DT 29848 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29848

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29848

Hints and tips by Miffypops

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Good morning from the lobby of The Imperial Hotel Blackpool. Surely the coldest and windiest place on planet earth. Blackpool that is, not the hotel lobby.

“I’ll ask them to call a taxi” I said after dining out last night.  “No. We can walk along the front” decided the sainted one. Golly bongs that was cold. Having spent forty odd years fathoming the workings of Saint Sharon’s brain solving a Giovanni Donnybrook puzzle is a piece of cake.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a        Distances travelled over two days in former time (6,4)
MIDDLE AGES:  The repeated abbreviation for day is surrounded by a word meaning distances travelled. Think of the odometer reader on one of your cars

6a        Impressive eastern prince seen regularly (4)
EPIC: The abbreviation for Eastern is followed by the alternate letters of the following word in the clue

10a      Animal ultimately out for synagogue official (5)
RABBI:  Remove the last letter of an animal to reveal a Jewish scholar or teacher

11a      Vegetable all right in acre hit disastrously (9)
ARTICHOKE: A two letter term meaning all right sits comfortably inside an anagram (disastrously) of ACRE HIT

12a      Fruit to put round sort of cake (7)
TANGELO:  The word TO from the clue sits around a butterless  sponge cake. Butterless, who knew?

13a      Brazilian city as far as we’re concerned ungovernable (7)
RIOTOUS:  Begin with the only Brazilian city known to cryptic crossword setters. Add a two letter phrase split 2,2 which fits the term ‘as far as we’re concerned’. The word we’re is split across two lines in my version of the puzzle which threw me for a while

14a      Complaint that feels too contrived? (8,4)
ATHLETES FOOT:   Anagram (contrived) of THAT FEELS TOO

18a      Fatter, out of shape, nevertheless tucking in? Here’s further idea (12)
AFTERTHOUGHT: An anagram (out of shape) of FATTER has a word synonymous with nevertheless inserted

21a      Hide ecstasy in panic (7)
LEATHER:  Insert the abbreviation for ecstasy into a synonym of the word panic. A soapy sort of panic perhaps

23a      One getting into remixed Bush LP issue (7)
PUBLISH:  Anagram (remixed) of BUSH LP which also includes the Roman numeral for the number one

24a      Prisoner released by nobleman not a violent drunk? (5,4)
LAGER LOUT:  Are you sitting comfortably? Then I will begin. Start off with a three letter prisoner, often preceded by the word old. Finish off with a three letter word meaning issued as a new book, film or record might be. Squeeze into these two words a British nobleman who ranks betwixt a viscount and a marquess apparently but minus the letter A. (Not A) I’m sure that the description of this clue would be followed by an ‘Oh dear’ had Kath been today’s hinty person

25a      One German artist back for Schwarzenegger? (5)
ARNIE:  The German for number one and our regular crosswordland artist are put together and reversed to find the shortened name of a Hollywood actor who has made many films but none that I have seen

26a      Aviator at last seen in barrel roll (4)
TURN: The last letter of the word aviator sits nice and quietly inside a large barrel. I have flown an aeroplane and I can be seen in Barrel where I live. After all these years I have my own personal clue

27a      Expert contracted to provide cover had issue (10)
REPRODUCED: Ones issue are one’s children. A three letter word for an expert or professional sits inside a word meaning contracted or made less


1d        Virtues displayed by monarch in swirling mist (6)
MERITS: The Regnal Cypher of our dear queen sits inside an anagram (swirling) of MIST

2d        Edges of double bed cut down to size (6)
DEBUNK: The outer letters of the word double are followed by a narrow shelflike type of bed

3d        County site here with relics abandoned (14)

4d        Greeting Scottish banker and a rising religious leader (9)
AYATOLLAH: A regular greeting said upon meeting someone (maybe with a different first vowel). The longest Scottish river. The letter A from the clue. All reversed

5d        Compound fracture reset (5)
ESTER: Anagram (fractured) of RESET

7d        Endlessly support excessively distant diplomatic code? (8)
PROTOCOL: Synonyms of three words from the clue need to have their last letters removed before being joined to provide your answer. I suspect that my parsing of this clue will be be looked up more than any other today so I’m glad to have sorted it out

8d        Shield of wood old so kept in historic island (8)
CREOSOTE: Like the horse of the same name this product is good over fences. The abbreviation for old together with the word so from the clue sit inside a historic Greek island

9d        How one might face Grandmaster or General? (6-3-5)
ACROSS THE BOARD: Where chess players sit in relation to each other and the item chessmen rest upon is also a term meaning in general or applying to all

15d      Musician perhaps a boastful person? (9)
TRUMPETER: A double definition. The first being a chap like the excellent Guy Barker. Last seen by me playing sublimely in The Biggin Hall pub in Coventry

16d      Founder lacking sparkle after trip (4,4)
FALL FLAT: Two synonyms, one meaning trip and one meaning lacking sparkle will lead to your answer. It might help to know that the word founder is a verb in this instance

17d      Way forest officer shows new face (8)
STRANGER: An abbreviation for a regular way is followed by another term for a forest officer or warden

19d      Alfresco meal and walk in park (6)
PICNIC: A rather obvious double definition. If it’s not that obvious to you wait for the checking letters

20d      Clever little rodent died (6)
SHREWD: A small stinky mouse like creature is followed by the abbreviation for died

22d      Continental river horse perhaps? Sounds like it (5)

RHÔNE: A word denoting an animal, especially a horse or cow, having a coat of a main colour thickly interspersed with hairs of another colour, typically bay, chestnut, or black mixed with white sounds exactly like a European river as suggested by the words sounds like it at the end of the clue

Quickie Pun Horace + Tories = Horror stories


69 comments on “DT 29848

  1. This was going swimmingly well until I floundered in the NW where 12a was achieved but a new word for me and my last one in 4d required all the cross checkers before I realised the solution was not aimed at some form of greeting. This ended up as a **/*** for me. Thanks to the setter and Miffypops – I recall having a client dinner and Christmas bash at the said Blackpool Hotel when I think it was a Forte Grand. When I mentioned that to my client he grumbled “ How appropriate- that’s what it’s cost me – forty grand!!”

  2. Very enjoyable, I found it a lot of fun with ticks all over the place, including 24a along with 2,7,9,15&16d.
    Many thanks to Giovanni and MP for the entertainment.

  3. I was somewhat underwhelmed by this puzzle and am startled to see it credited to The Don – that would not have been my guess. Thought this more of an early-week than late-week puzzle and it was very much a R&W, with an excess of anagrams, all of which leapt off the page. Evidently I had the good fortune to tune in immediately to the setter’s wavelength, and lacked the distractions of sitting in a hotel lobby!

    Surfaces were smooth and clue constructions tight, with no specialist GK required (12a new to me but quite fair from the clueing), and I have ticks against 4d and 21a.

    1* / 2*

    Many thanks to the Setter (whoever they may be!) and to MP for the review.

    1. In deference to the inexperienced and lesser able solvers (like me) in our number I thought
      R & W was a proscribed term. Sadly its use seems to be on the increase.

      1. Last week, Pommers gave Campbell’s creation a one star, saying that he got every clue, bar one, on first reading.

        A couple of seasoned solvers often give half a star.

        Aren’t these two examples exactly the same as writing R&W?

        If they are, then why is it an outlawed expression?

        I completely appreciate that rookies have different criteria for their star ratings. So, I understand why R&W may deflate them. But shouldn’t 0.5 star by an experienced solver also be a no-no?

      2. Is there a list of proscribed terms, please? A scan of the 30+ FAQs does not immediately return an obvious list, nor in the Comment Etiquette section (although the giving of times is rightly proscribed), and I do not see how referring to a puzzle as a “R&W” is meaningfully different to giving it a 0.5* or 1* difficulty rating. Indeed I seem to recall, possibly erroneously, someone giving a recent puzzle a negative difficulty rating, although that may have been a typo.

        As I implied in my orignal post, the fortune of tuning-in immediately (or not) to the Setter’s wavelength can make or break one’s solving of a puzzle. Today I was fortunate. I’m sorry my comment offended you.

        1. Brian recently gave a puzzle a rating of “minus infinity” for difficulty. Tongue-in-cheek, I suspect. Just thought I’d mention it….

        2. Mustafa
          Thank you for the apology there was no need I was not offended. I know I am a million miles from the standard of some contributors (whom I can’t recall ever using the term).
          It is just that newish solvers where today represents the first time they have completed a Thursday puzzle without help would have that sarisfaction diluted when they read that a number of contributors can read the first clue, see the answer put it in straight away and then progress through every clue similarly.
          To me the site is all about encouraging more and more people who enjoy the challenge and anything that misght discourage them is best avoided.

          1. Bravo, you speak for all of us. I have a lot of thoughts but I don’t think I’d be wise (which admittedly I’m not) to add them here.

      3. Agree, just serves to make anyone struggling or just starting out, to feel really thick.

        1. I agree with you LROK, at best the term is tactless and can’t be equated to the star rating as that varies from solver to solver. If for example I normally take five hours to do a puzzle and I manage it in an hour I’d be justified in giving it a 1* rating. If someone else who can usually do a puzzle in just under the hour mark takes 10 minutes they’d presumably rate it 1*.
          Something like “I found it relatively gentle” is far more diplomatic in my book but we’re all different I guess.

          1. I agree that, to rookies, the term isn’t related to the star rating but it most certainly is when an experienced solver puts half a star (I’ve never seen a newbie use it)

            If R&W is outlawed then 0.5 for a seasoned solver should be too.

            1. In my view G273 the simple fact is that R & W has a very specific meaning. You read the clue don’t need any time to solve it and you write in the answer and you do that for every clue. I have been doing the backpager for over 50 years and can honestly say I have never once been able to do that.

              As Stephen says R & W is tactless and lacking in diplomacy. Good taste should dictate that bloggers don’t make such posts, there should be no need to tell them (certainly not those well versed in the aims and objectives of the site).

  4. Our village would appear to be competing to be the coldest and windiest place this morning. The sun is out (for a nice change) but it is blooming chilly

    Once again, I’m not entirely convinced this was a Giovanni production – certainly took less time to solve than one of his usually does. An enjoyable solve – I did particularly like 8d

    Thanks to the setter and MP

    1. Something quite different but seasonal. Is the village doing Christmas knitting again this year?

      1. The knitting is in Herne Bay. I was there the other day but nothing on the pillar boxes yet. I’ll post a photo as soon as there is anything to report

  5. Another enjoyable puzzle although I needed MP’s hints for two. As usual, when I saw the hints I wondered why I had been flummoxed. I have never heard of the fruit and I will probably forget it and be stuck the next time it appears. Plenty of clues to like including 1a and 24a. However, my COTD is 13a.

    Many thanks to Giovanni for the challenge and to MP for the hints.

    Our beloved daughter sent two packages to us from Melbourne. There was a customs charge of £93 on each one! They’re not huge packets, either.

  6. Top quality entertainment this morning with much to enjoy on a bitingly cold winter morning. I think 5d gets my nod for COTD for its conciseness, simplicity and surface.

    My thanks to The Don and MP.

  7. Very straightforward & all over in pretty quick time with 2d, last in, the only real head scratch. Enjoyable nonetheless. 1&24a along with 4d would be my podium selections.
    Thanks to the setter (I too doubt it’s the Don) & to Miffs

  8. Slow start, quick finish–took me a while to crank up my juices on this one but I ended up enjoying it very much. The anagrams, which I don’t mind at all, helped me over the hump, and I especially liked 4d, 26a, 7d, & 16d. Thanks to MP and today’s setter (surprised to see it attributed to Giovanni). 2.5* / 4*

    1. Hoping to land in Orlando for a bit of winter golf on Saturday unless Uncle Joe says I’m not welcome in announcements later today.

      1. Oh, I do hope that you make it, Huntsman. The SE is enjoying some unusually warm temperatures for early December. The forecast for Charleston for the next week shows high temps in the high 60s-to-mid-70s. At noon today, it was 67F with “0 chance of rain”.

        1. We’re having some gorgeous weather here, forecast to be nearly 80F at midday today with no chance of rain.

  9. Lovely puzzle, most satisfying to complete in *.5 time.
    New word in12a which I correctly guessed, also last in.
    7d brilliant
    Many thanks to the setter and to Miffypops.

  10. Four back-pagers finished and parsed, unaided, in a row. What will tomorrow bring?

    I don’t ever remember a 12a being in the fruitbowl at my parents’ house, but I had heard of it from somewhere.

    The 5d in the Quickie is proving to be very 5d.

    Thanks to the setter and MP.

  11. Mostly straightforward but with a handful of clues requiring more thought. 12a was a bung in – my last one – and a guess from the checkers. I’d never heard of the fruit. ***/*** Favourite 8d. Apparently you can’t buy this stuff any more. As it’s harmful to vegetation, that’s probably no bad thing. Thanks to all.

  12. Unlike Robert this was a fast start but a slow finish mainly courtesy of 4d and 12a. 11a gets my vote as I’ve just harvested the Jerusalem variety from the allotment. Thanks to today’s setter and MP.

  13. I found this the easiest of the week so far.
    Just the fruit caused some head scratching.
    Tougher challenge tomorrow, I suspect.
    Thanks both.

  14. Late on parade due to popping out for my booster. My default position is to be heavily critical of the way anything is run these days but this was superbly organised, so hats off to our local chemist!
    What? Oh the crossword? I found it rather tricky and needed help from The Miff to get me going again. 12a and 5d were new to me, but 5d was obvious due to the checking letters. Good crossword though, I guess…

    Today’s crossword soundtrack: Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina – Missa Brevis (good job he wasn’t a footballer – try getting that name on the back of a shirt).

    Thanks to the setter, The Right Honourable Miff, and a big Thursday shout out to The Lovely Kath

  15. Another super puzzle, the DT must be feeling guilty after last weeks offerings.
    COTD for me was def 8d, very clever. 12a was a new fruit to me that I had to Google.
    Thx to all

  16. Straightforward for a Giovanni work-out I thought, over in ** time. ***/ **** enjoyment.
    Like others 8d my COTD.
    Thanks to Giovanni and the always entertaining MP. Hope you enjoyed Blackpool “Lights” aa we called them.
    For the early morning dog walk, according to the weather app, the “feels like temperature was -14C🤢

  17. all was going swimmingly until I hit the fruit. As it happens I had bunged in a wrong answer to 2d ( edges of DoublE + base for bed = DEBASE lower value/cut down) but I suppose bunk fits better. It took ages for the penny to drop on 4d too. Most of my favourites today are in the NE 12a 7 and 8d.
    Thanks to Miffypops and the Don.
    Has anyone else been invited to the Daily Telegraph zoom call to discuss a special Sunday Telegraph they mailed me? seems to be mainly about a new puzzles section they are planning?

        1. No, but I have saved it for later.
          The special Sunday telegraph they sent me to review in this zoom call appears to be mainly about a new Puzzles section that they are planning to introduce. I too hope that Dada is to stay as it has taken three years to get used to the change.
          The special issue has a big spread of the usual puzzles in the middle with the cryptic under the EV in the Sunday section but also a cryptic inside the main paper in the same style as the SPP.
          I prefer it in the main section as with all the other puzzles it is on the fold and hard to get to grips with.
          I also wish to discuss the many confusing ways to access puzzles. I will report back when I have heard what it is about.

  18. I very much enjoyed about two thirds of this puzzle, but found rest too convoluted for this old brain. Plus is really dislike partial anagrams. But was gratified to solve most being a Giovanni puzzle. Thanks to same and MP for providing hints while away on a break.

  19. I enjoyed the puzzle, sound cluing nothing obscure,last in was 7d- thanks MP for the parsing ,like many others I suspect, I was just
    looking for two synonyms!
    Wirh regard to star ratings and the degree of difficulty/enjoyment, I make a note before I read the blog, I do not employ a timing device just a gut feeling.
    Liked 8d for the shield of wood and 21 for its brevity, went for a ***/***.

  20. A nice Thursday puzzle with plain sailing but I did get stuck on the NE for some reason. When it was all sorted, don’t know why I stumbled there. 2.5*/4* today.
    Clues for favourites include 11a, 18a, 4d, 8d & 20d with winner 8d followed by 4d as a close runner up.
    4d & 20d made me smile, too.

    Thanks to Giovanni and MP

  21. 2/4. Enjoyable fare which required Mr Google to confirm 12a. The rest fell into place relatively smoothly. Thanks to the setter and MP.

  22. Somehow this did not feel like a Giovanni but it was very enjoyable nonetheless and I learned about a new fruit at the same time. Thank you MP hope you’ve warmed up now.

  23. Didn’t really feel like a Don to me but enjoyable nevertheless. NE trickiest corner. Was slow in the uptake on 27a and 7d so bunged in. Fav was 24a. I fear the more cruciverbal exercises one undertakes the more solutions are likely come readily to mind without full parsing and result in bung-ins. Thank you to setter and the hinter from Le Pull.

  24. Don’t know which I liked more – this crossword or Miffypops intro. Blackpool with St Sharon this time. Great stuff.

  25. Very enjoyable ***/*** 😃 Favourites 12 & 25a and 22d 🤗 5d was yet another new word for me and 12a an old “Countdown” favourite nearly as popular as leotard once was 😬 Thanks to (Miffypops taking the sea air in the place of my birth) and to Giovanni

  26. A pleasing Thursday puzzle – is it a confirmed G? Mostly fine clues, a reasonable challenge and an enjoyable solve. I’ll pick 24a as my favourite. Mainly because I got the answer and then couldn’t suss the parsing out properly for a while – the elements in the answer seemed to suggest that the clue needed a containment or an insertion indicator – but then the penny dropped! As MP hints, it’s not an easy clue to explain easily/clearly. 3*, 4*.

    *19d. I love the Impressionists and that is one of my favourite paintings – The Luncheon on the Grass by Edouard Manet. I suspect that MP admires the woman’s “rugby-player” thighs?

  27. I can’t believe I finished a Giovanni, if indeed this was his. I did need a lot of e-help, but most of it was my own work. I knew the fruit, a cross with mandarins and, I believe, tangerines. In Jamaica we call them ortaniques, there’s a very nice Jamaican restaurant here called Ortanique. This comes under the heading of useless information.
    Thank you Giovanni for being kind today, and thanks M’pops for unravelling so much for me, bungins like 24a and 16d!

  28. Enjoyed tbat very much. Passed the time very nicely on a train journey in the dark.

    12a my COTD.

  29. When people say R&W, LROK, they don’t mean they read 30 clues and wrote all 30 answers immediately; of course they don’t. If they do, they are obviously freaks of nature who are on another level and have no business showing off on this blog.

    It’s just another way of saying ‘I found that really easy’’ which people say all the time or they rate it 1 star or even half a star.

    I’ve never known an expression to offend people so much.

    It mustn’t be taken literally.

    I feel sorry for it, poor thing.

    But, the gang in the corner of the playground don’t want it. So, it’s off the table which is a shame as it’s very satisfying to say.

  30. No complaints from me but while some answers were obvious on first approach some took some careful extracting. My last one in was 27a. Not sure why. Favourites 13 24 and 27a. Thanks to Giovanni and MP. I like Blackpool and have had a few unusual experiences there over the years. First time I was 3 years old and got lost. My understanding of communications was such that my mother would never find me. Aged 16 I was there with my friend Marian when Marilyn Monroe died. We met two likely lads in the Tower Ballroom. They turned out to be clowns from the circus and mine was Droopy. More recently I have stayed in the Imperial which was more salubrious than the boarding houses of my youth. What larks!

  31. How do you know they don’t mean it literally G273? If they don’t mean it literally why use what is therefore their stretched synonym for “easy” at all? That rather defeats your argument I would say
    What makes use of the R&W “satisfying” if as you say it actually exaggerates the ease of the puzzle?
    If you look at comment etiquette #6 you will see it says “please avoid terms that belittle the puzzle”. Putting R&W when falls into that category especially if, as you aver, it doesn’t mean Read & Write at all.
    We won’t agree and life will go on. Whenever you post a puzzle was R&W I’m sure you won’t mind if one of the gang points out that you really meant it was extremely straightforward.

  32. For me – no more than an average solver, I’m sure – a R&W clue takes three seconds to read, three seconds to solve and about three seconds to write the answer. So, let’s call it 10 secs. Therefore, a R&W crossword would take me five minutes to solve which is probably a world record.

    Of course they don’t mean it literally.

    We have to assume that 1 star is easy and 5 is difficult.

    So, half a star by an experienced solver belittles the crossword.

    Happy to carry on talking about it but also happy to move on.

  33. I did manage to finish this, although not unaided because I did not know 12a and 5d. Once again I join with the various comments above asking for the choice of back pagers to have some consideration for the newbies and lesser mortals in the cruciverbal world. Thanks to setter and MP.

  34. 4*/4*…..certainly not an R&W for me…
    liked 13A ” Brazilian city as far as we’re concerned ungovernable (7) “

  35. Well no, it didn’t feel like a Giovanni did it. And there is a reason for that.

    Sorry I didn’t call in earlier, but of all things I have been struck down by the coronavirus otherwise known as the common cold, and a right pain in the nether regions it has been. It seems none of my various jabs recognised it for spike proteins, and my T-cells were having a cuppa. Trying Laphroaig toddies tonight, for which I shall surely be lynched by any Scot who finds out.

    Anyway, it seems this one might have been a bit too R&W for SOME solvers, but I’m also glad that others were given a bit more pleasure by it.

    Thanks to Miffs and all who commented.

    1. The Rabbi and The Ayotollah were enough to call out Giovanni. That and the fact that he never takes a day off. Thanks to you though Donnybrook. An excellent puzzle

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