for an enjoyable end to the week and to DT for putting me right on 8d

  25. Got there in the end with 12a last one in (could not get ‘please’ out of my mind for some reason!). If I’d thought of brawl for 8d Albert and others I would have put it in. Thank you zandio really enjoyed this especially 26a, thanks also to DT

  26. Found this a struggle due to my torpitude rather than the puzzle. Took over *** time with *** entertainment. Biggest problems were in the NE. Got 8d from the checkers rather than the clue, not one of Zandio’s best.
    COTD 24a for its simplicity.
    Thanks to Zandio and DT for the review and reminders of things that as the years advance are slowly becoming forgotten memories (an oxymoron if ever there was)
    Coming back from the daughter’s last night in the middle of nowhere (as is everywhere up here) on one of those pesky single track A roads struck a pothole & took out 2 (nearly new) tyres. Cue an hour’s wait in pitch black isolation for the excellent rescuer to load us up & transport us back to the kennel we share with Biggles. Having said about What 3 Words App the other day I can now attest to its usefulness (& how efficient the rescue service that comes courtesy our Nationwide bank account was).

  27. Yes a nice end to the week ***/*** 😃 Favourites were 26a, 11&17d. Thanks to DT and to Zandio 🤗 I know it is a generation thing but I never in my 80 years would I have come up with N******O in 2d, but with the checkers in place I arrived at the answer 😳

  28. A pleasingly straightforward solve after yesterday’s travails. No parsing issues other than I also couldn’t see what knockout added to 8d & didn’t quite see how about was on at 24a. I’ll plump for 11d as my pick just ahead of 3d & 12a.
    Thanks to Zandio & DT.

  29. A bit tricky for me but enjoyable. I failed at 23d, pesky four-letter word, like Steve at comment 1 I suppose I should have got it, I had the two checkers. Fave was the Flanders & Swann clip at 21a, but I need to mention 17d as one of my fave places in the world, what a beautiful city. I needed help to know why 24a was what it was.
    Thanks Zandio, even though you made me work hard for each clue, and to DT for unravelling a couple.

  30. 8d I had a one letter different from the answer, and I think my answer was perhaps more appropriate given the word “knockout “ in the clue. (I Used letter “B” as the start of the second word). I can’t see how knockout fits with the actual answer.

  31. I think I made harder work of this than I should have but it seems I’m not alone. I plumped for the correct answer in the end for 8d in the end as the alternative answer made even less sense than the actual one. Favourite was the cunningly disguised 17d. Thanks to Zandio and DT.

  32. Like some others, I put “pub brawl” into 8d. Unfortunately, I put “brighter” into 13a, so that held me up for a while. 17d jumped out at me for obvious reasons. No overall favourite clue. Thank you Zandio and DT.

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