DT 29858 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29858

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29858

Hints and tips by Mr K

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BD Rating  -  Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

Hello, everyone, and welcome. Today we have an enjoyable puzzle pitched at just the right level for a Tuesday. 

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. Pictures may not illustrate the answer. Clicking on a picture will enlarge it or display a bonus illustration and a hover (computer) or long press (mobile) might provide more information. Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.



1a    Shorten a game (7)
ABRIDGE:  A from the clue with a card game 

5a    Coming right after a competitor (7)
ARRIVAL:  The single letter for right comes after A from the clue, and that’s all followed by another word for competitor 

9a    Tutor group encapsulating university place of debate (5)
FORUM:  A tutor group at school containing (encapsulating) the single letter for university 

10a   Laws from grand old Democrat producing unavoidable catastrophes (4,2,3)
ACTS OF GOD:  Link together a synonym of laws, another way to say "from", and abbreviations for grand, old, and Democrat 

11a   Great hotel plastered completely (10)
ALTOGETHER:  An anagram (plastered, as in drunk) of GREAT HOTEL 

12a   Cutting remark from hairdresser with no sign of hesitation (4)
BARB:  A male hairdresser minus a short word of hesitation (with no sign of hesitation) 

14a   Pavlova perhaps bland mixed with treacle (6-6)
BALLET-DANCER:  An anagram ( … mixed with … ) of BLAND TREACLE. Perhaps indicates that the definition is by example 

18a   Force-fed Roth novel in private (3,3,6)
OFF THE RECORD:  An anagram (novel) of FORCE FED ROTH 

A cat going on the record

21a   Arrogant American swallowing French wine? On the contrary (4)
VAIN:  Inverting the wordplay (on the contrary) we want the French word for wine containing (swallowing) an abbreviation for American 

22a   Lack of ability in role (10)
INCAPACITY:  IN from the clue with role or position. The video below does not illustrate the clue. On the contrary, it shows amazing ability, along with unbridled joy, as Foo Fighters leader Dave Grohl and the band make fearless 11 year old Nandi Bushell's dreams come true. The feelgood background to this collaboration is described here

25a   Theme of title I'm adapting (9)
LEITMOTIF:  An anagram (adapting) of OF TITLE I’M

26a   Run scored in cricket  over (5)
EXTRA:  A run scored in cricket because the fielding side messed up also means over or spare 

27a   Get greater mixture of letters in general (7)
ENLARGE:  An anagram (mixture of letters in) GENERAL 

28a   The French yell, 'Attack!' (4,3)
LASH OUT:  The in French with a synonym of yell 



1d    Half of freaky, odd characters leaving fight (6)
AFFRAY:  The even letters ( … odd characters leaving) of HALF OF FREAKY 

2d    Fish circling river -- it's not a common thing (6)
RARITY:  A flatish fish containing (circling) both the map abbreviation for river and IT from the clue 

3d    Gary hoped desperately to welcome maiden studying this? (10)
DEMOGRAPHY:  The wordplay is an anagram (desperately) of GARY HOPED containing (to welcome) the cricket abbreviation for maiden. Since the answer describes, loosely, the study of every Tom, Dick, and Gary, the entire clue could serve as the definition

 The answer often involves statistics

4d    Behave after former lover's demand (5)
EXACT:  Behave or perform comes after a usual former lover 

5d    Real gold in that case -- it's up on top of cabinet (9)
AUTHENTIC:  Concatenate the chemical symbol for gold, a word meaning “in that case”, the reversal (… ‘s up, in a down clue) of IT from the clue, and the first (top) letter of CABINET 

6d    Cross Germany with little jumper on (4)
ROOD:  The IVR code for Germany is preceded by the short name for an Australian jumping animal (with little jumper on, in a down clue)

7d    Virginia with cold year following relative's homelessness (8)
VAGRANCY:  Link together the abbreviation for the state of Virginia, a relative older than you, the single letter for cold, and the single letter for year 

8d    Hen possibly spotted insect (8)
LADYBIRD:  Hen could define by example (possibly) the answer split (4,4) 

13d   Lear's ready to change verse recited by them? (3,7)
LAY READERS:  An anagram (to change) of LEAR’S READY 

15d   Picked up in market ten Grolsch glasses (9)
LORGNETTE:  The answer is hidden reversed in (picked up in, in a down clue) the remainder of the clue 

16d   Have a fit prisoner, very large, cutting exercise (8)
CONVULSE:  Chain together a usual prisoner, the single letter for very, and the clothing abbreviation for large contained by (cutting) exercise or employ 

17d   Administrator on holiday with one left supporting spies (8)
OFFICIAL:  Assemble on holiday or not at work, the Roman one, an organization of spies, and the single letter for left 

19d   Son, in part, runs ordinary restaurant (6),
BISTRO:  The genealogical abbreviation for son is inserted in part or piece, and that’s all followed by the cricket abbreviation for runs and the single letter for ordinary 

20d   Dictator's heartless attempt to deliver a tirade (6)
TYRANT:  An attempt minus its middle letter (heartless) is followed by “deliver a tirade” 

23d   Extremely bad article with entire ending missing (5)
AWFUL:  Cement together a grammatical article, the single letter for with, and all but the last letter (… ending missing) of entire or complete 

24d   A Muslim independent ruler, primarily (4)
AMIR:  The wordplay tells us to combine the primary letters of the first four words of the clue. The entire clue also serves as the definition 


Thanks to today’s setter. Top clue for me was 5d. Which clues did you like best?

The Quick Crossword pun:  CHA + PIN + BORED = CHOPPING BOARD

51 comments on “DT 29858

  1. 1*/3*. A light, fun puzzle to start the day, with a light, fun Chalicea Toughie to follow.

    I’ll go along with Mr K’s choice of 5d as favourite.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Mr K.

  2. A very straight-forward offering for a Tuesday but very enjoyable. Only held up for afew minutes by 1 dn.

    Thanks to setter and Mr K

  3. I e joyed thispuzzle (2.5*/4*). It was just challening enough and hadsome super anagrams, which I enjoy. I had two Cs OTD, the reverse lueker at 5d and the 25a anagram. Many thanks to the compiler and to Mr K for the hints and the kitten on the record turntable

  4. A couple of slight head scratchers in the South almost took me into 2* in this enjoyable exercise, felt it had a much fresher feel than yesterday.
    I thought the reverse lurker at 15d was terrific, liked 12a as I’ve just been, but my top three are 28a plus 5&8d. Good stuff.
    Many thanks to the setter and Mr K for the fun.

  5. Absolutely loved the video of Nandi Bushell (but NY Times requires payment to view the whole article). The crossword? Plain sailing in the top half but the bottom half was a different matter 11a! Most enjoyable all the same. Thank yous to Mr K for the entertainment and to the compiler whomever they may be.

  6. Mr K,

    As ever, great pictures in the blog. Thank you. The Nandi Bushell story is brilliant. The look on her face during the video is wonderful. I think we’re going to hear more about her

    Google her and you’ll find a BBC video that’s free.

  7. An error in the SW held me up today and I needed to check a couple of definitions. 28a was my favourite. Thanks to Mr K and today’s compiler.

  8. A fairly quick run through this morning, with some delightful clues along the way. I can’t say any particular clue jumped out as a favourite, but the reverse lurker was clever.

    Thanks to our setter and Mr K.

  9. Typically Tuesday, almost Mondayish, and what RD said about the Floughie Toughie – 1.5*/3.5*

    Favourite – a toss-up between 5a and 10a and the winner is 5a.

    Thanks to the setter and Mr K.

  10. I think I’m in a personal-best run of 9 unaided finishes! After seeing the number of anagrams today, I thought I might have to resort to electrons, but no, a cup of tea and breakfast was all that was required, and I was over the line in **/*** time. It would have been a half less, but the parsing took a while for a few, especially 16d.

    Many thanks to the setter and Mr K.

  11. Felt like something of an anagram-fest this morning but that made for a fairly rapid solve so no complaints.
    Favourite here was 28a with a thumbs down for the Quickie pun.

    Thanks to our setter and to Mr K for the review. That young lady may well be talented but I’m very glad she doesn’t practise in my house!

  12. Another delightful puzzle with just the right amount of brainwork needed but nothing too obscure. I had stars by quite a number of clues. 26a had a great surface and I thought the anagram indicator at 27a very original. My COTD is the “Lego” 17d simply because I thought it a neat clue.

    Many thanks to our Tuesday setter whoever he or she may be and thanks, as ever, to Mr. K. for the hints and pusskits.

  13. Fun and delightful crossword. Made a very enjoyable diversion on a dull day.
    I did have to look up how to spell 15d and can’t remember ever coming across 25a before.
    My favourite was 8d mainly because I loved the picture on the blog (I do miss my chickens, not suitable in present house).
    Thx to all esp the setter

    1. I was reaching for the dictionary myself Brian, but when I saw the wordplay indicated a reverse lurker, I decided to settle on the order in the clue.

    2. I think maybe a good example is the sawing double bass music in Jaws whenever a shark attack is imminent.

  14. Another gentle & pleasant offering completed at a canter in 1.5* time. Today’s podium for me the already nominated 15d reverse lurker, 28a & 8d. For some reason the Toughie isn’t in the digital paper today so I hope that’s just a one off omission.
    Thanks to the setter & Mr K
    Ps very impressed with Randox as a PCR test provider. Had ordered the kit ready to complete when I got back home & then took it to a drop box not too far away & had the negative result emailed later that day. By no means the most expensive either.

  15. Typical Tuesday for me. Fairly straightforward but nicely constructed.
    3d gets my COTD.
    Thanks to setter & Mr K for the usual entertaining review.
    After earlier comments I looked forward to trying the Toughie only to find my e-version doesn’t have it.Please don’t say I should get the dead tree version as it doesn’t get up here until mid-morning then I have a 10 mile round trip to get it.

      1. H,
        They keep asking me if I want to subscribe to the puzzle site. Surely it isn’t too hard to check “everything is in the bag”?

        1. You should be able to see the Toughie. I’m can see it. You’ll have to kick up a fuss with the DT.

    1. It’s not on my app either (I subscribe to the newspaper not the puzzle). I’ll be very put out if this isn’t a one off oversight.

  16. Enjoyed a fun run through this. SE lagged behind the rest. 6d abbreviation always rankles. Bunged in 15d as I missed the reverse lurker. Joint Favs 28a and 23d. In contrast to Jane I liked Quickie pun! Thank you Messrs. Ron and K.

  17. Nice straightforward crossword Oh! How I 🥰 them **/*** Favourites 6 & 8 down 😃 Thanks to Mr K and to the Compiler

  18. Everyone seems to agree that this was very user friendly. I have to confess I missed the reverse lurker in 15d as I was trying to make an anagram out of ‘ten Grolsch’ I did a bung in and only then saw the lurker. Very clever. I also thought 12a very neat and concise and 27a. Thanks Mr Setter and also MrK with the delightful 🐈 pictures.

  19. Gentle and enjoyable. Favourites: 5d, 28a, and 25a (because it reminds me of the many hours spent listening to Wagner’s Ring Cycle and hunting for each 25a…and finding many of them). Wonderful reverse lurker too. The lovely Toughie by Chalicea today has one of my favourite 12-letter words, and it (the puzzle) was a joy to solve. Thanks to Mr K, especially for the balletic cat, and to today’s setter.

    1. Very beautiful, DG. My indoor jungle needs a sweetheart like that among my Spanish Bayonets and Bamboo.

    2. Lovely Daisy, Mama Bee has an Anthurium that is of a similar age and it is doing well. it is beginning to look a bit potbound but if it gets re-potted and puts on another growth spurt it might have to go outside.

  20. Found this puzzle a little tricky in spots. Solved top first then the bottom half, but the SE was troublesome and last to be completed. 2.5*/*** for me today.
    Clues for favourites include 1a, 12a, 28a, 8d & 15d with winner 28a that also made me groan as the PDM hit me. Good one.
    Lots to like in this one, including for me a new word in 25a that had to be what it was.
    Live and learn.
    12a was good too. I liked this puzzle

    Thanks to setter and Mr K

    1. Just finished the Toughie from today and it was easier then the cryptic for me today. Worth a shot if you haven’t done it

  21. As said above, the Toughie is a lovely user friendly puzzle. This was almost as good. The reverse lurker in 15d is tricky in the dead tree version here as it is spread over 2 lines.No real favourite but 14a is a clever anagram so my COTD.

  22. Enjoyable while it lasted, a nice straightforward Tuesday puzzle. Ticksto 28a, 7d, and 8d; COTD to 15d, a splendid lurker.

    1.5* / 3*

    Thank you to the setter and to MrK

  23. Really enjoyed this and have managed most of the Toughie as well. Sadly my Water Rail hasn’t appeared today but I hope he will be back tomorrow. It may be because it is much warmer. He was a regular whenever it snowed. Don’t worry Jane, Water Rail chicks are far more important than tadpoles. Thanks to the setter and Mr K for the pictures.

  24. A surprising treat for a Tuesday, and almost a DIY. 10a went in mentally as I was carrying it back from the printer. Had completely forgotten 25a so couldn’t make head nor tail of the anagram. Just my cup of tea today, so thanks to setter and Mr K for the adorable pictures. Looking forward to having a stab at the Chalicea Toughie later.

  25. Wotta treat this was, I loved it all, and the best part is that I solved it all on my ownsome (thanks Kath for that word), not even a hint of e-help. I only needed a hint to unravel 22a. I cannot choose a fave, though 28a did amuse, too many choices here. I might even try the Toughie later, not sure, I’m just not a Toughie type, tiny brain might rebel.
    Thanks to whomsoever set this, you’re a star. Thanks, too, Mr. K, your pics today are the best, my cup runneth over!

    1. Did you know that I always check back in after I’ve posted my comment to see if you’ve done so? I know that you and Chalicea hit it off and I think that you’d enjoy her Toughie today.

      1. Yes, indeed, I love Chalicea. I’ve printed it off and started, alas, I then got caught up in boring things like updating automatic payments after a change of my credit card. I got hacked and someone in Kentucky ordered a DeWalt planer, it happened so quickly! I can’t wait to get back to the puzzle.

  26. Great puzzle and great blog. Thanks to the setter and Mr K.
    Lots of ticks and 15d 28a and 25a can fight it out for the top step of my podium.
    I read the background of the talented drummer a while ago and she has a youtube channel that shows even more of her talents.
    rattled through this and the toughie in one sitting and they are both worthy of praise.
    A good day at the cruciverbalist coalface today.

  27. I really enjoyed this, everything was well and fairly clued. You can’t ask more than that. I had come across 25a and 15d in other crosswords. Favourite was 8d. Thanks to the setter and Mr. K.

  28. Very satisfying and enjoyable.
    Loved 5d, very clever.
    Just short of ** and ***** for pleasure.
    Many thanks to the setter and to Mr.K.

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