DT 29844 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29844

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29844

A full review by crypticsue

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This puzzle was published on 27th November 2021

BD Rating – Difficulty *Enjoyment ***

It made a nice change to have the crossword actually appear on the back page of the paper.

Chalicea’s crossword didn’t take me long to solve, although as usual with one of her crosswords, a trip to the dictionary was required to confirm a spelling and a definition

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Father had potato cooked immediately (2,3,4,2,1,3)
AT THE DROP OF A HAT – An anagram (cooked) of FATHER HAD POTATO

8a    Pack maybe last bit of mango into pastry dish (5)
TAROT – O (the last bit of mango) inserted into TART (pastry dish)

9a    Regularly affable leader of crew on line, working with birds (8)
FALCONRY – The regular letters of aFfAbLe, the ‘leader’ of Crew, ON (from the clue) and RY (railway line)

11a    Marauders; horsemen surrounding area (7)
RAIDERS – RIDERS ‘surrounding’ A (area)

12a    Not completely comprehend every cry expressing derision (7)
CATCALL – Truncate (not completely) CATCh (comprehend) and follow with ALL (every)

13a    Bright display in British lounge (5)
BLAZE – B (British) LAZE (lounge)

15a    Daughter going into revamped classier data storage system (5,4)
LASER DISC – D (daughter) inserted into an anagram (revamped) of CLASSIER

17a    Plucks trimmed, variable, oddly drippy stuff primarily from these bran tubs (5,4)
LUCKY DIPS – The inside (trimmed) letters of pLUCKs, Y (algebraic variable), the odd letters of DrIpPy and the first (primarily) letter of Stuff

20a    Crumbly cheese‘s matte finish partly making a comeback (5)
FETTA – Hidden in reverse (partly making a comeback) in mATTE Finish. All over the country on Saturday morning, there were people saying “I didn’t know you could spell feta cheese with two Ts!”

21a    Announce cut in tense film (7)
TRUMPET – RUMP (cut of meat) inserted between T (tense) and ET (crosswordland’s favourite film)

23a    Display resistance then help strike (3-4)
AIR-RAID – AIR (display) R (resistance) AID (help)

25a    Spooner’s at large — trek to find amphibian! (4,4)
TREE FROG – How the dreaded Reverend might say FREE (at large) TROG (an informal verb meaning to walk heavily and wearily (trek)

26a    Perfect plan pursued by student (5)
IDEAL – IDEA (plan) ‘pursued’ by L (learner, student)

27a    Stupidly had a ham arms race — somewhat dippy! (3,2,1,5,4)
MAD AS A MARCH HARE – An anagram (stupidly) of HAD A HAM ARMS RACE


1d    Mutableness of shifting bilaterality (12)
ALTERABILITY – An anagram (shifting) of BILATERALITY

2d    Is rubbish turning up in trunks? (5)
TORSI – A reversal (turning up in a Down solution) of IS (from the clue) ROT (rubbish)

3d    Seriously stumbling experimentally; not terribly plain (9)
EXTREMELY – An anagram (stumbling) of EXpERiMEnTaLlY (not PLAIN tells you to omit these letters, terribly tells you that they aren’t in that order

4d    Commotion mostly in genuine rejection (7)
REFUSAL – Most of a FUSs (commotion) inserted into REAL (genuine)

5d    Showy sites of entertainment in buildings around America (7)
PALACES – PLACES (buildings) ‘around’ A (America)

6d    Change of direction in organised political group produces unfriendliness (5)
FROST – Change the compass direction in FRONT (organised political group) from N (North) to S (South)

7d    Collect short book on very famous plant expert (9)
HERBALIST – Truncate (short) HERd (collect together), add B (book) and ALIST (very famous) – I know lots of people struggled with the ‘collect’ – I knew I’d got the Book and the ALIST, so I just looked in the dictionary for words starting with HER until the penny dropped

10d    Severely bruised group accepting deficiency; subsequently dismal (5,3,4)
BLACK AND BLUE – BAND (group) ‘accepting’ LACK, BLUE (dismal) being added subsequently

14d    Equipped and cued actor to dance (9)
ACCOUTRED – An anagram (to dance) of CUED ACTOR

16d    Brighten up; umpire essentially excuses run blunder (9)
REFURBISH – REF (umpire) the essential letter of excUses, R (run) BISH (blunder)

18d    Bury that chap (not husband) in time between events (7)
INTERIM – INTER (bury) hIM (that chap without the H for Husband)

19d    Brag noisily of small bet involving golf (7)
SWAGGER – S (small) WAGER (bet) ‘involving’ G (Golf in the NATO Phonetic Alphabet)

22d    Requisition newspapers (5)
PRESS – Double definition

24d    Region circling new sphere of action (5)
ARENA – AREA (region) ‘circling’ N (new)


5 comments on “DT 29844

    1. How on earth do you arrive at a difficulty rating of one star? A number of these clues were utterly impenetrable. A fact which became even more apparent after reading some of your explanations!

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