DT 29821 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29821

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29821

Hints and tips by pommers

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ****

Hola from the Vega Baja where we’re having a spell of unseasonably warm weather. Yesterday we had 30°C and I had to dig out a pair of shorts which had been put away for the winter about three weeks ago.  The forecast is for high twenties for the next few days so I’m not complaining.

Maybe it’s just me but I thought today’s puzzle was a tad trickier than recent Mondays have been but it has the usual elegance of clueing and enough gimmes to get you a toehold.  I thoroughly enjoyed it and hope you did too.

As usual the ones I liked most are in blue.  The definitions are underlined in the clues and the answers are under the “click here” buttons so don’t click on them unless you really want to see the answer.  Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


5a           Make out detailed object and obsolete coin (8)
FARTHING:  A word meaning to make out or manage without its last letter (detailed) followed by a word for an object.

8a           In need of companionship working in large cathedral city (6)
LONELY:  A two letter word meaning working or in action inside an L(arge) and a small cathedral city in Cambridgeshire.

10a         Some stopped alongside pleasure craft (6)
PEDALO:  A lurker hiding in (some) the next two words.  I’ve had some fun afternoons messing about on these things!

11a         Stinging creature in house close to firescreen (8)
SCORPION:  A house of the zodiac followed by N (close to firescreeN).

12a         Artist captures gold in part of tree (12)
GAINSBOROUGH:  A word meaning captures or acquires followed by the heraldic term for gold inside another word for a branch of a tree.

15a         Heart-throb, not working it’s said (4)
IDOL:  Sounds like (it’s said) a word meaning not working or lazy.  I seem to have seen several very similar clues recently.

17a         Bearded dean upset about wife (5)
AWNED:  Anagram (upset) of DEAN around (about) a W(ife).  An odd word for bearded but fortunately it come up in crosswords from time to time and I remembered it.

18a         Implement of inordinate length (4)
TOOL:  A word meaning inordinate or OTT followed by L(ength).

19a         Professional  pulled it off (12)
ACCOMPLISHED:  Double definition.  I needed most of the checkers before the penny finally dropped!

22a         Sublime joke grasped by the old lady in charge (8)
MAJESTIC:  Start with two letters for your old lady and the usual two letters for in charge. Into that insert (grasped by) another word for a joke.

24a         Stand when tour party brought over (6)
TRIPOD:  Another word for a tour or outing followed by a reversal (brought over) of the usual party. Anyone else remember this TV series?

25a         Elected to go off one after the other (2,4)
IN TURN: A word meaning elected followed by a word for to go off as old milk might do.

26a         Syndicate rejected flaw as way out of contract? (8)
LOOPHOLE: A syndicate or group backwards (rejected) followed by a flaw.


1d           Air  filter (6)
STRAIN:  Double definition.  This air is a tune.

2d           Wine, a pound over in top inn in resort, and clubs (5,5)
PINOT BLANC:  You need to take the A from the clue and the abbreviation for a pound avoirdupois and reverse them (over). Insert into (in) an anagram (in resort) of TOP INN and then add a C(lubs) on the end.  When you’ve done all that split the result (5,5).  I spent too long trying to do something with the A, an L (pound) and O(ver), d’oh!

3d           Likewise a leading orchestra (4)
ALSO:  A from the clue followed by (leading) the initials of a London orchestra.

4d           Photograph game attempt (8)
SNAPSHOT:  A card game followed by another word for an attempt.

6d           Lodged in a river in state capital (8)
ADELAIDE: A word meaning lodged or placed inserted into (in) the A from the clue and the river in Aberdeen or Chester gives the state capital of South Australia.

7d           Suitable for gourmets, grill’s opening — tremendous (13)
GASTRONOMICAL:  G (Grill’s opening) followed by a word meaning tremendous or extremely large.  I’ve seen this before but I still like it.

9d           Play set in Waterloo, two-hander (4)
LOOT: A play by Joe Orton is hiding in (set in) the last two words.

13d         Wave from worried adult in agreement (10)
UNDULATION: Take a word for agreement or unity and insert (in) an anagram (worried) of ADULT.

14d         Stood up on pitch getting trophy? (8)
ROSEBOWL:  A word meaning stood up or got to one’s feet followed by a word for to pitch or throw.

16d         Miss holiday abroad (5,3)
LEAVE OUT:  A holiday, from the armed forces perhaps, followed by a word for abroad.

20d         Small insignificant snub (6)
SLIGHT:  S(mall) followed by a word for insignificant or not heavy.

21d         Chess piece in hand, knight (4)
PAWN:  Another word for a hand followed by the abbreviation of knight in chess notation.

23d         Fish aunt cooked (4)
TUNA:  Anagram (cooked) of AUNT.

My favourite today is 7d with 1d and 19a sharing the podium.

Quick crossword puns:

Top line:     NAVVY     +     GAY     +     TAW     =     NAVIGATOR

Bottom line:     LAY     +     DEE     +     ASTER     =     LADY ASTOR

And we have a third pun at 14,15 and 16 across:

MARRY     +     THYME     +     LORE     =     MARITIME LAW

88 comments on “DT 29821

  1. Very enjoyable, another fun puzzle from, dare I say it, a most 19a setter.
    It took me a little while to see how the rather lumpy 2d was put together but that aside no problems without it being a write in.
    A few contenders but my podium choice is 19&26a plus 14d.
    Many thanks to Falcon and Campbell.

    1. Oops, just reading the review and I see that I wrongly attributed it to Falcon. Sorry Pommers.

  2. It’s Monday :good: It’s Campbell :good: **/****

    I looked for a ‘middle’ pun but I couldn’t ‘see’ it, so well done to pommers for finding it.

    Favourite – a toss-up between 26a and 14d – and the winner is 14d.

    Thanks to Campbell and pommers.

  3. I agree with pommers that this was harder than Mondays of late and with the ***/*** ranking. My last one in was 6d where I spent a good while getting the synonym for lodged. I also hadn’t seen 17a before although the anagram was obvious. My favourite clue was 12a. With thanks to the setter.

  4. I’m afraid this didn’t appeal to me at all. I nearly gave up on it, since I wasn’t enjoying it and had to use a crib for four clues to get some checkers. It was easily 4* for difficulty but the clues were so enigmatic, there was little enjoyment for me, not even a touch of the usual humour from Campbell to lighten Monday morning. Thanks to Pommers for the hints and to the compiler for his or her efforts.

  5. More challenging than the usual Campbell Monday back-pager, and none the worse for it. Enjoyable while it lasted, teasing out the answers and trying to avoid the red herrings. Was not familiar with 14d being a trophy (I am contentedly ignorant of almost anything to do with American Football), and thought the surface of 2d rather odd / strained.

    Otherwise ticks all over the place – to 1a,11a, 22a, 4d and 13d, with COTD to 1d.

    2* / 2.5*

    Many thanks to Campbell and to Pommers.

    1. A 14d, according to Chambers, is ‘an ornamental bowl for cut flowers’ and, particularly if it is silver, it can frequently be used as a trophy for any competition. It is perhaps unfortunate that those Americans have hijacked the trophy usage for a single sporting event.

      1. I was givens silver one as a wedding present, never been used for flowers quite impractical. It does, however, hold a nice lot of mint imperials.

      2. I have one that I inherited from a dear friend who won it in a tennis tournament when she played for Kent. I’d never used it, until this year when I polished it up and put in some silk peonies. I’m not a fan of fake flowers but I quite like this.

  6. I certainly agree with pommers – this was tricky indeed. My method was to solve the wee four letter clues, then the lengthy artist, gourmet, and worried adult. This gave me enough checking letters to get cracking on the remainder.

    The window cleaner is here, so naturally I am hiding in my study with the blinds drawn.

    Today’s crossword soundtrack: Arvo Pärt – Da Pacem (so gorgeous, it almost makes me wish I could believe in a higher power)

    Thanks to Campbell and pommers

      1. I’m rather unsociable and I’m hopeless at ‘chit chat’. My natural state is that of a hermit.

        1. Peter would be the same, if we ever could find a window cleaner here. I do enough chatting for both of us 😊.

          1. My mother’s neighbour used to follow him round from the inside and point out the bits he’d missed.

            1. I wish I was that brave – my window cleaner definitely comes under the heading of ‘better than nothing’.

    1. I rather like the deceptively simple and plain beauty of Arvo Pärt’s Spiegel im Spiegel – a great way of clearing the mind and slowing down one’s inner self. It must be terribly difficult for the pianist to maintain the perfect repetitive rhythm.

  7. I’m with the concensus so far, it was a very slow start for me with just four each in the across and down clues on the first pass. However, more tea provided the stimulus, and I finished in about *** time. The NW was the last quarter to fall, with 6d being my last in.

    Many thanks to the setter and Pommers.

  8. Curiously, I thought this was fairly straightforward. **/*** 6d gave me the most pause for thought ( my last one in ) mainly because I was thinking along the lines of a US state capital. Favourite 26a. Thanks to all.

    1. I too spent some time trying to think of a US state capital that would fit the checkers that I had. You may have heard the clang when the penny dropped!

  9. I hadn’t realised 2d came in anything but Henry Ford black. Must try it sometime. Any excuse!
    I do remember the illustration to 24a. Considering how unstable things on 3 legs are I’m surprised they were as scary as they were.
    No real favourite but I’ll settle for 14d and imagine it full of sweet scented roses. A treat after the soaking we received this weekend.

    1. The grape in 2d was new to me too and it’s a bit weird. I found this in Wiki:

      “Pinot blanc is a white wine grape. It is a point genetic mutation of Pinot noir. Pinot noir is genetically unstable and will occasionally experience a point mutation in which a vine bears all black fruit except for one cane which produces white fruit”.

  10. 6d and 12a put me into *** time.
    Completed unaided except for the latter which I spotted
    Why do I think States are only in America?
    inadvertently whilst experimenting with letters.
    Certainly some very elegant clueing, ***** for enjoyment.
    Many thanks, Campbell and pommers.

  11. Top notch start to the week and a ‘notch’ more difficult than usual, a difficult grid to boot!
    A wide variety of clues-lots of my favourite charsdes, liked 12a, favourite was the 19a double definition, last in was 14d which took a while to parse.Going for a 2’5*/4*
    Thanks to setter and Pommers for the pics.
    Just noticed that we have another T20 cricket match today-just the ticket in rain soaked Cheshire

  12. 2*/4*. A lovely Monday puzzle – not too tough and very enjoyable.

    Like pommers, I am not keen on 17a. “Awn” means a “beard” but specifically one of barley, so I think it is meaningless to add -ed to it to convert it to an adjective meaning bearded. “Awned” does exists as an adjective, but meaning “with an awning”.

    My podium consists of 19a, 1d & 7d, along with the top line Quickie pun.

    Many thanks to Campbell and to pommers.

    1. Have to respectfully disagree RD. Some wheat has awns, some doesn’t. They are known as awned and awnless wheat.

      1. Thank you for putting me straight, Stephen. I shall endeavour to remember that and I withdraw my reservation.

        This blog is great for learning new things. :yes:

    2. Just for further info, from the SOED:

      Awn (noun): A bristle-like projection; esp. that terminating the grain-sheath of barley, oats and other grasses.

      Awned (adj): having an awn.

  13. As always, a most enjoyable start to the week, with some unusual clueing, I thought, especially the trophy in 14d, which clearly has nothing to do with the American New Year’s Day event or the reward for victory in that game since that is two words. Beyond that, though, a cut above the usual solid level, with 26a, 19a, and 12a making the podium. Thanks to pommers and Campbell. ** / ***

  14. I found this a tad on the difficult side for a Monday and needed a couple of the hints to get me over the finish line. No real stand out clues for me but I did like 22a.

    I looked for but did not find the third pun so well done to pommers for rooting it out.

    Thank you, Campbell for the challenge and pommers for the hints. Yes, I do recall the TV programme.

    1. Well done Steve, another hon mention! I think you will have to have a go at setting Rookie Corner soon.

  15. Well that was a tricky little number. One to get the old brain cells going at the start of the working week. I managed five clues on the first run through, and to stop myself from feeling despondent, I stopped, headed into the kitchen and made a lemon drizzle traybake. That cheered me up enough to to have a second run through. All slotted into place though I had to check the review for some of my answers. The wine in 2d was new to me too. Thank you setter and Pommers.

    1. My absolute favourite. Do you make it a la Mary Berry? I may just drop in later for a slice!

      1. I felt despondent too, Florence, after getting very few on the first run. Unfortunately, I’d made the Christmas cake yesterday, so couldn’t use it as a distraction Lemon drizzle cake hmm.

  16. We didn’t find this that difficult, just more difficult than usual but good fun. Favourite was 19a. Thanks to Campbell and Pommers.

  17. Slightly tricker than standard Monday stuff. I knew 2d but took me a couple of minutes to parse. 6d was last in. Thanks to setter and Pommers.

  18. Excellent Monday fare and I was annoyed with myself for having forgotten the name for a large marble – I’m sure it’s popped up in previous crosswords. Never mind, at least I remembered the bearded one.
    Top two for me were 12&19a.

    Thanks to Campbell and to pommers – guess you’re not missing the Welsh weather!

  19. I am sorry to mention our sunshine again when so many seem to be very wet. But it is really a glorious day here. The pocket rocket has just arrived and I feel compelled to go out and join her in the garden although a nap is more inviting. A well clued crossword, I agree a tad on the head scratching side. I didn’t like Awned either but I accept the bit about the wheat. Why can’t it be awned and unawned? It would be unadawned. Awnless sounds gormless. 6d was LOI as I too was trolling through America. 12,19 and 26a and 14d got a star. Many thanks to Campbell and Pommers. I now have to get rid of the thought of an antisocial Terence cowering in the dark so that he doesn’t have to chat to the window cleaner. He should try a desk laden with papers, a worried frown and closed windows and fob him off with a distracted wave. I presume Mrs T deals with the nittygritty of paying the man?

    1. Well DG, we are really only just up the road and its cold, wet and completely overcast – horrid!

      1. Sun shining on the righteous?

        Oooh that was naughty of me. Sorry Manders, couldn’t resist it Sitting holding on the telephone now 32 min for Cardiology at
        Addenbrookes. On my doctor’s instructions I am ringing them to ask why they have not replied to her request for an
        appointment for me sent at the beginning of October. If they come back with an impossible date, I am to get back to her. Is it any wonder I am going
        every so slightly bonkers?

    2. You weren’t alone DG. We enjoyed a gorgeous autumnal day at Chesham & Ley Hill golf course where the sun shone brightly throughout.

  20. It has all been said but I will offer my two penn’orths.
    NIce standard Monday puzzle. I too struggled a bit with the wine, but following the instructions gave the answer eventually.
    I also trawled through 50 states before I considered antipodean parts of the globe.
    I liked too many to pick a podium and learned about bristles as well.
    Thanks to pommers and Campbell

  21. Didn’t feel like a Campbell offering to me, but what the heck do I know. Took a while to get started today but then was a steady solve. Had trouble with parsing of some of the clues, but was still sure the answers were correct … and they were. 2.5*/**** today. Candidates for the podium today include 12a, 24a, 25a, 2d & 16d with winner 2d.

    Thanks to setter and pommers

    1. Didn’t feel like a Campbell to me either but with three puns in the Quickie I think it must be him.

  22. Difficult to get going, and a disappointing start to the week. Once I got going it did start to fall into place, with sad faces only getting assigned to 16a (didn’t know it and will have to remember), and 14d which surely is two four letter words, not 8 letters? COTD for me is 19a. Anyone else have a problem with the Quick 5d? Awful word. Overall though I did enjoy solving. Thanks to setter, was it Campbell? And to Pommers for the hints.

  23. Just back from a quick trip down to Worcester to find a pleasingly entertaining puzzle from our Monday setter on my return. I thought it was going to prove quite tricky but once a few went in the rest soon followed. 19a my favourite clue.

    Thanks Campbell and pommers.

  24. I don’t usually get on very well with Campbell puzzles but I managed this one OK. Strange how people differ.

    Thanks to the setter and to pommers.

    Distinctly cool here, but lovely crisp sunshine which is a welcome relief from the near constant rain of the last few days.

  25. I enjoyed this and found the bottom half went in quite quickly but the top half took a bit more teasing out. Unlike DG it is freezing here and we have already lit the wood burner. Ventured into Lidl today for the first time since last March to try and buy tomato juice – there was none. Haven’t managed to get it on my weekly delivery for months, what’s going on? My Bloody Mary doesn’t taste the same with cranberry juice (with no bits!). COTD 7d. Thanks to the setter and pommers

  26. I found this tricky for a Monday but enjoyable, nevertheless, considering that I needed to use e-help far too much for my taste. I have an appointment with the paw-diatrist to get my toenails cut so must away, alas, with my puzzle unfinished in the NE corner, only three left so not so bad. It took some time to get “gains” from “captures”, it’s fine just doesn’t come to mind that quickly, but when I realised it was gains, the artist immediately emerged. I liked 5a, remember those? I have a bracelet made of robin farthings, I wonder where it is? I must try to find it. My fave was 22a; I wonder how HM is doing, I think it sounds a little worrisome for her.
    Thank you Campbell for the fun and to pommers for unravelling quite a few.

      1. Can’t find it but I’ll keep looking, I might even have given it away. Mine had a hole in the farthings and a loop through the hole which attached to a chain bracelet. Didn’t ‘arf make a racket when you moved your hand, no wonder I stopped wearing it.

  27. All going well until 14d when I assumed ‘pitch ‘ was ‘roll’ and that was the end for me! Thank you Campbell and Pommers

  28. I was prompted by 5a to find out when farthings became obsolete. Rather distressingly, having assumed it was just after the war, I discovered I was well into my toddlerhood. This has made me feel like a biblical ancient all day.

    1. I was six years and three months old when the farthing ceased to be legal tender. Surprisingly I do remember them so perhaps I got a farthing a week as pocket money :lol:

    2. After reading your comment Lorna I too couldn’t resist checking when 5d became obsolete. I was 13! I can remember going to the local newsagents /sweet shop as a young girl and buying small sticks of hard Spanish liquorice for a farthing. Delicious!

    3. I have a vague memory that there were sweets called Mojos and Black jacks and some others which were all four for a penny and our local sweet shop would take pity on a five year old and would sell one for a farthing. Happy days!

  29. I didn’t get many on the first pass but then it gradually opened up. Unfortunately, I put screen in for 1d and wanted to put Mont(e) Blanc in for 2d! Also, was looking for an American state capital. Slow final solve but enjoyed. Many thanks to the setter and to the Pommers. My goodness I think it has stopped raining.

  30. Odd mixture of the glaring obvious and the highly cryptic such as 23d (obvious) and 7d (would never have got that clue).
    Thx for the hints.
    Not my favourite puzzle.

  31. Monday’s triple punster on top form today. A fair bit chewier than usual & all the better for it in my view. Last in was the grape which I knew but it took a while to parse. Loved the 3 long ‘uns at 12&19a + 7d but 6d was my pick once the penny dropped that I was in the wrong country. I too looked & missed the middle pun in the Quickie & struggled with the marble.
    Thanks to Campbell & Pommers.
    Ps A shout out for Campbell’s bonus cryptic which was also very enjoyable.

    1. But alas, I got something wrong on the bonus and scored 97%. Was I ever shocked! Have to wait until Apr 8 for the solution reveal. It must be 21a…pretty sure of it now.

  32. Taken back to wherever Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn lived (I’ve got it wrong before and been corrected on this blog) by 6 across in the Quickie. Disappointed by the paucity of clues/answers in the cryptic puzzle. Only 26 which seems a little mean to me. Very pleased with the politeness of the Halloween visitors last night. A neighbour told a very small boy that he looked scary to which he replied “No need to be scared Mrs Smith. It’s only me. Alfie” Bless his little cotton socks

  33. By mistake I did the prize crossword first so only now catching up. It all went easily enough and only struggled over 14d. Enjoyed 5a – yes one could get a gobstopper for one of those just after the War! **/****

  34. A step up in division for a Monday I thought but quite enjoyable to solve. I have to wait for another hour to get the puzzles now the UK is back on standard time. Us antipodeans still get a nice head start though.Thanks Pommers for the extras and music. 🦇

  35. Definitely tougher than most Monday offerings. A dnf for me with 2d (never heard of it) and 19a holding out even with all the checkers. Found this to be a rather odd mixture of gettable and unfathomable! Must be having an off day!

    Thanks to all.

  36. A request to delete my comment which had appeared in duplicate seems to have resulted in both being removed. Anyway not important as I didn’t have much to say except that SW was last on board and 25a and 16d were not fully parsed and there were no Fav(s). Think I also mentioned that I had an alternative clue for 5a! Thanks Campbell and pommers.

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