DT 29819 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29819

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29819

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Good morning from South Staffs on a blustery autumn day. My back has decided to seize up, which makes sitting at the keyboard uncomfortable, so there aren’t any pictures today.

The four Xs in the grid indicate the work of ProXimal, whose puzzle today I found reasonably approachable.

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           Unwelcome adviser supports European at club (4-4,6)
BACK-SEAT DRIVER – Put together another word for ‘supports’, European, AT (from the clue), and a golf club.

9a           Work out approach to secure place (7)
COMPUTE – Another word for ‘approach is wrapped round another verb for ‘place’.

10a         Official, say, in European Union rejected one taking flight (7)
REFUGEE – Start with the short form of a football official. Then put the Latin abbreviation for ‘say’ or ‘for example’ inside the initials of the European Union, reverse (rejected) the result and add it on to the official.

11a         Stringed instrument spoils broadcast (4)
LUTE – A stringed instrument which is an approximate homophone (broadcast) of another word for the spoils of a criminal incursion.

12a         Fun family member receiving a kiss (10)
RELAXATION – A (from the clue) and the letter used to indicate a kiss are placed inside another word for a family member.

14a         Hold a cuddly toy after turning in (6)
DETAIN Put together A (from the clue) and the short form of the name of a favourite cuddly toy, reverse (after turning) the result, and add IN (from the clue).

15a         Cut off facial hair in half-hearted act (8)
DETACHED – Remove one of the middle letters from a word for ‘act’ or ‘achievement’, and relace it with the short form of a variety of facial hair.

17a         Awful singer finally accepted by choir, if desperate (8)
HORRIFIC – Anagram (desperate) of CHOIR IF, with the last letter (finally) of singeR inserted.

18a         Virtually unlimited hats, comprising three different sizes (6)
ALMOST – Remove the outside letters (unlimited) from (h)AT(s), then insert 3 different size descriptions found on clothing.

21a         Worker admits messing around in job (10)
ASSIGNMENT – One of the usual worker insects is wrapped round an anagram (around) of MESSING.

22a         Dram from hotel consumed by drunk (4)
SHOT – The letter represented by Hotel in the NATO alphabet is inserted into a word for a habitual drunk.

24a         Noted female artist linked to Kent, not capital (7)
EMINENT – The surname of a female artist whose works include an unmade bed, followed by (K)ent minus its capital.

25a         Old poetry university dons do to death (7)
OVERUSE – An abbreviation for Old, followed by some poetry wrapped round an abbreviation for University.

26a         Genuinely hell here, day two at sea (14)


1d           Was first to support doe’s mate that’s collapsed (7)
BUCKLED – A name for an animal that could be a doe’s mate, followed by a verb for ‘was first’ (in a race).

2d           Accept heavenly body on Tom withers when neglected (4,2,5,4)
COME TO TERMS WITH – A small heavenly body which orbits the sun, followed by an anagram (when neglected) of TOM WITHERS.

3d           Comfortable having arms lifted (4)
SNUG – Reverse (lifted) the sort of arms which fire bullets.

4d           Father upset with former partners giving tips (6)
APEXES – Reverse (upset) a short word for ‘father’, then add some former spouses.

5d           Some Parisian keeping chest with silver for stagnant times (4,4)
DARK AGES – Put together the sort of chest that Indiana Jones and his fellow Raiders were looking for and the chemical symbol for silver. Then wrap the French for ‘some’ around the result.

6d           Maybe football final played on schedule (10)
INFLATABLE – Anagram (played) of FINAL, followed by another word for the presentation of a schedule of figures.

7d           Dog‘s tongue going over badger beneath stump (7,8)
ENGLISH FOXHOUND -The first word is a tongue or language. For the second, put together another word for ‘stump’ or ‘outwit’ and another word for ‘badger’ or ‘harass’.

8d           Provided straps to one refusing to climb (6)
REINED – Reverse (to climb) a word for someone who refuses to accept something.

13d         Piloting after releasing right engineer for submarine chamber (6,4)
DIVING BELL – Remove the Right from a word for ‘piloting’ or ‘steering’, then add the surname of the engineer who first patented the telephone.

16d         Clash is between manager’s top and tie (8)
MISMATCH – This is a clash of colours. Put together the first letter (top) of Manager, IS (from the clue), and a sporting tie or contest.

17d         One jokes over dismissal in personnel department (6)
HOAXER – Put together the cricket abbreviation for an Over and an informal way of describing dismissal from a job, Then wrap the usual acronym for the personnel department around the result.

19d         Unsteady pig’s foot leaving first run on yard (7)
TOTTERY – Start with a word for a pig’s foot (especially in a culinary context). Remove the occurrence of the abbreviation for Run, then add an abbreviation for Yard.

20d         Wool from African country changing hands (6)
ANGORA – Start with a southern African country, then change the letter which can indicate a particular hand to the one indicating the other hand, to get this fine wool from a type of rabbit.

23d         Hook up bucket down after flipping over (4)
MEET – Reverse (after flipping over) a word for ‘bucket down’ (of rain).

The Quick Crossword pun BERTH + DAZE + HOOT = BIRTHDAY SUIT

77 comments on “DT 29819

  1. Found this a bit of a struggle though enjoyable. NE corner took a longish time. I’d rate it ***/***

  2. A good quality Friday offering I found to be ***/*** having spent some time thinking of a particular family member to wrap round 12a rather than the generic term. That was my last one in. I thought 1a very good so that is my COTD. The anagrams although long helped to oil the wheels. Thanks to Deep Threat and the setter.

  3. I made harder work of this than I should have done but I always consider ProXimal to be the master of misdirection.
    It took me ages to see what was on reflection the blindingly obvious 1a but once I had the rest eventually fell into place.
    I liked several, particularly the clever 9a along with 24a plus 6&7d with top spot going to 8d.
    Many thanks to ProXimal and DT for the top notch entertainment.

  4. The puzzle of the week for me. So enjoyable that I credited it to Silvanus. Soon realised the error of my ways when I noted the four Xs, one in each quarter. ProliXic to thank then. Thanks also to Deep Threat and his poorly back. The weekend is here. Play nicely for Tilsit or his deputies and ‘Senf on Sunday’ which sounds like a 1970s cheesy radio show

  5. 2*/4.5*. Another excellent puzzle from Mr 4X which was a lot of fun to solve.

    Out of very many ticked clues, my final podium selection is 1a (my favourite), 12a, 24a & 6d.

    Many thanks to proXimal and to DT. Hope your back feels better soon, DT.

  6. A bit of a head scratcher, some of it self-inflicted by two or three incorrect answers, which took a while to detect, providing incorrect checkers. Oh well, ***/****.

    Candidates for favourite – 22a, 1d, 5d, and 17d – and the winner is 1d.

    Thanks to the 4-X man and to DT.

  7. I always struggle with Proximal’s puzzles and today was no exception (4*/3*). I got great satiisfaction from finishing it, albeit having had to use an electronic crib for one hint in the very tricky NE corner. The clues were all very clever, Toughie standard at times, although some were rather convoluted for my taste, especially when compared to yesterday’s paragons of simplicity. My favourites were 7d with complex misdirection and 1a, having been arried to one for 50 plus years. Thanks to DT for the hints and to Proximal.

  8. I struggled with this one too. ****/*** The main culprits being the family member at 12a and the breed of dog at 7d. Having gone through Welsh corgis, German shepherds, Irish setters etc. it took me quite a while and all the checkers to come up with the answer. This has to be my favourite clue today. Thanks to all.

  9. Lovely puzzle today with just the right amount of head scratching. Like NAS above the family member held me up for a bit. David had his booster yesterday in Cromer, I was meant to drive miles to Dereham today for mine but I went with him and smiled sweetly and got my jab there – scrumptious jabber, so tall I thought he was standing on a box. Interesting, was going to have it in my left shoulder as I’m right handed when he asked which side I slept on, so I had it in the right, so glad as its pretty painful. Anyway thanks to Proximal for another delightful puzzle and to DT – backs can be curse, hope it improves soon.

  10. Thanks ProXimal & DT. Favourite from a very strong field, 6d. Struggled for ages with parsing for 15a, as I was convinced “cut off facial hair” was a cryptic definition.

  11. I loved this puzzle – best one for some time as far as I’m concerned. Lots of really good clues – favourites 1a, 7d, 5d, 2d. ****/*****

  12. I’m with everybody else here, a wonderful puzzle, which took far more neurons than it should have done. There was always just enough to entice me to spend a little more time eking answers out rather than resorting to electrons. I got there in the end, but it took me a full ***** time.

    I can feel for DT, my back has been in spasm since Wednesday. Hope yours improves soon.

    Thanks to proXimal and DT.

  13. I thought this one was very good. After a slow start, it all fell into place very nicely.

    Many thanks to proXimal, and to DT.

  14. I really struggled with this very challenging proXimal but persevered and finished without any aids, which surprised me because at one point, I still had seven unsolved clues. My last two in, 15a and 23d, seemed to take as long to solve as the rest of the puzzle. But there was so much to like, especially 8d, 12a, 13d, & 17d. Thanks to DT (feel better!) and proXimal. **** / ****

  15. Like most of the bloggers I really struggled to parse quite a few clues and am going for a ****/***- I think DT must have had a good day.
    I was held up by the NW corner , it did not help by initially putting Loot in for 11a!
    Anyway a sense of achievement as last in 8d succombed..
    Favourite was 1a closely followed by 2d.
    Might have a go at the toughie, I did not enjoy yesterdays offering.

  16. Trotted down far too many garden paths before arriving at the answer for 6d, last to fall by a considerable margin.
    The ‘unwelcome adviser’ made me smile so earns a podium place along with 12&14a. A mention also for the Quickie pun.

    Thanks to proXimal and to DT for soldiering through the review – hope you manage to get some relief for your back soon.

  17. Initially slow in the uptake but eventually got going firstly in the South and then surprised myself by completing bar 8d. Thanks proXimal and DT (with whom I sympathise as I am battling with painful spinal stenosis but at my ripe old age am at the moment resisting surgery!).

    1. Same here with the spinal stenosis. I’ve also got a knackered left hip – isn’t getting older a challenge at times………

      1. Getting old is not for the faint hearted. At least we keep our marbles rolling with these wonderful puzzles.

        1. Agree, getting old is definitely hard work. Most of my family did not make it beyond their sixties so I wasn’t quite prepared for the challenges. But I do consider myself lucky to have got this far 😊.

      2. Jane, it is indeed a challenge but I might have used a stronger word! Have you been through the epidural process? Unfortunately they don’t last for me. Anyway DG, here’s to ongoing rolling marbles!

      1. Getting old is infinitely better than the alternative. Having suffered chronic back pain for more than half my life and having gone to numerous physios, chiropractors etc. I started taking glucosamine + cod liver oil, result, no back pain. All I can say is it works for me.

        1. I’ve taken both for more years than I can count and it makes no difference. Of course, it could be that my aches and pains would be even worse without them. Co-Q10, turmeric, and so on, I take it all.

  18. Pitched just right for the end of the week backpager. My particular favourite was 24a as the artist is linked to Kent but definitely not born in the county town (capital)

    Thanks to proXimal and DT – hope your back improves soon

  19. I, too, found this a bit harder than our blogger, with several clues taking a relative age to unravel. It was, though, a puzzle of high entertainment, with 1a and 8d among my favourites.

    My thanks to proXimal and DT. I sympathise with your back problem, as managing it can be so debilitating.

  20. A right old struggle here too, I needed a couple of hints from the excellent DT.

    An interesting day yesterday. I took the car to the garage for a service and MOT. No trouble with that – the car sailed through. But after settling the bill there was some chaos when they couldn’t locate my keys. “They’re not lost, they’re mislaid!”
    This was followed by thirty minutes of comedy, less so for the chap who cleans the cars before their return – he was berated for ‘mislaying’ the keys. People were checking desks, drawers, the floors, everywhere.
    A rather grand lady was handed her keys as her car had been serviced. She said “These aren’t my keys” and turning to me, “Are they yours?”
    With a superb Maggie Smith voice, and a wink to me, she said, “Well I didn’t think this was the sort of place where one swapped keys!”

    The nuisance of the additional thirty minutes was worth it for her impeccable comedy timing.

    They were my keys, and the garage people didn’t offer an apology. I drove home, listening to Steely Dan.

    Thanks to the setter and poor DT – I hope you’re back, and your back is back in good order, very soon.

      1. What a hoot Terence. It’s nice that you both had a sense of humour to lighten the moment.

  21. I’m afraid I gave up with this one. I was finding it too much like hard work and duties were calling so, reluctantly, I put it down. I may return to it later.

    Many thanks to proXimal for the drubbing and to DT. You have my sympathy regarding your back. I hope it gets better soon.

  22. Absolute belter of a puzzle, by some considerable margin the best of the week, I felt. It took a goodly while to get started, but once I’d got used to the splendid red herrings and tuned in to the setter’s wavelength the grid fell nicely into place. Everything fairly and concisely clued, no specialist knowledge required, concise constructions, smooth surface reads. What’s not to like?

    COTD to 1a by a short whisker, but I loved the surfaces of 17a, 18a, 21a, and 26a, while I thought 24a, 7d, 8d, 17d and 19d quite wonderfully clever and amusing.

    3* / 4.5*

    Many thanks indeed to ProXimal and DT.

  23. I’m glad I’ve still got yesterday’s Ray T to do, ‘cos I ain’t doing very well with this one! Only one clue so far….
    Thanks to DT for the hints although it might be looking at the answers later!

  24. Parts of this were rather harder than the ** suggested. Often the main problem was not finding the answer but unravelling the wordplay. For instance Dons and Secure made the particular clues clumsy to unpick.
    Thx to all

    1. Couldn’t disagree with you more Brian on “dons” and “secure”. Perfect cryptic fodder.

      I am having a rest today and will do over the weekend before we start the olive harvest next week. So I have caught up from Wednesday. All great crosswords but I thought today’s offering was particularly good and challenging especially in the NE.

      Particularly liked 9ac, 15ac, 25ac, 6dn, 7dn and the use of “stump” in 8dn. I don’t usually like GK in a crossword but this was an excellent clue.

      Thanks for the blog DT and to the setter. Hope your back improves … I used to suffer from those problems having spent some 30 odd years as a programmer sat at the computer. But my work in the olives seems to have sorted that out (touch wood). Now my problems are with the feet on rocky ground, hence the rest days!

      1. You can come and pick my olives – tiny little hard bullets on the tree. Like the grapes on the vine I suppose it is a bit much to expect the fruit to grow and ripen over here. But I can dream…….

        1. Very unlikely DG unless grown close to a South facing wall, very well sheltered and a very good Summer.

          We do get cold here, but I guess not enough, this is a snap from a few years back when we awoke to 10 inches:

          1. Just a thought … the Romans used to grow grapes in the UK during their occupation (in a climate much warmer than today) but there’s no evidence the grew olives and you can bet they will have tried!

            Tomorrow I will do the first racking of my wine … a blend of Montepulciano and Ciliegiolo (the mother or daughter of Sangiovese depending on which reference you decide is accurate). The Ciliegiolo gives the wine a floral flavour (as in floral gums)😎🍷🍷🍷

  25. As most of the commentariat I found this a bit harder than DT. I suspect that the backache is concentrating the mind. I hope it gets better soon.
    NE took the longest the family member and the football needed a nudge from the hints.
    Thanks to DT and ProXimal.
    I have turned the paper to the toughie but was distracted by the article about Our Yorkshire Farm – I don’t think a full-page spread in the DT will help any marital problems.

  26. Thought they had put the Toughie in the wrong place with this, spent ages and only got ten answers so gave up. Thanks to all.

  27. Wow. What a cracker to end the week. I put so many stars I eventually gave up. Thank you ProXimal, what a lovely warped and twisted mind you have. Dog’s tongue! Genuinely hell – I spent far too long convinced that it was something ‘worldly’. Thanks for your hints DT and hope your back improves. As one of our dear old Parish Councillors used to say ‘rub on some embarkation’

  28. 8d my final clue. Took a while to get where the setter was coming from but then good fun. I’d have rated it ***

  29. Ground to a halt with seven to go.
    Came back to it much later and completed unaided but held up for too long by 8d.
    Certainly a great puzzle which stirred the grey matter considerably.
    So, ****/******.
    Many thanks ProXimal and DT.

  30. Much too hard for me, tougher than a lot of Toughie puzzles. Hope your back is soon better DT. Nothing is worse than when you cannot get comfortable when sitting.

  31. Quite a challenge today but got there in the end – goodness knows why it took so long for the penny to drop for 1a! But the last to fall was 17d – how could I have forgotten the modern name for personnel department? I recall going for work experience in a large company in my youth and the personnel manager telling me that to work in personnel one needs to hate people – how bizarre! Many thanks to ProXimal for the challenge and to DT – hope your back is better soon.

    1. You changed your alias so your comment needed moderation. All the varieties you’ve used should work from now on.

      One of the sizes is OS.

  32. A head scratcher today with a couple of wrong answers put in that seemed to fit the definition, but turned out wrong. Not a lot of fun for me today, 4*/2* my rating today. Not on wavelength and found some of the parsing difficult to work out. Just not my cup of tea today. Ended up being a DNF for me.
    Just an off day.
    Favourites 2d, (that was wrong with one word incorrect in the phrase I figured it was), 7d & 19d with winner 7d.

    Thanks nonetheless, to proXimal and for all the hints I really needed to DT

  33. An excellent Friday offering with Toughie-like clues providing a good, stiff challenge, much enjoyment/entertainment and a real sense of achievement as the final answer went in. Too many fine clues to isolate a favourite. 4*, 4*.

  34. So that’s what Sanskrit looks like! I solved five, of those 1d was my fave. I don’t think I’ve done that badly, ever, I might even find Dada a piece of cake on Sunday. Pax, I give up, the sun is shining, no rain, I’m off to the pool. At least that’ll be fun.
    Thanks proXimal. Your excellent review DT was very welcome, hope the back gets better.

    1. DT, have you ever tried using a lumbar roll? I find it helps a lot, assuming your problems are in them lower back.

  35. Having seen DT’s difficulty rating I was surprised so many disagreed. Must have caught me on a good day I suppose. I didn’t spot the 4 X’s. Favourite was 1a. Thanks to ProXimal and DT.

  36. Found this much harder than DT’s rating,,, took a full 4* time with a few leave it & return moments.
    Having said that there was some excellent clueing.
    Many thanks to DT & ProXimal.

  37. My pick of this week’s puzzles too & not just because I was quickly on wavelength for a steady solve in just over ** time. Figuring out where the O came into 18a was surprisingly the only real head scratch. 6d was my clear favourite from a number of excellent clues.
    Thanks to Mr 4X & to DT – hoping your back pain improves soon.

  38. Very tough for me today, but I got there eventually.

    Thanks to Deep Threat along with commiserations re your back….been there and it is not pleasant.
    Thanks also to Proximal.

    Spent a lot of time today trying to get the Covid Vaxx status app to work. After many tries it did seem to recognise my actual face matched my passport photo. (Not really very surprising I suppose as my passport is almost out of date). After this hurdle was cleared, it then , rather alarmingly said that it could not match my details with anyone on their database. Same thing happened in May when I was trying to reschedule an appointment for my second jag…..but they eventually found me. I’m due the booster tomorrow, so I’m hoping they find me on the system then….I have , after all been registered with the NHS since birth, which was a long time ago now. So I expect the advice given above holds true in this situation as well as the more painful ones…..don’t get old.

  39. So tough that I had to finish it this morning, but fantastic clueing throughout and thanks not just to ProXimal but also DT for explaining 8d.

  40. 4*/5*….
    liked 17D “One jokes over dismissal in personnel department (6)” …. amongst others.

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