DT 29868 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29868

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29868

Hints and tips by pommers

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Hola from the Vega Baja where the weather forecast is for a temperature of 24°C this afternoon!  If it happens it would be some sort of record for Christmas week.  Hope you all had an enjoyable Christmas and here’s hoping that 2022 turns out to be an improvement on 2021 – a Happy New Year to you all.

As for the crossword I’ll just repeat what I wrote last week – elegant clues, not too hard but a couple to cause some head scratching. I enjoyed it a lot and hope you did too.

As usual the ones I liked most are in blue.  The definitions are underlined in the clues and the answers are under the “click here” buttons so don’t click on them unless you really want to see the answer.  Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.

Across

7a           Love  to tell improbable lies (7)
ROMANCE: Double definition.  As a noun this word is a love affair and as a verb it means to tell improbable lies.  Hands up those who thought there might be an anagram (improbable) of LIES involved.

9a           Tutor in series ‘ER’ (7)
TRAINER:  A word for a series followed by the ER from the clue.

10a         Remove second slip (5)
STRIP:  S(econd) followed by a word for a slip or fall.

11a         See 14 Down (9)

12a         Fungal problem — mate is scheduled for treatment (5,3,7)
DUTCH ELM DISEASE:  Anagram (for treatment) of MATE IS SCHEDULED.

13a         Article condemned poetry reading (7)
RECITAL:  Anagram (condemned) of ARTICLE.

16a         Put right about ceremonial clothing (7)
REDRESS:  Two letters for about followed by some clothing.  Not sure what the word ceremonial brings to this clue. It would work perfectly well without it.

19a         Written down at home by opponents playing chess? (2,5,3,5)
IN BLACK AND WHITE:  The usual two letters for “at home” followed by the opponents in a game of chess.

23a         Agent recalled bygone artiste (9)
PERFORMER:  An agent or salesman is reversed (recalled) and followed by a word meaning bygone or ex-.

24a         Idea that initially works (5)
PLANT:  This is works as in a factory.  It’s an idea or scheme followed by a T (That initially).

25a         Race official saw red, mad about leader in Toyota (7)
STEWARD:  Anagram (mad) of SAW RED placed around (about) a  T (leader in Toyota).

26a         A dabbler, friend invested in gold and silver, ultimately (7)
AMATEUR:  Start with the chemical symbol for gold and insert (invested in) a word for a friend.  Follow that with an R (silveR ultimately).

Down

1d           Champion more coarse about South American (8)
CRUSADER:  A word meaning more coarse or rougher placed around (about) an S (South) and an A (American).

2d           Crack marksman still? (8)
SNAPSHOT:  A word for to crack or break followed by a marksman gives a still photograph.

3d           Stand below with slyboots (6)
WEASEL:  Start with a W(ith) and after it (below in a down clue) put an artist’s stand.

4d           Disagrees with V-sign being used? (6)
VARIES:  Take the V from the clue and follow with a sign of the Zodiac.

5d           Overwhelm one sister on court (8)
INUNDATE:  The letter that looks like one followed by a sister and then a word for to court or woo.

6d           Fruit: love assortment (6)
ORANGE:  O (love) followed by a word for assortment.

8d           What movement of timer could be worth (5)
MERIT:  Anagram (what movement of . . . could be) of TIMER

9d           Loud noise made by half of them below (7)
THUNDER:  TH (half of THem) followed by a word meaning below.

14d         & 11 Across A red wine in tavern and cousin began raving (8)
CABERNET SAUVIGNON: Anagram (raving) of TAVERN COUSIN BEGAN.

15d         With great enthusiasm, similar to mother and daughter (4,3)
LIKE MAD:  A word meaning similar to followed by the usual two letter mother and a D(aughter).

17d         Make little of sad theatrical production (8)
DOWNPLAY:  A word meaning sad or low followed by a theatrical production.

18d         Recognises sailors feel dazed? (3,5)
SEE STARS: Split the answer (4,4) and you’ll get a phrase meaning recognises or notices sailors.

19d         Charge made by international male model (6)
IMPOSE:  I(nternational) followed by M(ale) and the a word for to model or sit for an artist.

20d         Artist wearing an acceptable type of jacket (6)
ANORAK: The usual artist is inserted into (wearing) the AN from the clue and two letter for acceptable or not bad.

21d         Typical Bellini opera student (6)
NORMAL:  The title of a Bellini opera followed by an L for student.

22d         Marauder blowing top, up in arms (5)
IRATE:  A type of marauder found at sea without his first letter (blowing top)

There’s plenty of good stuff to choose from but my favourite is 7a with 10a and 2d on the podium.


Quick crossword puns:

Top line:           SIGHED     +     RHODES     =     SIDE ROADS

Bottom line:     FOUGHT     +     KNOCKS     =     FORT KNOX

68 comments on “DT 29868
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  1. I rarely do the DT Cryptic on any other day than a Saturday but as I realised over Christmas that my DT App lets me access the Puzzle section I did todays in bed this morning. It will take me some time to get used not to using paper and pen I think.
    A very enjoyable solve, last in was 3d and favourite was 26a.
    Seasons Greetings to all and thanks to the Setter .

      1. Can’t really explain it and it must be a case of ‘each to their own’, but I much prefer paper and pencil. It makes it more ‘real’ for me and I suppose it must be something to do with enjoying the tactile experience!

        1. I suspect that some of it could be down to an age and familiarity thing but I’m definitely sticking to paper and pen.
          Feel the same way when it comes to reading a book – tried an e-book and didn’t enjoy the experience at all!

  2. It took me a while to get going with this one. In fact, I only had one of the across clues after the first pass. Fortunately I had a few more down clues and this helped me on my way to a satisfying solve. Plenty to like and I have ticks by 19a, 23a, 4d and 18d. My COTD is 26a.

    Many thanks to Campbell for the fun and to pommers for the hints.

  3. Just right to clear the head this morning, after being unable to access the double toughie yesterday. As Pommers says, a couple of clues on a higher level than the rest of the puzzle, in the NW corner.
    Thanks to him and to the setter

        1. Don’t suppose I’ll be able 5o do it, but could I have a link to the double toughie too, please?
          Apologies if I have misinterpreted the ‘you’ve got mail’

          Thank you
          Ora Meringue

              1. Remarkably I have just discovered this double toughie on the App. Although there wasn’t a Christmas Day paper version, there was one on the App, which I didn’t realise. I’m just a paper subscriber with digital access, but not allowed on the puzzles website. Just scroll across the top til you get to puzzles, and there it is. No help if you just buy the paper on an ad hoc basis though.
                Thanks to CS for the copy though. Making slow progress!

  4. Very enjoyable with the NW just taking me into 2* time.
    I particularly liked the double definition at 7a, the smooth 23a and the clever 5d but I’ve given (joint) top spot to 3&20d for the images they conjure up (the person not the coat in the latter.)
    Many thanks to Campbell and Pommers (remember the Plant track well, off his debut album if not mistaken) for brightening up a wet Monday morning.

  5. 2*/4*. This was light and good fun. Just the job for a brain slowed down by two days of excesses.

    7a was my favourite.

    Many thanks to Campbell and to pommers.

  6. Took me a while to get started then was held up for ages by the NE corner, but I prevailed without assistance in the end.

    Thanks to the setter and to Pommers…..enjoy your sunshine!

  7. I also had a slow start which gave me a bit of a sinking feeling but perservation gradually unlocked what proved to be an elegant and enjoyable puzzle. Even learnt a new word in Slyboots!
    My favs were 18d and 14/11, the latter as it always popular in this house.
    Thx to all
    ***/****

  8. This was a real charmer for me, with such elegant and amusing clues as 7a & 3d, but my favourites have to be 2d, 18d, 26a, and 21d especially because Joan Sutherland and Marilyn Horne gave me enough operatic shivers to last a lifetime in that Bellini masterpiece, and yes they still rock. Lovely puzzle. Thanks and Happy New Year to pommers and Campbell. ** / ****

  9. It’s Monday :good: It’s Campbell :good: Although, until I found the bottom line pun in the Quickie, I had some thoughts that it might not be a Campbell at all.

    Favourite – a toss-up between 5d and 18d – and the winner is 18d.

    Thanks to Campbell and pommers.

  10. I put teacher into 9a because of the checking letters I had, until I parsed 5d, and realised the error of my ways. Serves me right. 18d was my favourite. Thank you Campbell and Pommers.

  11. Thank you Campbell for this gentle affair, which surrendered quicker than England’s top order this morning. I tripped up on 3 down, lazily bunging in a grass rather than a mustelid. Will I ever learn?
    Enjoyed the remastered Robert Plant pommers.

  12. It’s been a long time since I heard the expression ‘slyboots’ and it made me smile. I seem to remember that my dear old gran was fond of using it. It earned a place on my podium along with 24a plus 17&20d.

    Thanks to Campbell for an enjoyable start to the crossword week and to pommers for the review – enjoy your sunshine!

  13. 4 and 20d took the honours this morning from this elegantly clued gem of a puzzle. This setter invariably gets a terrific balance of humour and style into his compilations, and this was a perfect example.

    Many thanks to Campbell for this and all your Monday crosswords, and to pommers for his work over the year.

  14. Unlike orhers, I find ithardro get to geips qith Campbell puzzles. The NW proved rather inaccessible and held me up for ages (4*/1*). I had to use Dnword to break into that part of rhe puzzle in the end. 18d was the best of the clues. Thabks to campbell and Pommers.

  15. Handy to recognise Campbell to confirm which day of the week we have reached. Lovely puzzle; like pals above I took a while to crack this one, but one is always confident with Campbell that the answers may be found without recourse to specialist publications related to the Ottoman Empire.

    Ah Bellini! Few could ever reach the beauty of this wonderful performance of ‘Casta Diva’ by the extraordinary Montserrat Caballé.

    Thanks to The Mighty Campbell, and sizzling pommers.

  16. Only had a few in the top half. Bottom half flew in. The checkers helped to complete the top half in good time. No hints needed but thanks anyway. A very accessible and enjoyable crossword.

  17. Another nice puzzle following both of the two weekend fun offerings.
    Rate this 1.5*/4* today with some fun clues. For me, the NW was the last area in.
    Favourites include 19a, 2d, 3d, 5d & 18d with winner 2d by a nose over 18d … the answer from 2d proved it!

    Thanks to Campbell and pommers

  18. Like others a slow start, in SW corner then accelerated through S & N East slowing again in NW corner. Overall nearly *** time but **** entertainment.
    23a gets my COTD.
    Thank you Campbell for your consistently pleasurable offerings throughout the year and similarly pommers. Mondays wouldn’t be the same without you.

  19. A very elegant puzzle, as many have already said.
    I would also echo RD’s words that it was perfectly pitched for those who may have overindulged slightly over the last two days.
    I thought about “scrap” for 10a, but fortunately, it didn’t parse!
    7a was top of a crowded podium for me. As the present Mrs Shabbo would confirm, I know little about it, either as a noun or a verb.
    Thanks to Campbell and Pommers.

    1. Shame on you, Shabbo, your good lady deserves plenty of 7a and not of the ‘telling lies’ variety! Watch your step otherwise she may find it elsewhere………

        1. Actually Ora I suspect he’s more of a softie than he chooses to admit – just wouldn’t suit his macho rugby-playing image to tell us!

          1. Jane is correct. I am a complete softie. I was a back, not a forward in my playing days!
            We have been married for 41 years, so I think the probationary period is virtually over!

  20. 2 lovely Campbell puzzles today. Neither particularly difficult but just the job if mental alertness isn’t exactly at optimal following festive excess.
    Thanks to Campbell & Pommers

  21. Like several others, I got off to a slow start, and it didn’t feel like a Campbell for some reason. The down answers went in first, and it slowly came together, but I was thankful for the hints to finish. Thanks to Campbell and Pommers. Will definitely be having a go at 688 later.

  22. Slow start, quick middle, slow finish.
    Very enjoyable, nothing too tricky, a few parsings to check on a miserable London day.
    Thanks both.

  23. Agree with the ** rating with 4d being my last one in – thank you Campbell and Pommers for all the enjoyment you provide

  24. Lovely puzzle and blog today. Still enough of a bite and yet enough of a change of pace after the double toughie.
    Loved 21d and 19a for me
    Thanks to pommers and Campbell for this and all the other puzzles compiled and blogged. I raise a glass to you all.

  25. At 4d had ‘cavils’, which has the ‘V’ but it wouldn’t parse of course. Otherwise found the puzzle satisfying and done in a reasonable time for me. **/****

  26. I just did the 688 cryptic … in 0.5* time with 5* enjoyment. All the acrosses fell into place on first pass except 13a and 25a and the downs just fell into place with all the letters in the acrosses … try it!

    1. I just finished the 688, what a lovely puzzle. Methinks it should have been today’s cryptic rather than a prize puzzle, as I found it definitely more user-friendly. Only one unfamiliar word at 13a.

      1. I’d have been in the same boat with 13a had it not put in a fairly recent appearance. Tell me, why have I remembered that when so much else has blown away with the cobwebs………

  27. Thanks Campbell and Pommers, nothing too taxing and wonderfully clued throughout – from a great selection, 24a wins top spot for me. Thanks again!

  28. I got off to a good start but fell at 9a until parsing 4d & 5d put me straight. Early on, I was convinced that 18a was foot related! Last ones in 7a & 2d. Many thanks to Campbell for an enjoyable puzzle and to the Pommers. A satisfying way to start the week.

  29. A very enjoyable crossword, thanks to Campbell. 12 across took me back to my research days back in the 80s, a wonderful summer of climbing elm trees and trying all sorts of hare-brained ideas which, sadly, all came to nought.
    Thanks to Pommers for the hints and tips but not required today.

  30. Gradually the marbles are sorting themselves out after the seasonal indulgence (regrettably more to come!) and I enjoyed this challenge with the NW proving the most testing. Surely 13a hardly needs the “poetry”. 24a and 18d joint Favs. Always love 21d opera ‘Casta Viva” – many thanks Terence for featuring that particularly the Montserrst Caballé version. Thank you also to Campbell and Pommers.

  31. Just popping in to say Happy Christmas. I haven’t even started this puzzle yet so won’t read tips of comments just yet but I wanted to reach out to everyone with best wishes to BD, all the crew and setters and my fellow strugglers/’enthuisasts even when we just can’t work out a clue without help’ . We had snow on the ground on Christmas Day but apart from a few of those sprinkles that are so fine they look like the glitter in the bottom of the envelope when you open a card. Still pretty though.Our son from Toronto came to visit and our son and daughter-in-law from Ottawa came to visit which was lovely. We live half way between them just off the Trans-Canada Highway (Hwy 7) (South of 7 btw – only Canadians will get that joke).
    with very best wishes from Carolyn and Alan

    1. You must explain the only Canadians will get that joke remark, you can’t leave us hanging in the air like that, I won’t be able to sleep tonight .

      1. Ah I tried to explain but my reply included links which the software probably flagged. Hwy 7 is the trans Canada highway and north is considered redneck country and all the jokes that go with it. For a really good insight to Canada google Jonny Harris Still Standing. He’s a very funny and clean comedian and also a comedic actor in Murdoch Mysteries. Still Standing showcases smaller and often struggling communities across Canada, it will give you an insight into how very diverse (including UK ex-pats) and also inclusionary we are. Fellow Canadians/expats here would you agree?

  32. No real problems with this enjoyable puzzle,24 a was a bung in ,needed the hint to explain it, and 3d was new to me but I will try and slip it into a conversation some time🤪. Thanks to all.

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