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DT 29850

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29850

A full review by Rahmat Ali

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This puzzle was published on 4th Dec 2021

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Greetings from Kolkata. A really lovely Saturday puzzle from Chalicea that I enjoyed solving and thereafter writing a review of the same for your kind perusal and valuable feedback.

The answer to the clue of 14d reminded me of a question: By which vehicle can an accident leading to death be tagged as the most tragic? This was my own question that I have been asking persons known to me from time to time over a period of more than three decades. There has been a long list of answers: aeroplane, helicopter, ship, boat, train, truck, lorry, car, van, scooter and even cycle among many others. The answer to my ‘why’ brought forth many views, too. If one opined that it could be too painful and tragic if a person was charred to death after the plane had caught fire or exploded in mid-air, another expressed that moments leading to death from suffocation by drowning after a ship had sunk or a boat capsized could be too excruciating and thus tragic. Again, if one commented that death from a train accident mostly led to severe mutilation of bodies that would be too horrific and therefore tragic, another stated that if a person suffered a heart attack after being hit by a cycle and subsequently died, that would be, indeed, most tragic. But nobody till date could tell me the answer that I myself had to my very question. My answer is ambulance. An ambulance is a medically-equipped vehicle that is meant for saving lives by transporting patients to treatment facilities, such as hospitals. But if the same ambulance which is carrying a patient hits a healthy person on its way leading to his or her death, I feel that such a death for which an ambulance is responsible would be the most tragic one. Hence, the driver of an ambulance must not only be fast on the one hand so as to reach his patient to the hospital at the earliest possible time which is his duty, he must also be on the qui vive, driving with alert and caution and, of course, ambulance to drive with patience as reported in the clue of 14d is for the sake of crossword though, ambulance to drive with patience in real life will usher in the prevention of the most tragic death where vehicle is considered, reckoned by me as death by an ambulance.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Top team at a disadvantage, in total confusion (6-4)
UPSIDE DOWN: A charade of UP (top) as towards a higher place or position, SIDE (team) as a person or group opposing another or others in a game, contest or debate and DOWN (at a disadvantage) as losing or in an unfavourable position or situation, leading to the definition of an adverb meaning in or into complete disorder or confusion

6a    Questions idiot about king (4)
ASKS: ASS (idiot) as a colloquial term for a dull, stupid fellow or a fool is placed around (about) K (king) as the abbreviation for king in chess notation, arriving at the definition of a verb meaning says something in order to obtain an answer or some information

9a    Unfinished in short competition, allowed time finally (10)
INCOMPLETE: IN from the clue, COMP (short competition) as an informal or short term for competition, LET (allowed) as permitted or not prevented or forbidden and the last or final letter (finally) of [TIM]E, taking to the definition of an adjective meaning not full or finished

10a    Couch found in contents of attic (4)
SOFA: Part of or hidden inside (found in) contentS OF Attic leads to the definition of a long upholstered seat with back and arms

12a    Manner of one in workforce (4)
MIEN: I (one) as the Roman numeral for one is placed inside (in) MEN (workforce) as male members of a workforce or team, taking to the definition of a person’s appearance or manner, especially as an indication of their character or mood

13a    Awkward relatives might be able to adapt (9)
VERSATILE: An anagram (awkward) of RELATIVES leads to the definition of an adjective meaning turning easily from one thing to another or able to be adapted to many different functions or activities

15a    Commons’ terseness conceals fiendish things (8)
MONSTERS: Part of or hidden inside (conceals) comMONS TERSeness takes to the definition of things or objects of abhorrent appearance or behaviour

16a    Brief rest in rocky site in outskirts of sierra (6)
SIESTA: An anagram (rocky) of SITE is placed inside (in) edges (outskirts) or the outermost letters of S[IERR]A, arriving at the definition of an afternoon rest or nap, especially one taken during the hottest hours of the day in a hot climate

18a    After uni cut short, boy goes round old dump (6)
UNLOAD: After UN[I] is shortened (cut short) by removing its last letter, LAD (boy) as a boy or young man embraces (goes round) O (old) as the abbreviation of old, taking to the definition of a verb meaning to get rid of something unwanted

20a    Muslim with Parisian is most genial (8)
SUNNIEST: A charade of SUNNI (Muslim) as a Muslim adhering to the Sunni branch of Islam that accepts the authority of the Sunna or the traditional root of Muslim law and (with) EST (Parisian is) as the French term for ‘is’, as spoken by the people in Paris, the capital of France, arriving at the definition of an adjective in its superlative degree form meaning most cheerful or friendly

23a    Male opponents involved in a welcome contract (9)
AGREEMENT: M (male) and EN (bridge opponents) are engrossed (involved) in A from the clue and GREET (welcome) as to acknowledge upon meeting with formal, family or customary words, taking to the definition of a negotiated and typically legally binding arrangement between parties as to a course of action

24a    Curving branch of circling body of water (4)
LOOP: Moving all the way around (circling) or going back as a reversal of POOL (body of water) as a small body of still water, leading to the definition of a branch or anything that returns to the main part

26a    Ship’s propeller failing to start for those manning craft (4)
CREW: [S]CREW (ship’s propeller) as a ship’s propeller considered as acting like a screw in moving through water is unable to start (failing to start) or having the first or starting letter removed, leading to the definition of a group of people who work on and operate a ship or an aircraft

27a    Unusually impressive, allowing freedom of behaviour (10)
PERMISSIVE: An anagram (unusually) of IMPRESSIVE takes to the definition of an adjective meaning allowing or characterised by great or excessive freedom of behaviour

28a    Very good ultimately dry area’s leguminous plant (4)
SOYA: SO (very good) as expressing agreement or referring back to something previously mentioned as that being the case followed by the last or ultimate letter (ultimately) of [DR]Y and finally A (area) as the abbreviation for area, arriving at the definition of an eastern Asian papilionaceous plant

29a    Shows concerning gifts (10)
REPRESENTS: A charade of the preposition RE (concerning) as a commercial jargon used to indicate ‘with reference to’ or ‘regarding’ and PRESENTS (gifts) as things given to people as gifts takes to the definition of a verb meaning exhibits or depicts the image of or serves as a symbol for something


1d    Raised money used at first for single item (4)
UNIT: A combo of TIN (money) as a slang term for money and the first letter (at first) of U[SED] is written upwards (raised) as a reversal in the down clue, arriving at the definition of a single element, section or item

2d    Curiously notices division (7)
SECTION: An anagram (curiously) of NOTICES leads to the definition of one of the more or less distinct parts into which anything is divided or from which it is made up

3d    Gave proof of evil spirits, taunted principally and scolded (12)
DEMONSTRATED: DEMONS (evil spirits) as evil spirits or devils, followed by the principal or the topmost letter (principally) in the down clue of T[AUNTED] and RATED (scolded) as reproved or chided, leading to the definition of a verb in the past tense meaning explained or exhibited by practical means

4d    In a high degree supporting quality food shop distribution (8)
DELIVERY: VERY (in a high degree) as extremely or exceedingly preceded by or following (supporting) DELI (quality food shop) as the short form of delicatessen or a shop selling prepared foods, especially cooked meats, pâtés and unusual or foreign foods, leading to the definition of a noun meaning the action or process of taking something to a person or place

5d    Cautious about tea mostly over-diluted (6)
WATERY: WARY (cautious) as feeling or showing caution about possible dangers or problems is placed around (about) TE[A] having most of its letters (mostly), leading to the definition of an adjective meaning thin or tasteless as a result of containing too much water

7d    Accounts of southern right-wingers (7)
STORIES: S (southern) as the abbreviation for southern and TORIES (rights-wingers) as members who support or belong to the Conservative Party that is leaning to the Right, taking to the definition of reports, statements or news articles

8d    Incorporating art, working sappers produce replacement components (5,5)
SPARE PARTS: An anagram (working) of SAPPERS is taking inside (incorporating) ART from the clue, leading to the definition of parts of machine ready to replace identical parts if they become faulty

11d    Makes sense of surprising realisations (12)
RATIONALISES: An anagram (surprising) of REALISATIONS takes to the definition of a verb meaning conforms to reasons or interprets rationalistically

14d    Vehicles to drive with patience, it’s said (10)
AMBULANCES: The definition of a vehicle to take (to drive with) PATIENTS or sick or injured people to and from hospital, especially in emergencies is cryptically arrived at from its homophone reported to the audience (it’s said) as PATIENCE or the ability to wait for a long time without becoming annoyed or upset

17d    Client of copper oddly swears about cat (8)
CUSTOMER: CU (copper) as the chemical symbol for copper is followed by the odd letters (oddly) of SwEaRs placed around (about) TOM (cat) as a male cat, taking to the definition of a person who buys goods or services from a shop or business

19d    Crime racket now and then between two US cities (7)
LARCENY: The alternate letters (now and then) of RaCkEt is positioned as separating (between) LA and NY (two US cities) as the respective abbreviations of the cities Los Angeles and New York of the United States, arriving at the definition of theft of personal property with the intent of permanently depriving the owner, which, in English law, was replaced as a statutory crime by theft in 1968

21d    Endless memos stir dons’ agitation of mind (7)
EMOTION: Having no ends at both sides (endless) or having the outermost letters removed away from [M]EMO[S], [S]TI[R] and [D]ON[S], taking to the definition of a strong feeling deriving from one’s circumstances, mood or relationship with others

22d    Lop off eel’s head? That’s harsh! (6)
SEVERE: SEVER (lop off) as cut parts of is followed by the head or the topmost letter (head) of E[EL’S] in the down clue, leading to the definition of an adjective meaning stern or harsh

25d    Favourites slowly walk up (4)
PETS: STEP (slowly walk) as to walk slowly or gravely is written upwards (up) as a reversal in the down clue, leading to the definition as persons treated with special favour or affection

Some of the clues that I liked in this puzzle were 1a, 6a, 9a, 13a, 16a, 20a, 23a, 24a, 7d, 14d, 17d, 19d and 21d, with 14d being the clear winner. Thanks to Chalicea for the lovely entertainment and to BD for the encouragement. Looking forward to being here again. Have a pleasant day.


5 comments on “DT 29850

  1. Thank you Rahmat Ali. I do appreciate all the hard work that goes into your excellent and detailed reviews.

    1. Thank you once again, chalicea, for your kind words of appreciation. I feel happier and even more encouraged whenever I see such words coming from a top-notch setter like you. I always intend to make my reviews comprehensive in order to facilitate the beginners who will be able to understand more clearly from the detailed explanations.

  2. Once again a brilliant review. I must be honest I was totally adrift with this puzzle and managed about a third. My brain doesn’t seem to be functioning properly at the moment, but I am always grateful for the explanations that you give. As I’ve said before, every day is a school day. Thanks to all

    1. Once again, thank you so much, Grahame+Welch, for your appreciation. Learning is, indeed, a continuous and lifelong process for all of us.

  3. 2*/5*….
    liked 19D ” Crime racket now and then between two US cities (7) ” ….
    and 14D ” Vehicles to drive with patience, it’s said (10) “

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