DT 29849 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

DT 29849

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29849

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Good morning from South Staffs on a damp, grey December morning.

I thought today’s puzzle was about average for a Friday, though some stretched synonyms in the wordplay held me up at times.

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           It makes a man hot and sweet (11)
GINGERBREAD – Cryptic definition of a spicy sweetmeat, often made in a humanoid shape.

Gingerbread man decorated colored icing Wall Mural • Pixers® • We live to  change

7a           Father’s herbal extract? (7)
PASSAGE – Another word for ‘father’s’ (including the ‘S), followed by a herb, giving us a literary extract.

8a           Model girl, one among hundreds (7)
CLASSIC – Put together another word for ‘girl’ and the Roman numeral for one, then put the Roman numeral for 100 at each end of the result.

10a         All the same, many martyrs were asking for it (8)
EQUALITY – When we’re all the same, this is what we have. Whether martyrs were looking for this rather depends on why they became martyrs.

11a         He painted it, twice going round article (6)
TITIAN – Reverse IT (from the clue) twice, and add an indefinite article.

Lecture Series - Colour & Sensuality: Titian & the Art of Venice - Lecture  Series

13a         Yankee must follow imperial order and toe the line (4)
OBEY – The three-letter acronym for one of the honours found in the New Year’s Honours list (cynically known by some as standing for ‘other b—–s’ efforts), followed by the letter represented by Yankee in the NATO alphabet.

14a         Go with flattery when conversing (10)
COMPLEMENT – This sounds like (when conversing) another word for a piece of flattery.

16a         Absurd tasteless clothing starts to cause ridicule (10)
INCREDIBLE – The initial letters of the last two words of the clue are inserted into a word that the setter wants to mean ‘tasteless’, but more commonly means ‘tough’ or ‘unpalatable’.

18a         You forget 50 per cent of ideas (4)
THOU – Start with an eight-letter word for ‘ideas’, remove the second half, and you have an archaic word for ‘you’.

21a         Serial broadcast in Middle Eastern country (6)
ISRAEL – Anagram (broadcast) of SERIAL.

22a         I admit having no piercing may be stupid (8)
IGNORANT – Another phrase (1,5) for ‘I admit’, wrapped round NO (from the clue).

24a         More curious to tour Italy — it’s louder (7)
NOISIER – The IVR code for Italy is inserted into another word for ‘more curious’ or ‘more prying’.

25a         Hang nudes in new arrangement over small piano (7)
SUSPEND – Anagram (in new arrangement) of NUDES, wrapped round abbreviations for Small and Piano.

26a         Family take a dip, busy creatures (11)
DESCENDANTS – A verb for ‘take a dip’ or ‘go down’, followed by some industrious insets.


1d           Sign of trail-bike ruts Egyptologist’s covered over (7)
GESTURE – Hidden in reverse in the clue.

2d           Conveniently taking time out for run? Not quite (6)
NEARLY – Start with another word for ‘conveniently’ or ‘tidily’, then replace the T(ime) with R(un).

3d           What’s represented by the fifth letter in email? (10)
ELECTRONIC – Cryptic definition, where the ‘fifth letter’ is the fifth letter of the alphabet, not the fifth letter of ‘email’.

4d           Dough, not doe! (4)
BUCK – A slang word for the sort of ‘dough’ that our American friends can spend, which is also the opposite of a doe among deer.

Whitetail Buck | RDR2 Animals | Map Location & Where To Find

5d           Researched old quarry used in commercial (8)
EXAMINED – The usual prefix for ‘old’ or ‘former’, followed by the short form of a commercial wrapped round another word for a quarry.

6d           Daughter is, y’know, showing hostility (7)
DISLIKE – Put together an abbreviation for Daughter, IS (from the clue), and one of those irritating verbal tics prevlent among the young, just as ‘y’know’ is or was used by an earlier generation.

7d           Pie portions mixed up, for instance (11)
PREPOSITION – Anagram (mixed) of PIE PORTIONS.

9d           Brief written up after scams Edward put together (11)
CONSTRUCTED – Put together some scams, the reverse (written up) of a word for ‘brief’ or ‘short’, and a short form of ‘Edward’.

12d         Expressed regret, seeing Goa spoiled when travelling (10)
APOLOGISED – Anagram (when travelling) of GOA SPOILED.

15d         Case of rogue compiler — passes on solutions (8)
REMEDIES – Put together the outside letters (case) of RoguE, a pronoun the compiler might use of himself or herself, and the word for which ‘passes on’ is a euphemism.

17d         Bore shed tears about a Republican (7)
CARRIED – The definition is the past tense of a verb. Wrap another word for ‘shed tears’ around A (from the clue) and Republican.

19d         Gosh! Harbour’s invaded by Spain (7)
HEAVENS – Another word for a harbour, plus the ‘S from the clue, has the IVR code for Spain inserted.

20d         Fiasco, using grasping member of family (6)
COUSIN – Hidden in the clue.

23d         Going north from here, craft regularly vacant (4)
FREE – Alternate letters (regularly) in reverse (coming north, in a Down clue) of hErE cRaFt.

The Quick Crossword pun SUNS + INN + LORE = SONS-IN-LAW

52 comments on “DT 29849

  1. Good fun with some very imaginative clueing so I strongly suspect the work of Zandio.
    Lots of ticks as usual with this setter including 18a plus 4,6,7&19d.
    2/4* for me.
    Many thanks to setter and DT for the Friday morning entertainment.

  2. Phew! On first reading this looked very tricky. As often happens though cross checkers oiled the wheels and eventually completed in just *** time. I agree with DT with his *** pleasure rating and thought 1a, 4d and 9d all contenders for COTD and choose 4d as it made me smile as the phrases now comprise about half of all teenage conversational content. Some nicely concealed anagrams and I liked the well hidden lurker in 1d. With thanks to our setter.

  3. A very enjoyable Friday puzzle positively itching with ticks.
    25a, 3d, 4d, 6d, 7d and 15d all in contention for the top spot.
    Many thanks to our setter and DT.

  4. A very entertaining puzzle for a drizzly Friday morning. The lurkers were well hidden, and I particularly liked 4d, 7d and 1a. If it was indeed a Zandio production, he seems to have tightened up his clueing, which makes for a better grid IMHO.

    Thanks to Zandio, if it was indeed he, and to DT.

  5. Good fun whilst it lasted although I thought 1a was a bit strange so gets a hmm from me. Thanks to today’s setter and DT.

  6. Like Nas, thought this was going to be tricky on first pass, but did in (my) ** time (/***), despite a couple of spelling mistakes holding me up!
    7a got a hmmm from me.
    Thanks for parsing of 4d which I didn’t twig.

  7. Tremendous fun, a very satisfying and straightforward puzzle to end the backpage week. I was inclined to credit authorship to NYDK, but Zandio could be a good call. Thought 1d extremely good – it was my LOI and only became evident when I had the checking letter from 10a, resulting in an audible groan when I finally saw it lurking there. Laughed out loud at 25a, chuckled at 16a, and cannot decide between 1a and 4d for COTD.

    2* / 4*

    Many thanks to the Setter and to DT

  8. Sorry but I am going to buck the trend of admiration for this puzzle because I got nowhere with it. I had to use too many hints and even then some didn’t make sense. I put it down to this horrendous cold I am suffering from at the moment.

    Many thanks to the setter and to DT for the much needed hints.

  9. 2*/4*. I enjoyed this not too taxing Friday puzzle.

    My podium choices are 3d, 4d & 15d.

    Many thanks to Zandio (?) and to DT.

  10. I won’t go as far as Steve C but I will buck the ‘trend of admiration’ for this puzzle – based on the solvability and lack of enjoyment – 3.5*/2*.

    No standout favourite, but I quite liked 3d.

    Thanks to the setter (Zandio?) and DT.

  11. Hugely entertaining crossword. Several I solved, and then worked backwards to find the extremely clever hints and wordplay within the clues. I feel like a lot of work and humour went into the construction of this crossword.

    Today’s crossword soundtrack: Hildegard von Bingen – Canticles Of Ecstasy (soothing my poor, sore arm after yesterday’s booster jab – that is, I’m not rubbing Hildegard in as some form of embrocation; merely listening eases my woe.)

    Thanks to the excellent setter, and the equally splendid DT.

  12. Hello all, compiler here. Thanks for the analysis and discussion. Someone pointed out to recently that I say “y’know” a lot. I didn’t know. Have a good weekend.

  13. I see Zandio has just popped in to claim this. but as well as saying “y’know” a lot I think 15d is a signature Zandio clue. I bet he doesn’t come close to a pal of mine who once came out with the legendary triple y’know. each pronounced differently,
    “Do I have any peculiar sayings like uno y’know eweno! ”

    I found this a little trickier than some this week but that is exactly how it should be a slight increase in difficulty towards the end of the week. 3d and 7d share the top step for me.

    Thanks to DT for a nudge in the right direction – I had the wrong male relative in 20d
    Thanks to Zandio for the exercise – The only other Zandio I know of is a former pro cyclist who is now a sports director for Ineos Grenadiers.

  14. A fairly straightforward, average-ish back-page puzzle. No complaints from me. No stand-out favourite today, but I did rather like 1a – quite clever/amusing, I thought. 2*, 3.5*.

  15. This was fun with which to do battle. NW last on board mainly due to 3d not ringing a bell. Not sure which is worse y’know or 6d component – awful! Took a while to think of ‘up’ as a 7d as adjective or adverb come more readily to mind. No standout favourite today. Thank you DT and Zandio (great to have you self-identify early in the day – can’t understand why some setters want to hide their lamps under a bushel?!). By the way I suspect 10a clue refers specifically to Robespierre & Co.

  16. Not my favourite of this week’s puzzles but maybe some of my grumbling was caused by the wretched backache that’s currently plaguing me. I thought 1&10a plus 3d were a little wide of the mark and didn’t care for the synonyms used in 16a & 2d.
    Not to worry, tomorrow’s another day!

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

    1. Jane, sympathies re your back pain. I have an ongoing stenosis problem but am reluctant to risk back surgery so rely on epidurals which of course don’t last. Hope you get some relief soon.

      1. Same problem here, Angellov, and like you I really don’t fancy surgery or should I say more back surgery – went through that once in my early 30’s and it took a fair while to recover even then!

        1. Jane, in one of my lives, I did medical transcription for a neurosurgeon. They have perfected back surgery so much that keyhole surgery is now virtually painless and hugely successful. I recently had to visit him after my fall and he assures me they’ve made even more strides with disc surgery. I’d say try a consult again and check it out, you can always back out if it still doesn’t please!

          1. Thanks Merusa. I’m actually on the list for a telephone consultation with the spinal experts at Walton hospital in Liverpool so I’ll keep an open mind until I’ve spoken to them. I’ve already been told not to hold my breath as even the telephone call could be quite a while in coming!

              1. Thank you, Robin.
                I keep wondering what it must have been like to grow up in Tanganyika – were you there for a long time?

                1. On and off from about 1945 to 1962, when Tanganyike became Tanzania-on and off because I was sent to school in UK from about 1956, spending some holidays in Tanganyika.

          2. I’ll bear that in one for my current pinched nerve problem. Next step if physical therapy doesn’t work, is the epidural shot. But it’s nice to know about the advances in disc surgery if that doesn’t help.

            1. Try a chiropractor. Works for me. I think mines on speed dial for most of the south east sufferers but he’s worth every penny.

    2. Sympathies from me too Jane. 2 visits to the osteopath, touch wood, seem to have eased things considerably for me. Hopefully it’ll allow me to swing a golf club. Hope it eases for you soon.

  17. A good puzzle but quite stretched on some synonyms.
    Beaten only by 6d, which I would never have got without the hints, like. 😉

  18. For some reason🤷‍♂️ I’d bunged in pastime for 7a, pa’s and thyme, this prevented me from getting 2d. I checked the hint for 7a and 2d then became obvious. Managed all the rest with a bit of a struggle. Some excellent clues, definitely not a straightforward puzzle at all, very enjoyable. Thanks to all.

  19. Hurrah! Five in a row, completed and parsed unaided. This was definitely the trickiest, and 1a was my last in. 8a gets my vote for COTD.

    Thanks to Zandio and DT.

  20. Brain freeze at 15d which was my last in & amounted to nigh on 50% of my solve time taking me well into *** time. I’m with Senf & Jane as it certainly wasn’t my favourite puzzle of the week but maybe that’s because I’m preoccupied with the all the various things you have to do (quite rightly) before you can fly out for a bit of sunshine.
    Thanks anyway to Zandio (& for popping in) & to DT.

  21. I found this puzzle rather difficult and it took a while to ‘tune in’, as usual the small clues ie 18a and 23d were the last to solve.
    Looking back it seemed easier-just a bad hair day.
    Liked 11a, saw his paintings in the Buckingham palace gallery.
    Favourites were 1a 8a and the 9d charade.
    Going for a ****/****


  22. Not a great puzzle to end up week in my opinion. 3*/2* for me today. Too many stretch synonyms and clues that were rather confusing. Never heard of the painter in 11a.
    No real favourites today but I liked 1a and 3d

    Thanks to Zandio and DT

  23. A mixed bag for me, though the NE corner rather redeemed the rest of it, especially 8a, 6d, & 11a. At one point, plodding along in the middle somewhere, I had this sense of ‘Omigod, I’m lost’, but suddenly 15d & 14a revealed themselves, and I found an end to the maze. 9d was my LOI and I ran for cover. Imagine that: me running these days. Thanks to DT and Zandio. 2.5* / 3.5*

    I truly was lost in the Elgar last night.

  24. I enjoyed this puzzle today…and managed to solve and parse it all unaided. Unusual for me on a Friday whoever the setter.

    Thanks to Zandio and to DT.

  25. Started slowly but soon picked up the pace and finished quite quickly for me. A splendid puzzle in my opinion. 1a gets my gold medal today.

  26. Time spent getting 10a put me into **.5 time.
    Got 3d but did not fully understand why until the penny dropped some time later.
    Great all round puzzle, very clever and satisfying.
    Many thanks Zandio and DT for the review.

  27. I vacillated between thinking this a hohum puzzle and enjoying it. Not at all easy, I had to use e-help copiously to keep going, fortunately I solved enough to get crossers. I really don’t have time today to spend much time on this so I may not be giving it a fair chance. I rather liked 1a, I like a hot and sweet man, and 6d amused, I do wish they’d say “y’know” instead of “like”.
    Thanks to Zandio and to DT for his unravelling many.

  28. Only one word sums up this puzzle for me – Ghastly!
    Worst crossword for a long time, makes little sense.
    Not one for me in any way.
    *****/-as many as you like

    1. Instead of throwing your dummy out of the pram Brian, as you so often do, with a little more thought you could well have solved this puzzle quite easily. You have proved your ability on many previous occasions when completing far harder Dada prize puzzles on Sundays. I admit to taking far more of my Friday evening to complete this one than I usually do, but what a joy to finish it.
      My thanks to setter and DT alike. Nice one.

  29. So, a double Toughie day for us today. Nice if you are very smart, disappointing if you’re not. Very hard to understand why we need two difficult crosswords on the same day. Thanks to Zandio, but you beat me again, and congratulations and thanks to Deep Threat for being able to solve and provide the hints for us lesser mortals.

  30. First one I’ve had time to do for ages…thoroughly enjoyed although it took a bit of time getting back into the right (slightly obscure…) way of thinking! 🤪
    Thanks to Zandio for the entertaining puzzle, and of course to DT for the blog n hints👍

Comments are closed.