DT 29883 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

DT 29883

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29883

Hints and tips by Miffypops.

Often mischievous but never wicked

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

Blogged from the Lexus dealership in Coventry whilst wondering if it is possible to sneak this little beauty past Saint Sharon. Crossword? What crossword?

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a        Person puts fancy decoration on tops of garments (7)
BODICES:  A simple three letter synonym for a person is followed by a word meaning decorates as one might decorate a fancy which is a small cake. The one’s from Betty”s are a work of art. I wonder if Mama Bee partakes occasionally

5a        Prime piece of beef brought up to be cooked (7)
BRAISED:  The prime or initial letter of the word beef is followed by a word meaning brought up as parents might have done with their offspring

9a        A huge word of warning to sailors (5)
AVAST: Begin with the letter A from the clue. Add an adjective meaning of a very great extent or quantity. Immense

10a      Abandon lots of rubbish? Waiter would like you to do that! (5,1,3)
LEAVE A TIP: Your waiter would appreciate you abandoning some money as a gratuity. A word meaning to abandon is followed by a rubbish dump, possibly the one operated by your local council.

11a      An indication of American wealth? (6,4)
DOLLAR SIGN:  The usual indication of America’s monetary system is one of these $$$$$$$$$

12a      Something hot left to be grasped by family (4)
KILN: The abbreviation for left sits inside a word for one’s family and relations

14a      Theatre brought back organised groups with introduction of male shows (12)
PERFORMANCES: A word for a theatre (Birmingham perhaps) is reversed and followed by organised groups such as the police, army or navy into which a male type of person has been inserted.

18a      Something that has made Brits lose pounds? (6,6)
METRIC SYSTEM: A cryptic definition of what replaced the pounds of either weight or monetary value

21a      Foreign title given in foolish error (4)
HERR: The answer lies hidden within the words of the clue as indicated by the words given in

22a      Senior teacher takes top stream after reorganisation (10)
HEADMASTER: The top banana in an organisation is followed by an anagram (after organisation) of STREAM to give the top banana in an organisation

25a      Drunk has set out for relatively prosperous region (5-4)
SOUTH EAST: Anagram (drunk) of HAS SET OUT

26a      Fairly large piece of learner’s embroidery without edges (5)
AMPLE: What schoolchildren used to make to show off their embroidery skills minus its outer edges or letters

27a      Place to squat alongside university troublemaker (7)
SITUATE: A word loosely meaning to squat is followed by the abbreviation for university. This is followed by the goddess of mischief (Saint Sharon perhaps)

28a      The lass going out without a bonnet? (7)
HATLESS: Anagram (going out) of THE LASS


1d        Confronts  hairy things (6)
BEARDS: Who knew that the name for facial hair is also a verb meaning to boldly confront?

2d        How someone may be loved   with much suffering? (6)
DEARLY: A rather wordy double definition. The first being most accessible

3d        Hot dish in bed — I get pea rolling round (7,3)
COTTAGE PIE:  A word for a small child’s bed is followed by an anagram (rolling around) of I GET PEA

4d        Missionary has upset more than half the characters in Salisbury (5)
SILAS: The answer here is actually just the reverse of the first five letters of one of the words in the clue. It is the name of a man who accompanied the apostle Paul on his second missionary journey. This man is traditionally assumed to be the same character as Silvanus who is mentioned in four epistles and sets back pagers on some Fridays and midweek Toughie puzzles

5d        Boastful types with Lord Melvyn introducing creative activities (9)
BRAGGARTS:  The surname of a long time presenter of The South Bank Show is followed by the collective name of cultural stuff.

6d        Wild animals a nuisance for the most part (4)
APES: Remove the last letter of a term 1,4 which describes a nuisance or mischievous child

7d        King or Queen maybe  in well-practised move (3,5)
SET PIECE:  Our setter has chosen the monarchy to describe the characters on a chess board. He could also have used the Bishop, Horse, Castle or Pawn

8d        Sleepy state? Lie down outside wood (8)
DOPINESS: A verb meaning to sleep in rough accommodation or on an improvised bed surrounds a type of wood often used for shelving

13d      Accepted a role as one severely criticised (5,5)
TAKEN APART: A double definition here. The first being to have accepted a role in a theatrical production

15d      Nurture offered by wet doctor over time (9)
FOSTERAGE: The wet doctor here visited Gloucester and had an unfortunate meeting with a puddle. The time here is a distinct period in history. We are now in the Anthropocene period. God help us

16d      Stress that could produce misshape (8)
EMPHASIS: Anagram (could produce) of MISSHAPE

17d      Magical quality of little daughter with us in the beginning (8)
STARDUST:  The abbreviation for daughter together with the word us from the clue sit inside a synonym of the word beginning

19d      Main alternative to paper clip? (6)
STAPLE:  A paper clip is a temporary device used to join pieces of paper together. The name of a more permanent device is also a synonym of the worn main

20d      Colours for party people (6)
GREENS:  The colour of the ecological party. Need I say more?

23d      Get rid of  drainage facility (5)
DITCH:  A rather obvious double definition. I don’t think I need to explain further

24d      Bird within our hearing (4)

RHEA: The answer lies hidden within the words of the clue as indicated by the word within

Quickie Pun. Blows + Tears  = Below stairs




81 comments on “DT 29883

  1. Go for it Miffypops! Thanks for the hints to 26a 27a and 1d and 4d which I needed to fully understand my answers. Great fun this one at ***/**** and my two favourites were 11a and 18a which I cannot separate and so must give them joint COTD if such a thing is permitted. Thank you setter.

  2. Thank you — especially for the quickie pun, which I completely failed to solve. Mainly because I had “booms” for 1a, which felt like a synonym of ‘blasts’ to me, and matched the crossing letters perfectly.

    PS: For anybody wondering, “belly pork” is yesterday’s official pun. Well done for anybody who went for that rather than the period of history. (I chose wrong.)

    1. S. Thanks for the info. But your knowledge of French terms is probably more impressive than my, and others, assumption that it was belly pork.

    2. It just had to be. The puns don’t necessary sound exactly right, but in this case Belle Époque sounds nothing like.

  3. A very typical Giovanni puzzle that I found slightly trickier than normal due to a couple of unusual definitions. Still, enjoyable with my ticks going to 14&27a plus 5,13&15d.
    Many thanks to setter and mischievous blogger both.

  4. Phew! Thanks for your help, M, with about a third of this that I would never have fathomed alone *hangs head in shame* which, I’m guessing, is exactly the reason you do this 😊. But what a great puzzle from the compiler and super duper hints.

    1. Thank you Celia. That is exactly why I give up my time. The thanks make it all worthwhile. No shame though. It was tougher than usual today.

  5. We have been blessed recently with some excellent puzzles; add this to the list. Probably at the slightly trickier end of the spectrum but all the more satisfying to solve as a result. I particularly enjoyed 27a and 3d.

    My thanks to The Don and MP.

  6. An excellent puzzle from the consistently good G. Slightly above average difficulty for a back-pager, with fine clues providing a pleasing solve. Fav: 15d. 3*, 4*.

  7. A few held me up this morning and a couple needed electrons to parse. 11a and 18a get my vote. Thanks to today’s setter and MP.

  8. I too found that a little trickier than usual but enjoyed it nevertheless.
    Plenty to eat today 3d with 20d to start, and me and Mama Bee had 5a steak last night.
    Thanks to Giovanni and Miffs for a fine puzzle and blog and thanks again to Miffs for the rather toothsome Fondant Fancies – Mama Bee does indeed like them and my orthodontist would prefer it if I let her have them. I doubt I am off the hook with the dentist tho as I will swap my Fondant Fancies for Mama Bee’s Macarons.

    1. Because we share the same initials I am always interested with your references to “Mama Bee”,. Without going into too much detail, is she a a contemporary of me or my son?
      We used to keep bees until newly moved in neighbours complained and made my late husband’s life such a misery we had to give up.

      1. Aww, That’s a shame about the neighbours. Bees need all the friends they can get. I recently read a book by Bill Turnbull the newsreader who keeps bees himself. sounds like a fascinating hobby but not suitable for this urban terrace. I was going to ask my Neice if she was interested in keeping a hive on her allotment but as she is veggie going on vegan I don’t think she would be interested either.
        As to my Bee connection, it is just a nod to my Surname and Mama Bee is my (as sainted as Sharon) mother who started me on the cruciverbalist trail many years ago. At 85 she is more interested in a nicecupofteaandasitdown these days especially if it involves a nice bit of cake from Betty’s

        1. So nice to meet you and Mama Bee who is almost as old as me. My mother, too, got me interested in crosswords and aren’t I grateful! She did the DT crossword almost every day until she died at 92. Hope for me?

          1. I too hope to keep going as long as possible. Every clue solved saves a brain cell for later.
            Where did you find that bee emoji? It doesn’t appear on my list.

            1. 🐝 I really have no idea! It just came with a set of emojis on my iPad. What is odd that it seems to be different each time I use it, See my comment above. I’m sure I asked for this one 🐝🐝🐝🐝 and the one pictured there isn’t on my list. Spooky as Dame Edna would say.There are far too many faces to be useful and, particularly irritating to a steam enthusiast like my son the steam engine is American 🚂🚂🚂
              Enjoy your teas at Bettys, In York I’m told they don’t use an apostrophe?
              Are you going to tackle today’s Elgar? He is usually too far above my pay grade to be even remotely enjoyable or doable, one day perhaps….🍀

      2. I once kept a hive in a town garden in a shed with a slot cut out for the hive entrance. No one noticed.

  9. Started down south & thought the journey got harder as you travelled upcountry. A fair bit of head scratching required tup north for completion in bang on *** time. Not my favourite of the week so far but we have been spoilt & there was plenty to like here. 15d is atop my podium with 18&27a.
    Thanks to Giovanni & MP

  10. One of the tougher Thursday puzzles.
    An enjoyable solve ,finally held up in the NW corner by the new synonym for me in 1d as per MP.s comment, thought of indian for the start of 14a until the penny dropped.
    Liked the surfaces of 18a and 10a.Rembered the wet docter in15 down -I think he went to Gloster,
    Thanks to setter for the fun.

  11. Many thanks Giovanni and Miffypops, quite a tough one but very enjoyable throughout. Needed Chambers to sort out 1d and the mischievous goddess. Favourites 1a (where, by the way, I think the definition should include “tops of”), 5a & 6d. Thanks again!

    1. I’ve changed the underlining to 1 across after Googling the answer and finding this – The upper portion of a modern dress to distinguish it from the skirt and sleeves. The name XXXXXX comes from an older garment called a pair of bodies (because the garment was originally made in two separate pieces that fastened together, frequently by lacing). One lives and learns but one lives and learns a darned sight more quickly online than by searching a physical dictionary

  12. Tricky and not as enjoyable as tge usual thursday fare(4*/2*). Is tthere a record for the longest clue, because 14a ran to 4 lines of print in the dead tree version so it might come close ?. 15d was the best clue by a mile and some of them were a bit over-complicated. 2d didn’t work as a double meaning for me. Thanks to MP for the hints and to the compiler.

    1. The second sense of 2d is used in the context of military victories won at great cost in lives, I think.

  13. I struggled with this so many thanks to MP for the hints, which were needed far more than normally. I had ten after the first pass so knew it was going to be tough. Plenty of good clues, though, especially 10a and 18a but my COTD is 13d.

    I wondered why 25a was considered “relatively prosperous”. Because it contains the Capital city?

    Many thanks ti the setter for the challenge and to the aforementioned MP for the hints.

    1. Of the 10 districts in the UK that have the highest median house prices 6 are in the SE Steve. The other 4 is why it is “mainly” I guess

      1. My matchbox in Harpenden cost an arm & two legs. I’ve had to stop watching those property progs showing you what your buck gets you elsewhere.

  14. I found this quite straightforward 😃 **/*** Favourites 1 & 18a and 15d Thanks to MP and to the Compiler 🤔

  15. I found the top half of this very friendly (solving quite a few clues while preparing the template for our blogger) but ended up with a bit of a battle at the bottom, taking in into Friday backpage/Tuesday Toughie time. My favourite has to be the ‘wet doctor’ in 15d

    Thanks to the setter and to MP

    1. At post #10 Huntsman felt the South easier than the North it is amazing the different way we see things.

      1. Exactly so. If we put parts of our brain into other solvers’ heads we would have no problem. For me 75% was leading to 2* time but the NW put paid to that.

  16. I usually approach Thursday with some trepidation as I can never quite get on either of the regular setters’ wavelengths and there’s usually a couple of words that are new to me. So it was a surprise when this went in fairly comfortably. SW corner dropped into place early on and reasonably steady progress there on in. Agree with others about 15d. Excellent clue! Thanks to setter and MP!

  17. My thoughts on the car: It a Lexus, so either an upmarket Toyota or downmarket Crown take your pick
    My thoughts on the crossword. It was tough for a Thursday but at least it was fairly clued and there wasen’t much obscure GK.
    15d my COTD, for which I needed help as I thought “fop” for wet & then had nowhere to go.
    Thanks to setter and MP for the review.
    Lovely sunny day up here, perfect for Biggles’ morning constitutional and dip.
    Wordle score 4.

    1. Wordle beat me today, LROK. I tend to forget that a letter can be used more than once.

      1. You have got me into Wordle now. Did it in four today. Did not realise the same letter can be used more than once.

  18. I also found this very tricky. Dredged 1d from somewhere which helped. Curious mixture of pretty easy ones with rather obscure ones.
    Doh moment with 14a which was last one in.

    Wordle score 3 – guessed 3 at first pass. See there is a hell of a stink about the Americanism yesterday – the guy is actually British but his girlfriend is American.

    1. Sorry, thanks to the setter and MP. What is it about chaps and cars? They are just there to get from A to B!

      1. I rather wish I had made a note of the words as they are so varied. I always start with a word with a and e and either r, t or s. I don’t think there is any point in using 3 vowels for the first pass. It’s good fun.

  19. It wasn’t until I got to 3d that I solved my first clue today and that in itself was quite a coincidence for me, as my morning plan was to make such a dish after solving. 4d raised a chuckle, leaving me wondering what anti religious comment it might provoke Brian to come up with. Personally, I found this puzzle more difficult than either of the last two Toughies this week (not had time to look at today’s) but all in all most enjoyable. Thanks to setter and MP.

  20. Enjoyable but challenging. I don’t think we have heard from Brian yet- he won’t like 4d. In the NE I admit to looking up synonyms for confront. When I quickly found it I realised that I had heard of the word (probably in literature) but it is not in my regular repertoire. I was pretty sure of the nautical term but oddly did not find it in on- line dictionaries. Needed MP help to parse 14 and 27a. Pretty sure I had them right but did not know the troublemaker and list the will to live with the other one.Favourites 11 18 25 and 5 16 and 17d. Thanks Giovanni and MP. Kath – if you are battling with this – fear not y you are not in a minority I am sure.

  21. DG seems to be giving us a tougher run for our money these days but ‘softly, softly catchee monkey’ did the trick with NW being my stumbling block. 27a was bung-in as troublemaker unknown to me. 1d foxed me whilst I grappled with bears. Altogether a bit of a tussle but perhaps good exercise for the old grey matter. Thank you to the Don and MP.

  22. This was tricky! I’m away for a doctor’s appointment so I’ll read the hints and comments later.
    I did complete it but needed e-help in the NW. even with the trickiest, I quite liked it, though 15d gave me pause for thought Fave was 1a.
    Thanks setter and M’pops, in a rush!

  23. NW was my downfall and I ended up as a DNF today. Too many other things on my mind I think.
    10a, 18a favourites today.

    Thanks to Giovanni and MP

  24. Very late to the parade today, but happy to be here. Had I known the nursery rhyme about the wet doctor in 15d (I know it now!), I could have finished this nicely tricky Giovanni in very good time. As it happens, though, I pottered around, semi-guessed from the checking letters, and got the right solution–my LOI, and my COTD. But I also liked 13d, 17d, & good old 4d. Ride that Lexus home, MP, and take St Sharon for a spin! Thanks to you and to the Don. 2.5* / 3.5*

  25. Well I got there in the end, but needed MP to explain why 1d is a verb – thank you setter for a good testing crossword; just right for a backpager

  26. On dear, 2 short of a full grid today so big thanks to MP. Giovanni and I are not getting on atm. I did love 18a though.

  27. Thanks to Miffypops and to Giovanni. Nice puzzle, quite tricky in places. Needed the hints for 1&11a. Guessed 1d, never heard of that usage. Favourite was 8d. Was 3*/4* for me.

  28. Thankfully it’s not a day that I have a go at the crossword . . .
    Thanks to Giovanni and thanks and well done to MP.

    1. Hi Kath
      Lovely to hear from you
      Crossword or no keep calling in.
      Keep at it & have faith in yourself you’ll get there.

      1. . . . didn’t quite to replying . . so I’ll carry on . . . :roll:
        Thanks to RD and to LROK – some days I get further than others. In general Monday and Tuesdays I suppose they’re just easier so will keep going. I really don’t expect everyone to encourage me every day . . . (not that it isn’t when they do)

        1. It takes me longer to write the answers into the grid on the lefthand side. I keep putting the first letter of across clues in the,second space , Kath. Frustrating isn’t it? But onwards and upwards.

        2. We’re just happy when you pop in, Kath, comments on the puzzle aren’t at all demanded of you!

          1. Hats off to Kath and Chriscross I’m not sure I’d cope as well as you! My girlfriend’s son-in-law has MND I’m not sure I’d cope as well as him either.

  29. Nice looking motor. My BMW is trying very hard to improve my driving habits. I’ve heard similar about VWs electronic lane management too. Just hope it doesn’t boss you about too much.
    Crossword ok for Giovanni.

  30. Coming in late without having read any of the above,
    Just to say my COTD was17d. By “Golly bongs” how we could do with some of it to brighten our lives today!

  31. Go for the Lexus.
    I’ve had 2 since 2015 and they were both entirely trouble free and a joy to own.
    Economical, fast enough and supremely comfortable…Saints S will love it!.
    As far as the crossword is concerned I thought it slightly tougher than some and appreciated the blog as I was unfamiliar with the goddess in 27ac.
    Thanks both.

    1. I think we are on number four in five years. No problems whatsoever and wonderful customer service. The best build quality of any car I have ever owned. Not the prettiest but not ten a penny like Jags and Range Rovers

  32. I too approach Thursday puzzles with some trepidation, but this one was a delight, or as Americans like to say “very excellent”. There were just a handful of clues that evaded me and for which I needed the hints. 1d took a while, but I had heard of “beard the lion in his den” or something like that, so that helped. 15d was a new word for me, and 27a just had to be although i had never heard of the troublemaker. Big thanks to Giovanni and to Miffypops. Re the car, MP, we’ve never had one, but are on our third Toyota (sister company of Lexus) and they are the most reliable, longest running vehicles of all. And they hold their vaue well. Last one was a lease, which ended last month, and as the current selling price was $10,000 above the residual asking price, we snapped it up. Good luck!

  33. Great game of golf today on the downs north of Worthing, so I’m late on parade. The alternative meaning of 1d I’d never heard of, and I’d forgotten about Dr F from G, so can’t claim a finish. 18 a my favourite.
    Thanks MP, the number plate refers to you (crossword WhiZZ) so treat yourself!
    Thanks also to Giovanni.

  34. Another DNF for me, had to peek at the answer to 1a which made 1d obvious. 4d was bunged in although I doubted it was correct ( it was). Needed many of the hints to explain my answers ,but for a Thursday I’m happy with that, I normally do a lot worse. Thanks to all.

  35. Needed the hints to parse 27a, 1d and 2d, that’s 3 times as many as I needed for the toughie, I’m adopting the same methodology as the ‘Covid scientists’ to make it appear worse than it actually is. But seriously I found this harder than the Beam toughie and that’s saying something. I also had to Google the missionary in 4d as my religious knowledge is akin to my grasp of foreign languages, almost zero. Favourite was 18a, not that I’m a fan of it as, being an ex engineer, one is left grappling with numbers that are too large or too small so 10 to the power of + or – a large number needed. Thanks to the setter and MP.

  36. Difficult for me today. Needed electronic help plus help from MP for some parsings.

    Thanks to the setter and to MP

Comments are closed.