DT 29852 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29852

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29852

Hints and tips by Mr K

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BD Rating  -  Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

Hello, everyone, and welcome to Tuesday. Today we have a nicely constructed puzzle with no obscure vocabulary or general knowledge required in the solve. I enjoyed it.

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    Lies endlessly about soft food (4,3)
PORK PIE:  All but the last letter (endlessly) of an informal word for lies containing (about) the musical abbreviation for soft or quiet 

5a    Fighting vessel was going round river with it (7)
WARSHIP:  WAS from the clue containing (going round) the map abbreviation for river is followed by "with it" or trendy 

9a    Sample of any longer material (5)
NYLON:  The answer is hidden as part of (sample of) the remainder of the clue 

10a   Flower feeder? (9)
TRIBUTARY:  A cryptic definition, where flower here means something that flows, i.e. a river 

11a   Finish off a linen hat I fashioned (10)
ANNIHILATE:  An anagram (fashioned) of A LINEN HAT I 

12a   Make fun of flipping old pen (4)
BIRO:  The reversal of (flipping) of make fun of or tease is followed by the abbreviation for old 

14a   Coin a phrase to describe an octet? (5,2,5)
PIECE OF EIGHT:  The answer could, taken literally, be a phrase to describe an octet 

18a   I ensure visit's arranged for where students might want to attend (12)
UNIVERSITIES:  An anagram (… 's arranged) of I ENSURE VISIT 

21a   Shoots  aircraft (4)
JETS:  A straightforward double definition 

22a   Worrying about the Queen with scamming going round (10)
CONCERNING:  The single letter Latin abbreviation for about or approximately and the Latin abbreviation for Queen Elizabeth are both contained by a synonym of scamming (with scamming going round

25a   Europe perhaps happy restricting Northern Ireland, on reflection (9)
CONTINENT:  Happy or satisfied containing (restricting) the reversal (on reflection) of the abbreviation for Northern Ireland 

26a   Sleep regularly abandoned after bird's call (5)
TITLE:  Alternate letters (regularly abandoned) of SLEEP come after a small songbird 

27a   Crossword compilers -- we're barking? (7)
SETTERS:  Double definition, with "barking" not read as slang 

28a   Crowded hospital confused no head of medicine (7)
HUDDLED:  The single letter for hospital with a synonym of confused minus the first letter of MEDICINE (… with no head of medicine) 

The kittens are becoming cats



1d    One sending letters to China? (3,3)
PEN PAL:  A cryptic definition, with china taking its rhyming slang meaning 

2d    Ease off religious education ahead of Christian period (6)
RELENT:  The abbreviation for religious education followed by a Christian period of penance and fasting 

3d    Hit with bars -- the cause of being in stitches? (10)
PUNCHLINES:  Link together hit with a fist and some bars or stripes 

4d    Heap praise on former lover, upsetting group (5)
EXTOL:  The usual former lover with the reversal (upsetting) of a group or set 

5d    Item of clothing from week at Ascot, I fancy (9)
WAISTCOAT:  The single letter for week with an anagram (fancy) of AT ASCOT I 

6d    Rake to agitate small leaves (4)
ROUE:  Agitate or wake minus the clothing abbreviation for small (… small leaves

7d    Anger with his criminal trials (8)
HEARINGS:  An anagram (criminal) of ANGER HIS 

8d    City play, avoiding Arsenal's first trap (8)
PLYMOUTH:  PLAY minus (avoiding) the first letter of ARSENAL is followed by trap or cakehole 

13d   Famous Beetle car shot by Disney initially (10)
CELEBRATED:  An anagram (shot) of BEETLE CAR followed by the initial letter of DISNEY

Disney's 'Love Bug"

15d   Doctor cures most clients (9)
CUSTOMERS:  An anagram (doctor) of CURES MOST 

16d   Pupils study these  citizens (8)
SUBJECTS:  What pupils study at school is also a word for citizens 

17d   Individual is tense after day in court (8)
DISTINCT:  Putting the bits in order, we concatenate the single letter for day, IS from the clue, the abbreviation for grammatical tense, IN from the clue, and the map abbreviation for court 

19d   Under pressure I almost pinched gun (6)
PISTOL:  After (under, in a down clue) the physics symbol for pressure come I from the clue and all but the last letter (almost) of pinched or nicked 

20d   Admitted a craving (6)
AGREED:  A from the clue with a synonym of craving 

23d   Discover animal sitting on church (5)
CATCH:  The best animal followed by (sitting on, in a down clue) the map abbreviation for church 

24d   Rise and fall of the sea temperature above fish (4)
TIDE:  The physics symbol for temperature comes before (above, in a down clue) a usual three-letter fish 


Thanks to today’s setter. Top clue for me today was 10a, with 17d not far behind. Which clues did you like best?

The Quick Crossword pun:  CAN + TAR + BERRY = CANTERBURY

70 comments on “DT 29852

  1. A very pleasant Tuesday offering with quite a few raising a smile, 1a for example. I was held up by 10a, 16d and 6d all of which made absolute sense when finally solved. Some clever cluing and I especially liked 8d and 23d but my COTD is 1d because Mrs. C has two she has been in contact with for about forty years, one in Czechoslovakia and one in Lithuania.

    Many thanks to the setter for the fun and to Mr. K for the hints and pusskits. I love the illustration for 1a.

    Storm Barra is gathering here in Shropshire. Stay safe everyone.

    1. Blast! I messed up with LILY-LIVERED. My clue got a full mention, but for the wrong reason. My fault, I should have checked my Roman numerals. If I’d said 51.50 instead of 50.49 it would have been fine. Woulda, shoulda, coulda……

      1. I toyed with Roman numerals, Jose but went down the funereal path (lilies being used on such occasions) but it sank without trace. Quite right too!.

        1. Steve,
          Interesting the funereal connection with lillies. Mrs LrOK keeps telling me they are her favourite flower. Don’t know whether to read anything into that!
          I went down the Langtry route.
          Thought the winner clever.

          1. Yes, I also thought of Langtry, LROK but could make nothing work.

            I’m struggling with Bethlehem. :scratch:

        2. It’ll teach me not to operate on autopilot, without checking everything properly. I assumed that because 9=IX, then 49=IL, but it doesn’t work like that. Something to do with how abacuses are/were used apparently.

      2. Clever thinking by you which warranted a near podium place! I managed an hon. men. for the first time ever but my clue was so clever I can’t even remember what I submitted!

        1. Congratulations on the hon mention, Angellov. That’s the trouble with them, though – the submitted clue can never be remembered. A pity, really, because it would be fun to see some of them.

  2. Thanks for the hints.
    I enjoyed today’s light offering.
    I thought 9a was a well disguised lurker, probably an old Chestnut to the more experienced, though.
    Thanks to the esteemed setter too.

  3. I thought this was a lot of fun with just enough bite to make it interesting.
    4d is a bit dated and thought 18a a little weak but the rest was great.
    As it’s just down the A38 I liked 8d along with 3&17d plus the clever 10a but my favourite was 1a.
    Many thanks to the setter and Mr K for brightening a foul morning here on the South West Coast.

    1. I’m some way up the A388 and relish the fact that the A38 makes it so wonderfully easy to avoid the ghastly 8d, though I smiled broadly (if grimly, as a Gooner) on solving the clue!

      Barra seems to have hurled its way east, and looking over at the distant hills I should not like to be on Dartmoor this morning.

      1. I certainly wouldn’t go as far as “ghastly” but of the two Devon cities I much prefer Exeter.

        1. An infintely nicer city, likewise Truro. Plymouth’s misfortune is the style of the rebuilding of its centre, which with hindsight is arguably little improvement on the bombed sites it replaced.

        1. Sorry Chris I meant 6d

          Pronunciation /ˈruːeɪ/
          See synonyms for roué
          Translate roué into Spanish

          A debauched man, especially an elderly one.

          ‘he had lived the life of a roué in the fleshpots of London and Paris

          1. Does your definition of ‘dated’ in this case, SL, mean ‘not used anymore’ or ‘out-of-date’?

            If it’s the former, then does that mean a compiler loses points with you as all words should be current?

            If it’s the latter, does that mean that rake, libertine and Lothario are also, in your eyes, a no-no?

            I’ll assume that not apologising to me as well as Chris was an oversight.

            1. G. (I hope SL won’t mind me having a go at answering this?). SL mentioned that the word is “dated” and, to be fair, it is (in the BRB it is described as “old”). But I’m not sure if he was implying that it is at all invalid for use in a clue/answer? As far as I know, if a word is listed in the main dictionaries (especially the BRB) then it’s OK, even if it is designated as old, dated, archaic, informal, slang, etc. But that is for others (experts) to confirm. I’m pretty sure that the word in question, and the other 3 synonyms you cite, are all perfectly OK. Not sure if that helps at all.

            2. Hello, Gordon. I agree with Jose that convention says anything in the BRB (or Collins or the ODE) is allowed as an answer or as a wordplay ingredient. Since words that have fallen out of use may not come readily to mind, setters will sometimes hint at that in the wordplay. For the same reason hinters here may describe a required word as dated, dialect, archaic, slang, etc. if they feel that solvers would appreciate that extra guidance. It’s not intended as a criticism of the setter.

            3. Gordon, I meant exactly what I said, that it’s “a bit dated” or has fallen out of use. Of course the setter is allowed to use obsolete terms, and the clue itself was very clever, but I have a right to (politely) comment on the things I find appealing or not so appealing about a puzzle, that’s what the blog is for.
              I apologise however for my original oversight.

              1. That’s great, SL, You have answered the question.

                One of the reasons for asking the question was that I have seen rake, libertine and Lothario as answers before and no one has mentioned anything.

                I suppose people’s reactions to words that aren’t in common parlance are like those who twitch at obscure words that were never in everyday use, even in their pomp!

                Obscure….not used anymore…..arcane….it all works for me but, of course, not for others.

                Thanks again

            4. Here I go, jumping in feet first again, but I can’t help it! Give over, Gordon. You have a valid question, but why the aggression? Jose and SL have given their views with perfect civility, you would do well to follow suit.

              1. I’m with you Merusa , it came across that way to me but I wasn’t going to comment until I saw your post. Perhaps it wasn’t meant that way🤷‍♂️.

  4. Great fun for a breezy morning in Shropshire. 8d was my pick of the terrific clues on offer, with a nod to the illustration at 6d, which reminded me of our old border collie who would lie in wait while I raked the leaves into a neat pile before hurtling into the middle to spread them everywhere (although he did not use a swing to gain momentum).

    Thanks very much to our setter and Mr K.

  5. A very pleasant solve.

    Thanks to the setter and to Mr K for the hints and particularly the illustrations.

    Barra just starting here in Hampshire.

  6. A steady solve today, done before and after a dental appointment. I did it in quarters NW SE SW and slowed in the final stretch in the NE. I think it wasn’t any more difficult than the others, just that once I got an “in” I stayed there.
    I have usually met 14a in the plural rather than the singular. 3d and 13d were at the top of my list.
    Thanks to setter and Mr K
    Weather report from deepest Yorkshire – Grey and cold, Breeze strengthening, time to hunker down

    1. Veteran American rock band Styx had a great album by the name of 14a (plural) John, don’t know whether you’ve heard it?

  7. Hurrah!
    My * or less time made up for my Monday’s **** time.
    Enjoyable throughout.
    Last in 22a, clever clue.
    Many thanks to the setter and to Mr.K

  8. Most enjoyable coffee-break puzzle – was finding this morning’s challenge considerably stiffer than expected until I realised I had started on the wrong side of my print-out, but at least I’ve made a good first stab at the Toughie.

    Thought this Tuesday backpager was pretty gentle, with some cracking clues, smooth surfaces, lovely constructions and a generous dollop of anagrams. No specialist ‘G’K required, just a bit of lateral thinking with some of the synonyms. 10a my COTD, with HMs to 14a, 26a, 6d and 17d.

    1.5* / 3.5*

    Many thanks to Setter and to Mr K.

  9. Typically Tuesday – **/****.

    Candidates for favourite – 1a, 1d, and 6d – and the winner is 6d.

    Thanks to the setter and Mr K.

  10. Lovely crossword – as has been mentioned, no knowledge of the Byzantine–Sasanian War of 602–628 (etc) required.

    Now to put on about ten additional layers to go out hunting the bin from whatever location it has been abandoned in by the dustmen.

    Today’s crossword soundtrack: Paul Weller – Fat Pop, Volume One

    Thanks to the setter and The Celebrated Mr K

    1. Hello, Terence. I had to wonder if our Tuesday setter was inspired by your Tuesday comments when they put 13d into the grid.

  11. 2*/3.5*. Very nice – light and good fun, with 10a, 8d & 17d on my podium.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Mr K.

  12. Most enjoyable puzzle, with lovely surfaces and quite amusing. I laughed at 3d, grinned at 16d, and chuckled at 1a. But the entire puzzle hit crackerjack proportions for me. I have fond memories of my several trips to 8d, so that’s my COTD. Thanks to Mr K and to today’s setter. ** / ****

    1. Just shows, one man’s “ghastly” is another’s “fond memory”. As cities go it seemed pretty OK to me too.

  13. Enjoyable solve with no hassle but a slightly slower pace in the NE mainly because I was slow in the uptake with 8d. 27a perhaps ‘who bark’ rather than “barking” or would that be too obvious? Fav was 1d. Thank you one of the 27a and MrK.

  14. Spot on for a Tuesday. Fairly clued no obscure GK and a couple that raised a smile.
    1d was my COTD, with 16d R/U.
    Thank you Setter and Mr K. “Kittens” seem to be “cats” now.]

      1. I, too, noted how they’ve grown. I’m jealous, going from seven kitties down to only one is so sad. Oh, well.

  15. It’s the tiddly ones that get me … 6d took ages! Otherwise A smooth puzzle thank you setter and MrK

  16. Just me struggling today? Think I must just be in the wrong gear, nobody else was held up by 21a, 1d, 6d, 16d
    Thank you Mr K and I’ll try to restore my self-respect tomorrow

    1. Hello, GD. I’m sure that you are not alone in feeling like that. The tens of commenters posting here represent only a tiny faction of the thousands of readers of each blog. In addition, the early posters here are always going to be those who found the day’s puzzle straightforward.

      1. Depends what time we start. If I’m not having a good night that could be shortly after midnight!

  17. A very pleasant & gentle puzzle. 8d was my pick of the bunch.
    Thanks to the setter & Mr K – nice pics.

  18. Easiest (or at least quickest) for a while for me…..favourite was 10a, also last in – clever clue with lateral thinking required! Otherwise, all good clean fun, so to speak….

  19. I thought I had finished but got 6d wrong despite parsing as suggested. Thanks to Mr K and today’s setter.

  20. My last one in and top favourite was 3d which needed all the checkers. No real hold ups. For some reason I worked anti-clockwise from the SW. other favourites 5 14 22 and 26a and 1 8 and 17d. I was quick to spot 6d as a synonym. Having checked with BRB I find 16d is a good synonym although I always associate with allegiance to the Crown. Thanks to setter and Mr K. Always enjoy hints and illustrations after solving. Happily I had no problem with 12a once I had the last letter. Otherwise, I might have found the illustration confusing.

    1. Hello, Wanda. Since quite a few readers don’t want pictures that reveal the answer at a glance, these days my illustrations tend to either represent the surface reading or provide another route to the answer. I also try to find pics that will amuse. Most are not straightforward depictions of the answer.

  21. Had a bit of a moment with the synonym used in 23d and it seemed odd to see14a used in the singular – Captain Flint wouldn’t approve!
    Fine elsewhere and podium places went to 10a&17d.

    Thanks to our setter and to Mr K – those kittens have really grown but it’s nice to see that they are still the best of friends.

    1. Hi, Jane. I also pondered the 23d definition. It is given as an equivalence in the Chambers Crossword Dictionary, but I was still expecting some discussion of it today.

      You’re right about the cats – the kitten stage did not last long. Great fun though to see them developing into proper cats.

  22. Needed the hint for 10a, I never remember the other flower, and 4d. Otherwise no real problems. An enjoyable puzzle for us lesser mortals. 5a and 8d are suitably connected. Thanks to all.

  23. Lovely Jubbly. Stars for 10,11a and 6,13d and favourite is 10a. What a swizz to take the cellophane off one’s lollipop only to find no face to lick! I spent the morning with an Arts Society lecture on Dickensian Christmas whilst George had a tour of the new Cambridge Mosque. My book group lunch has been cancelled as some of the members feel vulnerable, we were going to discuss The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell, creepy stuff. Many thanks to Setter and Mr K.

  24. A very enjoyable exercise this morning. **/**** Favourite 8d. I don’t recall ever having a proper tour of this city, mostly it was straight onto the Santander ferry. Thanks to all.

  25. Normal Tuesday offering today 2*/4* for me.
    Candidates for favourite today include 1a, 12a, 1d, 8d & 24d – and the winner is 12a with 8d a close runner up.
    1a made me smile as did 4d

    Thanks to the setter and Mr K.

  26. That was a pleasant surprise to accompany breakfast this beautiful morning in South Florida. Solved steadily with few hold ups, no deep dives into GK needed. COTD for me was 19d which came with a chuckle, and last in was 17d. Thanks to setter (DT, please more like this), and to Mr K.

  27. Nice crossword 😃 ***/*** Favourites 1, 6 & 8 down. Thanks to Mr K and to the almost 27a 😉

  28. Thoroughly enjoyed this!
    Nice canter through a pleasantly tricky, but very solvable, puzzle – many thanks to our compiler and, of course, to Mr K for the blog, hints & pics 👍

  29. Lovely puzzle today, thank you. Super cat pictures too. Have even finished the Toughie today!

  30. Light and pleasant. Haven’t got time to read all the comments. Favourite was 10a. Thanks to the setter and Mr. K.

  31. I loved it all, tailored for my level and much enjoyed. I needed help with 3d, I don’t know why, my last one and was totally at sea, even with multiple checkers. Fave was 1a I think, too much choice here, 16d also appealed. I also solved the pun!
    Thank you setter, come back soon, and thanks to Mr. K for hints and kitty pics, always look forward to those.

  32. Very enjoyable puzzle, thanks to Mr K for the reminder for 6d, had forgotten that word. Returning after taking several years catching up on past puzzles due to a(n) hiatus. This site is where we learnt the art of solving cryptic puzzles some 12 or more years ago, and are grateful to the hinters for their help, and to the setters for the challenges.

    1. Welcome to the blog. And thanks for the thanks – we hinters all appreciate hearing that the site and its blogs are helpful.

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