DT 29851 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29851

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29851

Hints and tips by Falcon

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Greetings from Ottawa, where I am writing this review Sunday evening thanks to the time zone differential with the UK. I expect to wake up to our first significant snow storm of the season. I am well-prepared—the snow tyres have been installed for some time now and the snow blower is fuelled and tested.

I found today’s offering from Campbell to sit slightly toward the gentler end of his range. As always, though, it is a pleasant start to the cruciverbal week.

In the hints below, underlining identifies precise definitions and cryptic definitions, and indicators are italicized. The answers will be revealed by clicking on the ANSWER buttons.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought of the puzzle.


1a   Where it’s residential as far as outskirts of Washington? (6)
UPTOWN — follow a (2,2) phrase denoting as far as or until with the initial and final letters (outskirts) of WashingtoN

4a   Poem also written about storm (3,5)
THE RAVEN — wrap a synonym for also or further around an emotional storm

10a   Factory workers not working with complete ease (5,4)
HANDS DOWN — some factory workers precede a word denoting not working (as one might say of a malfunctioning computer)

11a   Pop first of balloons, upsetting relative’s son terribly (5)
BURST — the initial letters (first) of the final five words in the clue

12a   Oscar has to be in credit for a month (7)
OCTOBER — the letter represented by Oscar in the NATO alphabet followed by the TO BE from the clue nestled in the abbreviation for credit

13a   Tenor keeping money for annuity scheme (7)
TONTINE — another word for tenor or spirit enveloping a slang term for money reflecting its metallic makeup

14a   Spare more (5)
EXTRA — double definition

15a   At work, actor’s union reveals unfairness (8)
INEQUITY — a short word for at work (or at home) and the name of the union representing theatrical performers

18a   Ordered gold pair — that may be recklessly extravagant (8)
PRODIGAL — an anagram (ordered) of GOLD PAIR; a young man possessing this characteristic is featured in a biblical parable

20a   Question children (5)
ISSUE — double definition; a subject for discussion or argument and a formal term for offspring

23a   Cake decoration, almost heavenly (7)
ANGELIC — remove the final letter from a cake decoration consisting of pieces of plant stalks crystallized in sugar

25a   Quietly tell ecclesiastical dignitary (7)
PRELATE — the musical direction for quietly and a verb meaning to tell or narrate a story or anecdate

26a   Team climb round face of Rushmore (5)
GROUP — a (2,2) term for climb or ascend surrounding the initial letter (face) of Rushmore

27a   Inadvertent mistake concerning vision (9)
OVERSIGHT — a word meaning concerning or involving (“a dispute ____ money”) and a synonym for vision

28a   Plump for pudding (4-4)
ROLY-POLY — double definition; the second being a baked or steamed dessert

29a   More than one chum swallowing bait, briefly (6)
PLURAL — a chum or mate containing a word for bait having removed its final letter


1d   Disconnected a French editor packing punch (8)
UNHOOKED — one of the French indefinite articles and the usual abbreviated editor bookend a pugilist’s punch

2d   Toddler in shade clutching new toy (4,3)
TINY TOT — a shade or hue enclosing an anagram (new) of TOY

3d   Percussion instrument was hard to get on table (9)
WASHBOARD — link together the WAS from the clue, the pencil designation for hard and an archaic term for a table set for a meal

5d   Helps her putt in tight game (4,3,7)
HUNT THE SLIPPER — an anagram (tight) of the first four words in the clue; as an anagram indicator, tight is used in the sense of drunk or inebriated

6d   Bird, black and gold, rising over one end of garden (5)
ROBIN — a reversal (rising in a down clue) of the pencil abbreviation for black and the heraldic term for gold preceding (over in a down clue) a Roman one and the final letter (end) of gardeN

7d   Opinion of composer, extremely coherent (7)
VERDICT — an Italian composer and the initial and final letters (extremely) of CoherenT

8d   Spice in overturned stone cask (6)
NUTMEG — reversal (overturned) of a charade of a precious stone and a large cask

9d   Getting on coach for Greyfriars, say (8,6)
BOARDING SCHOOL — join together words meaning getting on or entering and coach or instruct

16d   Runs a live broadcast, worldwide (9)
UNIVERSAL — an anagram (broadcast) of the first three words in the clue

17d   Stand at Leeds ground under roof of pavilion (8)
PEDESTAL — an anagram (ground) of AT LEEDS following (under in a down clue) the initial letter (roof in a down clue) of Pavilion

19d   Cloth figure dog chewed during most of mass meeting (3,4)
RAG DOLL — an anagram (chewed) of DOG in a mass meeting or demonstration with the final letter removed (most of)

21d   Stun gun initially held by old actor (7)
STAGGER — insert the initial letter of Gun into a term for an old actor (or a well-experienced member of any profession)

22d   Run-down saloon perhaps causing bishop great displeasure (6)
BANGER — the chess notation for bishop and a feeling of great displeasure or annoyance; the saloon has four wheels and likely a noisy motor

24d   Relish circuit before winning (3,2)
LAP UP — a circuit of a racetrack and a word denoting winning or in the lead

I’ll choose 22d as favourite —not only for the smooth surface reading but also for the mental image it evokes.

Quickie Pun (Top Row) : FAYE + SCARRED = FACE CARD

Quickie Pun (Middle) : FIR + BILLOW = FURBELOW

Quickie Pun (Bottom Row) : SHEIKHS + PIER = SHAKESPEARE

110 comments on “DT 29851

  1. Steady Monday fare at **/*** a little harder in its northern reaches than the south I thought. Although by no means a tricky clue I did like 1a which gets my COTD. I hadn’t heard of the game in 5d but the anagram was fairly obvious. With thanks to Falcon who I hope doesn’t get snowbound and the setter.

  2. Despite it having a somewhat dated feel to it I did enjoy this light, fun and well constructed puzzle.
    I’d never heard of the game but with all the checkers it was easy to guess from the fodder.
    Ticks all over the place, just some are
    10&26a plus 6,7,17&22d. Good stuff.
    Many thanks to Falcon and Campbell for the entertainment.

  3. I agree with our blogger that this was a fairly gentle puzzle to kickstart the week, though that did not detract from the enjoyment and overall fun. I think I spent more time looking for a third pun in the Quickie than on the process of solving the backpager. 17d came out on top of my pile, ahead of 7d.

    My thanks to Campbell and Falcon.

        1. I don’t have the crossword in front of me but I think end of one line “fir” and beginning of following line “billows” = fur belows is it.

                1. I think we were about 11 and rude words were just great whether we knew the meaning or not.

          1. With the third pun in the Quickie, I think Campbell has created his own version of the game at 5d in the Cryptic — one we might call “Find the flounce”.

    1. I have never heard of the garment in question so would still be looking if this thread had not provided me with the answer. Nice one Mr Scott. I am well truly beaten by the third pun.

  4. Usual excellent start to the week with a splendid Campbell crossword. I was previously unaware of 13a but figured it out even so.

    We went out for a lovely walk yesterday afternoon. My stamina is still a little affected by last week’s booster jab so we didn’t go very far. We decided to pop into a local pub for hot chocolate and a mince pie without realising how crowded it was, and now I’m wondering if we inadvertently stepped into a super-spreading environment. Ah well, home testing in a day or two will tell all.

    Today’s crossword soundtrack: The Thorns – The Thorns (lovely for a Monday morning)

    Thanks to Campbell and Falcon in his snowy wonderland.

    1. I read a Victorian tome when I was a young girl entitled The Tontine. I always thought it dangerous as the last one standing gets all the money. What is to stop someone bumping off all the others and walking off with the lot? Perhaps I have a naturally criminal mind!

      1. A pleasant Monday puzzle, but I managed to make heavy weather of it by thinking 10a was “hands free” which put me off my stroke for a bit.

        22d was my favourite today.

      2. Is that the book by Thomas Costain? I hope I’ve spelt his name right. I read it as a youngster. I think I might have it here still.

  5. Hooray! It’s Monday and another finished crossword. I liked 6d. I found the NW corner took me the longest to complete. Once I dragged 13a out of the depths of my memory, the rest fell into place.
    Thanks to Falcon for the help with parsing the ones I had just ‘bunged in’.
    I well remember being able to download the DT and start the crossword early when I spent some time on the west coast of the US. Thankfully, we didn’t have to contend with Falcon’s potential snow storm as we were further south.

  6. Held up into 3* time in the NE by this puzzle, which unusually I found rather flat and uninspiring for a Campbell Monday outing. Indeed I see that I’ve ticked only one clue, 21d, but I’d hesitate to call it a COTD. Not helped by my ignorance of the poem in 4a and never having heard of the game in 5d (thus not seeing the anagram until after I’d got the answer), while I think this is only the second time I’ve ever encountered the annuity in 13a … the first time being a Jay puzzle just over a year ago. Ah well, not my day but at least there’s Campbell’s second puzzle to go for next.

    3* / 2*

    Thank you to Campbell and to Falcon.

    1. MG. I’ve never heard of the 5d game but well remember playing “hunt the thimble” when a kid, especially at family Christmas parties. The thimble had to be at least partially visible but was surprisingly difficult to spot, particularly in a large room.

        1. This game brought back extremely unpleasant memories for me. We were NEVER hit by our parents, ever. But my best friend’s father used to order us to ‘bring the slipper’ if he thought we had been naughty, which I don’t think we were. I would have to lie across his knee and get smacked on the backside with the slipper. It was very humiliating – I never told a soul about this because aged 7 or 8 you think its your fault. I think my Aged P’s would have been truly horrified as I am looking back after all these years. They call it child abuse these days. I had completely forgotten about it, until now.

  7. Quite gentle although I did need to check my construction for 13a and 4a gave me some pause for thought. Thanks to Falcon and Campbell.

  8. It’s Monday :good: It’s Campbell :good: although I did make heavy weather of this particularly in the NE. 2.5*/3*

    Like others I had not heard of the 5d game so that needed confirmation by one of the usual methods.

    Candidates for favourite – 15a, 21a, 7d, and 21d – and the winner is 7d.

    Thanks to Campbell and to Falcon.

    1. Like yourself and others, I had never heard of the game. I discover it is just another name for “hunt the thimble” which I have heard of. Apparently, the object of the search can be anything at hand — not necessarily a slipper or a thimble.

      1. F. According to Wiktionary it’s also a “circle” game:

        hunt the slipper (uncountable)

        1. A circle game in which the players have to pass a slipper, or other object, without the person designated “it” discovering it.

    2. I can remember playing the 5d game as a child – presumably Mum didn’t want us playing with her thimble in case it got lost. I did wonder as I wrote in the solution whether the ‘younger generation’ would know the game

      1. I knew the game well but I can’t remember playing it, maybe I know it from books. Sounds like a Georgette Heyer game!

  9. Most of this was OK. But found some of the clues a bit odd, finishing the SW corner last. I have never heard of the poem and needed the hints to parse it. I have heard of 13a but only in crossword land. 1a is not a term I would use either, I’m not even sure what it means. Does anyone use 23a across anymore. A puzzle for us older setters I feel. Perhaps that’s just as well. Thanks.

    1. BH, 1a. The answer (originally an Americanism, I think) just means the area of a city/town away from the centre; the outskirts/suburbs. In 1990, I was working for a firm and the MD had designed a new range of decorative street furniture, mostly comprising cast iron. He organised an internal competition to come up with a modern/catchy/snazzy name for it. The name Uptown was eventually chosen. I pointed out to the MD and other directors that Downtown might be better as that referred to the busy city/town centre. They had never thought of that, but still went for Uptown as it sounded “less negative”. I guess they were right?

  10. The annuity scheme put a bit of strain on the old grey matter but quite a smooth ride elsewhere.
    Top three for me were 12a, which I thought was clever, along with 6&7d.

    Thanks to Campbell (hope you were leg-pulling about the third pun!) and to Falcon for the review. Hope the snow storm doesn’t cause too many problems.

    1. I only knew the annuity scheme from Agatha Christie’s “4:50 From Paddington”, where the murderer was knocking off inherators to increase the percentage of the legacy.

    2. i always remember 13a from an episode of MASH, but nothing to do with finances. During WW1, Colonel Potter and three of his buddies had acquired a bottle of very good brandy and the ’13a’ was that the last surviving member of the group would open the bottle and share it with friends/colleagues at the time and drink a toast to the three who had passed.

  11. Failed miserably at 13a and still do not understand the wordplay at 4a, otherwise plain sailing but with the satisfaction of requiring some thought. 17 v clever! Thanks to Messrs Campbell and Falcon.

    1. The wordplay parses as THEN (also) containing (written about) RAVE (storm).

      Then is used in the sense of also or in addition or besides “Then there’s the cost to take into account.”.

      Rave is to storm or display an emotional outburst.

  12. Thanks to the setter and to Falcon for the hints, not needed today.

    My version of the hints has ‘&NBSP’ inserted into the 14A & 20A clues.

    1. Thank you for pointing out the appearance of the “ ” in the clues. It is a bit of HTML formatting code intended to force an extra space between the two underlined definitions. For some reason unknown to me (perhaps because it was upper case?), it was not being properly interpreted by WordPress or browsers and being displayed instead as raw code. At one time, WordPress had the annoying “feature” of joining adjacent sections of underlined text and it was necessary to use this coding trick to create a discernible break in the underline. I see that this no longer appears to be necessary.

  13. I was beaten by 13a, which was annoying because the rest went in with relative ease along with some head scratching. Great misdirection at 11a, I thought, with “terribly” sending me off down the anagram route. 4a brought back memories of birds that quoth nevermore but my COTD is 9d. This gave more memories of Quelch, Cherry, Bunter and all in the Remove.

    Great fun!

    Many thanks to Campbell and to Falcon for the hints.

    Does anyone else spend far too long looking for a third Quickie pun these Mondays? (Just seen Campbell’s post – I will now have to carry on looking!)

  14. A gentle and pleasant launch into the cruciverbal week apart from a little stickiness in the NE. Needed help with 8d and with parsing 2d bung-in. 22d new one on me as was 13a once checkers had forced discount of pension. 23a has to be my Fav! Thank you Campbell and Falcon (keep warm).

  15. “Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary…”: EAP once again makes it into a cryptic. Yay for the jingle man, as Emerson called him. But where did that game come from? Certainly not from over here; I like ‘tight’ as an indicator, though. Very enjoyable Monday offering, with my top three the same as Jane’s, mainly because of their surfaces: 12a, 6d, 7d. I remembered 13a from at least one other cryptic, as well as the NYT. The bonus online cryptic is a lot more demanding and much more Campbellesque, I think–our Monday whiz at his cleverest. Thanks to Falcon (who painted ‘The 18a Son, may I ask?) and Campbell. ** / ***

    1. ’tis Rembrandt, Robert, and we’re unlikely to ever see it as it is in a museum in Russia…

      1. Thanks, Terence. I thought so. And thanks, Falcon: I don’t have a mouse on this little gizmo called ‘Surface Go’ and my pointer revealed nothing. Anyway, I do know some Rembrandts but don’t recall ever seeing this one. It’s quite typically dark and very darkly moving…look at his bare, ragged feet…”Bring forth the best robe and put it on him and shoes on his feet!”

    2. I thought the bonus cryptic was great. Both the bat & the retail practice were unfamiliar to me but gettable.

  16. Light and enjoyable. **/*** I recall seeing 13a here before. Unless I dreamed that. It came to mind because there is a street in my town with that name and I remember being quite surprised that it had a particular meaning. It’s not the most reputable street in the town so the meaning is quite appropriate as this type of scheme is now illegal in the UK. I liked 4a but no standout favourite. Thanks to all.

  17. Neither of us had heard of 13a so I made a word up that fitted with the clue and the checkers we had and Googled it. We were both amazed to find it was right. The rest of the NE followed quickly after that. Favourite was 7d. Thanks to Campbell and Falcon.

  18. A really nice start to the week whilst it is bucketing down outside and jolly cold. I think 7d was my favourite and 13a made me think of the war years when books were hard to get and I had to devour anything I could get hold of, The Wide, Wide World, all of Harrison Ainsworth and Dickens – heavy stuff for a 6 year old. Then there was Rider Haggard and Baroness Orczy – no wonder I grew up with a romantic view of the world. Thanks to Campbell for bringing back the memories and to Falcon for explaining 26a which was a bung in.

  19. Some tricky parsing today, the excellent cluing had to be carefully scrutinised to find the definition.
    Thought that I Remembered the poem but needed the checking letters to confirm, 13a was new to me.
    Liked 7d and 1a.Going for a ***/***
    Thanks to Falcon for the Rag Doll rendition and setter for a witty start to the week.

  20. Enjoyable Monday fare. I head scratched a wee bit in the NE which extended the solve to nearly *** time. I had heard of the annuity scheme though had to refresh my memory as to exactly what it was & also the game. Agree with YS’s picks – 17d just pips 7d for top spot & also liked 4&26a.
    Thanks to Campbell & Falcon

  21. A mixed bag for me, with half going in steadily and with conviction, the rest putting up a fight. In fact most of the rest solved from checkers and not the clues. Needed hint for 13a, new to me, and never heard the old actor term in 21d. Not my best Monday effort. Thanks to Campbell and Falcon.

    1. Apparently, an “old stager” is one with lots of experience in any field of endeavour. Campbell’s use of “old actor” in the clue could be using the word “actor” in the generic sense rather than the specific theatrical sense. It also alludes to the appearance of the word “stage” in the word “stager” — which might also be a hint that this was originally theatrical slang and was later adopted outside the realm of theatre (as is the case with many terms that originated in theatrical circles).

  22. Very enjoyable.
    Just the poem held me up, stupid man!!
    I have never heard of the game, “hunt the thimble “, yes.
    Thanks both, thoroughly miserable day in South London.

  23. This cheered me up on a miserable day here in our Suffolk retreat for this week. Am actually watching TV as its too horrid to go out.13a my last one in but thanks to the setter for the diversion. Despite renting this cottage before, seems very sparse on kitchen equipment. I actually left my favourite potato peeler behind by mistake about six years ago – the one provided is less than useless. What is the point of providing a dishwasher if they have only given us two sets of everything, v annoying. Plenty of other places here to rent which are much nicer. Congrats to all finding the Quickie puns, I can’t ever solve the Quickie at all.

  24. 2/3. Nice start to the week. 13a was my favourite – such a pleasant word which I first remember as a word in an Agatha Christie novel. Thanks to the setter and Falcon. We also got snow last night which is unusual for the west coast and very low elevation. Looking forward to clearing the sidewalk (pavement means road here).

  25. Regarding recent (and general) comments about solving times, I’ve just come across this “poem” by Roger McGough in a Times crossword book:

    Got up
    Had shave
    Did Times crossword

    Had another shave.

    1. *I’ve just written a poem:

      Got up
      Had shave
      Did Elgar Toughie

      Ordered beard trimmer from Argos.

      1. I think yours may be a Haiku – it has 17 syllables at least, but maybe the 5/7/5 syllable structure is wanting a bit of work.

        1. You mustn’t take it seriously JB – just a bit of daft fun. I’m not trying to emulate Simon Armitage or anything.

  26. I never heard of that annuity scheme nor the game and the parsing of 6a was beyond me (althoughI did solve it) until I read the blog.
    7d was my favourite.
    Thanks to Campbell and Falcon.

  27. Not difficult but very enjoyable with some well worded clues. Never heard of 13a which is new to me.
    Last in was 26a, obvious answer but tricky wordplay.
    Thx to all

  28. I’m fairly late commenting so apologies if someone’s mentioned it already, but the top quickie pun is surely FACE GUARD (not FACE CARD)

    1. Could be either I suppose Ian, I plumped for your version too but unless Campbell tells us I will take both.

    2. FACE GUARD was also what I initially came up with. However, in searching through dictionaries to determine if if was one word or two, I did not find it in British dictionaries. I therefore concluded it must be an Americanism (part of the helmet worn by Canadian and US football players [the North American non-soccer variety of football].

  29. Well for Monday I found this hard work and had to slog through the quagmire of clues. 3.5*/** Not what I consider a normal Campbell puzzle on a Monday. I am in the DNF category as I just gave up on the last 2-3 clues. 5d unknown to me as were the words in 13a & 25a.
    Not a good puzzle solving day and several clues that seemed hard to parse.
    Clues i liked were 1d, 9d, 26a & 27a

    Thanks to Campbell and Falcon

  30. I so enjoyed this – smooth clues throughout and the excellent 13a reminded me of that great old film The Wrong Box! Thank you Campbell and Falcon

  31. Blimey, not my usual Monday.
    Time spent getting three in the NE corner put me into **** time.
    Pleased I constructed 13a, a new word for me.
    Many thanks Campbell for the satisfying challenge and Falcon for the review, fortunately not referred to.

  32. I loved it all, but I found the SW tricky. I bunged in 22d and 26a and was so surprised to find they were correct. Wotta lotta memories of my early life, Billy Bunter and co. were stored in the very recesses of my brain.
    Thanks for the fun Campbell, and Falcon for unravelling a couple.

  33. Lovely gentle start to the week though delayed in North East corner. As a child I have memories of standing in a bus queue on more than one occasion and hearing the word tontine being used but can’t remember the conversations! I probably thought it had something to do with saving for Christmas or old-age! Many thanks to Falcon and Campbell. Missed the middle pun in the Quickie.

    1. I wasn’t in the same bus queue as you because I never heard of the word before today

    2. Was the bus queue in Scotland? The tontine scheme was in common use there to raise money. There are a number of Scottish hotels there named the Tontine – including in Greenock and Peebles.

  34. Phew just managed to finish 😳 Found it very straightforward until the the NE corner 🤔 ***/*** Favourites 10 & 18a. Never thought I would learn a new word from the Quicky, Furbelow well I never🤗 Thanks to Falcon and to Campbell

  35. Unintentional fourth pun. 21 and 24 across. Enamel + Oar = Enameller. The definition of enameller in the dictionary is a person who does enamelling as a job or for a hobby. Nice Monday puzzle. Ta to all

    1. I too noticed Enameller as a potential 4th pun but decided to go for the 9/11a furbelow because of the schoolboyish humour it brought to mind ( see Manders comment earlier)

  36. Held up only by 13a and 5d. Eventually got there. I had no problem with the other long one 9d as Billy Bunter sprang to mind. I did wonder if some younger solvers, and particularly our friends from other countries, would struggle with this. Favourites 15a and 3 19 and 22d. Thank you Campbell and Falcon. I needed your hint for the parsing of 2d.

  37. I’m reaching for my morning coffee in my part of the world but I’m going against the grain as I thought Campbell’s offering was at the tougher end for a Monday. 5d was a new one for me but bit of Google help with parlour games confirmed what the checkers indicated. I also thought that the Greyfriars were monastery interns rather a boarding school. Anyway, a nice challenge. Thanks Campbell and Falcon🦇

    1. I thought there would be more queries about Greyfriars but apparently not. The clue gave nothing away as to what sort of establishment we were looking for, although it could be deduced from
      the first three words. Greyfriars was a fictional school whose most famous pupil was Billy Bunter who took a leading role in the books. I seem to recall a TV series in the 1950s.

      1. I never read — or even heard of — the books before encountering Billy Bunter and friends in the DT Cryptic where they have appeared frequently over the years.

      2. Sorry for the late reply Wanda and I’m not sure if you’re still ‘on frequency’ but many thanks for the tip. I love the Billy Bunter art work but have never read any of the books. Cheers 🦇

      1. Indeed, and he was known as “The Fat Owl of the Remove” there. Referring to a child as Fat these days wouldn’t be allowed.

  38. PS, I’ve never understood the logic that supports ‘tight’ (along with ‘pant’ for that matter) as an anagram indicator.

    1. “Tight” is used in the sense of drunk or inebriated. I have seen many synonyms for intoxicated used as anagram indicators — drunk, tipsy, high, …

      “Pants” is British slang for rubbish or nonsense and any synonym for those words can be found being used as an anagram indicator.

  39. Managed this one alone and unaided but needed some help with the parsing .

    I think there was a TV series some time ago about a tontine…sadly I cannot remember anything more about it.

    Thanks to the setter and to Falcon,

    1. There’s a Tontine Hotel in the Centre of Ironbridge, Shropshire – I’ve often wondered how it became so named.

  40. All but 13a unfortunately. 5d was very much filling in the gaps for the anagram. Mr tonti (rip) you were too much for me.

  41. 3*/3*…
    clue of the day has to be 6D ” Bird, black and gold, rising over one end of garden (5) “

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