DT 29825 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29825

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29825

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Good morning from South Staffs on a cloudy Guy Fawkes day.

Thanks to all those who expressed sympathy for my bad back last week, and suggested various remedies. Things are much better by now, and since the last two episodes were triggered by putting on my trousers and by getting out of the shower, I’ve decided that these are activities to be avoided. So if you see a grubby, half-clad person with a copy of the Daily Telegraph

I would guess from the loose and quirky cluing that today’s puzzle is by Zandio. It took me into *** time to fill the grid, and by the time the penny dropped on the parsing of 12d, which wasn’t until I was writing the hints, probably well into *** time.

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           Well-read party that’s considering writing? (4,4)
BOOK CLUB – Cryptic definition of a group of people who meet to discuss the work of an author.

Start a book club - Penguin Books Australia

5a           Boy gets a thank you for composition (6)
SONATA – Put together a male child, A (from the clue), and a short form of ‘thank you’.

8a           Be suspended and delay the sack? (4,2)
STAY UP – Double definition, the sack in the second being the one you hit at the end of the day.

9a           Chat with date, excited to get engaged? (8)
ATTACHED – Anagram (excited) of CHAT and DATE.

10a         Made a bob on getting to meet the Queen? (8)
CURTSIED – Mildly cryptic definition of a mark of respect for a royal.

11a         Order mixer only to be added? (6)
NOTICE – Split the answer (3,3) to get what could be an order to the barman mixing your gin and tonic.

12a         Vehicle sabotaged to go bang (8)
TOBOGGAN – Anagram (sabotaged) of TO GO BANG.

toboggan - Wiktionary

13a         Vast area of 100 miles covered by Ordnance Survey twice (6)
COSMOS – The Roman numeral for 100 and an abbreviation for Miles, each followed by the initials of the Ordnance Survey.

15a         Acclimatise in Japan maybe (6)
ORIENT – This verb for ‘acclimatise’ or ‘introduce’ could also be a description of where Japan is to be found.

18a         Pipes in sight carrying whiskey explode (8)
SEWERAGE – A three-letter verb for ‘sight’ is wrapped round the letter represented by Whiskey in the NATO alphabet, then followed by a verb for ‘explode’ or ‘lose your temper’.

20a         Cut two journalists (6)
HACKED – The definition is in the past tense. Put together two common crossword terms for a journalist.

21a         Chilli sauce, perhaps it’s stolen (3,5)
HOT STUFF – Double definition: a literal description foodstuffs such as chilli sauce; or a slang way of describing stolen goods.

23a         Ban-the-bombers holding missiles back ring military man? (8)
COMMANDO – The initials of a group calling for nuclear disarmament are wrapped round the reverse (back) of a shortened form of the word for the sort of missiles fired out of guns, then a ring-shaped letter is added to the end.

24a         Some characters on board splash or escape to the beach (6)
ASHORE – Hidden in the clue.

25a         Express found among European ship’s papers (6)
ESSAYS – Put together European and the usual crossword ship, then insert another verb for ‘express’, to get some papers which might be submitted as part of an examination.

26a         Turning left maybe, went by bike reportedly? (8)
SIDEROAD – What ‘left (or right)’ is an example of, followed by a homophone (reportedly) of a verb for ‘went by bike’.


1d           Simple when written in pen (5)
BASIC – another word for ‘when’ inserted into a brand of writing implement, named for a short form of the surname of the founder of the company which makes them.

2d           I will need one input — you will need two more (9)
KEYSTROKE – If you are solving this crossword on a computer, you will need one of these to enter ‘I’, and three (two more) to enter ‘you’.

Your Guide to Keystroke Dynamics

3d           China’s rising rugby player, flier (7)
LAPWING – Reverse (rising) another word for the person described as a ‘china’ in Cockney rhyming slang, then add a position on the rugby field, to get a variety of bird.

Lapwing: A wader with style - Scottish Nature Notes - Our work - The RSPB Community

4d           Their residents who sleep in are taught a lesson (8,7)
BOARDING SCHOOLS – Cryptic definition of establishments which both accommodate and educate their inmates.

5d           Twisted element of magic in a Tasmanian devil’s character (7)
SATANIC – Hidden in reverse (twisted) in the clue.

6d           The aim’s to be converted, having no church (7)
ATHEISM – Anagram (to be converted) of THE AIM’S.

7d           Commercial outfit beginning to export electronic letter opener (9)
ADDRESSEE – Put together a short word for a commercial, a verb meaning ‘to outfit’, the first letter (beginning) of Export, and the letter used to denote Electronic. The answer is someone entitled to open a letter sent to him or her.

12d         Flying ace doubly hot, in biting pain (9)
TOOTHACHE – Anagram (flying) of HOT HOT ACE (doubly hot).

14d         Support for someone unfortunately getting carried away (9)
STRETCHER – Cryptic definition of the device used to carry a casualty away from the scene.


16d         Fashionable company meets occasionally to deliver these? (7)
INCOMES – Put together another word for ‘fashionable’, an abbreviation for ‘company’, and alternate letters (occasionally) of MeEtS.

17d         News items with hospital being scrapped I’d put in (7)
TIDINGS – Start with another word for ‘items’, remove the abbreviation for Hospital, and insert I’D (from the clue).

19d         Western delta is wild — around November it rarely dries out (7)
WETLAND – An abbreviation for Western followed by an anagram (is wild) of DELTA, wrapped round the letter represented by November in the NATO alphabet.

22d         Beast could be intimate without resistance (5)
FIEND – Remove the Resistance from a word for someone who is an intimate.

The Quick Crossword pun AFRO + DYE + TEA = APHRODITE

78 comments on “DT 29825

  1. A pleasant end to this (non-)work week of cruciverbalism – **/***.

    A few Hmms. For example, vehicle is not the descriptive term that immediately springs to (my) mind for 12a but, heigh ho, it is in the list of vehicles in the Small Red Book. I wonder what Mrs Bradford thinks.

    Favourite – a toss-up between 21a and 17d – and the winner is 21a.

    Thanks to the setter and DT.

  2. For me, comfortably the most enjoyable crossword of the week. Two lightbulb moments – 10a and 2d, with an honourable mention for 21a for humour

  3. There were some unusual clues in this puzzle and some were quite clever, producing a cry of “Of course” afer a period of cogitation. Others were a bit vague and I wended up with 12 question marks next to the clue I wasn’t sure of. This slowed things down and my rating is 3*/3*) . The 12a anagram was well disguised and the 23a Lego clue was also good. 2d was well-constructed too but my COTD is rhe reverse lurker at 5d. Thanks to DT for the hints and tothe compiler (Zandio?)

  4. 2*/4*. This made a light and fun end to the crosswording week, including some nice cryptic definitions.

    My only very slight hmm was for 16d where the definition didn’t really cut the mustard for me.

    My top selection was 1a, 13a, 20a, 26a, 4d and my favourite, 12d.

    Many thanks to I would assume Zandio. Thanks too to DT. It’s good to hear you are improving and many thanks for not posting a photo of yourself in your current attire. :wink:

      1. DT mentions one in his hint, whereas as you say, the clue just mentions what you need to do to type particular combinations of letters

        1. I thought that was it. She must mean she is not happy with the hint rather than the clue.

  5. I would concur with the *** rating, soved quite steadily.

    One of my last in was 10a, which certainly gets my vote for COTD.

    Many thanks to Zandio and DT.

  6. Very enjoyable, my only slight quibble is that there seemed to be a lot of double unches.
    I thought 23a was brilliant it it sits on my podium along with the clever 1 and 10a.
    Many thanks to Zandio (I presume) and DT for the top notch entertainment.

        1. An unch is crossword jargon for an unchecked letter, i.e. one that is in either an across answer or a down answer but not both. A double unch is two consecutive unchecked letters.

        2. Two squares together that have blanks either side such as the second and third squares at 8a in today’s puzzle. (I think!)

        3. When you have two gaps between checking letters. For example 21 24 and 26a. Makes solving harder.

  7. Smiled at DT’s description of our setter’s style of cluing and think I’d add ‘not particularly bothered about surface reads’ to his list!
    I did like the well-hidden reversal in 5d and the Quickie pun also got a tick.

    Thanks to Zandio and to DT – I shouldn’t think your latest ensemble is going down very well with Mrs DT!

  8. Another enjoyable Friday offering for this Guy Fawkes Day over there and a rainy, windy, flooding day over here on the Carolina coast. Last night our local weatherman became downright apocalyptic as he forecast major flooding in Downtown Charleston. On my little knoll north of the city, I took refuge in this amusing cryptic, with 2d the runaway COTD followed by a podium of 10a, 17d, & 23a (needed DT’s help parsing that one). 11 and 18a drew chuckles from me. Thanks to DT for the review and to today’s setter (Zandio, if it is he). ** / ****

  9. An enjoyable outing this morning. ***/*** Favourite 12d. It took me a while to unravel that one. Thanks to all.

  10. 2d was the head scratcher for me with this one. Other than that I was finished in under ** time but it took half that again to fit the correct missing letters into the checkers without really parsing it. Clear favourite was 23a with honourable mentions for 1&10a plus 4&7d.
    Thanks Zandio & DT.
    Ps Today’s puzzle solving soundtrack: Release on Spotify of Curtis Harding’s 3rd album If Words Were Flowers.

  11. I found this puzzle quite difficult today but certainly enjoyable.
    Never heard of 18a to be pipes, last in was 2d -thanks DT for the parsing.
    1a was my Doh moment when the ‘considering writing’ dawned,never mind.
    Favoutite was the 23a charade as per Stephen,going for a ***/****

  12. An interrupted solve – I’d got most of the LH side filled in when I was picked up to go for a walk – filling in the RH side when I got back didn’t take long either. Thanks to Zandio and DT.

    Beautiful morning for a walk with a sky full of contrails – the most we’ve seen since pre-pandemic days

      1. It is a wonderful place for a walk – you can just imagine the Romans doing exactly the same when they walked up from their fort to look across to the Isle of Thanet when it actually was an island.

  13. I had exactly the same problem as yesterday – only two solved first thing and then started to speed up. Again I finished OK but had to really think hard how I got there. Like 2d, got it but why? So eventually read DT’s hints and then patted myself on the back. Excellent WI lecture on The Magic of Blakeney Point yesterday. Agreed to do the write up for our Glaven Valley Newsletter. I seem to remember doing this before and eventually found my contribution dated January 2016 so just a cut and paste job with a few tweaks. Anyway thanks to the setter and DT.

  14. Thoroughly enjoyable throughout.
    2d really brilliant.
    So, ** and a bit/*****
    Many thanks Zandio and DT.

  15. I needed the hints for a couple but otherwise a most enjoyable puzzle. I spent ages at 1a trying to put a word meaning “well read” in front of “lab” until the penny dropped. Just the right amount of brain teasing, I thought with 2d being brilliant. However, given my erstwhile profession, my COTD has to be 12d. Those not in the know will not understand “hot” with regard to teeth.

    Many thanks to Zandio for the fun and to DT for the useful hints.

  16. Nicely taxing. 12a has appeared here before otherwise it wouldn’t have occurred to me. 2d was a bung-in as I use the DT dead tree version. Tried for sometime to justify slip for 26a. Podium places in no particular order go to 10a, 4d and 14d. Thank you Zandio and DT to whom special thanks for the sensitive performance of Peter Hodgson’s arrangement of the Mozart Sonata.

  17. Very enjoyable and fir me just the right level for a backpager. My favs were 1a and 5d. Took me a little while to fully nail down the wordplay in one or two but well worth the effort.
    Thanks to all

  18. I like clues that make me smile when I get them – there were quite a few here so Thank you. Thank you also to DT for explaining 10a which puzzled me.

  19. A relatively straightforward offering for this Friday compared to the last couple. 2.5*/4* for me today.
    Clues for favourites include 10a, 13a, 2d, 4d, & 12d with winner 4d.

    Thanks to Zandio and DT for hints

  20. I was a little out of my depth with this one and thus grateful to DT for a hint here and there. However, it is a very enjoyable crossword to unravel.

    So here we are in the firework season again, which seems to last at least a fortnight these days – beginning with Halloween and incorporating Diwali and Guy Fawkes. I do feel sorry for animals who must be terrified by it all. Little Lola freezes and her ears flick one way and then the other with each explosion; she is only calmed down with murmured reassurances. The development of silent fireworks should be more widely promoted. I believe they are just as effective and thrilling to watch – just without the awful bangs and whooshes.

    Thanks to the setter and to DT (what a delicious Mozart piece!)

    1. Totally agree. My German Shepherd is terrified of them. One night a year would not be so bad, but we get them spread over a week around bonfire night and then again at the end of the year.

      1. My son has to cope with a very scared Tibbles the cat and bring my granddaughter’s rabbits, Peter and Ben, into the house in a box, from their hutch is outside, in the garden. Very tricky to manage, especially as Tibbles does not look upon the rabbits with favour.

    2. Bonfire fortnight. Diwali. New Years Eve. Birthdays .Weddings. Any excuse really. They are here to stay unfortunately or fortunately wherever one stands

        1. Obviously my ‘boys’ are unaffected by the bangs but some years ago I had a large Golden Retriever called Roly. Guns, fireworks no problem but thunder, not at any price. I used to have to bring him inside otherwise he’d destroy the run he was in, in an attempt to get out. A lovely gentle boy, his other quirk was that he eas obsessed with finding Hedgehogs and bringing them back to me, fleas jumping everywhere.

          1. Our dog was the same with hedgehogs – and always looked really pleased with himself if he managed to bring home a big one. We used to return the hedgehogs with a saucer of bread and milk which the dog loved too. He wasn’t best pleased when we were advised to change the Hedgehogs diet to cat food though.

            1. With the best intentions in mind as I’m sure you had, Hedgehogs are lactose intolerant and they don’t seem to know it….

      1. Many of them nowadays seem to scatter shiny paper discs which land in neighbour’s gardens, on rooves, etc. so have to be picked up.

    1. Thanks for popping in, Zandio and for a cracking puzzle. I bet 2d will make Clue of the Week.

  21. Thanks Zandio for an entertaining puzzle. All went in pretty smoothly until I found myself scratching my head and looking dimly at 2d and 8a. The suddenly I got 2d from somewhere and then 8a was obvious. Lots of good clues but I’ll give 2d top marks

  22. This was very enjoyable – I rather like loose and quirky clueing and double unches don’t bother me because I never notice or consider them. Good clues, average-ish difficultly and much fun. I’ll mention 13a as my favourite. 3*, 4*.

  23. A pleasant stroll through crosswordland for me, with some interesting clues along the way. I liked 2d, which I thought was quite original, but my favourite was the outstanding 23a.

    Thanks Zandio for the fun and to DT.

  24. I often struggle with cryptic definitions – and there were lots today. A grid of four corners with the NW holding out for longest.

  25. Really enjoyed this one. I marked 1A, 5A, 8A, 1D, 2D as my favourites.

    Many thanks to Zandio and DT.

    DT, have you tried a chiropractor? I used to have a lot of trouble with my neck. After X-rays and endless visits to an osteopath it got so bad I tried one. After half a dozen treatments I am completely pain free.

    1. I can second that wholeheartedly. And if I do something really stupid – like fall over the grandkids toys which they leave lying about in some very unusual places – I go in for an ‘adjustment’ with mine. Since my initial treatment about 5 years ago, I too have been pain free.

      1. My osteopath recommended a Sissel or Swedish pillow, which keeps your back and neck in a good position as you sleep, helping to avoid problems in my case.

        1. Mine did too. It helped a bit. After the chiropractic I can even sleep on the sofa using the throw cushions, to keep the dog company when he is frightened.

  26. I love cryptic definitions. I got the whole of the right hand side aided by 4d which was straight in before I had hardly touched the left. Last corner was the NW. it would have been quicker had I known how to spell 10a although that was not one of the last in. That honour goes to 1a and 2d. First thought for the former was book worm. I hesitated over 26a as originally looking for something that sounded like cycled. I have not checked the BRB but on line searches gave the answer as two words. I have so many favourites I shall restrict the list to 8 and 23a and 7 and 14d. Thanks Zandio and DT, especially for telling me that 12d is a partial anagram. I had the answer but could not justify where Toot came from!

  27. Back after a couple of Xword free days, what a delight. Lots of stars, 1,12,21 and 23a and 4,6, and 12d, the latter probably being the favourite. George got 4d possibly as he went to one. Many thanks to Zandio and Deep Threat. I’m getting fed up with seeing Addenbrookes- a simple visit to the surgery for a blood test and blood pressure led to the nurse calling in the doctor and an ECG and immediate dispatch to hospital as it seems I have been having mini heart attacks. However, I still did not see a cardiologist, been waiting since last November. Am thinking of going privately. However a nice young man told me I have a leaky valve and am waterlogged (Gin logged – yes) and to take a hefty diuretic which would make me feel better. I wish I had paid more attention in Biology. I do feel better already at the thought of Terence murmuring reassurances to Lola.

    1. Very sorry to hear about your leaky valve, DG. Unfortunately that’s not something that a plumber can help you with, although seeing one of those can be as difficult as getting to see a medical specialist. Perhaps George can help by follow Terence’s lead and murmur reassurances in your ear.

        1. When I lived in Cambridge I worked for a parmaceutical company and got a free medical MOT each year. I was told about 30 years ago I had an ‘unravelled aorta’. Not sure what that means and whether is has now ‘ravelled’ back up again but have never thought of it again till I read your comment. You take care now DG.

    2. If your hefty diuretic is making you feel better I do envy you because my cardiologist prescribed one which made me feel so unwell that I gave up and went back to the less strong one I have been taking for years.

  28. Wot Larks! A wonderful puzzle, helped by being straight on to Zandio’s wavelength from the off. By a comfortable margin for me the fastest solve of the week, possibly longer. Nothing untoward, no arcane knowledge required, just tuning into Zandio.

    Hon Mentions to 11a (a real LOL moment), 23a, 25a, 1d, 5d, 12d and 14d, and COTD (by a whisker) to 2d.

    1* / 4*

    Many thanks indeed to Zandio, and to DT

  29. Very enjoyable solve and breaks the run of some very difficult Friday Crosswords 😃 ***/**** Favourites 11a and 2d 🤗 Thanks to Deep Threat and to Zandio.

  30. It was one of those days when at first look I thought I was going to be stymied. But a few clues started to fall into place and once I’d cracked 1a the rest steadily followed. Very clever clues of which my favourite was 12a – probably in anticipation of a snowy winter in the Peaks! Many thanks to Zandio for the challenge and to DT – glad to hear your back is better.

  31. 2d threw me and if it was not for DT I would never ever have got it. Thank you Zandio for rounding off a tough week of backpagers in true style … and hope you get to see the cardiologist soon Daisygirl

  32. I enjoyed today’s offering but got held-up in the North West corner. Many thanks to Zandio and DT.

    Fireworks being discharged all around. Fortunately, Jack the Russell is now quite deaf so not unsettled by the bangs. The worst noises will happen after midnight deliberately timed to wake one up!

    Daisy Girl I do hope you get better medical attention, going forward. Take good care but recommend you keep taking a regular course of G&T.

    Have a nice weekend everyone.

  33. Made steady progress with this until slowing down in the NW needing the hint to fully parse 1a. 10a and 2d were nearly in toughie territory for me but I got there. Wasn’t convinced that 26a was one word but I’ve been wrong before so put it in anyway. Favourite was 11a. Thanks to Zandio and DT.

  34. Best puzzle for quite a while as far as I am concerned – lots of lateral thought rather than complex meccano, right up my street….

  35. Lovely crossword. Thanks to DT for help with parsing when I was stuck and to Zandio for the struggle. 1across was very apposite as I’m reading The Dinner Guest – a really intriguing mystery that revolves around the said clue. Not finished yet but will stay up until finished!

  36. I did this the other way round to CS finishing the right side before I had really got a start on the left.
    Thanks to Zandio and DT for explaining a few dodgy parsings.

  37. Very late getting to this today, and perhaps that is why I did surprisingly well for a Zandio. I do confess that several answers jumped off the page at me without having to really study the clues, so that helped. Did need a few hints to finish, and still not sure how 16d = things? Extremely wet day here in South Florida, poured all night and all day until now, and another wet night forecast. Not helping our leaky garage roof. And this is supposed to be the start of the dry season. But this helped distract me no end. Thanks to Zandio and Deep Threat.

  38. Had to have help with 2d as I had never heard of it. When I had researched the meaning I realised this had to be COTD although I had previously thought that every clue needed to be on the podium. This puzzle is full of quirky clues which were a pleasure to tease out ***/*****. The NW was a slow finish because I would not have spelled 10a in that way. The SE was also a problem until I realised that 24a must be a lurker. I must now look at the hints as I need to sort out the parsing on a number of clues, so thanks to DT for these, and I hope the back is improving. Thanks also to Zandio for a masterpiece which gave great enjoyment. I was amazed to be able to finish this so I think I really must have been on his wavelength.

  39. Everything went to plan initially and then I got stuck in the SE corner. 23a my COTD. Many thanks to Zandio and DT.

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