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DT 29884

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29884

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Good morning from South Staffs, where the sun is trying to break through the early morning mist.

In today’s puzzle 4d was my last one in, and was the only clue that gave me significant difficulty. It will be interesting to se what others think.

In the hints below, the definitions are underlined. The answers are hidden under the ANSWER buttons, so don’t click if you don’t want to see them.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a           Undermine Conservative pledge to maintain order (10)
COMPROMISE – A single-letter abbreviation for Conservative and another word for ‘pledge’, placed either side of an award for distinguished service by members of the Commonwealth in the armed forces, science, art, literature, or for the promotion of culture.

6a           Check large sum of money on the counter (4)
STOP – Reverse (on the counter) an informal term for a large sum of money.

9a           Mum rushes to eat minute seafood items (7)
SHRIMPS – An instruction to keep mum, followed by another word for ‘rushes’ wrapped round aan abbreviation for Minute.

17 Different Types of Shrimp that You Can Eat (or Not) - Home Stratosphere

10a         Native American artist, old man entering American house (7)
ARAPAHO – Put together the usual crossword artist and another word for ‘old man’ or ‘father’, then put the result between abbreviations for American and ‘house’.

12a         Nice funeral is arranged, this could pay for it? (4,9)
LIFE INSURANCE – Anagram (arranged) of NICE FUNERAL IS, as part of an all-in-one clue where the answer is indeed a method of funding a funeral.

14a         Doctor too busy to inject country’s top young explorer? (3,5)
BOY SCOUT – Anagram (doctor) of TOO BUSY wrapped round the first letter (top) of Country.

Boy Scouts | History & Facts | Britannica

15a         Highlight French writer’s grave, for instance (6)
ACCENT – Double definition, where the second example could also be acute or circumflex.

17a         Number facing Leftist regularly sacrificed principles (6)
TENETS – A cardinal number followed by alternate letters (regularly sacrificed) of LEfTiSt.

19a         One having friends for dinner perhaps? (8)
CANNIBAL – Cryptic definition of someone whose dinner guests might form part of the menu.

21a         Masterful writer, one against revolutionary musical that’s opening (13)
AUTHORITATIVE – Put together a writer, the Roman numeral for one, then the reverse (revolutionary) of a Lloyd Webber musical plus the first letter (opening) of That.

24a         Burdened after losing wife, ineffectual character does poorly (7)
IMPOSED – Remove the abbreviation for Wife from a weedy or ineffectual character, then add an anagram (poorly) of DOES.

25a         Senselessness of the Italian in charge defending record (7)
ILLOGIC – A record of activity (on board ship, perhaps) is placed between an Italina definite article and an abbreviation for ‘in charge’.

26a         Bank subsidiary (4)
SIDE – Double definition: the bank of a river; or a subsidiary issue.

27a         Count on a northern city that’s disheartened finding hope (10)
EXPECTANCY – Put together another word for ‘count on’, A (from the clue), an abbreviation for Northern, and the outside letters (disheartened) of CitY.


1d           Method of payment when visiting Switzerland (4)
CASH – The IVR code for Switzerland is wrapped round another word for ‘when’.

2d           Colleague supporting male soldiers in virtuous manner (7)
MORALLY – Put together Male, the usual soldiers who are not officers, and a colleague or supporter.

3d           Consequences if I’m seen around wearing shabby raincoat? Scorn, primarily (13)
RAMIFICATIONS – Anagram (shabby) of RAINCOAT, wrapped round the reverse (around) of IF I’M (from the clue), then the first letter (primarily) of Scorn is added at the end.

4d           Secret fascination with pine for furniture material reportedly (8)
MYSTIQUE – Here we have two homophones. The first sounds like a word for ‘pine for’, the second like a tropical hardwood used in making furniture.

5d           Waters small trees (5)
SOAKS – An abbreviation for Small, followed by some forest trees.

7d           A little extra I need to give apprentice (7)
TRAINEE – Hidden in the clue.

8d           Rocket design India managed to finish early (10)
PROJECTILE – Put together a design or scheme, the letter represented by India in the NATO alphabet, and a word for ‘managed’ or ‘was in charge of’, minus its last letter (finish early).

11d         House plant fanatic Oliver is unusual (7,6)

Growing Amazing African Violets - Ted Lare - Design & Build

13d         Reports of significant departures from the Telegraph maybe? (10)
OBITUARIES – Cryptic definition of the reports of notable departures from this world found in the Telegraph and other newspapers. The lead singer of this group was the top report in today’s paper:


16d         Engineer amazing conclusion to game for Arsenal (8)
MAGAZINE – Anagram (engineer) of AMAZING followed by the last letter (conclusion to) of gamE. Nothing to do with Highbury or the Emirates, but a reference to what was at Woolwich, where the club originated.

18d         Liquid a pet once upset, covering jotter (4-3)
NOTE-PAD – Hidden in reverse (upset) in the clue.

20d         Weapon found in Aberdeen oddly abandoned, good French one (4,3)
BREN GUN – Put together alternate letters (oddly) of ABeRdEeN, an abbreviation for Good, and the French for ‘one’.

A01309V Bren Gun Carrier & 6PDR Anti-Tank Gun

22d         Trendy clothes, we hear, making catalogue (5)
INDEX – Another word for ‘trendy’, followed by a homophone (we hear) of a verb for ‘clothes’ or ‘dresses’.

23d         Bill attends hospital with injury, ultimately it’s painful (4)
ACHY – Put together an abbreviation for a bill or account, an abbreviation for Hospital, and the last letter (ultimately) of injurY.

The Quick Crossword pun HUE + MANATEES = HUMANITIES

84 comments on “DT 29884

  1. Excellent Friday puzzle, very entertaining with a few head scratchers thrown into the mix.
    I particularly liked the surface of 12a, the clever and cryptic 14a&13d, along with the PDM of 21a when I realised what’s happening but top spot goes to the brilliant 4d. Great stuff.
    Many thanks to setter (my money’s on Zandio) and DT.

  2. 4d was my last one in too, and although it was obvious with the checking letters it took some head-scratching to see the reasoning.

  3. Unfortunately, I found this puzzle extraordinarily difficult and a real slog to complete (6*/1*). I needed to consult Danword for 3 clues and couldn’t parse1d, 4d, 13d, 18d and 36a. 22d, 14a and 6a were ones where i could only partially work out the rationale and 19a was the only tedeeming feature because it made me laugh for the first and only time. Thank you to DT for the much needed hints. Thank you to the compiler __it was just not my cup of tea

    1. I would recommend Chambers Word wizard https://chambers.co.uk/
      I suppose some would consider it is still “cheating” but more satisfying to find the word yourself from a list that fills the checkers. e.g. 2d today I so wanted it to begin with N and I could have CON… at 1a but putting ??r?l?y in the word wizard narrowed it down to 18 choices only one of which made sense. (and n?r?l?y has none so I had to rethink 1a)
      Sometimes you just don’t have time so asking Danword for the answer is OK but a bit of legwork with the BRB or Thesaurus gets you there eventually and may just be your Tasse de Thé.

      1. I agree with you, I don’t like Danword. I like to have to do some legwork to solve. If I resort to Danword, I feel I may as well go to the hints and just click on the answer.

  4. I concur with Deep Threat’s scoring and I too stumbled at 4d thinking for a long time it began MIS……..I particularly liked the almost topical 1a which gets my COTD. With thanks to the setter from another sunny Devon day.

  5. Our Friday setters are teasing us. Last week we had an X-less, Y-less pangram and today we have a W-less pangram. Is a new order upon us?!

    Pangram or not, this was an absolutely splendid puzzle, and my rating is 2*/5*.

    My podium comprises 15a, 19a, & 13d.

    Many thanks to the setter (Silvanus?) and to DT.

    1. I don’t think I spotted a J. It was, however, the pangram search which helped me towards the finish. I knew we had X Y and Z. I then found where the Q could go before the U and Hey presto I had 4d which had been eluding me.

  6. Good fun, thanks to setter and DT. Seemed mostly straightforward, but perhaps only relatively so as I did Elgar’s Toughie first (highly recommended!) Some very nice clever clues, as Stephen L has mentioned – I’d add 1a for topicality too, and also particularly enjoyed surfaces of 6a, 14a and 8d. Missing a W – any significance? Thanks again!

  7. Often, I find my comments echo Chris who, usually, is here before me but today we are far apart as I enjoyed this one very much. I particularly enjoyed the splendid 12a. This clue might have led to further 3ds as I tested positive on Wednesday morning – but after a rather awful couple of days I feel a little revived today; certainly enough to return to Crosswordland. I suspect if I had not been triple-jabbed I might not be making such light observations about it all. I have spent the last two days lolling weakly on the sofa with little Lola by my side, both of us watching endless episodes of ‘A Place In The Sun’ and ‘Escape To The Country’. I have been rather unlucky as everyone else in my immediate circle has tested negative this week (thank goodness).

    Today’s crossword sound track: Thomas Tallis – Spem In Allium

    Thanks to the setter and The Ever Reliable DT

    1. Sorry to hear of your recent travails & I echo Huntsman’s nod to the reassuring efficacy of the jabs. Thank you for the Spem – it’s been a while since I listened to that, and it will be played on a loop for a bit now, with the volume turned up!

      1. I have a son, who succumbed to Covid, after my grandson caught it at school. Despite being double jabbed, he felt prwtty rough, worse thn flu , he said. However, like you he felt it might have been a lot worse without the two jabs. I hope you feel better soon. At least you had some fun with today’s puzzle to cheer you a bit.

    2. Sorry to hear you’re not well with the dreaded covid, Terence. As Huntsman says, thank goodness you have had the full quota of jabs.

    3. Commiserations Terence – hope all will soon be well. I have just been fortunate to escape a similar predicament as my niece visited having tested negative that morning but developed the dreaded lurgy 2 days later – I nervously LFTed for 10 days afterwards. It’s an occupational hazard for her as she works at Kingston Hospital.

    4. So sorry to hear you have succumbed but at least you can luxuriate in lolling with lovely Lola.

    5. Thank you for the kind comments. It is like the worst case of ‘flu ever, but I can cope with it. Thank goodness for the vaccinations!
      Back to lolling on the sofa. Little Lola and I are becoming experts on daytime TV – our speciality is ‘A Place In The Sun’, which seems to be on every channel all day and night.

      1. Terence
        Sorry to hear hopefully you recover quickly.
        Do you mean a place in the sun by the sea in the country down under?

    6. People who (idiocically) refuse to get vaccinated should be forced to read reports this! Just imagine the plight you could be in if you hadn’t had the 2 jabs plus a booster. You could well be in hospital, maybe on a ventilator and possibly in grave danger – who knows with this disease? Get well soon.

    7. Get well soon Terence, I’m so glad you have Lola to comfort you. And thank you so much for the Tallis, superb!

    8. Glad you are on the mend, and I agree your having the shots most likely prevented you feeling a lot worse. Lots of our neighbours have also succumbed, but are now recovered/recovering, and none had to be hospitalized. Also probably because they were all triple jabbed. Not bad considering they are all in their seventies and eighties.

  8. I thought this was top-notch all the way, with 4d easily snaring top honours, followed by 8d & a gaggle of others, especially 16a & 27a. What a great week it has been for puzzles, five big backpage winners, including this lovely one. Thanks to DT and today’s setter (my hunch is Zandio). ** / ****

    I solved the first across clue in today’s Elgar and not much else.

      1. I see on the news that the Carolinas are in for some particularly nasty weather, keep warm and safe.

        1. Thanks, Merusa. The worst of it will probably be up in the Piedmont (upstate), where an ice storm is feared…my old stomping grounds, Clemson University, etc. We’re expecting heavy rain and wind in the Charleston area.

    1. Gave Elgar 15 mins & thought stop kidding yourself. Switched to Philly in the Graun – very doable & good fun too.

  9. Thought this another fine puzzle in what has been an excellent week of both back-pagers & Toughies thus far. Today’s was pretty tricky in places & felt sure we were on for a pangram but can’t find the W. 4d gets my vote also for COTD with big ticks for 10,19,21&27a plus 13&22d.
    Thanks to the setter (reckon Zandio is a good punt) & to DT

    1. I’m with you on the W. Do you think setter was being extra smart by removing a W in 24a! I thought we were missing a J too but have found it in my answer to 8d

  10. A good cranial workout for the end of the work week – ***/****.

    No standout favourites, but I did like (the oldie but goodie) 19a.

    Thanks to the setter, not proXimal since he owned up to his XY-less pangram last week so a coin toss between our other two Friday maestros, and to DT.

  11. I too joined the ‘last in’ 4d club-thanks DT for the parsing.As per SL, I liked the surface of 12a.
    Excellent cluing throughout, favourite was 13d followed by the 10a charade.
    Quite a difficult puzzle ans a ***/**** for me.
    Thanks again to DT for the Ronettes pic, great Motown fan, my favourte’musical film.’ is Cadillac Records.

  12. Masses of ticks on my sheet which usually occurs when we have a compilation from my favourite Friday setter.
    After severe pruning, I awarded podium places to 1&12a plus 1,2&4d with a nod to the Quickie pun.

    Thanks to Silvanus and to DT for the review – long time since I’ve heard a track from the Ronettes.

  13. Cracking Friday puzzle, not overly difficult but tremendous fun – some wonderfully smooth surfaces and clues that make one smile even before the answers revealed themselves, at which point appreciation for the setter’s skill is further increased.

    Too many ticks to list them all, but could not decide between 1a (so timely!) and 4d (my LOI), which for me share the COTD acolade.

    2* / 4*

    1. Very sorry – I rudely forgot to express my thanks to the Setter (thank you Silvanus, the polished-smooth surfaces throughout inclined my untyped guess to it being you), and to DT for the review.

  14. Many thanks as always to Deep Threat for his Hints and Tips and to everyone for their comments. I see that very few would have won any money betting on the “guess the setter” today!

    A good weekend to all.

  15. I see Silvanus has just claimed ownership of this splendid puzzle. This was top notch, even by his high standards, and dare I say, a little tougher than usual. 4d has already been well nominated, and I can only add my name to the ranks of those that have gone before.

    My thanks to the aforementioned and to DT.

  16. I don’t know who the setter is but he/she has an odd sense of humour if they think a 19a eats his friends! Will we ever accept a dinner invitation again?

    1. Don’t worry JB, here’s what I do if I suspect cannibalism is afoot when invited to dinner. Make an excuse to go into their kitchen to see if there’s a huge, person-sized, cast iron cauldron full of simmering stock with a big stirring stick in it – dead giveaway! :-)

  17. I found this a struggle and, once again, needed far too many hints for it to be totally enjoyable (for me, that is). Not a total disaster because I did manage most of it unaided and a number of clues raised a smile. I thought the lurker at 7d was very well hidden and 15a had great misdirection. I went through all the dead french writers I know but the list is short so it didn’t take me long. My COTD is 13d.

    Many thanks, Silvanus for the drubbing. Thanks are also due to DT for making sense of quite a bit of it for me.

    Beautiful, frosty and bright day here in The Marches.

    Wordle score was 5. :sad:

        1. I agree Steve. With so many thousands to choose from it is a bit hit and miss. You can rarely go wrong though if you include a couple of vowels in the first attempt.

          1. I max out on vowels in the first word but it still took me 4.
            Interestingly Mrs LrOK had a Whats App from her sister in Calgary asking if we did Wordle. Apparently it is flavour of the month there too. Will start a family league now.

  18. I assumed it was a pangram and who knows how long 4d might have eluded me if I hadn’t made that false assumption!
    Really enjoyed it today. Thankyou.

  19. Tricky today ***/*** Curiously, I had no trouble with 4d but 10a, with all the checkers, was a wild guess although the answer seemed to include all the components of the clue. I’d never heard of this tribe. Favourite 13d. Thanks to all.

  20. I found this extremely difficult today and didn’t really enjoy the struggle maybe because I didn’t get going until much later than usual. Anyway, thanks to the setter for the struggle and DT for explaining the bung ins. To compensate, will be picking up a seafood platter tonight! Wordle score 5.

  21. A nice puzzle to end up the work week today. Found it straightforward other than one new and unknown word in 10a. 2*/4* for me today. Favourites include 14a, 26a, 3d, 13d & 16d with a toss up win between 13d & 16d.

    Thanks to setter and DT

  22. South was more straightforward than North. 10a new one one me but it more or less filled itself by closely following the clue. Pine synonym in 4d took a while to dawn on me as was the case with 26a. 15a and 19a were Favs. Quickie 3a another unknown for me which delayed pun solving. Thank you Silvanus and DT

  23. I have to say that 1d quite appealed to me and for sheer humour so did 19a. I can’t pretend that 4d caused very much head scratching, but 5d did. For me this was by far and away the easiest back pager of the week, taking a little over the time it took me to consume a couple of coffees and a custard tart whilst completing.. Thanks to our setter; good fun indeed and ta also to DT.

  24. Found it hard to get started on this one. But once a couple of clues fell, completed it quite quickly.
    4d was my last in and needed DT’s hint.
    My only gripe is with 22d – I don’t recognise the clothes homophone for the second syllable. But that does not take away from what was a great puzzle

  25. An excellent Friday production! Just above average difficulty for a back-pager, with very good clues providing an enjoyable solve. It could be several others, but I’ll pick 4d as my favourite – not that often you get dual homophones as the definition. 3*, 4*.

  26. I enjoyed this,managed without help.

    The tribe is in a song by Ian Dury, so I had come across it.

    A long way from Tallis. Both, in their own way, a joy to hear.

    1. In the wilds of Borneo
      And the vineyards of Bordeaux
      Eskimo, Arapaho
      Move their body to and fro

  27. Overall enjoyable. There were one or two I could not parse. 10a was my last in preceded by 4 and 5d. I did not know the Native and juggled around with what I thought were the constituents for a long time. I knew what I was looking for in 16d and that it was nothing to do with football. However, with only vowel checkers I resorted to looking up synonyms. I got 6a but missed the reversal. I thought of too for counter and what the S had to do with large sun of money. Daft or what! Favourites 15 19 and 21a and 1, 4 and 13d. Thanks Silvanus and DT.

  28. A funny old puzzle, not really that hard (though more than DT’s **) but I couldn’t get the whys, there were lots of giggles along the way. The anagram at 12a pretty well got me started, it screamed at me, and 11d was a gift as well. I couldn’t get 4d and needed e-help to solve it, last one in. I laughed at 19a and 13d, so funny.
    Thank you Silvanus for the fun and DT for unravelling a few, 21a in particular!

    1. My thoughts exactly M, thank you for saving me the effort..
      Thank you Silvanous and DT for the review.
      Hideous misty dank day up here today it has been dreicher than dreich.

      1. Oh dear, poor you, and I suppose Biggles won’t be able to get his sea paddles in. Keep warm and dry.

    1. Don’t you dare, Hoofit, keep plugging along. You’re part of the team now, you can’t quit on us.

  29. I agree that this was rather harder than the ** it was shown. It was one of those where it was easier to find the definition and ignore the intricate wordplay designed to showcase the talents of the setter rather than aid the solver.
    My fav was 19a because it was one of the few where it all made sense and made me smile.
    Not my favourite but by no means the worst Friday we have ever had.
    Thx to all

  30. I’m in the found it hard camp, who am I kidding I find most days hard. Needed the hint for 1a and 21a defeated me completely even with the hint. An enjoyable puzzle for all that. Thanks to all.

  31. I’m in the ‘missing W held me up’ camp this evening. NE corner last in, who know’s why? Favourite was 3d. Thanks to Silvanus and DT.

  32. I enjoyed this but struggled a bit towards the end. 13d 3d 16d and 25a all got ticks here. my borderline OCD made me put the W back to the left of 24a.
    Thanks to DT and Silvanus.
    blobbed at wordle today
    I got the TA??Y in 2 but ran out of goes as I stupidly tried repeated letters TABBY TARRY TALLY and ran out of goes.

  33. On a roll here. Another day when I almost finished unaided. But I do confess some were bung ins that I couldn’t parse, but they were right. Don’t think I’ve seen “on the counter” meaning to reverse before. But lots to enjoy here. Thanks to Silvanus and Deep Threat.

  34. On first run through thought I wouldn’t finish but it slowly fell into place….somehow slightly old-fashioned but a lovely puzzle just the same….

  35. An enjoyable solve, but have never heard of Arapaho. My favourite was 9a after 20 minutes trying to think of seafood beginning with a P! Thanks to all involved.

  36. 3*/4*……
    liked 19A ” One having friends for dinner perhaps? (8) ” … amongst others.

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