DT 29880 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29880

Daily Telegraph Cryptic 29880

Hints and tips by pommers

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ****

Hola from the Vega Baja on a very pleasant morning that’s unseasonably warm. Forecast to be 22°C this afternoon but cold and rain tomorrow so I’m making the most of it while I can.

The usual splendid Monday fare today. Mostly not too hard but with a few to cause a bit of head scratching.  Maybe it’s just me having an off day but I thought the head scratchers were a bit trickier than normal so I’ve gone for *** difficulty.  I’ll be interested to see if you agree.

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.


1a           Reasonable series covering grand amusement park (10)
FAIRGROUND:  A word for reasonable or OK followed by a word for a series, of drinks perhaps, all placed around a G(rand).

6a           Rubbish mostly, in skip (4)
TRIP:  A word meaning rubbish without its last letter (mostly).  This rubbish is called callos in Spain and it’s served in a very nice tomato, bean and chorizo sauce. I usually pick out the rubbish and eat the sauce!

10a         Run off with some gorgeous tea lady (5)
STEAL:  A lurker hiding in (some) the last three words of the clue.  Here’s a gorgeous tea lady . . .

11a         Join  business partner (9)
ASSOCIATE:  Double definition.

12a         Others treated by me in old people’s place? (4,4)
REST HOME:  Anagram (treated) of OTHERS followed by the ME from the clue.

13a         Join military group close to castle (5)
UNITE:  A military group followed by an E (close to castlE).

15a         Courageous heading off each evening (7)
NIGHTLY:  A word meaning courageous or chivalrous without its first letter (heading off).

17a         Hot snack to eat is prepared (7)
TOASTIE:  Anagram (prepared) of TO EAT IS.  I think I might have one of these for lunch.

18a         Fundamentally, a skill is required to pen article (2,5)
AT HEART:  The A from the clue and the usual word for skill placed around a definite article and then split (2,5).

21a         Papers Lily forged, about perfect (7)
IDYLLIC:  Two letters for your papers followed by anagram (forged) of LILY and then a single letter for about.

23a         Follow the old lady’s doctrine (5)
DOGMA: A word for follow or trail and then your old lady as in mother.

24a         Visit Juliet? That’s right, for macaroni (8)
POPINJAY:  Nothing to do with pasta. This is macaroni with its meaning of a dandy.  Start with a phrase (3,2) meaning to visit or call on and then the letter represented by the word Juliet in the phonetic alphabet. After that you need a two letter word meaning that’s right or yes.   We’re on macaroni for dinner tonight, with Bolognese sauce, yummy.

27a         All agreed a sum union needs to get distributed (9)
UNANIMOUS:  Anagram (to get distributed) of A SUM UNION.

28a         Provides staff, English, for minister’s house (5)
MANSE:  A word meaning provides staff or crews followed by E(nglish).

29a         Border  TV channel (4)
SIDE:  Double definition.  I think the meaning of TV channel dates back to the time when there were only two of them.

30a         Unexpected ending in ‘Londonderry Air’, London music hall song (3,3,4)
ANY OLD IRON:  Anagram (unexpected) of Y (ending in LondonderrY) along with AIR and LONDON.  I thought this was a bit sneaky, especially with the LONDON also being in LONDONDERRY.



1d           Unable to move  quickly (4)
FAST:  Double definition.

2d           Undemonstrative character in charge on European mountain (7)
ICEBERG:  Two letters for in charge followed by E(uropean) and the a South African word for a mountain.

3d           See about the Italian’s jacket (5)
GILET: A word for to see or understand around (about) the Italian definite article.

4d           One making elegant speech, last in lady chapel (7)
ORATORY:  One making a speech followed by a Y (last in ladY).

5d           Just beginning, first of newcomers on slope (7)
NASCENT:  N (first of Newcomers) followed by an up-slope.

7d           One having no illusions about top celebrities (7)
REALIST: Two letter for about followed by a phrase (1,4) for celebrities.

8d           After start of picnic, mention cup of tea? (10)
PREFERENCE:  After a P (start of Picnic) you need a word meaning to mention to get your cup of tea, as in what you like.

9d           Truth of account supported by clergyman’s office (8)
ACCURACY:  Abbreviation of account followed by the office of a junior clergyman.

14d         Details of cabinet reshuffle? (3,3,4)
INS AND OUTS:  The answer is a sort of cryptic description of ministers during a cabinet reshuffle.  The phrase also means details.

16d         One inside thanks girl for liqueur (3,5)
TIA MARIA: The letter that looks like number one inside an abbreviation of thanks followed by a girl’s name.

19d         Hollow-cheeked witch, nuisance, turned up (7)
HAGGARD:  Another word for a witch or crone followed by a reversal (turned up in a down clue) of a word for a nuisance or pest.

20d         Printing error involving husband working in violent windstorm (7)
TYPHOON: A term for a printing error placed around (involving) an H(usband) followed by a word meaning working or operating.  There was one of these in the Philippines quite recently.

21d         I’m finished with ordinary painting technique (7)
IMPASTO:  The IM from the clue followed by a word for finished or over and the an O(rdinary).

22d         Student‘s large money-spinner? (7)
LEARNER: L(arge) followed by a slang term for a money-spinner.

25d         Wayfarer with small number on loco (5)
NOMAD:  Abbreviation of the word number followed by a word meaning loco or insane.

26d         Study occupied by a college administrator (4)
DEAN:  One of the usual studies around (occupied by) the A from the clue.

Quite a lot of blue today but favourite was 14d with 10a and 7d on the podium.

Quick crossword puns:

Top line:        WEIGH     +     FURZE     =     WAFERS

Bottom line:    MARRY     +     THYME     =     MARITIME

I can’t spot a third pun today but I’m sure someone will tell me if there is one.

98 comments on “DT 29880

  1. All went swimmingly well until I slightly foundered in the SW corner with 14d which nudged me into ** time. I thought 29a rather good and 18a well constructed. I think my COTD was 14d though – elusive but obvious once seen. With thanks to pommers and the setter for this *** fun offering.

  2. Pretty much spot on for Monday morning, just stretching into the second cup of tea.
    I liked several including 24a plus 14&22d with top spot going to 8d. Good stuff.
    Many thanks to Campbell and Pommers, my kind of tea lady!…

    Re 25d I know John Bee at least will enjoy this, hope others do too.

  3. I am not usually very good at Monday crosswords but this one went in quite quickly (for me). A bit of head scratching for the parsings of 1a, 29a and 30a but I eventually came up with the same answers as Pommers.

    Thanks to the setter and to Pommers.

  4. Thank you Pommers for putting me out of my misery re trying to fathom 29a. Really enjoyed this, thanks Campbell!

  5. Our Monday setter on fine form this morning with some very elegant, concise clueing. I particularly liked 14d, with 8d and 24a completing my podium.

    Many thanks to Campbell for an enjoyable and entertaining puzzle, and to pommers.

  6. I thought it was a bit trickier than usual too, Pommers. Strangely, I found it more enjoyable than the average Monday puzzle, although it took me a while to get into it and there were lots of lightly pencilled in clues with question marks next to them for a while (3*/5*. My favourites were 4d, the 20a music hall song and, COTD, 24a. I first became aware of the alternative meaning of that type of pasta, after reading Georgette Heyer’s Regency novels as a teenager. Amazing what you ccan find in the fluff and dust at the back of your brain. Thanks to Pommers for rhe hints and to our Monday master of misdirection, the compiler.

      1. Oh dear, I had given the opera in 10a the wrong German gender hence making my life difficult in 2d.

    1. 1 across isn’t I before E which is the only way I can envisage a problem (And I think your spelling would be correct)

        1. It had to be an error somewhere. I believe that doing the quickie puzzle every day sharpens up the ability to solve cryptics from definitions. A short diversion and well worth the effort

  7. Just a mild exercise for the grey matter but nothing too inhibiting and plenty of fun to be had. West was friendliest. 29a bung-in still puzzles a bit. Fav was 8d. Thank you Campbell (I presume) and pommers.

  8. I managed 3/4 of this in a pre-coffee burst but the NE held out to post-coffee. If I had had a nicecupoftea I maybe would have cottoned on to 8d a bit sooner but when the PD’ed the rest flowed smoothly.
    Loads to like 8d for me but lots of other contenders.
    Thanks to Pommers andJay

    1. oops I of course meant Campbell. and I agree with Robert 24a is a gem and brought to mind Jimmy Cagney sticking the feather in his cap and calling it macaroni.

  9. What a splendid puzzle! 24a leapt out at me, cracked me up, and ran away with the Gold. Besides, it’s one of my favourite words. There’s a crispness and a freshness today even more engaging than the usual fine Monday fare, especially with 30a, 8d, & 14d. Had to guess at 29a since I have almost no knowledge of British TV. Thanks to pommers (many thanks for the ‘Maria’!) and to Campbell. ** / ****

    1. In the fifties there were only two TV channels, so we would say “what’s on the other side?”.
      Enjoyable puzzle, thanks to setter and Pommers.

  10. I’ll join YS & SL in the 24a plus 8&14d podium nomination committee with 30a narrowly missing out. Off to the bonus cryptic & will be more than happy if it’s as good as this one.
    Thanks to Campbell & Pommers

    1. Excellent bonus cryptic, I thought, but this time the regular one has it beat. In reply to your query last night, No, I haven’t yet seen The Power of the Dog, but I’ve been reading about it and the critics have been swooning over it. I see that it won the Golden Globes last night.

  11. Just right for a Monday morning. Campbell is so consistent there is not much more to say. Thanks to Campbell and pommers.

  12. My COTD has to be 24a. If it wasn’t a penguin then it had to be one of Georgette Hever’s dandies. Yes I, too was a fan as a teenager and I’ve found her very useful. Popinjay….a lovely word!

      1. She absolutely was. Her historical references were spot on. (The bad grammar in the first sentence is deliberate for effect) I used to love her books and also those of Baroness Orczy.

        1. Her book,v”An Infamous Army”, gave a brilliant account of the background to the Battle of Waterloo and the skirm8shes at Quatre Bras and Ligny, not to mebtion the Duchess of Richmond’s Ball, which many of Wellington’s officers attended hoyrs before the fighting.

  13. 22°C, pommers? It feels closer to 22°F here at the moment!

    2*/4*. All the usual light Monday fun, so much so that I won’t mention 16d. A first for me today was an unindicated South Africanism in 2d!

    My pick of the bunch were 10a, 24a, 30a, 8d & 14d.

    Many thanks to Campbell and to pommers.

    1. I think the forecast might turn out to be right. About half an hour ago I had to lose the pullover as I was getting a tad warm. Still 13°C and steady rain all day tomorrow.

  14. Straightforward but most enjoyable start to the puzzle week. Agree with the thought that 30A was, perhaps, a little sneaky. Favourite however, like some other reviewers, was the excellent 8D. Thanks to setter. 2*4* today for me

  15. It’s Monday :good: It’s Campbell :good: Although he does seem to have upped the ante a bit this week, especially with some obscurities (for me) in the on-line weekly prize puzzle, and I did have Hmms against 24a and 29a – **/****.

    Candidates for favourite – 23a, 7d, and 9d – and the winner is 23a.

    Thanks to Campbell and pommers.

    1. Did you get the synonym for lacking in taste at 10d in the bonus cryptic? I was reduced to combing through the BRB.

      1. I got the sea goddess ok ( I have just been reading S Fry’s books on Greek myths and legends)
        but the unindicated North American pudding was way beyond me and had to resort to an investigoogle. This puzzle was obviously the same hand as the inside backpager as tripe made a (complete) reappearance here.

      2. Good old 10d, one of my favourite Dixie desserts, and Dinah Shore had a huge hit back when I was a youngster: “Shoo-fly Pie and Apple 10d…Your tummy says ‘howdy’…I never get enough of that wonderful stuff.” My Mama made the best in town, too.

        1. It’s such a great sounding dish that I doubt I’ll forget it & certainly won’t now that I’ve listened to Dinah Shore. Does it beat a good crumble though ?

        2. Had to look at recipes for this dessert.
          I understand measures such as cup, teaspoon or tablespoon, but what does a stick of butter represents?

            1. Thanks Merusa,
              That makes sense as I need a stick and a tablespoon of cold butter in the recipe.

        3. looks delish – quite like an Eaves pudding but if I can get some nice tasty apples I will give it a go.

  16. Thanks pommers and Campbell, very enjoyable. My favourites amongst many super clues were 7d and 8d.

  17. I was quite relieved when the TV channel turned out to be something I actually knew about! Far too many choices these days and I don’t envy families having to reach agreement about what to watch.
    My top picks were bunched together in the NE – 5,8&9d with my favourite standing alone in the west, 14d.

    Thanks to Campbell and to pommers for the review. Pleased to hear that someone is getting the sunshine!

    1. We have so many tv channels over here, 1000+. And yet there is often nothing worth watching.

      1. Not really his finest moment but that brings us back to Bruce Springsteen

        57 Channels (And Nothin’ On)

  18. Thanks Campbell for a lovely puzzle. I never quite understood the solution to 24a or that use of macaroni so thanks Pommers too. Still gets COD

  19. I found this slightly more tricky than others seem to have but it was very enjoyable. I managed to get the TV channel once the checkers were in. I remember my mother asking “What’s on the other ….?” when she was bored with what she was watching. My COTD is 24a because the clue gave all the directions to follow. It gave me pause, though, because I had not heard of that particular use of macaroni.

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

    Yet another dull day here in the Welsh Marshes. It’s getting boring!

    1. Thanks for the explanation re the TV channel – I had it but I didn’ know why. How did you get on with Wordle?

        1. I got it in 4 – after 3 I only had the e and the r and neither in the right place, so pure fluke on my part.

          1. Exactly the same as me, Manders. Although I hadn’t got the E and R in the right places, after 3 goes I could work out where they had to go and a lucky guess for the other three letters got me home in 4.

      1. I got it too. I know Steve you said that adieu does not address o or y but it does highlight if they are in the equation if a,e, i and u are blanked! It has worked for me so far. Wot fun – another brain teaser/time waster.

        1. I find rotating between ideal, audio, about, radio and orate for first word is quite productive.

  20. Should have been * as it was Monday.
    But too much experimenting with vowels in 3d put me into ** time.
    And I accidentally saw the correct word after half getting it.
    Should therefore be, perhaps, a DNF.
    Great enjoyment throughout, nevertheless.
    Many thanks Campbell and pommers.

  21. A most enjoyable Monday puzzle, favourite was 24a,a lovely word,remembered the ‘pasta’ bit from the old Cagney film as he tap danced across the table putting the feather in his hat and calling it Macaroni !
    Liked the surface of 20d and the clever14d .Going for a **/****
    Thanks to Pommers for the pics and our setter.

  22. I agree with Chris – this was trickier than usual for a Monday, but great fun to solve.

    Recalling TV as having two sides (ITV and BBC only) – and changing the channel meant getting up and twisting a Bakelite knob with a hefty clunk. Then the requirement to adjust the vertical or horizontal hold to maintain a steady picture. Those weren’t the days.

    Today’s crossword soundtrack: The William Loveday Intention – To Sing The Blues You Gotta Be Blue

    Thanks to Campbell and pommers.

  23. A thoroughly enjoyable Monday solve, with excellent clues and enough of a head-scratcher to make it really interesting.

    Had never heard of the use of macaroni to describe 24a which was my last one in and held me up for some time after the rest of the grid.

    Hard to pick a COTD, I enjoyed the entire puzzle! Many thanks Campbell and Pommers!

  24. Very enjoyable, smooth solve today. Nice to complete after a series of DNF’s due to major commitments elsewhere.
    29a was a new word for me but gettable from the wordplay.
    Not sure what popinjay has to do with macaroni, hopefully the blog will tell me.
    Thanks both.

  25. I thought this was again, this week, a trickier Campbell puzzle than we have had for the start of the (non) work week recently. My rating 2.5*/4*
    Favourites include 15a, 21a, 30a, 8d & 16d with winner 8d … a very, very clever that one IMHO.
    Another very clever clue is 30a that made me snicker when the PD moment happened with a THUD!
    17a & 23a also made me smile.
    New words for me in 24a & 21d … and 24a had to be what it was. Live and learn.
    Had no idea 24a was a synonym of macaroni!

    Thanks for a great puzzle Campbell and pommers for hints

  26. I managed to get through this in good time only to find I had invented a new word at 8d, had to turn the heating down as my face was so red when I found out. 14d brought a smile so that’s my COD. Also needed help to parse a few. Thanks to all.

  27. Spot on Pommers for me – not too easy and I was happily held up for a while in parts. Last in 14d which I just couldn’t see – very enjoyable altogether.

  28. An ok puzzle rather spoilt by 2d, how on Earth is one meant to extricate a South African mountain from the clue!
    Thx for the hints

  29. The usual high quality from Campbell with 7 and 14d as my favourites- macaroni is a new one for me! Thank you also to Pommers

  30. I’m am in the tougher than usual camp this morning, and not helped by me falling for misdirection every chance I got. I was too hasty in bunging in my answers for 11a, 12a, and 29a which held me up unnecessarily. I too well remember wondering what was on the “other side”. I totally agree with Pommers’ *** assessment. But still enjoyable and hey ho, there’s still 690 for later. Thanks to Campbell and Pommers.

  31. Trickier for a Monday but not too difficult. Huge excitement for me today, I get to go out! I’m off to my podiatrist to get my toenails cut, my cup runneth over! I had to refer to the hints to get 29a, I should have bunged it in, what else could it be? I didn’t know 3d but I could work it out and google. Fave was 24a, hands down. I’ll read the rest of the comments later.
    Thank you Campbell for the fun and pommers for unravelling some answers.

    1. M. Here in rural Derbyshire, the podiatrist comes to visit your home. We have provincial peripatetic podiatrists! :-)

      1. We have them in not so very rural South Cambridgeshire. We call ours Lynn the Foot, she is lovely.

  32. As usual on a Monday a nice solvable crossword 😃 **/**** Favourites 24a, 2 & 14d 🤗 Many thanks to Pommers and Campbell for another nice start to the week 👍 In fact muchas gracias

  33. Yoga on a Monday morning then off to Royston Ladies Luncheon club where I have been a member for some 40 odd years. The talk and film today were on the restoration of a chalk stream which rises in our village & joins the Cam. Di you know that there are only some 200 chalk streams in the world and half of them in the U K? Interesting. As was the crossword, very entertaining although 6a was LOI where I wanted to put a rather rude word beginning with C rhyming with trap. I too remember the ‘sides’ , we still only really watch BBC 1&2 anything commercial I record so that I can fast forward the advertisements. Many thanks to the setter and to Pommers for 6a.

  34. Disappointingly, I didn’t quite complete today’s puzzle and had to resort to the hints to confirm 6ac & 29ac (I’m certainly old enough to remember ‘the other side’). How many of you remember getting your first television in 1953 to watch the Coronation, in Black & White? I seem to remember someone referring to those “pesky 4-letter clues” in previous crosswords and I totally agree! Many thanks to Campbell and the Pommers.

  35. Got the song from all the checkers and missing letters from the anagram.
    Never heard of it.
    Lots to like in this crossword.
    Thanks to Campbell and to Pommers.

  36. 3*/4*….
    liked 19D ” Hollow-cheeked witch, nuisance, turned up (7) “….
    I was another “it can’t be !” for 6A.

  37. I too had scrap in mind for 6a. But was hoping the cryptic hadn’t descended to such depths. A lifetime in teaching put me off the associated solution!

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