DT 29827 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29827

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29827

Hints and tips by Falcon

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BD Rating – Difficulty *Enjoyment ***

Greetings from Ottawa, where we have been enjoying a rather pleasant autumn which promises to continue for at least the next several days with lots of sunshine and temperatures exceeding the historical averages.

The theme might lead one to say that today’s puzzle is “child’s play”. I certainly breezed through it quickly—but there was definitely no skimping on enjoyment.

In the hints below, underlining identifies precise definitions and cryptic definitions, and indicators are italicized. The answers will be revealed by clicking on the ANSWER buttons.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought of the puzzle.


1a   Hard work to put a stop to children’s game (9)
HOPSCOTCH — link together the pencil designation for hard, the shortened musical term for work, and a verb meaning to ruin or hinder (plans, perhaps)

6a   Racket made by little monkey losing tail (4)
SCAM — a little monkey who might be a mischievous child loses their final letter giving a racket that assaults one’s pocketbook rather than one’s ears

10a   Inside barrel, I concealed ancient artefact (5)
RELIC — a lurker hiding in (inside) three words from the clue

11a   Difficult to make money playing sport (9)
BADMINTON — a charade of an adjective meaning difficult (describing a situation, perhaps), a verb denoting to manufacture money, and a short adjective meaning working, broadcasting or performing

12a   Chief steward in rank bad mood (5-4)
MAJOR DOMO — an army officer followed by an anagram (bad) of MOOD

14a   Animal emerging from outskirts of Pamplona? (5)
PANDA — the initial and final letters (outskirts) of Pamploma linked by the additive conjunction that one would use when listing them

15a   Attack doctor splitting commission (7)
BOMBARD — inject the abbreviated academic degree held by a doctor into a commission or committee

16a   Mutter vaguely about parking for member of orchestra (7)
TRUMPET — wrap an anagram (vaguely) of MUTTER around the street sign symbol for parking

18a   Descriptive term I applied to record Greek character cut (7)
EPITHET — append the I from the clue to a phonograph record having only a few tracks; then follow this with the eighth letter of the Greek alphabet minus its final letter

20a   Relative measures nothing new (7)
STEPSON — measures or actions followed by the letter that looks like the symbol for nothing and the map abbreviation for new

21a   Avid listener, for example, back inside (5)
EAGER — the abbreviation for the Latin term meanig for example is reversed inside one of the listeners attached to the side of your head

23a   Unbeatable in game against minor (9)
MATCHLESS — a game or contest placed adjacent to (against) an adjective meaning minor or inferior in importance; the latter usage may be rather archaic—the only example I could find is St James the Less who is also known as St James the Minor

25a   Forte associated with all in screwball parts? (9)
PRATFALLS — insert the abbreviation for forte (the music direction to play loudly) and the ALL from the clue into an anagram (screwball) of PARTS; in this all-in-one (&lit.) clue, the entire clue is not only the wordplay but also the definition of a skill associated with performers playing screwball roles

26a   Careful, cleaner close to crockery (5)
CHARY — a woman paid to do cleaning and the final letter of crockerY

28a   Playboy? // One may see croupier with one (4)
RAKE — double definition, the second a tool used by a casino employee to gather money

29a   Colour of ball you’re playing (5,4)
ROYAL BLUE — anagram of (playing) of BALL YOURE


1d   Damage surrounding eastern women’s quarters (5)
HAREM — damage or injury encompassing E(astern)

2d   Mate, sickly-looking, lacking energy (3)
PAL — sickly-looking or having less colour than normal with the physics symbol for energy removed

3d   Spooner’s type of music teacher could be a pest (9)
COCKROACH — how Dr. Spooner might mispronounce the teacher of a genre of popular music with a very strong beat

4d   Bid a lot, stupidly, for newspaper (7)
TABLOID — anagram (stupidly) of the first three words in the clue

5d   Mostly horrible time in refuge (7)
HIDEOUT — remove the final letter from a word meaning horrible or ghastly and append T(ime) to the result

7d   Astute keeping with previous word- processing technique? (3,3,5)
CUT AND PASTE — wrap a colloquial term for astute or clever around words meaning with and previous

8d   Guy that redesigned an area of New York City (9)
MANHATTAN — a charade of a guy or bloke, an anagram (redesigned) of THAT, and AN from the clue

9d   Backchat involving male, not firm (4)
LIMP — backchat or impudence enveloping M(ale)

13d   Toy figure passing over flag (7,4)
JUMPING JACK — passing over in the manner a horse may clear a fence followed by a nautical flag

15d   One harvesting honey, perhaps bitter about English preserve (9)
BEEKEEPER — a hoppy tipple surrounding both E(nglish) and a verb meaning to preserve or save

17d   Wicked lunatic? He reformed (9)
UNETHICAL — anagram (reformed) of LUNATIC HE

19d   See acrobat in glass (7)
TUMBLER — double definition, the second a drinking glass whose name derives from it originally having a rounded bottom so as not to be able to stand upright (much like its user after having consumed too much of its contents)

20d   Please say if it’s awkward without one (7)
SATISFY — anagram (awkward) of SAY IF ITS having discarded one of the two Is (without one)

22d   Break from cover if threatened (4)
RIFT — another lurker, this time hiding in (from) the final three words of the clue

24d   Reportedly, rustic steps in vogue (5)
STYLE — sounds like a set of steps allowing one to cross a fence

27d   Quite a large lake (3)
ALL — link together the A from the clue and abbreviations for large and lake; as the definition, quite is used in the sense of completely, wholly, entirely (the first three entries in the BRB)

I thought the clues today were all of a uniformly high quality making it very difficult to single out any particular clue as favourite. I will give special mention to the Spoonerism and &lit. (all-in-one) as they stand out simply for their uniqueness and both—in my view—are excellent examples of their genre. My pick of the day goes to the &lit.

Young Salopian reports there is a third pun which took me a long time to find.



Quickie Pun (Bottom Row) : SATYR + WRISTS = SATIRISTS

101 comments on “DT 29827

  1. Fairly straightforward for a Monday. My last two in were 11a and 25a, neither of which I thought worked very well. 27d was another Hmm?

    COTD for me was 7d.

    Many thanks to the setter and Falcon.

      1. I sent you an email earlier Falcon. Did you receive it. You are looking for a feathered singer stretched out over two answer

        1. Yes, I see I did get an email from you at 4:00 am my time. I finally located the feathered singer which is not perched where I expected to find it.

          1. Not a very good one I’d say except it makes use of the curious 12a which seems a very strange word to me,

      1. The puns are found in the Quickie puzzle. The first two or three across clues form one pun and is always present. Campbell frequently adds a second pun in the final two or three across clues and occasionally a third pun somewhere in the middle of the across clues. In the newspaper, the clues forming the top pun (and only the top pun) are italicised. There is no indication of the puns in the online version of the puzzles.

      2. By the way, welcome to the blog, Graham. Please come back and visit often. When you do, you might consider adding an identifying touch to your name to avoid confusion with a regular contributor named Graham.

        1. Thank you for the helpful reply, Falcon. I’ve been feebly struggling through the DT Cryptic since just before Covid, but not done the Quickie. I learned cryptic crosswords at my mother’s knee, half a century and more ago, with the Glasgow Herald. I still have a blind eye for the odd lurker!

  2. A typically fun, quality and entertaining puzzle for a Monday morning, Not for the first time recently, I am gritting my teeth and nominating the Spoonerism as my favourite clue.

    Many thanks to Campbell and Falcon.

  3. An enjoyable puzzle, which on first glace flattered to deceive – it ended up going in much more rapidly than I thought might be the case. Very smooth constructions, concise clueing, some lovely surfaces, and plenty of smiles.

    Hon Mentions to the Spoonerism (not often I actually like one of those clues) in 3d and to the very clever 25a, but my COTD went to the monochrome beastie in 14a for the laugh-out loud moment when the penny dropped.

    1.5* / 3*

    Many thanks indeed to Campbell for a great start to the week, and to Falcon for their review.

  4. An enjoyable, fairly straightforward puzzle (1.5*/3.5*). I likedthe Lego clues at 1a and 15d and the craftily constructed 5d. I wasn’t so keen on 25a where the definition didn’t come through strongly enough and I hesitated before writing it in. Thanks to Falcon fo r the hints and to Campbell for an interesting crossword.

  5. Terrific crossword – enjoyed every minute solving this one.

    A busy weekend here. Paul McCartney at the Festival Hall on Friday; then to Stamford Bridge for a bit of a feeble 1-1 draw with Burnley on Saturday. Yesterday we went for a rather chilly walk round the outskirts of Shere in the Surrey Hills, warmed by a lovely cup of hot chocolate from a little shop in the village.

    Today’s crossword soundtrack: Paull McCartney (Wings era) – Band On The Run

    Thanks to Campbell and Falcon.

    1. Terence, early on Wednesday morning, Februrary 9, 1972, several of my male students (in the hall of residence where I was their tutor) hustled to my rooms and excitedly said that there’s a rumour that Paul McCartney was going to play later that morning on the U of Nottingham campus. And sure enough, at noon in Portland Hall, Sir Paul and his new band Wings played their first-ever gig before several hundred stunned and gaga students and a very few of us on the faculty, equally astonished and gaga. And I was there! And it was simply wonderful.

    2. I hope Lola survived the fireworks. We had horrendously loud bangs here it sounded as though we were under attack. And it is so hard on the owners of thatched cottages around here – they have to keep watch all night for stray sparks.

  6. Oh dear! Just filled in Cryptic 681 by mistake. Back to the printer. Start again. Hope I have time to do another crossword. Hopefully see you all later.

      1. Just finished the 681 cryptic – far more fun than the back pager. Pleased to remember Foggy Bottom which came up recently I think.

  7. Plenty of lighthearted puzzling today with just the slightly iffy 25a needing a nudge and have to admit to impulsively bunging in unparsed 15d. SW slowest corner. Suppose “see” is needed in 19d. Fav was 12a. Thank you Campbell and Falcon to whom TVM for the Satchmo clip which will doubtless be on my mind throughout today.

    1. In 19d, the words “see … in” function as a link between the two definitions. The clue could have been phrased as:
      Acrobat seen in glass (7)
      where the link phrase “seen in” sits in its more accustomed spot between the two definitions.

  8. Very straightforward except for 25 a which doesn’t seem cryptic at all.
    COTD is 7d for the simple reason it’s fun to do.

  9. I just think Campbells Monday puzzles give a great start to the puzzling week. Not too difficult or obscure but containing a nice touch of humour. Thanks to Campbell for the puzzle and thanks to Falcon for the review. Thanks also to Van Morrison for his upbeat concert on Saturday night

  10. Exceptionally easy even for a Monday. Finished parked up while my wife had bloods taken. The only clue I didn’t get easily was 25a. I worked it out but it was not a term I’d come across before.

  11. Nice start to the week. I obvs. didn’t parse 7d correctly. I was thinking along anagram of Astute plus C and P and bunged in the right answer without thinking it through. 25a LOI.
    I did like 10a for the image it conjured of an “Ancient Artifact” in Barrel ;)
    If we get many more quickie puns it will be all puns ( wonders if such a grid could be constructed)
    Thanks to Campbell and Falcon.

    1. I must confess I missed the ancient artefact of Barrel. Could this be the same one formerly of Long Itchington, a place I passed yesterday en route for Compton Verney?

  12. Thanks Campbell for a nice start to the week. Agree with Falcon’s rating too. I had completely forgotten 7d of which I had ample experience during my career and which is still an important part of word processing, presentation and spreadsheet software today. A complete mental block around the word “previous”.

  13. Nothing too taxing this morning. */*** I wasn’t overly keen on 25a either but it works. The prize cryptic was similarly benevolent. Favourite 15d. I do like Falcon’s illustration. Thanks to all.

  14. Archetypal Campbell for me, if at the easier end of his spectrum.
    Completely agree with MP’s comments.. Campbell’s grids almost always give me a new word to forget today it was 25a.
    7d my COTD.
    Thank you Campbell, and Falcon, for the entertainment.

  15. It’s Monday :good: It’s Campbell :good: The clocks are where they should be all year :good: 1.5*/4.5*

    Candidates for favourite – 18a, 28a, and 24d – and the winner is 28a.

    Thanks to Campbell and to Falcon.

    1. I — and science — support you on the clocks. Unfortunately, our politicians think that we should adopt year-round daylight savings time instead of year-round standard time!!!

      1. My real solution is for Manitoba to go it alone and create a ‘new standard time’ by ‘splitting the difference’ and keep the clocks 30 minutes ahead of current standard time. If the rest of the country doesn’t like it – tough! If our Southern neighbours don’t like it – so much the better!

  16. Have to say that I’m unfamiliar with the term in 25a and I did worry a little about the definition in 27d, but Falcon has justified that one for me.
    Plenty to enjoy and I think my favourite was the guy redesigning part of New York in 8d with 1a & 15d taking the remaining podium places.

    Thanks to Campbell and to Falcon for the review.

  17. I think that 25a, thanks to Falcon’s insight, gets better and better the more I scrutinise it; it really is quite an all-in-one, self-contained clue. When I solved it, I just thought that ‘Forte’ (as in strength, speciality) was the definition but now I see it also as part of the fodder of the overall definition. I too have to grudgingly admit that I liked the Spoonerism but my favourite today is 12a. A most enjoyable start to the week. Thanks to Falcon and Campbell. 1.5* / 3.5*

  18. A great start to the week from Campbell and most enjoyable. I had not heard of 25a but it was gettable from the clue. For the first time in my solving life a spoonerism made sense and I derived great satisfaction from it. My favourite and COTD is 1a because we used to play it endlessly as kids.

    Many thanks to Campbell for the fun and thanks to Falcon for the hints.

  19. Solved alone and unaided but could not parse 7d (see above) or 15a….had not thought of a commission being a board.
    Wasn’t sure about the definition of 27d either.
    An enjoyable start to the week, though, as it always is when I solve unaided.

    Thanks to Falcon and to Campbell.

  20. As with other commentators we weren’t keen on 25a and 27d but apart from that all perfectly straightforward and enjoyable. Favourite was 7d. Thanks to Campbell and Falcon.

  21. Like a few others I hadn’t heard of 25a and needed the hint for that, 13d was unfamiliar to me but gettable from the checkers. A pleasant ride which went toward renewing my confidence after last week. Thanks to all.

  22. Loved most of this. I always wish I was on a train with plenty of spectators when the answers glide in effortlessly. I was disappointed towards the end by 25a and 27d. I wrote in 27a but never do get that synonym. Oddly, I do not know the expression at 25a. Only got it once I realised it is an anagram and the letters had to be where they are. I spent too long trying to make it start with Play. Thanks to Campbell and Falcon.

    1. One year I was going by train from Carmarthen to London and bought a selection of papers to do the crosswords. Once on the train, I found I’d left my pen at the newsagent. A very nice gentleman lent me his, “but I’m getting out at Newport so I’ll need it back.” I had inspiration, only way I could describe it, and I swanned through the lot. I know I had the DT, Times and another. His eyes stood out, we got to talking and he asked where I was from. It turned out he had a cousin who taught at a Jamaican boarding school, yes, it was mine. I remembered her well! So, it happens.

  23. 0.5*/4*. I found this very light but it was such good fun from start to finish. Just right for a Monday.

    Although spoilt for choice, 8d gets the nod as my favourite.

    Many thanks to Campbell and to Falcon.

  24. What a treat. I managed to finish two DT puzzles today. Both very enjoyable. I wonder if they had the same setter. Many thanks to the setter and Falcon.Favourite clue was 3d followed by 7d.

    1. I stand to be corrected, but I recall it being mentioned on previous occasions that Campbell does set both the regular Cryptic Crossword as well as the prize Cryptic Crossword on Mondays, not to mention the regular Quickie (and perhaps even the prize Quickie?).

  25. I guessed correctly at 25a from the wordplay and checking letters, although I had never heard of the word before.

    Re 26a, the answer was obvious, and I have seen the word written on numerous occasions, however I have never used it, or heard it spoken. Google/YouTube gives a pronounciation that sounds very much like I would say “cherry”. Would others pronounce it the same way ?

    Thanks to Campbell and to Falcon.

    1. That pronunciation is quite close to mine although I would say mine is more like “chair-y” than “cherry”.

  26. Totally agree with the difficulty rating and also loved 3d. I know they are some readers pet hates but I love Spoonerisms.
    Very enjoyable for all that.
    Thx to all

      1. I hate Spoonerisms too BL. I also hate 3d’s. I was sitting on the loo In Mombasa years ago (as you do) and a whopper crawled across the floor. I picked up a sort of large metal wpb and put it on top of the creature and the whole thing moved across the floor. I legged it pronto!

        1. When we first arrived in South Florida eldest daughter had to complete a science project about the little blighters. She asked the health department if cafes were shut down if roaches were found. Oh no, they said, there wouldn’t be any cafes open then. A pest control officer told her to be sure to be always screw the top on the toothpaste as roaches apparently love to crawl inside. Oh yuk…

  27. A gentle start to the week with this Campbell puzzle. 1.5*/**** for me today.
    Clues to like were many but my top ones are 18a, 21a, 3d, 13d & 20d with winner 3d … and it also made me laugh!
    Several good lego clues too that I liked, including 18a and 20a

    Thanks to Campbell and Falcon

  28. A very early morning solve before Luton to Malaga at some ungodly hour for a few days of golf. A very gentle though perfectly enjoyable puzzle to kick off the week. 12a was easily gettable but new to me & failed to parse 7d correctly (same blind alley as JB & Ora). Otherwise all straightforward & over in 1.5* time. 3d & 25a my top 2 with 7d on the podium.
    Thanks Campbell & Falcon.

    1. Enjoy your stay in Malaga, Huntsman! Hope the golfing is good. Seville and Granada are the closest I’ve been to Malaga.

    2. Do you play at Sotogrande? My brother lives almost on top of the golf course and I understand it is very good. I don’t play !

  29. Nice Monday puzzle **/***😃 Favourites are 23a and 24d 👍 Thanks to Falcon and Campbell

  30. Enjoyed this one, although I’m amazed to say I found yesterday’s Dada quite a tad easier. I too spent many hours playing 1a as a child, those chalky outlines were seen on all our streets. I had heard of 25a, but not fond of the word, but then I am not a fan or slapstick or farce. Loved 19d, although I know it is a bit of a chestnut. Will tackle 681 over lunch. Still enjoying the novelty of wearing long sleeved T-shirts as our cool weather continues. Thanks to Campbell and Falcon.

  31. Not too taxing for a Monday and like others did not know 25a but quite gettable. Aged P took me to a Laurel and Hardy film when I was about 10, it was quite dreadful but for some reason he seemed to find it side splitting. Thanks to all.

  32. Solved in two sittings with a nice lunch out in between. Enjoyable puzzle though Spoonerisms are not my forte. I spent quite some time on 25a trying to make an anagram for forte! Many thanks to Falcon and Campbell. A good start to the week coupled with catching up with good friend not seen for 16 months. Enjoyed a lovely hug.

    1. There have been so many comments concerning the unfamiliarity of these terms that I thought I should check if they are by any chance Americanisms.

      Pratfall is, in fact, shown by several dictionaries as either “US slang” or “US and Canadian slang”. Prat is “US slang” for the buttocks, so a pratfall is literally a fall on one’s buttocks which, by extension, has come to mean any embarrassing mistake — likely what Brits might call a bloomer.

      The term major domo on the other hand dates from the late 1500s so is very unlikely to be a North American contribution to the vocabulary.

      1. Yes, Falcon, you confirm the meaning of a pratfall but there is no surface to the clue indicating that word as a solution but merely its composition – if you see what I mean? 🥴

        1. I understand what you are saying. However, this is what is informally known as an all-in-one clue (or formally as an &lit. clue) in which the entire clue can be read both as wordplay and as definition. Consider that a slapstick comedy routine consists of a series of pratfalls and an actor in such routines would need to be adept at taking pratfalls (in other words, this would be their forte). The roles played by actors in such productions could be described as “screwball parts”. As a definition, the clue can therefore be interpreted as “Forte of all actors performing roles in slapstick routines”.

          1. Thanks for your elucidation Falcon. In that case 26a in today’s Cryptic is an &lit too. Perhaps I should get my coat! 🙂

  33. Scampered through this one, so a great confidence booster. Really enjoyed the fun and especially like the Spooneristic 3d. Bunged in 25a without really understanding how it all fits together. 1.5*/****

  34. Excellent crossword practice, nice start to whatever is in store this week.
    Loved 7d
    So, */*****
    Many thanks, Campbell and thanks Falcon for the review.

  35. A steady solve and great fun with this puzzle on a mainly sunny day in the Peaks. My favourite has to be 3d – Spoonerisms always make me smile. Many thanks to Campbell and Falcon – now that sounds like a band! 😄

  36. I came to this late having been out to lunch and a little retail therapy. Very enjoyable, if a quick solve. I really did not like 25a (sorry Campbell) but only cos it is quite ugly. I didn’t actually pick out any specials but satisfying to complete. Thanks to Campbell and Falcon – I am off to a WI committee meeting now where I shall be preparing kits for making Brussels Sprouts. Don’t ask. And don’t ever think my life is dull.

    1. I doubt that your life is ever dull, DG, but I do have to ask how you make a Brussels Sprout and why the heck you’d want to do it anyway!

  37. Really enjoyed this Campbell, all unaided, natch except for one. I don’t think I’ve ever had an unaided one, and that one today is 25a. I knew it, knew it well, yet still needed e-help to get it. Dim! Lots to like here. I’m in the Spooner-hate camp, do I dare have 3d as fave? There are lots more to choose from, maybe the guy with the hat on?
    Thank you Campbell for that bunch of fun, and Falcon for unravelling some, particularly 25a.

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