DT 29815 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29815

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29815

Hints and tips by Falcon

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Greetings from Ottawa, where overnight temperatures are now edging below the freezing point. We had a lovely weekend but rain is forecast for the entire coming week.

I tore through the top half of today’s puzzle from Campbell but found the bottom half put up more resistance. Still, it was a fairly quick solve overall.

In the hints below, underlining identifies precise definitions and cryptic definitions, and indicators are italicized. The answers will be revealed by clicking on the ANSWER buttons.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought of the puzzle.

Across

1a   Calamity resulting from Diana’s bloomer (8)
DISASTER — string together the usual diminutive for Diana, the accompanying S and a flowering plant

5a   Quietly, the man occupies young relative (6)
NEPHEW — place the musical direction for quietly and a male pronoun inside a word meaning young or recent

10a   Bulletin about split in Foggy Bottom (5,10)
STATE DEPARTMENT — a bulletin or pronouncement enveloping a verb meaning to split or leave the scene give us an organizational unit of the US government informally known by the name of the riverside area of Washington DC where it is based

11a   Brave face social worker put on (7)
GALLANT — face or impudence with the usual social worker appended (put on)

12a   Answer’s to be found in proven and reliable political publication (7)
HANSARD — place the abbreviation for answer inside an adjective denoting proven and reliable (one that might describe incontestable facts)

13a   Swinger having choice about dancing nude (8)
PENDULUM — an adjective meaning choice or highly desirable wrapped around an anagram (dancing) of NUDE; this swinger hangs out in a clock rather than a libertine club

15a   Culinary herb helping to make healthy meal (5)
THYME — a lurker hiding (helping to make) the remainder of the clue

18a   Large curved structure in wood (5)
LARCH — an abbreviation for large and a curved structure such as might be used to cross a river

20a   Idol with magic formula in musical (8)
GODSPELL — a charade of an object of worship and a magic formula that may be cast by a witch give us a 1971 Off-Broadway musical based on the Gospel of Matthew

23a   List must include ordinary farmyard bird (7)
ROOSTER — a list of names wrapped around the academic abbreviation for ordinary

25a   Explore underground pool, with most of them swimming (7)
POTHOLE — an anagram (swimming) of POOL and all but the final letter of THE(m)

26a   Significant changes covering court’s antisocial work periods (9,6)
GRAVEYARD SHIFTS — synonyms for significant and changes sandwich an area of enclosed ground associated with a building

27a   Stream of abuse from one stuck in traffic (6)
TIRADE — a Roman one inserted into a word meaning traffic or deal

28a   Absurd article describing new instrument (8)
CLARINET — an anagram (absurd) of ARTICLE surrounding (describing) the abbreviation for new

Down

1d   Condescend to take on board son’s plan (6)
DESIGN — a word meaning condescend or stoop containing the abbreviation for son

2d   Things of no importance in glass? (5,4)
SMALL BEER — a cryptic definition of a metaphorical term for a trivial matter

3d   After fuss, difficult dismissing hotel’s sommelier, perhaps (7)
STEWARD — a state of worry or agitation followed by a synonym for difficult removing the letter represented by hotel in the NATO alphabet

4d   Level prior to tense incident (5)
EVENT — an adjective meaning smooth and flat preceding the grammatical abbreviation for tense

6d   No longer active, former leader of Conservatives put in shade (7)
EXTINCT — start with a prefix signifying former; then append the single-letter abbreviation for Conservative embedded in a shade or hue

7d   Any he shot brings scavenger (5)
HYENA — an anagram (shot) of the first two words in the clue

8d   Absented oneself and sketched (8)
WITHDREW — a word meaning and followed by a synonym for sketched

9d   Made sense of Fahrenheit in Germany (8)
FATHOMED — link together the abbreviation for Fahrenheit, a (2,4) phrase denoting present in one’s place of residence, and the IVR code for Germany

14d   Member, before holiday, gets delivery (3,5)
LEG BREAK — the word sum of a body member and a short holiday give a cricket delivery that (if I have managed to get it correct) after striking the ground deviates in the direction the batsman’s feet are pointing

16d   Tuna in foil, newly prepared (9)
YELLOWFIN — an anagram (prepared) of FOIL NEWLY

17d   Nothing left in safe? (3,5)
ALL RIGHT — if nothing (is to the) left, then where must things be?

19d   Powerful chief, fiery type (7)
HOTHEAD — a word meaning powerful or intense (such as spicy food) and a chief or boss

21d   Baseball player, parking it, caught that woman (7)
PITCHER — a charade of the abbreviation for parking, the IT from the clue, the cricket notation for caught, and a pronoun denoting that woman

22d   Make fun of star’s second service (3,3)
TEA SET — to make fun of or deride and the second letter of sTar

24d   Elated, being broadcast (2,3)
ON AIR — double definition; the first being where someone who is elated is metaphorically said to be walking

25d   Cycle ultimately crashed entering ring (5)
PEDAL — the ultimate letter of crasheD placed in the ring of a bell

For me, the contenders for clue of the day are 10a, 11a, and 13a … with top spot going to 13a.

Kudos and thank you to Steve Cowling for noticing and pointing out the middle Quickie pun which I had suspected and rejected—having not cast my net wide enough.


Quickie Pun (Top Row):TORE + WRISTS = TOURISTS

Quickie Pun (Middle):FLEA + BOTTOM + MISSED = PHLEBOTOMIST

Quickie Pun (Bottom Row) : MUSKET + HELL = MUSCATEL


107 comments on “DT 29815
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  1. The best Monday puzzle for quite a while for me, I thought it elegantly and craftily clued throughout, very enjoyable indeed.
    In a very strong field my podium consists of 26&27a plus 9&22d. Great stuff.
    2/4.5*
    Many thanks to Falcon and Campbell.
    Ps….absolute corker of a puzzle in the Rookie Corner.

  2. I thought a good Monday */**** treat. Hadn’t heard of 10a but it parsed easily enough and the cross checkers made it relatively easy. Although straightforward I did like 17d which gets my COTD. With thanks to Falcon and the setter.

  3. Another enjoyable Monday puzzle with some cleverly worded clues (1.5/3.5). I particularly three lego clues that were well put together, 8d, 9d and COTD 26a. Many thanks to Campbell for another absorbing puzzle and to Falcon for the hints.

  4. A well crafted puzzle. I knew the area of Washington, DC which was lucky because I’d have struggled with that otherwise although the checkers would have helped. 20a was staged in the West End as well as off Broadway. I vaguely remember seeing it. Favourite 14d. Thanks to all.

    1. I didn’t understand the connection to DC until I read Falcon’s hints Greta but it was gettable with the checkers and wordplay. Very clever.

  5. A relatively gentle stroll this morning and an excellent start to the week.
    22A was my last answer after a ‘doh’ moment and I was highly amused by 17D which gets my COTD.

    Thanks to Falcon, even though I didn’t need his hints, and to Campbell for his work

  6. That was fun! It took me a while (longer than yesterday’s Dada, for instance), but I managed it with only needing Falcon to explain the ‘face’ in 11a. Several pleasing clues where I just followed the instructions and was surprised to find I then had a valid word! Thank you to him and Campbell.

    I remembered the 1a bloomer, which I think I only know from previous crosswords, so that proves I do (sometimes) learn something from doing these. Today’s new-to-me knowledge is the 10a metonym and the 20a musical.

    I particularly liked 8d (“and sketched”) and 22d (“service”), with my favourite being the truly marvellous 9d (“in Germany”). Cheers, all. Half-term holidays here, so working from home is rather less peaceful than it usually is on a Monday.

  7. Just as well 10a pops up in the plethora of highly improbable conspiracy movies (which I actually quite enjoy). However, 9d gets my nomination for favourite, as it was last in, taunting me with its opening phrase – which, of course, for most of this morning, I couldn’t!
    Concur with all the “well crafted” remarks. Ta very, the setter.

  8. Most unusually I really didn’t enjoy this one, and was surprised afterwards to see that I had not ticked a single clue as a possible “hon. mention”, let alone any candidate for COTD. I found this puzzle untypically dull and lifeless, so had to come here to double-check that it really was a Campbell, so odd did it feel.

    “Foggy Bottom” was new to me although otherwise the puzzle was quite straightforward, a traditional Monday offering.

    1.5* / 1*

    Sorry Campbell, but thank you anyway! Thanks also to Falcon for their review.

  9. 2*/4.5*. Just right for the Monday slot – light and fun. The toughest part was picking a podium selection from so many good clues. I’ll settle for 10a, 26a & 9d.

    Many thanks to Campbell and to Falcon.

  10. Nothing to dislike here. All good fun, pleasingly straightforward as befits a Monday, with 9d my favourite clue. One of Campbell’s best I thought.

    Thanks to him and Falcon.

  11. That was a terrific fun/cerebration combination. I was a bit slow in the NE. Lots of goodies from which I would nominate 10a, 9d and 14d for podium places. How clever to find such an amusingly appropriate illustration for 13a hint! Thank you Campbell and Falcon.

  12. Good afternoon everyone. Back again after two separate holidays, a fortnight with the rotten cold that has laid so many low, a couple of days off colour after the double flu and covid booster, and the rest of the time spent trying to catch up with all that needed doing around the house and garden. Clearly still a lot to do but at least I can now find time for the crossword.

    A wonderful start to the week but with a few problems including a Foggy Bottom. Thought that was a reference to some comedy show which of course it was from 2016 – 2020.

    Thanks to Falcon for his blog and to Campbell for the puzzle which was just the thing for returning to crosswords.

    1. Nice to have you back Corky. You were missed glad you are now recovered. Had my double jab Saturday seem back to normal today. Fingers crossed.

  13. I’m afraid this one didn’t particularly rock my boat. All complete in a shade over * time & unusually for a Campbell puzzle nothing really stood out for me. I’d forgotten (or maybe never knew) Foggy Bottom & that was last in – the checkers suggested the answer & then I twigged the wordplay. If pressed I’d plump for the 15a lurker neatly camouflaged in a good surface as my pick. I found the bonus cryptic more entertaining & with a couple of head scratches in the SE.
    Thanks to Campbell & Falcon.
    Ps off to Rookie Corner with high expectations after a quick glance at the comments so far.

  14. I suppose 10a is one of those things you either know or you don’t, I didn’t have the foggiest idea which meant it was the last to fall after checkers were in place to give me plenty of help.
    Several candidates for favouritism but I gave the nod to 27a for its surface read.

    Thanks to Campbell and to Falcon for the review.

  15. Trickier than usual for a Monday Campbell – 2.5*/3*.

    Having been to Washington DC a number of times, and travelled on the Metro, I knew of Foggy Bottom, from its Metro stop, but I did not know that a major US Government Office was located there so quite a large Hmm for what I considered somewhat obscure GK. However, I will admit that the Lego pieces were easy enough to identify and assemble.

    Candidates for favourite – 20a, 6d, and 17d – and the winner is 17d.

    Thanks to Campbell and Falcon.

    1. I agree re 10a, I don’t mind any clue leading to a word that I don’t know, I have learned something that might be useful. 10a lead me to learn something that doesn’t broaden my knowledge of the English Language (sorely needed) but some obscure American metonym (thanks Smyler) for an office of State. Perhaps good clue for the NYT bot the DT.

      1. Well, if you’ve now discovered the term ‘metonym’, then today’s Campbell puzzle has indeed successfully — however indirectly — broadened your knowledge of the English language!

        1. Smylers
          True, now I can use my new-found knowledge makes a crossword clue:
          Example Foggy Bottom, encountered over US city Mike. (7)
          At least I’ve used it before it falls out of the filing cabinet. Now what was that word I had to look up the other day??

        1. Good spot Steve. Oddly enough I referred to playing Hancock’s The Blood Donor to mine in a reply to Ora yesterday

          1. Thank goodness Falcon has spelt it for me.
            They, along with the physios, are the ones we tried to hide from when hospitalised!

    1. Good spot, Steve

      I suspected a third pun but didn’t cast my net wide enough and, like JB, only came up with BOTANIST (although I did momentarily wonder if BOTTOMIST might be a slang term for a proctologist!).

  16. Pretty straightforward with just 9d defeating me.
    10a was amusing. Fancy a Government office keeping an address like that. It doesn’t sound very healthy does it?
    2d is my COTD solely because I liked the illustration. So literal.

  17. Did I require an in-depth knowledge of 18th century Japanese textiles? I did not. So ‘hooray’ for Campbell and his delightful Monday puzzles.

    Busy weekend here – family here on Friday – lunch at a hotel in Runnymede, followed by Stamford Bridge on Saturday as Chelsea walloped Norwich 7-0, then another family day yesterday. All go, innit?

    Today’s crossword soundtrack: Everything But The Girl – Idlewild (perfect for a Monday morning)

    Thanks to Campbell and Falcon.

  18. I found this quite difficult for a Monday Campbell in that I could not get four of the clues. As usual, once I looked at the hints I wondered why I had struggled. I had not heard of the term for 10a so I will forgive myself that one. As for 25d I, as a former ringer of bells, always took the four letter word to mean what a group of ringers did with a ring of bells rather than what they were called.

    No real favourites today – I just enjoyed the tussle.

    Many thanks, Campbell for the fun and to Falcon for the hints, some of which were needed.

    1. Yeah, ‘peal’ is one of those words often used by non-bellringers in a much looser sense than bellringers do. (That’s probably also true of many domain-specific terms and their use inside and outside the relevant field.) So I looked it up when solving, to check.

      Dictionaries also have ‘peal’ as a verb meaning ‘ring [a bell]’; Campbell’s use today is fine.

      My dad used to ring in Holmfirth (except for the Sunday mornings on which they were paid by the makers of Last of the Summer Wine NOT to ring, so as to avoid being picked up on their filming), and for weddings around the West Yorkshire area: I have childhood memories of accompanying him to various bell towers and briefly exploring their environs during wedding ceremonies, hanging around for his ringing again at the end of the service.

      We then moved to Ponteland in Northumberland, where the church only had a couple of bells. More were later added, and both my parents rang there.

        1. That’s the one. (I remembered it having 8 bells, but I had to look up its name, because I didn’t know it at the time; we just called it “Holmfirth church”. We actually went to All Saints’ church in Netherthong.)

              1. I used to know a woman from West Yorkshire and she was obsessed with the cities, towns and villages in that area. Yes, she like her ‘uddersfield, and Upperthong too! :-)

      1. Cleckheaton for me. The guitarist from The Armpit Jug Band fell of the revolving stage and broke his leg at The Cleckheaton Working Mans Club on the eve of their tour to America. Eric Clappedout would not have stood a chance without that unfortunate incident

      2. I always think of Dorothy L Sayers and “The Nine Taylors” but where has the original comment on the word “peal” gone?

  19. Spot on start to the week and a **/****for me,
    Assumed 10a had to do with America-thanks Falcon for the explanation-one for the memory.
    Remembered 26a from somewhere.
    Liked 16d for the surface and 25a for originality.
    Favourite was 9d with a mension for 13a-thanks to Falcon for the pic.
    Recovering from the epic Dune!

  20. Cracking puzzle today incorporating different levels of difficulty, annoyingly beaten only by the China at 22d even with all the checkers Doh!
    Thanks for the hints and thanks to the setter.

  21. 10a apart I thought this an excellent puzzle so overall **** enjoyment over in near *** time.
    NW corner last fall because of working out 10a completely from the wordplay then consulting Mr G (perfect example of why doing this is not “cheating”) coupled with seeing the first part of 11a (couldn’t get “valiant” out of my head) for what it was.
    9d outstanding COTD for me. It’s only Monday so hopefully there will be other COTW candidates.
    Thank you Campbell and Falcon.

      1. Thank you, LROK,

        I jumped through hoops to get it posted. Youtube considers it Adult content, imposes age restrictions on who can watch it and allows it only to be watched directly on their platform. I was lucky enough to find a copy from another source which I could upload to WordPress.

  22. Straightforward but enjoyable with only 10a and 9d causing any pause for thought. Foggy Bottom was Googled to see if it was an actual place. Last in and COTD was 9d. Thanks to Campbell and Falcon.

  23. A quick note to say that for those with access to the online puzzles, Campbells’s online-only prize puzzle (679) is well worth the attention and very much up to standard.

  24. Back in Xword land after a traumatic weekend, but bride and groom had a wonderful time and that was all that mattered. Birmingham Botanic Gardens had 40 animatronic life sized dinosaurs which added something to the wedding photographs but scared DD1 so she wouldn’t go outside. A very smart puzzle, I felt very proud of myself getting the crickety one, I shall soon be developing a sporting physique. I had never heard of that name for tuna but the anagram had to be, as did the bung in for 10a and I have no idea where Foggy Bottom comes into it. I liked 26 and 27a and 22d. Nice quickie puns. Many thanks to setter (Campbell) and Falcon. We had a guest in a kilt from Scotland at the wedding and I just had to tell him I was an Angus and my brother wore the kilt!

    1. Regarding Foggy Bottom, it is the name of the district in Washington, D.C. where the US State Department headquarters is located. Referring to the State Department as Foggy Bottom is like referring to the British government as Whitehall. The State Department is the US government department dealing with foreign affairs (their “Foreign Office”).

  25. A straightforward puzzle for a Monday that makes a good start for the week. 2.5*/**** for me.
    Definitely a few tricky clues and several I found hard to parse, but I bunged them in anyway. SE was my hold up area and pushed me to 2.5* time
    Favourites include 10a, 13a, 9d, 17d & 25d with winner 10a. Liked 6d as it made me laugh.

    Thanks to Campbell and Falcon

  26. 2/4. Enjoyable solve with only a couple of pen sucking moments. My favourite was 9d – elegant and concise. Thanks to Campbell and Falcon.

  27. Very enjoyable and fairly straightforward. 5a/8d held me up the longest but finally got there so all very satisfying. D has his booster in Cromer on Thursday and mine is in Dereham on Friday which is miles away. Will try and sneak into Cromer with him and get it done there otherwise a ridiculous waste of time. Have picked up new reading specs today and everything is sloping towards the right which is a bit disconcerting. Anyway thanks to the setter and Falcon.

  28. Smooth clueing and clear hints, a great start to the week thank you Campbell and Falcon – 17d as my COTD and 28a contains clever misdirection

  29. A fine puzzle that amused and diverted greatly. I learned something new viz Whitehall/Foggy Bottom but like Jane, the answer was obvious from checkers alone so the learning moment didn’t interfere with the solve.
    9d was fave among a fairly long list. 2d was close but make mine a large one, please.
    Thanks to Campbell and Falcon.
    I think Stephen Fry referred to Wittgenstein as a “bottomist” so if it isn’t in the dictionary yet it may get there soon.

  30. Very late today, just got carried away reading the new novel by Jonathan Franzen and lost track of the time. Very nice puzzle, which I finished last night but puzzled a bit over 25a, apparently a usage (‘explore underground’ as a verb phrase?) that I’m not familiar with. (Where have I been, you wonder.) 9d gets my top vote as COTD. Thanks to Falcon and Campbell. ** / ***

      1. I did it once. Karl’s Wark (sic) in the Peak District

        Crawling in muddy holes with no views is only for hobbits methinks

        Took up climbing

        Still going 53 years later

    1. I was very late to bed last night Robert having got engrossed in an HBO documentary miniseries called The Jinx: The Life & Deaths of Robert Durst. I was completely unfamiliar with fella so it was quite a watch. Who needs fiction with something as bizarre as this – you really couldn’t make it up.

      1. I have studiously avoided that series on HBO, Huntsman. That wretched creature keeps making headlines over here, front page of the NYT this weekend. [I believe this is the 100th comment today, by the way, and I found all of them quite enlightening, especially those Yorkshire names.]

    2. Spelunking (the North American equivalent of Potholing) is as strange to British ears.
      I was winched down Gaping Ghyll on Ingleborough, with the Bradford Caving club once – the winch down was supposedly free but the winch out was the expensive one.

      1. I’ve done Gaping Gill. Fantastic and recommended. I’ve also read the facts about the spelunker John Jones in the Nutty Putty caves. Do not Google this. You do not need to know.

        1. A view from the bottom of Gaping Gill.
          It is most impressive – bigger than York Minster inside
          Little black dot is someone in mid winch.

        1. Most British dictionaries (with the exception of the BRB and Chambers Online) indicate spelunker as either US or North American. It comes from spelunca, the Latin word for cave.

    3. Thanks to all who responded to my query about spelunking. If that word had been used, I’d have solved 25a in a jiffy.

  31. 9d was a really brilliant clue and took me well into *** time for a Monday.
    Will have to make amends tomorrow by doing Tuesday in minus * time.
    Great all round puzzle.
    Many thanks Campbell and thanks Falcon for the nicely illustrated review.

  32. Made a right hash of this, needed hints to finish , which I didn’t as I never sussed 9d. 2d made me laugh as I thought Miffy will never get that one, probably something he’s never said😂. Thanks to all.

  33. Thanks to Campbell and to Falcon for the review and hints. A very nice Monday puzzle, with a couple of old chestnuts, 23a & 17d. Also quite a few to make you think, I’d never heard of 10a, but the wordplay was clear. I first thought that 20a may have been Godzilla, but quickly put that thought out of my head. LOI was 25a. Favourite was 9d. Was 3* /4* for me.

  34. Puzzle of two halves, NE and SW, the other two were very tricky. 10a was a perfectly dreadful clue, how on earth does anyone outside of the States know where this is situated! Really spoilt this one for me.
    ***/*

  35. Managed to complete this one alone and unaided aided , despite, like many, being completely puzzled by Foggy Bottom.
    I seem to slowly be getting a little better at figuring out Campbell’s puzzles…famous last words.
    Thanks to the setter and to Falcon.

  36. A fine Mondayish puzzle solved over twelve fun filled hours ago. Thanks to Campbell. His extra pun bypassed me despite my search for it. Thanks to Falcon for the review. A hardback copy of Richard Osmans Thursday Murder Club will be up for grabs in my Toughie blog tomorrow. First passed the post will get it. See you at 2.00pm if interested

    1. Thanks, MP, but I’ve read it already. Sone very unsavoury creatures in it too, but the Gang of Four keep plugging away. Sorry, I thought you were referring to the second one, The Man Who Died Twice.

  37. I had an ophthalmologist appointment this morning and tried to solve without to any help, actually didn’t do too badly for me. I’ve done enough 26a in my time and hated every one, wish I could forget them. I didn’t know the musical or Foggy Bottom, googled both when I got home. My fave is 10a, I’ve learned something new, always a plus for me.
    Thank you Campbell for the fun, and the unravelling by Falcon was hugely appreciated.

  38. I agree with Brian had to google 10a having never heard it before, nonetheless a nice amusing puzzle 😃 ***/*** Favourites 1a & 17d 👍 Thanks to Falcon and to the Setter

      1. My thinking was that All Clear equated to Nothing left (as all gone) AND equated to Safe (to proceed) … as in All Clear! Frustrating but that’s half the fun!

  39. I love the puns. I started out as a phlebotomist in my early days of pathology.

    Some of them make me laugh out loud.

    Also love 17d for its simplicity.

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