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DT 29818

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29818

Hints and tips by StephenL

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Good morning from South Devon.

I know a lot of you look forward (as I do) to your fortnightly battle with the “Thursday maestro” and although the difficulty can vary the quality of the puzzles is inevitably high

The four long perimeter clues gave me plenty of checkers in today’s fun puzzle

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought


1a        Certain care is lousy for jail (11)
INCARCERATE:  A straightforward anagram (is lousy) of the preceding two words. Here jail is a verb

10a      New commercial includes excellent, fantastic girl (5)
NAIAD:  The abbreviation for new and a shortened commercial go around (includes) the two letters representing excellent to give us a nymph in mythology

11a      Slander when being about individual (9)
ASPERSION: A two-letter synonym of when is followed by a (human) being placed around the letter that looks an individual

12a      Always consort with English flier first (9)
ETERNALLY:  A four-letter consort follows the abbreviation for English and one of crosswordland’s favourite birds

13a      Initially indignant, rather angry, then enraged (5)
IRATE: The first letters (initially) of the following five words

14a      Army without backing for decoration (6)
TASSEL:  Start with the (former) two letter abbreviation for some part time soldiers, then reverse (backing) a synonym of without

16a      State  secret (8)
INTIMATE: Double definition, one a verb the other an adjective

18a      Drainage somehow needed for plant (8)
GARDENIA:  Anagram (somehow) of DRAINAGE

20a      Judge follows concerned with discharge (6)
REDEEM:  A synonym of judge as a verb follows the usual two letter preposition meaning concerned with

23a      Tent top’s ends are pronounced (5)
TEPEE:  How the letters at the end of the word ToP sound when said together (are pronounced)

24a      Soldier in drama with guns shot (9)
GUARDSMAN:  Anagram (shot) of DRAMA and GUNS

26a      Drive off in Open, go too far? (9)
OVERSHOOT:  The drive here has nothing to do with golf. Start with a synonym of open as in apparent and place it around a word you would use to drive off a cat maybe

27a      Brief session Republican rejected (5)
REMIT:  A synonym of a session and the abbreviation for Republican are reversed (rejected)

28a      Sprinter’s persevering holding place sporadically (11)
INTERSPERSE :  A brilliant lurker, as indicated by the word “holding”


2d        Row with denials embracing single sweetheart (5)
NOISE :  Some denials go around (embrace) the the letter that looks like a single. Add this setter’s usual swEetheart

3d        Slow movement from author after article (7)
ANDANTE:  An Italian author follows the indefinite article (with an n) to give a musical slow movement

4d        Creepy scream catching boring thing (6)
CRAWLY:  Here the boring thing is a tool that makes holes. A synonym of scream goes around (catching) it

5d        Riposting by elevated dishonesty (8)
REPLYING:  A three letter synonym of by is reversed (elevated in a down clue) and is followed by some dishonesty

6d        Absorbed by Minister, Ministry ends (7)
TERMINI:  “Absorbed by” indicates that the solution is hidden in the clue.

7d        Hearing Independent State contains endless scrap (13)
INVESTIGATION:  Start with the abbreviation for independent and then a synonym of a state or a country which is placed around (contains) a synonym of a scrap or fragment without (endless) its last letter

8d        Accommodation for one who’s collared? (8)
VICARAGE:  A mildly cryptic definition. Here the collar is a dog or clerical collar

9d        I’m entertained, tipsily getting hazy (13)
INDETERMINATE:  Anagram (tipsy) of the preceding words

15d      Very poor leader of Senate cornered (8)
STRAPPED:  The initial (leader of) letter of Senate is followed by a synonym of cornered to give us a word meaning poor,  often followed by the phrase “for cash”

17d      Confirm change in dosage (8)

DIAGNOSE:  Anagram (change) of the following two words, to give what doctors used to do when you were able to see them

19d      Maiden Queen’s captured by period author (7)
EMERSON:  The cricket abbreviation for maiden and the royal cypher of the Queen (with the possessive S) go inside (captured by) a long period. New to me but the checkers and wordplay got me there

21d      Back runner losing head after tip (7)
ENDORSE:  A synonym of tip as in the furthest point is followed  by a runner (at Ascot say) without its first letter (losing head)

22d      Insect male, one’s eating insect (6)
MANTIS:  The abbreviation for a male and IS (one’s) are placed around (eating) one of crosswordland’s favourite insects

25d      Reminders being married, a little upset (5)

MEMOS:  The abbreviation for married is followed by a reversal (upset) of a word meaning a little

In a strong field my top spot goes to 26a.

The Quick Pun:  Sent + All + Buns = St Albans


84 comments on “DT 29818

  1. I think about our lovely Kath every day, but RayT Thursday always brings a stark reminder of how much all of us on the blog miss her. Hopefully she will feel able to pop in today and say hello.

    I thought this was RayT at his very best today and my rating is 2*/5*. His clues seemed even more succinct than normal and, on checking, only 26a had more than six words – but all seven of those were very short!

    16a was my last one in and favourite, with 26a, 28a & 6d joining it on my podium.

    Many thanks to RayT and to SL.

  2. A lovely puzzle, with a fair number of straightforward clues and some quite challenging ones. The clues are, as always, well structured and economically worded, right up my street. I liked the two lurkers at 28a and 6d, which were well camouflaged. The two anagrams at 9d and 7d were very enjoyable but my COTD is 26a with its clever misdirection. Many thanks for the hints Stephen and to Ray T for another superb puzzle.

  3. Well today the sun is shining and I have a quiet day ahead to get on with the garden. And, I finished a Ray T without help of any sort. It really is a very special day.

    So this was obviously a great puzzle with many very good clues with 7d my favourite but with honourable mentions for 14a, 23a, and 15d.

    Just a point. How is 6d reversed?

    Thanks to Ray T for his puzzle and to SL for confirming my parsing. Now to the garden.

  4. Happy Thursday! Lovely puzzle, lovely lurkers. And now lovely weather for my annual Greenhouse Cleanup. Thanks Ray T and SL!

  5. I agree with RD above: Ray T at his very best, with all of his trademarks in tight, succinct control, his clueing masterful, and his queen there in residence along with his sweetheart. And I’m always delighted to see America’s foremost essayist and Transcendentalist present amid all of the elegance surrounding him. Top clues for me: 26a, 16a, and 8d, with contenders galore. I too always think of Kath on great Thursdays like this one and hope she’s doing better every day. Thanks to Stephen L for his fine work and to Mr T for his continued excellence. ** / *****

    1. I too love seeing foreign writers Robert. It’s gives me the opportunity to wind you up by using words like obscure, arcane and little known. Remember Geothe?

      1. Reminds me of the joke about the Irishman going for a job on a building site.
        The boss assumed the Irishman was a bit stupid so he asked him if he knew the difference between a joist and a girder.

        (I can’t type in an Irish accent)

        “Well it was Joyce that wrote Ulysses and Goethe that wrote Faust…”

      2. I remember Johann Wolfgang von Goethe very well, MP. I also remember the day I thought you were being serious. Did I ever apologise?

        1. Did you ever need to apologise Robert. I think not. I do remember smiling at your comment though.

  6. Quite friendly by Ray T’s standards with very succinct clues. **/**** 23a was my last one in because I was a little unsure of the spelling but upon checking it can be spelled in three different ways. Always something new to learn. Favourite 8d. Greetings to Kath and thanks to all.

  7. I am indebted to RD at #1 for doing the word count for me, and I was very impressed to see that Ray has now got down to six words or less in a cryptic crossword, apart from one seven letter word. Quite remarkable, and a testimony to his his enduring quality as a setter.

    I think the sensational lurker at 28a takes my top spot this morning. My thanks and admiration to Mr T for this little gem, to SL for his hard work, and, echoing others, a big hello to Kath.

  8. A very enjoyable, satisfying solve. Enough bite at the end to raise a smile upon completion. Thank you RayT for the puzzle and to StephenL for the review

  9. I agree with SL’s **/***, a pleasure to solve
    Took a while to properly parse 22d and 14a.
    Favourite was the 19d charade with the brilliant 28a lurker a close second and honerable mention for the ‘endless scrap’ in 7d.
    Thanks setter and SL for the pics.

  10. I would have completed this in ** time, but 2d and 28a held out for a ridiculous amount of time.

    I was unable to parse 26a, so thanks for that, SL and to RayT for the puzzle.

  11. Ray T in a benevolent mood today although I did need the hints to explain the judge in 20a and the Open in 26a so thx for that.
    I found this very enjoyable and just about my Ray T level. My fav was 4d!
    Thx to all

  12. I think this may have been my first encounter with RayT, and what a delight – superb throughout. Seems odd to have a lurker as favourite but 28a gets top spot for me. (In the review, I think “ToP’s ends” on its own produces the T/P rather than “tent” doing double duty) Many thanks MrT & SL

  13. A very enjoyable Ray T which, perhaps, I found a little more challenging than others have indicated but there was no need for the copious amount of white space on my printed sheet as a result of Mr T’s brevity – ***/****.

    Favourite – a toss-up between 2d and 19d – and the winner is 19d.

    Thanks to Ray T and Stephen L, and thinking of Kath.

  14. I have to declare a DNF today, being beaten by a few, so not as benevolent for me as for others. It was the long ones that caused me the most problems. I just could not “see” them. Nevertheless, a typical Ray T and many will find it a delight. I was not on wavelength today.

    Many thanks to Ray T and to SL. Thinking of and sending good wishes to Kath.

  15. Another great puzzle from Mr T I wish I could have done it justice. Kath would have been in her element reviewing this one, & like RD I hope she pops in later,
    After a pretty slow start it took well into *** time to finish but would have been a ***** fun day.
    Completely mislead by 26a into “thinking golf” makes it my COTD.
    Thanks to Ray T and to StephenL for the concise review.
    Trying to overcome the daily problems caused by a family member having the misfortune to have moved next door neighbour to a sociopath is affecting my ability to tackle and enjoyment of the backpager. You would not believe how inhuman some people are.

  16. I usually get lurkers but not today – agree with StephenL 28a is brilliant. Thank you RayT for yet another masterpiece, 23a as my cotd. Hope all is ok Kath!

  17. I do look forward to alternate Thursdays – one of my favourite compilers on parade and always the chance that Kath will pop in to say hello to us all.
    Thoroughly enjoyed today’s puzzle despite starting out with an incorrect answer for 7d which snookered me where 14a was concerned until I corrected my mistake. Small wonder that I’d been unable to parse some elements of my original idea!
    My top three for the day were 16,26&28a with a smile for the collared one.

    Devotions as always to Mr T and thanks to Stephen L for another excellent review.

  18. I found this harder than the two previous days. I just can’t get on Ray T’s wavelength. 26a favourite. Ta to all.

  19. I was hoist by 7d today – I bunged in a wrong answer that fitted all but one of the checkers and couldn’t solve 14a as a result.
    My own mistakes apart, the rest was a Ray T treat.
    First thought on 3d was Allegro — not because I thought it was musically slow but my first car was an Allegro and that definitely was.
    I did like the way 1a and 8d were related and will add my praise to the well-disguised lurkers, 21d was the laugh out loud moment for me. I confess to thinking of ELP’s “Fanfare for the Common Man” before Ralph Waldo. I will have to reacquaint myself with both.
    Thanks to SL for a review as concise as the setter and I also add my best wishes to Kath.

    1. You may find Emerson Lake and Palmer very dated. I struggled with Pictures At An Exhibition last week. Never again

      1. I am dated too but I know what you mean – I had an early Genesis binge a while ago and a lot of was very dated, but that makes the gems shine brighter.

  20. I agree, thoroughly enjoyable although I did get stuck on parsing 26a, it had to be but why. So thanks to Stephen L, and tithe setter of course – stars for 22 and 28a and 6,8,9 and 19d. Very smooth. Went into Trumpington to the dentist, was an hour early (doh) so nipped up to Waitrose and, guess
    what, I got mussels for dinner. Win win, as I really enjoy them and George does the cooking. Cunning, eh? Love to Kath of course.

    1. Are they from Brancaster DG? Yum yum. Had moules frites in Bruges years ago, tiny mussels and not a patch on our local ones.

      1. Well Waitrose actually, but maybe Brancaster originally. They were beautiful big fat bodies, I wish I’d got more as I could have cooked them and frozen them.

  21. I, too, fell into the 7d trap. I should have known better: I couldn’t fully parse it but I bunged it in with a view to trying to do so later. It needed my last one in, 14a, to give me the clue to my mistake. A really enjoyable Ray T. Thank you, sir. 23a was brilliant.

    1. Just wait until you see “terriers” being used to describe the Army Reserve. Never heard the term outside of crosswordland and it nevers fails to grate.

    2. My father was in the TA’s in WW 2 having also served in the Royal Artillery in WW1. He got the Territorial Decoration for long service with good conduct. Thanks to all concerned for today’s offering.

  22. A very nice puzzle from the great Ray T. Good, concise clues providing a decent challenge and much enjoyment. I’ve ticked a fair few, but will pick 16a as my favourite. 3*, 4.5*.

    *And many thanks and much praise to SL, who is fast becoming a very competent reviewer.

  23. Re 17d hints. Please stop this myth that you can’t see a doctor. Yesterday, my fiancée was very ill. I rang at 0830, she was seen at 0940 by a brilliant GP who took every trouble including phoning the duty consultant and she was admitted immediately and saw the consultant at 2pm.

  24. Another tough puzzle from Ray T again this week. Very hard to get going and took forever to get the answer to the bottom perimeter clue. 3.5*/**** for me today.
    NE was the last area to complete with 16a being last in. Had some trouble with parsing a few clues too, but all made sense when finally cracked. Clues for favourites include 11a, 18a, 4d, 7d & 8d with my winner being 8d for the misdirection. Didn’t know the names in 10a or 19d either so required some Googling to suss them out.

    Thanks to Ray T. and StephenL for hints

  25. Thoroughly enjoyable and satisfying.
    Probably the best ever lurker in 7d.
    And a great deceptively easy clue in 23a.
    In summary, ***/*****
    Many thanks, indeed, Ray T and thanks to StephenL especially for the lovely Karen Carpenter.

  26. Evening all. My thanks to StephenL for the analysis and to everybody else for your comments. Also, best wishes to Kath, of course.


    1. Many thanks for popping in Ray T and for the puzzle. It was great as usual but defeated me I’m afraid. Never mind, I will await your next challenge with anticipation. :good:

    2. Thanks for popping by sir, always appreciated.
      Another great puzzle which was a pleasure to provide the hints for.
      Of course my best wishes to the lovely Kath too.

    3. Even I agreed with the word benevolent to describe your puzzle today. Thanks for the experience I gain on alternate Thursdays.

    4. Thanks for popping in, and for a great puzzle. I always look forward to RayT Thursdays and I am never disappointed!

  27. It took me a while to get the hang of RayT’s style but I am definitely a convert now and love his concise clues. Always a tussle but an enjoyable one, particularly so today. The final penny drop was 8d – also my favourite today – once I’d got past my fixation on collars for canines! Many thanks to RayT and to StephenL.

  28. Enjoyed this puzzle very much…mainly be because I solved it alone and unaided….and could do the parsing too! Frabjous day! I had most trouble with the anagrams which is unusual for me as they usually give me my foothold in crosswords.

    Thanks to RayT for the puzzle and StephenL for the review.

    Best wishes to Kath.

  29. I found this quite tricky (as always) but rewarding ****/*** 😳 Favourites 26a & 8d 😃 Big thanks to Stephen L and of course to Ray T

  30. Really enjoyed this. I too tripped initially up with 7d but my very favourite was the mention of my beautiful home town in the pun. Thank you for that, RT and Stephen for the fine review, although I confess to be struggling to find a correlation between the music and the clue at 2d 🤷🏻‍♀️.

  31. Hello everyone – I thought this was a tricky one today – need more practise, I think. Oh dear!!
    Thank you Ray T for the crossword and thank you to all of you to remind me that I can still (nearly sometimes) do crosswords.

    1. How nice to see you, Kath, always a banner day. You are still able to solve a RayT, more than I can do! Love you, keep on getting better.

    2. Brightened up my day. For me you epitomise everything that makes this site what it is.
      All speed to your recovery bonny lass.

    3. Lovely to see you popping in Kath. Sounds like you are going great guns. Lots of us still don’t finish unaided most days. I always did admire that you did the hints for Ray T puzzles.

    4. Hi Kath, I’ve been waiting for you to pop in – keep going, sounds as though you’ve made massive improvements already.

    5. Lovely to see you popping in, Kath. I don’t think a day goes by when we don’t think of you and wish you well.

  32. I DNF, but only missed three in the SW so this must have been a gentle one indeed. On first pass I had two bungins, 7d which was right, and 8d, I tried so hard to get parsonage in 8 spaces. Didn’t miss the lurkers, so I’m giving myself points for that. I liked 19d.
    Thanks to RayT and StephenL for my entertainment this morning.

  33. A RayT that I would have finished if I wasn’t a muppet and bunged the wrong answer in 7d.

    A result for me nonetheless. 😀

    Thanks to all.

    1. Me too I plumped for wrong hearing synonym in 7d (in fact think my solution was more appropriate!) which messed up 14a.

  34. I always find Ray T a challenge, and today met that definition. But I do seem to learn something from each one, 10a was today’s contribution. 1a went straight in which for some reason usually means that I will struggle thereafter, and so it was today. I have a 19a in my front garden so that helped. Beautiful scent. Thanks to Ray and StephenL, couldn’t have finished without some of the hints.

  35. A DNF sadly or at least completion only after hitting the reveal mistakes button to see 7d was wrong. Quality puzzle as ever. The excellent lurker at 28a, the digs for the collared at 8d & 26a my podium selection from a host of good clues.
    Thanks to RT&SL.

  36. Only defeated by 16a today ,and as it’s a RayT I’m marking it down as a win for me. He must have been in a benevolent mood for me to have nearly completed it. Some lovely sounding words today that just roll off the tongue all beginning with in. Thanks to all.

  37. As Ape I’m afraid I usually fail to get on RayT’s wavelength but perhaps as per PeakyC I will eventually find a way to tune in. In fact I did think a few clues were rather weak today witness 14a, 23a, 27a, 17d and 21d. None stood out as Fav. Thank you RayT and StephenL.

  38. I had to move the zoom quiz from Wednesday to Thursday this week, due to circumstances, so it seems I swapped not being on Jay’s wavelength to not being on Rayt’s. I too fell into the 7d trap which I also couldn’t parse and also fell asleep half way through but managed to complete on awakening. I’ll also go for the brilliantly disguised lurker at 28a as favourite. Thanks to Rayt and SL.

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