DT 29840 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29840

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29840

Hints and tips by Mr K

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BD Rating  -  Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

Hello, everyone, and welcome to Tuesday. I learned a new definition in today's enjoyable puzzle. That plus a few amusing cryptic definitions suggests to me that it's the work of one of our regular Tuesday setters. Perhaps we'll get confirmation later today. 

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    Sullen Ed bashed, beaten for such obstinacy (4-10)
BULL-HEADEDNESS:  An anagram (beaten) of SULLEN ED BASHED 

10a   Catch ruffian grabbing muzzle of revolver: it's placed nearby to fire (6,3)
HEARTH RUG:  Catch using your ear is followed by a violent ruffian containing (grabbing) the end letter of (muzzle of) REVOLVER 

11a   Wide part of foot in instrument of torture (5)
WHEEL:  The cricket abbreviation for wide with a part of the foot 

12a   This could start you off on the slippery slope (3,4)
SKI LIFT:  A cryptic definition of a device that takes one up a slope that literally is slippery 

13a   Ms Farrow's mother creating an unwholesome atmosphere? (6)
MIASMA:  The first name of actress Ms Farrow with her 'S from the clue is followed by another word for mother 

15a   Hole in the wall? Collect stake money on the way back (4)
LOOP:  The reversal (collect … on the way back) of stake money. The definition is explained here. According to my records this clue is the first time that usage has appeared in a broadsheet cryptic crossword, at least in this century

17a   I'm nude, with a gin, dancing: that's unforeseen (10)
UNIMAGINED:  An anagram (dancing) of I'M NUDE A GIN 

18a   Lad fighting with barkeep: could this make him stop? (5,5)
BRAKE PEDAL:  An anagram (fighting) of LAD BARKEEP 

20a   Wine could get adult moving -- sit! (4)
ASTI:  The single letter for adult with an anagram (moving) of SIT 

22a   Cor! Giesela holds such wild parties! (6)
ORGIES:  The pair of words at the start of the clue hides (holds) the answer 

23a   Beard not properly shaven: could it be the last straw? (7)
STUBBLE:  A beard not fully shaven could also be the last stage of straw production 

26a   Blank out periods of time with ecstasy (5)
ERASE:  Some periods of time with the informal name for the drug ecstasy

27a   Black-eyed Susan crashed a red Buick (9)
RUDBECKIA:  An anagram (crashed) of A RED BUICK 

28a   Just you watch it ... don't be a part of their game (9,5)
SPECTATOR SPORT:  A cryptic definition of a category of game that attracts more watchers than players 



2d    Tops of unripe mangoes and melons I used to create something savoury (5)
UMAMI:  The first letters of (tops of) the next five words in the clue 

3d    Almost running behind time, through this country (6)
LATVIA:  All but the last letter (almost) of "running behind time" is followed by a preposition meaning "through" 

4d    A way to get to the continent: une route involved with NL? (10)
EUROTUNNEL:  An anagram (involved) of UNE ROUTE NL

5d    Really enjoys  archaeological works (4)
DIGS:  A word for archaeological field works is also a dated informal verb meaning "really enjoys"

6d    Looking for water? Get a boat, then give us a sea shanty, perhaps ... (7)
DOWSING:  An alternative spelling of an Arab boat comes before "give us a sea shanty" 

7d    ... indeed, other ditties and prayers (9)
EVENSONGS:  A synonym of indeed is followed by another word for ditties 

8d    Blended ale in grand vats to get a wonderful crisp taste (4,3,7)
SALT AND VINEGAR:  An anagram (blended) of ALE IN GRAND VATS. Great definition, although "wonderful" is subjective. Give me jalapeño any day   

9d    Those who draw attention to foul play: referees, perhaps? (7-7)
WHISTLE-BLOWERS:  Taken literally, this word for people who draw attention to wrongdoing could also describe referees in several sports 

14d   Diplomat -- American with business degrees -- getting unhappy with men (10)
AMBASSADOR:  Concatenate the single letter for American, the plural of the abbreviation for a business degree, a synonym of unhappy, and some usual soldiering men 

16d   Drink providing sustenance to Ulstermen, you might say? (9)
ORANGEADE:  The answer split (6,3) could be a homophone (you might say) of a phrase implying sustenance or assistance for an Ulsterman 

19d   Len -- meet troubled Al, maybe (7)
ELEMENT:  An anagram (troubled) of LEN MEET. The clever definition is by example (maybe

21d   Health check from crank returning to take English at university (4-2)
TUNE-UP:  Link together the reversal (returning) of a crank or fool, the single letter for English, and a phrase meaning "at university" 

24d   Coffin-bearer embracing king and gang member? (5)
BIKER:  A frame that supports a coffin or dead person containing (embracing) the chess abbreviation for king 

25d   Pine  part of guitar (4)
FRET:  To pine or worry is also a part of a guitar 


Thanks to today’s setter. Top clue for me was 8d. Which clues did you like best?

The Quick Crossword pun:  CAW + DON + BLUR = CORDON BLEU

64 comments on “DT 29840

  1. At first I thought this was going to be a * write in but I agree with Mr K’s rating and found the puzzle a mixture of rather obscure and very easy. I am hopeless at plants but managed to guess the anagram of 27a. Never heard of 2d but that was obvious. I thought 14a guessable from the reverse stake but thank Mr K for his definition of the other half of the clue. I enjoyed 9d which is my COTD in this rather bewildering affair. Thanks to the setter for the diversion.

  2. Slightly quirky but straight forward and very enjoyable. Although the answer was obvious from the wordplay the hole in the wall was new to me as was the alternative spelling of the boat.
    My favourites were 10a and 9d.
    Many thanks to the setter and to Mr K

  3. Great puzzle with some terrific clues. Thanks for explaining 15a which was a bung in for me. Last one in 9d which is my COTD. Also liked 24d. Thanks to the setter and Mr K for the pictures.

  4. Hugely enjoyable crossword, completed whilst the British Gas man was here (their fifth visit in two weeks). My last one in was the tidgy 15a, because it had to be what it was due to the definition; an unusual clue nontheless.

    The BG chap who came yesterday and today seems to have a level of expertise that was missing from the armoury of the fellow who came last week, and this new chap says he will telephone tomorrow to check all is well. We dare not hope that this is the end of the boiler saga.

    Today’s crossword soundtrack: The Supremes – A Bit Of Liverpool

    Thanks to the setter and The Celebrated Mr K. // Also – thanks to Huntsman for pointing me towards Aaron Frazer – terrific album!

    1. I hope it is the end of your BG saga, Terence. It is too cold now to have this worry.
      Good luck.

  5. A lovely light Tuesday Tease today. I fair flew through this laughing all the way. The mental image of Maureen O’Sullivan creating an “unwholesome atmosphere” at the dinner table kept me giggling until she took up drinking gin in the nude instead(17a). I am pleased to remember the flower at 27a but checkers helped.
    I think it is about time to give the wine at 20a a time to breathe, it comes up too often IMO. I had to think about 15a as it is one of those pesky 4 letter words with lots of options but I have plumped for the right one.
    Thanks to Mr K and setter.
    here’s hoping the toughie is floughie.

  6. A fun and entertaining puzzle this morning that was not too taxing but still a fair challenge. 9d was a bit of a gift but still my favourite, alongside 8d.

    Thanks to both Misters involved in todays production.

  7. Very enjoyable. All quite speedy except 25a which hs me scratching my head over the definition. Thanks to Mr K and today’s setter.

  8. Glad I didn’t disappoint, with some of my humorous clues. And – as you should know by now – I like the occasional slightly unusual word/definition (which stretches one’s vocabulary: but let’s not go there!). I agree that the crisp taste is not to everyone’s liking: but it seemed to me to make the clue more complete (I’m a “plain” chap myself)… ‘Bye for now 👍

    1. Thanks very much for popping in – just too late for me to acknowledge in my comment @9 – and for the entertaining puzzle.

      1. Yes – great you could pop in! I absolutely agree that unusual words are a good thing as all our vocabularies occasionally need expanding👍

        And in particular mine.

    2. Ooh, S+V is my favourite! Loved the puzzle, especially – for once – as I seemed to be on exactly the right wavelength and managed to fill in the grid in v happy fashion :-) Thank you!

  9. 1.5*/3*. This was light and fun with 9d my favourite. Many thanks to the setter.

    Barkeep is an American expression – even Chambers agrees!

    Many thanks too to Mr K, particularly for (a) the explanation of the definition for 15d, and (b) for including probably my favourite Dylan song by someone other than Dylan (although I prefer the recorded version to this live one).

    1. Hi RD.

      Forgive me if I have got this wrong but does that mean that words like chateau or favela can’t be used as anagram fodder unless the words French or Brazilian are mentioned in the clue?

      I’m still finding my way when it comes to crossword etiquette.

      1. G. Some purists (a small minority of solvers/setters) don’t like unindicated Americanisms in cryptic clues/answers (and that’s fair enough), even if they’re well-known ones (which this one isn’t particularly). But this annoyance apparently isn’t shared by most solvers (including experts) and, more importantly, many setters and editors (and me). In this case, since the all the anagram fodder is fully on view in the clue (which also has an obvious anagram indicator), it doesn’t make any difference to the parsing whether the solver knows the “nationality” of the word barkeep or not. That’s how I see it.

        1. That was my thinking.

          I know that RD and others twitch when there is an unindicated Americanism. We established a while back that it’s one of the following:

          a) a ‘must’ for some (RD)
          b) a ‘nice to have’ for others
          c) not required (me)

          My thinking is that it’s different in this case, ie it’s not the answer but fodder.

          It would restrict compilers (but only a tad) if they couldn’t use an overseas word in anagram fodder.

          Thinking about it, I think it would make it mighty difficult if they had to insert ‘Brazilian’ in a clue to go with ‘favela’ – the latter being part of an anagram, the former not.

          I’d’ve thought the indicator wouldn’t be needed in this case.

            1. So, I’m guessing, in this clue, you would either:

              1. Precede ‘lad’ with US or American
              2. Insert ‘in America’ after barkeep

              I am guessing it’s okay to do that?

              1. Yes, absolutely. Because the American word here is not the answer but part of the fully overt fodder you could argue that an indicator is “doubly” unnecessary! If “Favela” was the answer, the clue definition could be something like “poor SA township” – which would be good misdirection because many people would initially think of South Africa instead of South America.

                *I do, however, think that more obscure foreign words/phrases do require some indication in the clue.

              2. G. If you had to, you could use something like: Lad in New York … That would indicate enough that barkeep was American. But because the setter hasn’t used an indicator, the editor and test-solver (?) apparently haven’t objected and Mr K (who’s pretty assiduous) hasn’t mentioned anything amiss, I just don’t think an indicator (in this case) is required. But there will be one or two others who will disagree, I’m sure.

        2. I agree to some extent, Jose. However, I think there is a difference between having foreign words (including Americanisms) in answers, which in my view should be indicated, and in the clue, where the issue is about the surface reading not the parsing.

          Yesterday we had “pants” meaning trousers as part of the wordplay and today it is “barkeep”, which I seriously doubt would be used by anyone for whom UK English is their native tongue. The parsing of both these examples was fine but the surface reading was affected, which matters to me (although I do accept that some solvers don’t care about this – we are all different!)

          It’s certainly not an exact science. Quite often even Chambers and Collins do not agree about what constitutes an Americanism, and yesterday’s Americanism could well become tomorrow’s normal usage in the UK.

          1. That’s fair comment, RD, and it’s more interesting that we’re all different. If barkeep (a rather obscure Americanism) was the answer, I wouldn’t have objected to an indicator at all. But because it is part of the obvious and overt fodder I just don’t think one is required and it wouldn’t really help the parsing or improve the clue (just my opinion). Also, I have remarked in my comment above (at 4.04) about foreign words/phrases. So, we’re different – but not that different. Keep up the good work!

  10. I found this puzzle a bit of a mixed bag. Great until I got stuck then tricky.
    Had to look up 15a as I was not familiar with the term meaning a hole in the wall. Had trouble with 16d and 9d too.
    Pleased to say I knew the flower as we have them in the garden.

    Thanks to Mr K and his great pics and to the setter.

  11. Definitely a bit quirky and it felt rather anagram heavy. Thanks to Mr K for the precise definition of LOOP – a new piece of info to store away.
    No particular favourite to mention but 13a made me smile.

    Thanks to our setter and to Mr K and the felines for the review.

    1. A similar comment from me – I was slightly surprised to see 8 anagrams, some of which seemed a bit clunky.
      15a was also a new definition for me. I will mentally file it and then forget it.
      Much to enjoy though, so thanks to X-Type and Mr K.

      1. What’s the beef with anagrams, chaps (and chapesses)? I love anagrams – and, so long as a crossword doesn’t consist entirely of anagram clues, I can’t see why they should be disliked any more than the “hidden” or the “reversed” or the (so-called) “charade-type” of clues. And very often, an anagram is the only satisfactory way to clue a long word or phrase: yet in so doing, it gives more scope for humour or verbal dexterity. (You lot should try cluing Salt and Vinegar in an elegant way, without resorting to an anagram!)…’nuff said? 😁

  12. Thoroughly enjoyed this one from start to finish.

    Thanks to X-type and to Mr K for the hints and pictures.

    Clicked on the link under 11A and soon wished I hadn’t!

  13. 2/4. Another good Tuesday puzzle. Difficult to choose a winner but 27a was one of the most obscure anagrams for a while. Thanks to X-type and Mr K.

  14. Most enjoyable even though I took some time to break into it. I have not heard of 2d but it was quite gettable from the clue so another fact learned. All the long ones were most satisfying and gave leads into the main puzzle. No real favourites today – just a most enjoyable solve.

    Many thanks to X-Type for the entertainment and of course a huge thank you to Mr. K for the hints and pusscats. 🐈

  15. Good fun spoiled by 16d – it looks like our setter, and our editor, need a refresher on the geography and politics of the Northern of the four ‘traditional’ Provinces of Ireland which would suggest that not all Ulstermen would ‘enjoy’ the beverage – **/**.

    Favourite – a toss-up between 28a and 25d – and the winner is 28a.

    Thanks to X-Type and Mr K.

  16. A satisfying and entertaining solve. 2d had to be digitally referenced as did the 15a arrow slit. Agree with MrK re 8d being a less than wonderful taste. 21d is surely more preventive care than a check. Quickie including pun was fun too. Thank you X-Type and MrK.

  17. Typical Tuesday. Enjoyable fairly clued puzzle that should give some newcomers the pleasure of their first unaided solve. We don’t seem to get many of those posts at the moment.
    Two new words to forget (didn’t know the flower) but both easily gettable from the wordplay.
    9d my COTD & probably Hoofits too.
    8d not wonderful flavour. My favourite was always Smith’s with the little blue packet of salt. Always liked it when there was a “bonus” packet & cheated when it was missing.
    Thanks to X-Type and Mr K.

  18. A pleasant and often amusing Tuesday offering, with 2d (a NYT regular these days) and 15a making rare appearances, along with 27a, at which I luckily guessed with the only way I could fit the letters in (at…with…in! ugh!). I rather liked 10a and 3d but my COTD is 13a. Thanks to Mr K and X-Type. ** / ***

    The Toughie knocked me out, still undone….

  19. Thanks to Mr K for the archery explanation of last in 15a,
    An enjoyable puzzle, 27a was ‘digitised’ no doubt I will forget the plant.
    Liked 13a and the surface of 9d.
    Going for a **/***

  20. Sensing that 1a was an anagram but failing to spot all the words which made up the anagram, I lazily asked a checker to come up with a 4-10 solution containing the letters SULLEN ED. The solution, which I initially thought was right, was SELF-INDULGENCE. Unfortunately, this wrecked 7 down clues! Clearly having a senior moment this morning.

  21. What Tuesday fun, thank you X-type for 8 & 9d.
    Why is my beard not properly shaven never designer, merely scruffy apparently?

    LOI 27a, a bung-in after shuffling the vowels to most-likely fit

    Thank you Mr K.

  22. Thoroughly enjoyable and even learned a new food item in 2d and a new plant in 27a.
    My COTD the 16d, very clever.
    Thx to all

  23. My waitrose delivery yesterday contained a new jar of 2d – I bet all the cooks knew it. 15a was a bung in, thanks Mr K for explaining it. And I watched for a very small cat to emerge from the Eurotunnel then had a good chuckle. Lovely cat pictures, I have just made a cat sprout and thought of calling it Lola but it wouldn’t be lovely enough. There are limitations with felt. I have already thanked X-type. Bye.

    1. I didn’t know you could buy 2d by the jar, I thought it just described a savoury sort of taste. Live and learn, thanks for that Daisy.

  24. I thought this was pretty straightforward. However a DNF for me with the combination of 15a and 16d. Surely a pool is stake monieS plural. Believe it or not such is my lack of interest in the shenanigans that go on in NI it did not occur to me that the residents there, are or were called, Orangemen. Even though the history of that period is very interesting. Visit Dyrham Park to check out the connection with the Netherlands and England. Unfortunately it is undergoing a refurb by the NT so all the interesting bits will probably have disappeared by the time they finish.

  25. A very enjoyable challenge today. Got off to a good start, and then some head scratching. Needed some hints to finish, including 15a. I think I do remember the term for a hole in the wall, somewhere in the deep recesses, but I couldn’t pull it out without the hint. Got held up as I had opera as the last part of 28a, silly me. But , for the most part, the tougher clues were workable if I just put the effort in. COTD shared by 9d and 16d. Thanks to X-type and Mr K.

  26. A relatively tame puzzle for Tuesday … 2*/3*
    Favourites include 19a, 12a, 18a, 8d & 16d with 8d winner
    New or unknown words for me in 2d & 13a, but with a kittle electronic help, sussed them out.

    Thanks to setter and Mr K

  27. A nice amusing and quite easy to solve puzzle 😃 **/**** Favourites were 6, 9 & 16d 🤗 Thanks to Mr K and to X-Type 👍 Although the puzzles occasionally contain American words, just think how many references there are to UK soaps etc. there are and yet our friends from across “the Pond” and elsewhere in the World appear to cope 🤔

  28. It’s amazing how early success with long anagrams boosts your confidence! Thank you x-type and Mr K,

  29. Another fun day for me and I loved it. I join the almost full house not knowing 15a, I did bung in the right answer solely on the basis of stake money. I learnt that Black-eyed Susan and 27a were the same, I thought that 27a was a much darker, orange-brown version of Susan, these puzzles are so useful! Fave is 13a with 10a and 9d running close behind.
    Thank you X-Type for this super puzzle, and much appreciation for Mr. K’s pics, loved the cat in the Eurotunnel.

  30. Must have been an easier solve than usual today as I managed to complete it all without help. A very seldom occurrence for me so definitely a favourite. Thank to the setter. No doubt I will be back to struggling tomorrow .

  31. As with others I needed the hint to parse 15a. I needed all the checkers to concoct something that looked like a word for 27a and to my amazement it was right at my first attempt. Apart from those, no problems. Favourite was 9d. Thanks to X-Type and Mr. K.

  32. Late to this following a glorious day golfing in the sunshine (5 layers mind you) at the wonderful Orsett golf club in Essex & surviving the traffic both ways on the M25. Knew 2d but had forgotten (if I ever knew) the plant though fortunately the checkers left little room for manoeuvre with the remaining anagram letters. Needless to say 15d’s definition (last in) a new one on me but will start to say just off to the loop to get some readies.
    Liked the 4 peripheral long ‘uns & 13a in a very pleasant puzzle though maybe a tad anagram heavy.
    Thanks to X-Type both for the puzzle & for popping in (I’m a plain Jane on the crisp front too) & to Mr K – I’ve watched that cat coming out of the tunnel 6 times & it hasn’t got stuck once….
    Ps A nice soak in a hot bath before the big match – Coventry v Birmingham

  33. Re 7d, “Evensong” is not synonymous with “Prayer”. Evensong is a church service which contains prayers but includes also other elements such as bible readings, psalms and canticles.

    1. I think most of us know that including the setter. It is a cryptic clue. Other ditties and prayers and even song.

  34. Very good. Thank you Xtype and to Mt K for the explanation of the loop. Luckily not many words fitted with the checkers. I live Long clues round the sides and my favourite is 9d.

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