DT 29837 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29837

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29837

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Good morning from South Staffs on another mild, grey November day.

A good Friday challenge, with some definitions that needed a little lateral thinking. Thanks to the setter.

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           Flower we could cut small twice with a similar result (7)
BLOSSOM – As the clue says, you could remove two instances of the abbreviation for Small from the answer, and still have a word that means the same.

5a           Costs of Queen’s son good for Left (7)
CHARGES – Remove the Left from the name of the Queen’s eldest son, and replace it with Good.

9a           Enthusiastic in punt with initial change of direction (5)
EAGER – Start wit another word for ‘punt’ or ‘bet’, then remove the initial letter and replace it with another which suggests a reversal of direction.

10a         They come round once a week, unsettling us with arty ads (9)
SATURDAYS – Anagram (unsettling) of US and ARTY ADS.

11a         Squashes that could make a snack (10)
SANDWICHES – As a verb, the answer means ‘squashes between two other objects’; as a noun the answer is a well-known snack.

What Is A Dagwood Sandwich? | CulinaryLore

12a         Religious education brings in very little money, or ‘ready’ (4)
RIPE – The usual acronym for Religious Education, wrapped round what looks like the small est denomination of our coinage.

14a         Degrees of difference between the seasons? (12)
TEMPERATURES – Cryptic definition of one of the factors that changes from season to season.

18a         Aunt Clare got staggering praise (12)
CONGRATULATE – anagram (staggering) of AUNT CLARE GOT.

21a         Not a person that fails to finish in time (4)
NOON – Start with an expression (2-3) for ‘not a person’, then remove the final letter to get a time of day.

22a         A spinning top is one’s pick-me-up (10)
HELICOPTER – Cryptic definition of a type of aircraft which has a spinning blade on top to provide lift.

Da Vinci's Helicopter Photograph by Sheila Terry/science Photo Library

25a         Declared hands with ace, diamonds, holding it back (9)
MENTIONED – Put together another word for the hands on a ship or in a factory, the number of pips on an ace, and the abbreviation for the Diamond suit, then reverse IT (from the clue) and insert it into the result.

26a         A trio of Democrats taking ecstasy carried on (5)
ADDED – A (from the clue) and three abbreviations for Democrat wrapped round the short name for an Ecstasy tablet.

27a         Wiped part of article, an editorial (7)
CLEANED – Hidden in the clue.

28a         Everyone needs some organisation (7)
ANYBODY – Split the answer (3,4) and you have another word for ‘some’ and another word for an organisation.


1d           Bust of Romeo pinched by barbarian (6)
BREAST – A barbarian or brute , with the letter represented by Romeo in the NATO alphabet inserted.

2d           They produce 4 parts of the body (6)
ORGANS – Double definition, where ‘4’ is the answer to 4d.

3d           Street battle over heartless boy snatching stray food (10)
STRAWBERRY – Start with an abbreviation for STreet. Reverse (over) another word for a battle or series of battles, and add it to the first part. Then remove the middle (heartless) from B(o)Y and wrap the result around a verb meaning ‘stray’, before adding the result to the first two sections to produce the answer.

4d           Nothing odd about impulse — itch — to achieve harmony? (5)
MUSIC – Alternate letters of iMpUlSe ItCh.

5d           Reconstruction of car held at church (9)
CATHEDRAL – Anagram (reconstruction) of CAR HELD AT.

6d           Some ground article goes on about twice (4)
ACRE – An indefinite article, followed by the Latin abbreviation for ‘about’ or ‘approximately’ and the Latin for ‘about’ or ‘concerning’.

7d           More fancy getting into Gilbert & Sullivan — what must be going down? (8)
GLACIERS – The initials of Gilbert and Sullivan, placed either side of ‘more fancy (as applied to fabric)’, producing a natural phenomenon which, by its nature, moves downhill, and may also be said to be reducing (going down in another sense) as the world warms.

If We Can't Stop Iceland's Glaciers from Melting, Let's Replace Them with  Forests

8d           Doctor Seuss framing what he might write with anxiety (8)
SUSPENSE – Anagram (doctor) of SEUSS wrapped round something to write with.

13d         Still in post on a railway (10)
STATIONARY – A military post or location, followed by A (from the clue) and an abbreviation for RailwaY.

15d         After sales talk, study’s done up with decorations (9)
PATTERNED – A salesman’s pitch or spiel, followed by the reverse (done up) of a study or retreat.

16d         Rising carbon — I’m about to support green business (8)
ECONOMIC – Put together the chemical symbol for carbon, I’M (from the clue), and another word for ‘about’ or ‘related to’. Reverse the result, and prefix it with the three-letter expression used to indicate that something claims ‘green’ credentials.

17d         Intimate German noun censor has camouflaged (8)
ANNOUNCE – Hidden in the clue.

19d         Creatively representing us, do it here? (6)
STUDIO – An all-in-one clue. An anagram (creatively representing) of US DO IT.

20d         With little water, right to tuck into liquid daily (6)
ARIDLY – Anagram (liquid) of DAILY, with Right inserted.

23d         Funding part of UK — that’s upset another country (5)
INDIA – Put together some charitable funding and the initials of a province of the UK, then reverse the result to get an Asian country.

24d         Feline figure seen within banks of lagoon (4)
LION – Two letters which look like a cardinal number, placed inside the outer letters (banks) of L(agoo)N.

My condolences to Miffypops for his family bereavement reported yesterday.

The Quick Crossword pun INNER + PICK + CALL = IN A PICKLE

75 comments on “DT 29837

  1. Quirky, light and enjoyable though maybe not one for the purists, which strongly suggests it’s a Zandio production.
    My ticks go to 9a plus 5&15d with too spot going to the clever 1a.
    Many thanks to the setter and DT for the fun.

    Just reading the review, I suspected we may have got that song for 3d.

  2. I struggled here in places, but that was due to my lack of ability, as the crossword is cleverly constructed with no peculiarities or obscure deities.

    Thanks to everyone who asked after little Lola. She had her appointment for a check up this morning and the vet is very pleased with her progress. Lola is to stay on a small dose of steroid daily as this seems to be the key to controlling the issues that arose late last year.

    Today’s crossword soundtrack: XTC – Coat Of Many Cupboards

    Thanks to the setter and DT. Ongoing best wishes to The Miff and his family.

    1. Glad to hear she is OK Terence – loved your description of her as a little feline Mother Theresa!

    2. If devoted parenting can keep her going, she’ll be with you for a long while yet, Terence. Canny so-and-so’s these cats!

  3. A rather gentle Friday Fluffy, I felt, a softening-up for the later challenge of the Toughie. No specialist knowledge required, all very straightforward. A few odd surfaces, but a good variety of clues and a generous dollop of anagrams made for a satisfying solve, while it lasted. Hon. mentions to 3d and 17d, with COTD to my LOI, 7d.

    1.5* / 2.5*

    Many thanks to the Setter and to DT for their review.

  4. This was a good challenge for a Friday, with plenty of thinking needed to tease the last few out. I liked the anagrams at 10a and 18a, but my top clue was 3d. One small criticism: I thought several of the clues were a little wordy for my taste, but otherwise enjoyable enough.

    My thanks to our setter and DT.

  5. Thanks again to all who sent condolences for the sudden death of my brother in law Bob yesterday. My good friend and brother in law of over fifty years. As for the puzzle. Good enough for me. Solved in two sittings as my last 4 wouldn’t budge. 14 and 22 across and 6 and 17 down. Straight in with no messing upon my return. Thanks to today’s setter and to Deep Threat for explaining 17 down. A lurker. Oh the shame. Oh the ignominy. I am not worthy

    1. May I add my belated condolences Miffypops to you and your family on the sad loss of your brother-in-law and long-standing good friend. Take good care and raise a pint or three in his memory.

      You are not the only one who missed the lurker at 17d!

  6. Found this a struggle with a mixture of straightforward clues (11a) and not (22a). Overall very enjoyable and, for me, satisfying to complete. **** / ****.
    COTD was 22a “spinning” misdirected me into looking for anagram of a plus top is one’s.
    Thanks to setter and DT for the fun (especially Albert the Lion, Stanley Holloway’s attempt at a Lancashire accent makes me smile even more).

      1. I couldn’t listen to it for more than fifteen seconds. Just about as bad as Dick van Dyke’s Cockney in Mary Poppins.

        I have to decalre a DNF in the crossword. 22a was my downfall, so it goes on the podium with 8d.

        Thanks to all.

      1. I can recite it all the way through and do it in a better Lancashire accent than him even though I’m from Lestoh me duck. I spent quite a lot of time at my grandparents in Altrincham, yes, yes, yes I know it’s in Cheshire or at least was but it’s right next door.

        1. Coming from Oldham anything South of Stretford is South and distinctly posh Taylor. As you say that would be I definitely better than Holloway’s – to think he got paid for it!

        2. I love it. I learned to recite this as a child. We had it on a record with Albert Returns on the flip side. It’s still my only party trick!!

  7. Very enjoyable today except I spent far too long trying to make an anagram out of 22a. Hey ho. Just seen that the Toughie is one of Elgar’s so no hope for me, don’t even understand the answers half the time. Thanks to the setter and DT. Not sure I understand the reasoning behind 1a.

    1. The Elgar is not too frightening or impenetrable today. No cross-referencing of clues needed.

        1. Beware Manders – I’m fairly certain YS’s interpretation of ‘not too frightening or impenetrable’ may have little in common with ours. It’s taken me two stabs at it to get a dozen answers, two of which I can’t parse.

  8. Enjoyable end of the week puzzle , concur with DT regarding some lateral thinking, my last clue 12a for example.
    Liked 2d and the association with 4d , making it my favourite.
    Some well put together charades like 3d,7d,25a.
    Thanks to DT for the picks, especially the 4d tune,remember listening to Stanley on an old scratchy78 record as a lad -memories for you!

  9. I suppose there’s no point in continuing to comment about this setter’s scant regard for surface reads but it does sadden me.
    No problems to report regarding the grid fill and no particular favourite to mention.

    Thanks to Zandio for his efforts and thanks to DT for the review.

    1. Please do keep commenting about Zandio’s surfaces, Jane: I don’t always have time to do the crossword, but I love Zandio’s and will always try to fit the them in. Since Fridays are shared between several setters, I often come here and look at the comments first: complaints about surfaces are a useful indication that it’s a Zandio puzzle and therefore I should make time for it!

  10. This was challenging, all the more so due to the ongoing retinal migraine situation, which slowed things down a lot (4*/3*). It was fairly clued and quite enjoyable. Thanks to DT for help with 22a, I really couldn’t fathom that one at all. Joint COTD’s were 10a and 11a. Thanks to the compiler too.

  11. I found this tough going. ****/*** The lurker at 17d was very well disguised. The definition of 22a certainly required some lateral thinking once I’d got past trying to create a word from what appeared to be an anagram. Favourite 3d. Thanks to all.

  12. A curate’s egg for me and agreement with Jane on surface reads – 2.5*/2*.

    No standout favourites, but I did like 1a and 15d.

    Thanks to Zandio and DT.

    1. You too Zandio. Lots of Rugby to enjoy over the weekend. Those of us who solve without ‘reading’ the clues won’t notice the surfaces. It’s all good to me

    2. zandio
      thanks for a cracking end of the week puzzle – a real grey matter stretcher – much appreciated.
      also thanks to DT for parsing the answers I couldn’t

  13. A reasonable end to the week at **/** for me. Nothing particularly stand out and all entertaining enough over coffee. Thanks to our hinter and setter respectively.

  14. 2*/3*. The combination of good wordplay and several iffy surfaces pointed to this being a Zandio composition, and I see he has just claimed ownership.

    Thanks to him and to DT.

  15. Top was good, the bottom very tricky. I thought 7d was a ghastly clue.
    All in all a bit of a mixed bag for me.
    Not my favourite but certainly not my worst.
    Thx to all

  16. Not having a good week. Haven’t managed an unaided Toughie finish & this was the 3rd successive laboured back page solve. Today’s took a couple of stabs & can’t say I particularly enjoyed it. Like others 22a was last in & my pick of the bunch when the penny dropped. There’s some clever wordplay on show for sure (eg 3d) but the surfaces just make you realise how good the likes of Silvanus & others really are.
    Sorry but thanks anyway to Zandio & to DT.

  17. Really enjoyed this one. Favourites were 9A, 22A and 8D.

    Not sure I have the courage to try the Toughie after my pathetic attempt at yesterday’s beast.

  18. A bit late today after a restless night and an upset tummy, but here I am again. Much better now. Struggled a bit with 22 and 14a (my LOI–seems so obvious now), which pushed me into *** time, and like others, found myself at times lost among the clutter of surfaces. But I did finish and very much liked 3, 15m & 17d. Thanks to DT for the review (I always think of the Fab 4 with 3d) and Zandio. *** / ***

  19. I got there with a fair bit of help from DT. When the penny dropped for 1a that became my COTD.
    Thanks to DT and Zandio.
    Elgar is being saved for when Mama Bee has her barnet chimped.
    Here’s hoping it is a long one as a quick cut and blow is unlikely to give much time to solve the Elgar.

    1. I meant chimped
      to chimp up is synonymous with “give a good coat of looking at” at least round these parts

  20. I’ve been silent for a couple of days , out at lunch and not doing the Xword until later in the bath, by which time I didn’t have the energy to post any comments. I gather Lola has been to the vet, bless her little furry socks and MP had a family bereavement, so sorry. Thanks Zandia for a brain teaser, 1a was a brilliant clue and 17d a very well concealed lurker. And thanks to Deep Threat for explaining 14a. We had a WI mini- meet over coffee this morning and the sprouts are mounting up and looking good.

  21. I like this puzzle and I like Zandio’s setting style, and I’m quite happy with a few odd/iffy/unconventional surfaces. I’d always prefer a clue with an iffy surface but with very good cryptic/puzzling word-play than a clue with a perfect surface that’s very transparent to parse and provides no real solving challenge. I’ll pick 25a as my favourite. 2.5, 4*.

  22. Not been able to access the puzzle today because of a rather tortuous journey to Yorkshire. Roadworks on the M62, M1 closed and the A64 jammed. Despite all that we are safely ensconced in our favourite pub.

    I will be able to get the paper tomorrow.

    1. I’ve sat before that fire. Racking my brains for where though. Beck Hole or not too far away

        1. Can’t really remember the walk or the beer or the food but I do remember the fireplace. We camped somewhere near Fylingdales and it rained heavily for the whole week. Probably over thirty years ago

          1. You’re in the right area, Miffy. Trouble is most pubs in this area have fireplaces like this. Sheep wander around the village if that helps. 🐑🐑

    2. Great pub – and dog friendly too, I hope your four-legged friend is toasting himself in front of that fire. I have stopped for lunch a couple of times while cycling over the moors. Rosedale Chimney Bank nearly killed me (and bike) and that pub was a welcome respite.

      1. When was that, John? The pub was in decline until a farmer bought it in 2014 and transformed it. It is like pubs used to be.

        1. Rosedale Chimney Bank was many years ago and must have been in a former life, I last was there when the Tour de Yorkshire had a stage finish in Scarborough 2018 or 19
          Just finished the toughie too :) Loads of help from Dutch and 3 reveals but I will consider that a success for Elgar

          1. You will have been served by the present incumbents in that case, John. Hudson had no time to toast himself before the fire this evening. Old and new doggie pals to meet and greet and lots of scraps on the floor.

            I would have looked at today’s back pager on my iPad but I’ve forgotten the password!

            I’m impressed with your Elgar success. I’m afraid he is still beyond me.

  23. Way beyond my ken, called pax after ten or so. I have much to do and need to get on. Fave of the ones solved 14a.
    Thanks Zandio, I’ll try again next time. Much appreciation to Deep Threat for unravelling that lot.

  24. I found this one hard going and eventually had to use the electronic gizmo for 14a.

    Thanks to Zandio and to Deep Threat.

  25. Certainly a lot of bumpy surfaces today (e.g. 14a, 22a, 28a, 7d and 15d) and for me not much fun to be had. South provided the least troublesome exercise. None came near to being a Fav. Thank you nevertheless Zandio and DT.

  26. I love the way Zandio ‘s puzzles unfold.
    Oh no impossible…
    Hmm, maybe one or two…
    Wow, 12 clues in…
    Oh no 4 to go, impossible…
    Great I’ve finished! 😄
    Thanks to Zandio and DT

  27. Thank you Zandio for a puzzle that defeated me. I’m blaming the Pfizer nestled in my deltoid this morning. Like HS2 I failed to penetrate the north east. Like MP, I was convinced 22a should be an anagram. Like Lola, a trickle of steroid is keeping me on the straight and narrow.

    1. Think it could have me that mentioned 22a misdirection GD but thank for the compliment: if only I could solve crosswords as well as he (or build sheds, lay lawns, mend clocks etc etc). I’ll stick with my rugby team though.

  28. Senf’s Curate’s egg and my perfectly straightforward until it wasn’t, they amount to the same thing. I wasn’t helped by having to communicate with my best friend in that place across the pond and read stuff he’d sent me. I’ll make him suffer for that when he visits later this year and he can pay for the first round. That’s how brutal I can be. Favourite was 10a because it’s the first word of The Circle by OCS which I love playing acoustically. Thanks to Zandio and DT.

  29. Enjoyed today’s puzzle, especially 1a and 3d. Managed to solve 17d before twigging why it was correct😶 . Thanks, Zandio!

  30. Found this straightforward apart from the two all in ones 14 and 22 both of which I thought were a bit awkward.
    Thanks to all

  31. I thought this very difficult. Made a start on train back from London yesterday but couldn’t concentrate. Therefor did it this morning. 22a has to be top clue. I did not agree with Brian’s opinion of 7d. The said composers are usually know as G & S so that gave the first and last letters. My problem was not knowing at which end of the clue the answer was and wondering if And should be in there somewhere. Anyway it was all sorted and I liked it. Thanks Zandio and DT.

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