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DT 29814

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29814

A full review by Rahmat Ali

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This puzzle was published on 23rd Oct 2021

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Greetings from Kolkata. A nice Saturday puzzle from the setter that I rejoiced in solving insofar as in writing thereafter a review of the same for your kind perusal and precious feedback.

I wanted to know more about Paddington, which served as part of the clue of 6a and so accessed and viewed the net. I learnt that the fictional bear in children’s literature first appeared in ‘A Bear Called Paddington’ in 1958. Paddington, whose original name was Pastuso, arrived as a stowaway from “darkest Peru”, where he used to live with Aunt Lucy and Uncle Pastuzo after his parents died in an earthquake when he was very young. He was sent by his aunt, who herself had gone to live in the Home for Retired Bears in Lima. He was found at Paddington railway station in London by the Brown family, sitting on his suitcase with a note “Please look after this bear. Thank you.” attached to his coat. The Browns decided to take him to their home. He was given the name Paddington Brown. Several stories followed Paddington’s adventures and mishaps in England along with certain brief extracts of information about his Peruvian past. I also learnt that Michael Bond, the author of the Paddington books, originally wanted Paddington to have travelled from “darkest Africa”, but upon the advice of his agent that no bears existed in Africa, he replaced the continent’s name with that of the South American country.

I further learnt that ‘Sligo’ as the answer to the clue of 28a is the anglicisation of the Irish name Sligeach, which means ‘abounding in shells’ or ‘shelly place’, since it refers to the abundance of shellfish found in the river and its estuary and from the extensive shell middens or shell mounds in the surrounding areas.

‘Word’ as the answer to the clue of 26d got me nostalgic and I took a trip down memory lane to the mid-eighties when I was involved, inter alia, with the study of Foreign Exchange as one of the courses of the Certified Associate of the Indian Institute of Bankers. Therein, I came across the Latin phrase Dictum meum pactum meaning ‘My word is my bond’ which had been serving since 1801 as the motto of the London Stock Exchange, where bargains were made with no exchange of documents and no written pledges being given. In those days, there were no online trading of shares and I remember I used to sometimes visit the stock brokers of the Calcutta Stock Exchange in the evening after office hours with share certificates with instructions to them to sell my shares at the highest possible quote or to buy certain shares at the lowest possible quote. On the next day, after the transactions had taken place, they used to inform me over phone at my office. On the third day, when I used to glance through the Financial Times, which highlighted the opening, closing and the intermediary figures of the shares of the previous day, I used to always find that my shares were sold at the lowest possible quote and purchased at the highest possible quote. It is so heartening to see that machine has finally taken over man.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Award half-decent speech (10)
DECORATION: 50% or half the letters (half) of DEC[ENT] followed by ORATION (speech) as a loud, aggressive speech addressed to a crowd or a formal speech, especially one given on a ceremonial occasion take to the definition of a medal or the badge of an order conferred as an honour

6a    ‘Paddington’s Home‘ screened by picture palace from the East End (4)
PERU: Part of or hidden inside (screened by) pictURE Palace going backwards from the right or east side (East End) as a reversal, revealing the name of the country from which Paddington, the fictional bear, originally came

10a    Nuts quite like what a cricketer might hold (5)
BATTY: A cryptic way of arriving at the definition meaning mad or insane from the somewhat or reasonably-derived adjective (quite like) of BAT (what a cricketer might hold) by adding the suffix TY

11a    Picked up something from Rome that smells nice (9)
POTPOURRI: A homophone to the ears of the audience (picked up) as POPERY (something from Rome) as the derogatory term for Roman Catholicism or the doctrines, practices and ceremonies associated with the papal system, leading to the definition of a fragrant mixture of dried petals, leaves and spices used to scent a room

12a    Air support on course to cover Matthew and son (8)
TELEVISE: TEE (support on course) as a small plastic or wooden peg with a concave head as a support for a ball on a golf course, used for the first stroke of each hole to embrace (cover) LEVI (Matthew) as another name for Matthew the Apostle and S (son) as the genealogical abbreviation for son, taking to the definition of a verb meaning to transmit by television

13a    Article with yours truly as subject (5)
THEME: A charade of the definite article THE (article) and ME (yours truly) as referring to the informal phrase ‘yours truly’ sometimes used by a speaker to mean himself or herself takes to the definition of a noun meaning a topic or the matter of a talk, piece of writing or exhibition

15a    Men provided something cold for opening (7)
ORIFICE: A charade of the abbreviated OR (men) as Other Ranks or members of the armed services not holding commissions, the conjunction IF (provided) and ICE (something cold) as frozen water leads to the definition of an opening, particularly one in the body such as a nostril or the anus

17a    Female with pride (7)
LIONESS: Pride as a collective noun used to describe a group or company of lions cryptically leads to the definition of a female member of that group

19a    Support for the board? (7)
TRESTLE: The definition meaning a framework consisting of a horizontal beam supported by two pairs of sloping legs, used in pairs to support a flat surface is derived from the indicator – the board or the top of such a table that rests on it

21a    Resent band’s attitude (7)
MINDSET: A charade of MIND (resent) as to be annoyed or troubled by something and SET (band) as a group of people with common interests or occupations or of similar social status take to the definition of a person’s way of thinking and their opinion

22a    Some man I certified gets better (5)
NICER: Part of or hidden inside (some) maN I CERtified unfolds the definition of an adjective in its comparative degree form meaning more pleasing or agreeable

24a    Owner of business backed worker accepting trophy (8)
OCCUPANT: A combo of a commercial business or company in its abbreviated version CO (business) is written backwards (backed) as a reversal and ANT (worker) as a social insect working together in groups taking in (accepting) CUP (trophy) as an ornamental trophy, usually having a stem and two handles, leading to the definition of a proprietor or a holder of a position or office

27a    Theatre regularly ignored Friends character? Blow it! (9)
HARMONICA: Even letters taken and odd ones ignores (regularly ignored) of tHeAtRe followed by MONICA (Friends character) as the fictional character on the popular US television sitcom ‘Friends’, leading to the definition of a small rectangular wind instrument with a row of metal reeds along its length, held against the lips and moved from side to side to produce different notes by blowing or sucking

28a    Logs I ordered somewhere in Ireland (5)
SLIGO: An anagram (ordered) of LOGS I directs to the seaside county town in the north-western province of Connacht in Ireland

29a    Look unpleasant for the audience (4)
MIEN: A homophone (for the audience) as to the ears of the audience of MEAN (unpleasant) as disagreeable, unfriendly or bad-tempered leads to the definition of a noun meaning a person’s appearance or manner, especially as an indication of their character or mood

30a    Rich remark made to cobbler for a job well done (4-6)
WELL-HEELED: Double definition; the figurative definition of the phrase meaning wealthy, prosperous or having plenty of money (first definition) is cryptically arrived from the compliment paid to a cobbler by likely a satisfied customer for a fine repair or replacement of the heels of his or her shoes (second definition)

The original clue had tailor instead of cobbler, which doesn’t work.


1d    Obligation of French telecom company (4)
DEBT: A charade of DE (of French) meaning ‘of’ in the French language and BT (telecom company) as the shortened version of BT Group plc, a British multinational telecommunications holding company headquartered in London, arriving at the definition of a feeling of gratitude for a service or favour

2d    Girl with unusually nice heart (9)
CATHERINE: An anagram (unusually) of NICE HEART takes to the definition of one of the oldest and most consistently well-used names for a girl

3d    Perhaps write right verse (5)
RHYME: The two words (write right) indicate an example (perhaps) of the definition of correspondence of sound between words each of which is occurring at the end of a line in a poem

4d    Joint league leader? (7)
TOPSIDE: Double definition; the first being a cut of beef coming from the round of a cow between its leg and rump and the second referring to the champion or the most successful team or one that is ahead in a league or competition

5d    Food over at breakfast? (7)
OATMEAL: O (over) as the cricket abbreviation for over, AT from the clue and MEAL (breakfast) as the first meal of the day take to the definition of a meal made from ground oats, used in porridge or oatcakes

7d    Mysterious meteoroid oddly missing base (5)
EERIE: The odd letters having left (oddly missing) of mEtEoRoId followed by E (base) as the base of natural logarithms lead to the definition of an adjective meaning weird or strangely frightening

8d    See 14 Down

9d    Coward cut up over Scottish golfing resort (8)
POLTROON: LOP (cut) or remove by cutting going up (up) as a reversal in the down clue placed on TROON (Scottish golfing resort) as the town of Scotland most famous for its golf courses, leading to the definition of a dastard or an ignoble or contemptible coward

14d & 8d    Strange haunting moves Trinity College (10,10)
NOTTINGHAM UNIVERSITY: An anagram (strange) of HAUNTING MOVES TRINITY leads to the definition of a public research university in Nottingham regarded as a Trinity College (the latter part of the answer appears in 8d)

16d    Private centre (8)
INTERIOR: Double definition; the first being an adjective meaning domestic or relating to home or personal affairs and the second a noun meaning the middle area or inside of anything

18d    Important German city Italy almost rebuilt (9)
ESSENTIAL: ESSEN (German city) as a city in Western Germany is followed by an anagram (rebuilt) of most of the letters (almost) of ITAL[Y], arriving at the definition of an adjective meaning absolutely necessary or extremely important

20d    Controversial European aim (7)
EMOTIVE: A charade of E (European) of the EU or the European Union and MOTIVE (aim) as a purpose or intention of doing something leads to the definition of an adjective meaning arousing or able to arouse intense or contentious feeling

21d    Chap I’m backing with each moving line (7)
MICHAEL: I’M from the clue is going backwards (backing) as a reversal followed by (with) an anagram (moving) of EACH and the abbreviation L (line) used for referring to a particular line on a page or in a play or poem, leading to the definition of one of the most common given names for a boy

23d    Swear dog’s evil at first (5)
CURSE: CUR’S (dog’s) or belonging to an aggressive or unkempt dog, especially a mongrel followed by the first letter (at first) of E[VIL] take to the definition of a verb meaning to utter imprecations

25d    Group own all but the last two (5)
POSSE: Have as belonging to one or POSSE[SS] (own) everything except the last two of the letters (all but the last two), leading to the definition of a group of people who have a common characteristic or occupation or any group temporarily established for a purpose

26d    Promise part of hospital will get oxygen for American (4)
WORD: W[A]RD (part of hospital) as a room with several beds in a hospital to have (will get) the chemical symbol for oxygen O (oxygen) in place of (for) the abbreviation for American A (American), leading to the definition of one’s solemn promise or assurance

Some of the clues that I liked in this Saturday puzzle were 6a, 10a, 11a, 12a, 27a, 30a 2d, 4d, 9d and 14&8d, with 6a as the clear favourite. Thanks to the setter for the entertainment and to BD for the encouragement. Looking forward to being here again. Have a wonderful day.


8 comments on “DT 29814

  1. Once again a tremendous review.
    I don’t know if the same person sets each Sunday puzzle. Sometimes I can complete and sometimes I can’t, which I guess applies to a few people. The times I can seem really easy. This one wasn’t. Thanks for the comprehensive review they do help

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