DT 29828 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29828

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29828

Hints and tips by Mr K

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BD Rating  -  Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

Hello, everyone, and greetings at the end of a sunny day in DC. I’m feeling less fuzzy-headed than I was last Tuesday after the Moderna booster shot had addled my brain, so I hope there will be fewer parsing issues (although it was great to see everyone contributing last week. Perhaps in future I should leave a clue or two for the commentariat to hint?). Today’s puzzle felt like it came from the more straightforward end of the Tuesday spectrum. I found it an enjoyable solve with a few topical references and a big smile right at the end.

In the hints below most indicators are italicized, and underlining identifies precise definitions and cryptic definitions. Clicking on the answer buttons will reveal the answers. In some hints hyperlinks provide additional explanation or background. Clicking on a picture will enlarge it or display a bonus illustration and a hover (computer) or long press (mobile) might explain more about the picture. Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.



1a    Act restricting police department is agreed (7)
DECIDED:  An act or action containing (restricting) a usual abbreviated police department 

5a    Rubbish tango -- stumble and sway (7)
TWADDLE:  The letter represented in the NATO phonetic alphabet by tango is followed by stumble and sway like a duck, perhaps 

9a    Benefit from a face covering, we're told (5)
AVAIL:  A from the clue with a homophone (we’re told) of a see-through face covering 

10a   Sloth perhaps ends daily unwinding (6,3)
DEADLY SIN:  An anagram (unwinding) of ENDS DAILY. The perhaps indicates that the definition is by example 

11a   Nick is grabbing drink with yen to relax (4,2,4)
TAKE IT EASY:  Put together nick or steal, IS from the clue containing (grabbing) a hot brewed drink, and the abbreviation for yen 

12a   Tip from Dominic Raab: dismissing answer is dull (4)
DRAB:  The first letter of (tip of) DOMINIC followed by RAAB minus one abbreviation for answer (dismissing answer) 

14a   Poor value of Braun for grooming (12)
UNFAVOURABLE:  An anagram (for grooming) of VALUE OF BRAUN 

18a   Start to approach short blokes with stick (12)
COMMENCEMENT:  Assemble all but the last letter (short) of a synonym of approach, another word for blokes, and stick or adhere 

21a   Egg on uniform -- regret scrubbing every other part (4)
URGE:  Follow the letter represented in the NATO phonetic alphabet by uniform with alternate letters (scrubbing every other part) of REGRET 

22a   Yearning to break most of finest possessions (10)
BELONGINGS:  Yearning or aching inserted in (to break) all but the last letter of (most of) a synonym of finest 

25a   Neighbours perhaps lather Aida? (4,5)
SOAP OPERA:  Another word for lather with what Aida defines by example (?). The perhaps indicates that the definition is also by example 

26a   Former lover, with skill, turning over (5)
EXTRA:  A usual former lover with the reversal (turning) of skill or craft 

27a   How one might cook sea fish (4-3)
DEEP-FRY:  A synonym of sea with some baby fish. The definition could refer to the rest of the clue 

28a   Tasteless hot drink I had (7)
INSIPID:  Link together hot or fashionable, a small drink, and the contraction for I HAD 



1d    End of Third World famine (6)
DEARTH:  The end letter of THIRD with a synonym of world 

2d    Grumpy about revolting year (6)
CRANKY:  Chain together the single letter for about or approximately, revolting or foul, and the single letter for year 

3d    Bond's after diamonds and amorous relationships (10)
DALLIANCES:  A bond or partnership with its ‘S from the clue comes after the playing card abbreviation for diamonds 

4d    Avoid setter perhaps penning last bit of crossword with ecstasy (5)
DODGE:  What a setter defines by example (perhaps) containing (penning) the last letter of CROSSWORD is all followed by the single letter abbreviation for the drug ecstasy 

5d    Change trains leaving current platform? Not half! (9)
TRANSFORM:  TRAINS minus (leaving) the physics symbol for electrical current is followed by one half (not half) of PLATFORM. Here’s what a billboard can change into these days … 

6d    Fool's topless friend (4)
ALLY:  A slang word for a fool with his first letter deleted (topless, in a down clue) 

7d    Report from French writer (8)
DESCRIBE:  “From” in French with a writer or copyist 

8d    Student in bed none fancy dignified (8)
ENNOBLED:  The letter indicating a student or learner driver is inserted in an anagram (fancy) of BED NONE 

13d   Disobey mad gran's sister, leaving Italy (10)
TRANSGRESS:  An anagram (mad) of GRAN’S SISTER minus the IVR code for Italy (leaving Italy) 

15d   Many cheer evil foe (4-5)
ARCH-ENEMY:  An anagram (evil) of MANY CHEER 

16d   Loathsome defendant admits resistance (8)
ACCURSED:  The defendant in a trial contains (admits) the physics symbol for electrical resistance

17d   Amidst mayhem, I gratefully leave country (8)
EMIGRATE:  The answer is hidden amidst the remaining words in the clue 

19d   Section of foot soldiers should be this? (6)
INSTEP:  Splitting the answer (2,4) gives a phrase describing how soldiers should march 

20d   Man?  And what one isn't, it's said (6)
ISLAND:  What Man defines by example (?) is also what John Donne said a man isn’t 

23d   Took a picture, capturing animal (5)
OKAPI:  The first three words of the clue are hiding (capturing) the answer 

24d   Playing this, one might be putting upsetting record on loudly (4)
GOLF:  The reversal (upsetting, in a down clue) of a record or register is followed by the musical abbreviation for loudly 


Thanks to today’s setter. Top clue for me was 24d because of the amusing definition. Which clues did you like best?

The Quick Crossword pun:  CAR + BUN + TACKS = CARBON TAX

59 comments on “DT 29828

  1. Cracking puzzle, very enjoyable from start to finish, and not a pratfall in sight.
    In a strong field my podium placers are 1,3&5d, good clues with good surfaces, but top spot goes to the clever 20d.
    Many thanks to the setter and to Mr K.

      1. One of my favourites too. In fact, JB and James Taylor will be appearing here, in North Charleston, SC, on tour in eight days. How I wish I could go. I’ve been to most of JT’s concerts here but never have seen JB in concert.

  2. I had this one completed quicker than yesterday’s offering, in a solid * time. I did need a breakfast break to get the last four or so.

    20d was my last in and therefore my COTD.

    Many thanks to the setter and Mr. K.

  3. Cure on hols in the Lakes and today’s DT was the first I could get this week hence recent absence. Agree absolutely with Mr K at **/*** and good fun. Lots of anagrams oiled the way and some particularly good ones including 10a. It was nice to see the old favourite at 20d and my COTD is 25a. Very good. Thanks to the setter. I shall not make a fool of myself by trying to guess who that is!

  4. This puzzle was not really to my taste and although there were some straightforward clues, it had too many stretched synonyms. I made heavy weather of it, probably because I really wasn’t getting much enjoyment from it (3*/2*). The best of it was in the anagrams. Thanks to Mr K for the hints and to the compiler for his efforts.

  5. What a thoroughly enjoyable and entertaining puzzle for a sunny Tuesday. Nothing to particularly trouble our equine friends, and the surfaces were generally super smooth and fun to unwind. I will also nominate 20d as my top clue.

    Many thanks to our setter and Mr K.

  6. 2*/4*. I echo what YS has said @5.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Mr K.

    P.S. I can recommend today’s Toughie which is very light indeed but great fun.

    1. Thanks for your tip-off RD which encouraged me to have a go and it was indeed a pain-free exercise which for me is not always the case with Chalicea’s Cryptics.

  7. Apart from mistaking the definition in 14a this was relatively plain sailing but nevertheless an excellent start to the day. Glad you’re feeling better Mr K and this week’s illustrations are superb, especially the rubbish tango and the billboard. Thanks to you and the compiler, whoever they be.

  8. 16d made me smile. It reminded me of that old joke, ‘what do you call a Liverpudlian in a suit?’ The accused. Hope that’s not too politically incorrect for our current times. It took a while for the penny to drop for 20d – I don’t know why because I’m sure we’ve had many similar references to man as the island. Before now. **/*** No particular stand out favourite today. Thanks to all.

    1. You should know by now you are not allowed to say anything which could be construed as Micky taking or poking fun at ( unless it’s the Tories,sorry that should be scum). I’m glad I had my youth in more enlightened times.

  9. Thoroughly enjoyed this one and smiled my way through it – do hope the setter pops in to take a bow.
    From a very strong field I picked out 27a & 1d to share the honours.

    Many thanks to our setter for brightening a rainy day and to Mr K who I’m pleased to see is back on good form. I’ll go with Celia and nominate the illustrations of the rubbish tango and the billboard as my top two.

  10. Thoroughly enjoyed this one, and completed it in record time.

    Many thanks to Mr K. I thought the hints were excellent and I particularly enjoyed the pictures since they were amusing without giving too much away.

  11. Hardly any real cerebration required today for this enjoyable brief diversion which kicked off with 1a and 1d going straight in – always encouraging. Am inclined to think around compiler synonym in 4d rather than the canine homograph so it was a bung-in. Fav smiler was 26a

  12. What a wonderful puzzle! A great mixture of the fairly straightforward and the tricky. I ended up with stars against quite a number of clues. Stand out clues for me were 10a, 18a, 4d and 20d but my COTD is 19d because of the great surface. I managed to finish unaided, which hasn’t happened for a while.

    Many thanks to the setter fr the fun and to Mr. K for the hints and pusscats.

  13. A splendid puzzle – I enjoyed this one immensely.

    I am sorry if I was a little harsh when commenting on Van Morrison yesterday… however… (there had to be a ‘however’…) I have come across him twice in ‘real life’ and each time he was ‘grumpy’ to say the least.
    When I was very young, I worked at Capital Radio in London and we had Van in for a chat on the Nicky Horne show. It was obvious from the moment he walked into Euston Tower that Van did not want to be there, and he took out his annoyance by being as disagreeable and patronising to Nicky (on air) as it was possible to be. Nicky still talks about it to this day.
    On the 25th June 2005, I was with Jo Good from BBC London at Petworth Park in Sussex. She was the on stage announcer for a gig with Van Morrison as the star attraction. She was asked to make a final announcement relating to ‘thanks for coming; please take your rubbish home’ – that sort of thing. She approached Van and asked if there was any particular way in which he wished to be introduced. He very tersely said “NO!”.
    Jo finished her ‘thanks for coming’ bit by saying, “Ladies and gentlemen – Van Morrison!”
    Van strode over to her, still at the microphone and snarled, “What the **** is wrong with you? You didn’t mention my band!” and stormed into (ironically enough) ‘Keep Mediocrity At Bay’.

    No doubt there are times when Van is the cheeriest soul on the planet. My two experiences were not from those times!

    Thanks to the setter and The Celebrated Mr K.

    1. Nicky Horne is now a presenter on Boom Radio and he still talks about the rudeness of Van Morrison.

      1. I absolutely love van’s music (apart from his last album) and I have no idea what he’s like as a person but there’s never any excuse to be rude.

            1. Same as the joke about the girl who asks her mother, who is washing up, why her hands are so soft. “Because I’m 12.” her mother replies.

              1. Mummy, Why are your hands so soft? Because I’m only fourteen now go and finish your pizza before daddy gets home from school

    2. Quite agree T. He is capable & has form for being very rude & going through the motions at gigs if he’s in a bad humour. I haven’t seen him live for a couple of years now but having seen him upwards of 20 times he can be both infuriating & utterly brilliant. I believe he’s much more reliable of late.
      You must look at 7d in yesterday’s Rookie Corner puzzle. Be interested to know if you can crack it – certainly NOT an obscurity for you unlike most who commented.

  14. Light, enjoyable while it lasted, well crafted, nothing esoteric required. Plenty of scope for amusement and the lurkers raised smiles, as did 12a.

    COTD – 20d.

    1.5* / 2.5*

    Many thanks to the Setter and to Mr K

  15. I wanted to drop in to say what a fabulous resource this blog has been after I got properly back into cryptic crosswords again a few months ago, after a long break. I haven’t managed to post here yet as I don’t usually start the crossword until I get home from work late in the day and everyone here seems to have finished long before then!

    I managed to start and finish today’s in one go during a lunchtime walk, so about 40 minutes (I’m not sure what that means in terms of *, still need to learn a few things here!) That’s certainly a quick finish by my usual standards (I usually take a break and come back later), with lots of fairly straightforward anagrams and what I call “formulaic” clues.

    Last in was 20D (a good 5 minutes after the rest). Favourite clues were 10A, 3D and 5D. My only error was putting “STIR FRY” for 27A but that was fairly soon corrected when I got to one of the cross clues.

  16. Absolutely agree with Mustafa gin, light, gentle and amusing. Loved the kitty photos. Beautiful sunny day here, washing blowing on the line, completed crossword – what more could we ask. Thanks to the setter and Mr K. Incidentally we had a brilliant Arts Society lecture this morning on Big Ben. I’ve known it all my life, but so much I was ignorant about.

  17. Nothing to frighten the horses today but a super puzzle for all that. I often struggle a little with the Tuesday setter but got on the right wavelength today. My favs were 5a and 25a.
    Thx to all

  18. From top to bottom, which is how I happily moved in this gem of a puzzle, smooth as silk and so very engaging in its wordplay. As SL says, not a dud in the grid, with my top choices the nostalgic 20a and the wittily misdirectional 4d–and 1d, 25a, 19d, & 20d, with everyone else in line for an honourable mention. Thanks to Mr K, especially for that butchy tango and that billboardy cat, and to today’s excellent compiler. ** / ****

    A silky-smooth Toughie as well.

  19. A light and enjoyable puzzle. The surface read of 8d is a bit strange and I was also surprised to see “leaving” used twice in quick succession at 5d and 13d. Minor gripes only in a most enjoyable solve.
    Thanks to our setter and to Mr K.

  20. Last two in were 14 and 22a. Just could not see them partially due to the fact that my first thought for the latter was unaffordable. Favourites 25 and 27a and 1 3 5 and 20d. Thanks setter and Mr K. I had not fully parsed 20d but I added it as a favourite when you reminded me of the saying.

  21. Not quite a typical Tuesday puzzle for me. It didn’t seem to have the sparkle of recent puzzles. It might be me of course suffering from ‘jet lag’ or whatever it’s called after the clocks ‘fall back.’ **/**

    The Toughie by the Floughie Lady was much more enjoyable.

    No standout favourites, but I did like 25a.

    Thanks to the setter and Mr K.

  22. No real problems here either. My only difficulty was fitting in the final answer at 18a, I made a mistake in one of the crossing answers and it took me a while to work out which one. At 5d I had transport which is trains minus I for current and half the letters of P la T f OR m, just the wrong letters. Instead of being clever, I should have chosen the last 4 letters.
    My own stupidity apart, the rest of the puzzle was a treat. Thanks to Mr K and setter.

  23. I had to look at the hint for 5a and that sort of confirmed my answer to 6d, I then had to run through the alphabet to find which fool was referred to, probably me for not spotting it before🥴. 20 down tickled my fancy so that gets my clue of the day prize, I’m sure it appeared before somewhere. Thanks to all.

  24. Rather a strange puzzle I thought. I got several answers, and then figured out how the clues worked. Found some rather stretched, and others made sense. Nothing too difficult though. So a mixed bag for me. Thanks to setter and Mr K.

  25. Nothing too taxing but all good fun and perfectly logical today. My COTD has to be 11a for no other reason than it takes in my very favourite beverage. Many thanks to all.

  26. Great fun today so thanks to all. With the current situation kept wanting to put amask for 9a! My neighbour is mowing her lawn in almost complete darkness – mad. Thousands and thousands of geese arriving daily, a marvellous sight. David says they are all female as they make a lot of noise and their beaks are open – what cheek.

  27. Excellent puzzle today which I solved alone and unaided and could parse everything. Hurrah!

    Thanks to the setter and to Mr K.

  28. Lovely puzzle & a delightful quick solve before post golf/beer & pre barbecue shut eye…
    Thanks all.

  29. I thought 20d was a superb clue, thank you setter and also Mr K and StephenL for the Jackson Browne clip … all these years I’ve assumed the Eagles wrote that song!

  30. Enjoyed today’s puzzle that’s two completed consecutively so feeling quite chuffed. Slipped up at 27a by initially putting in stir fry but soon realised my error. Many thanks to to Mr K and the setter. Off to my ballet class later. It’s been so long since I was last able to attend. It will be a tonic to see everyone but rather think the joints will be creaking tomorrow!

  31. I completely agree, a very refreshing exercise to start the day. I only had a problem in the SE, 22a held me up forever, then I got it with e-help and the other two fell in. I don’t know why I took so long with 20d, it looks so easy in hindsight, I think that’s my fave.
    Thanks to whomsoever set this, great fun, and to Mr. K for the usual brilliant cat pics, but today the tango at 5a trumps those.

  32. Late starting this one today … but was ok once I got going. 2*/4* for me.
    Clues to like include 5a, 11a, 25a & 24d with 5a winner for the word itself.

    Thanks to setter and Mr K

  33. I’m later on this side of the Atlantic…wanted to say I enjoyed working through this one over my evening GnT!
    Thanks to our setter – I very much enjoyed your own ‘setter’ misdirection in 4D – and, of course to Mr K for the blog ‘n hints.

  34. 2*/3*…
    liked 4D “Avoid setter perhaps penning last bit of crossword with ecstasy (5)”

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