DT 29886 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29886

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29886

Hints and tips by Falcon

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Greetings from Ottawa, where as I write this (late Sunday evening) the snow has not yet started to fall but I am told to expect as much as a foot of the white stuff when I awake tomorrow morning.

The puzzle was not too challenging, although it took me awhile to understand the two double definitions rounding out the across clues. On the other hand, the bottom line Quickie pun really tested my rhotic North American accent. At first, the answer seemed obvious but it was an expression that made very little sense to me. However, I did undertake a Google search for it on the chance that it might be some as yet unknown-to-me British expression. That generated only a single hit which appeared at all promising (in The Online Slang Dictionary) but proved to be an obscure expression far beyond the standards of proprietary of the DT. I was about to throw in the towel when the British pronunciation suddenly dawned on me —fortunately, well before morning dawned.

In the hints below, underlining identifies precise definitions and cryptic definitions, and indicators are italicized. The answers will be revealed by clicking on the ANSWER buttons.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought of the puzzle.


1a   Pastry, extremely sweet, ruled out (7)
STRUDEL — the initial and final letters of S(wee)T (in other words, its extremes) and an anagram (out) of RULED

5a   Invigorating British sport (7)
BRACING — B(ritish) and a sport that might involve clearing obstacles

9a   Do good adult dance (5)
CONGA — do or swindle followed by the single letters representing good and adult

10a   Restrict the consumption of beer in grounds (9)
RATIONALE — split the solution (6,3) and it could have the meaning given by the first five words in the clue; otherwise known as Miffypops’ nightmare

11a   Shabbily dressed in blue, slightly behind (4-2-4)
DOWN-AT-HEEL — blue or sad and a (2,4) phrase describing where a dog on a short lead may be

12a   Flowerless plant in bog surrounding river (4)
FERN — another name for a bog enveloping R(iver)

14a   Alcohol-induced boldness of wife, about as old as us (5,7)
DUTCH COURAGE — line up a Cockney wife, an abbreviated Latin word meaning about (that point in time), and a (3,3) phrase denoting ‘as old as us’

18a   Furious patron — what he condemned (2,3,7)
ON THE WARPATH — an anagram (condemned) of the three words in the middle of the clue

21a   Expected to hug daughter’s chap (4)
DUDE — expected or payable embracing D(aughter) gives an American guy

22a   Novel fish store (5,5)
BLEAK HOUSE — a cold and unwelcoming Eurasian fish followed by a verb meaning to store or shelter

25a   Moving, a line by English Poet Laureate (9)
EMOTIONAL — the A from the clue and L(ine) following (by, in an across clue) the single letter for English and a Poet Laureate from the beginning of this century

26a   Short brisk outing (5)
JAUNT — an adjective meaning brisk or lively is shortened by lopping off its final letter

27a   Clock and watch (7)
OBSERVE — a double definition in which both involve taking in information through the eyes, however in the latter case the action is considerably protracted

28a   Discipline issue (7)
SUBJECT — another double definition, the former denoting an area of academic interest and the latter a matter for consideration


1d   Withdraw from diocese that includes church close to Bradford (6)
SECEDE — another word for diocese surrounds the short form for Church of England and the closing letter of BradforD

2d   Reputation our sailors have around east (6)
RENOWN — link together the initials of a British military force and a word meaning to have or possess and wrap the result around E(ast)

3d   One prone to histrionics in play group (5,5)
DRAMA QUEEN — a theatrical production and a British rock group

4d   Tree having large span (5)
LARCH — the clothing symbol for large and a span that might cross a stream

5d   Foremost of botanists, say, shown with prize flower (9)
BUTTERCUP — a charade of the initial letter (foremost) of Botanists, another term for say or speak, and a trophy emblematic of success in a competition

6d   Soon rule clubs out (4)
ANON — a basic law, rule or principle after discarding a card suit (clubs out)

7d   In all likelihood papers are South American, latest from Uruguay (1,4,3)
I DARE SAY — concatenate the sort of papers a young person must show to purchase a drink, the ARE from the clue, the abbreviation for South America and the final letter (latest) from UruguaY

8d   Young eat nuts and drink (5,3)
GREEN TEA — young or inexperienced and an anagram (nuts) of EAT

13d   Exactly what’s needed, impartial article on piece of work (4,3,3)
JUST THE JOB — string together a word for impartial or fair, a definite article and a task or piece of work

15d   Question revolutionary about everybody English (9)
CHALLENGE — wrap the usual South American revolutionary around another term for everybody and the longer abbreviation for English

16d   So long, as well, endless strips of pasta to be consumed (6-2)
TOODLE-OO — remove both ends from the name for strips of pasta; place the result in a container denoting as well or also

17d   Showing great care in artist’s workroom with us (8)
STUDIOUS — a charade of an artist’s place of work (the one of Italian descent, not the French one) and the US from the clue

19d   Tense time ahead (6)
FUTURE — double definition, a grammatical tense or time yet to come

20d   Get away at one in punt (4,2)
BEAT IT — the AT from the clue and a Roman one inside a punt or wager

23d   Book a sailor brought over (5)
ATLAS — the A from the clue and a reversal of an old and experienced sailor

24d   Current breaking through wharf (4)
PIER — the physics symbol for electric current breaking or interrupting a Latin preposition denoting through or by means of

I always struggle to find a favourite clue in a Campbell puzzle. It’s not a matter of the clues not being good; in fact, it is the just the opposite. The clues are so uniformly good that it is hard to single out one for special mention. However, as I feel obligated to name one, I’ll go with 18a.

Quickie Pun (Top Row): BARRE + GIN + TWO = BARGE INTO

Quickie Pun (Middle): WHEEL + METER + GAIN = WE’LL MEET AGAIN

Quickie Pun (Bottom Row): TOR + KIT + THREW = TALK IT THROUGH

101 comments on “DT 29886

  1. A gentle and enjoyable stroll through Campbell’s world of quaint idioms and adages.
    My top three were the clever 10a plus 14a for the surface/parsing with 8d making up the podium.
    Many thanks to setter and Falcon.

  2. Another great start to the week from Campbell and thoroughly enjoyable. Well, aren’t they all when they are completed? Unfortunately, I did need the electrons for 7d because I simply could not break into it. Kicked myself when I saw the answer. I answered 6d but could not for the life of me see the parsing of it. Too many good clues to be able to pick one but, if pushed, I would go for 16d.

    Many thanks to Campbell for the fun and to Falcon for the hints, which I will now read.

    Wordle in 4.

    Cold and sunny in the Marches.

        1. Wordle in 4, which was pretty good as I didn’t get a single correct letter with my first word which changes daily but always has 2 vowels.

            1. What is so annoying Steve, my first word was mount and my third was shore – how stupid to use the o when I already knew the o was not in the word!

                1. Did it in 3, but glad I did it before reading this. So as not to spoil it for others, wouldn’t it be better to announce your score, without going into detail? Better still, don’t mention Wordle at all?

                  1. Indeed – bit like being told the ending of a programme when you have recorded it to watch later

                    1. I apologise for mentioning my two words, I felt I was in a sort of ‘chat room’ with Steve and forgot others would be reading it – I won’t do it again.

            2. Not logical Steve sorry. Choice of 2nd word dictated by 4 rejected letters from try 1.
              Anyway 4 for me.

              1. 3 for me to my amazement. I can see that we are probably really annoying anyone who has not tried Wordle but it is strangely addictive.

                1. A simple Wordle score at the end of a post without discussion is surely innocuous DG. Much more important here is Mrs LrOK’s score!

                2. No, not annoying at all. I just wish I could do it, tried this morning and was totally lost.

                  1. Manders
                    Wish I could work out what law determines whether or not I get the Puzzles Newsletter.
                    I’ve tried everything to get it regularly but it seems to turn up when it feels like it.

  3. What a thoroughly enjoyable start to the crosswording week. I thought this was a touch harder than a normal Monday, with the top half flying in and the bottom half taking a bit longer. I will pick 9a as my favourite for its brevity, but a special mention must go to the three puns which were exquisitely well thought out.

    Thanks Campbell and Falcon.

  4. Typical Monday for me — in that it was quite a struggle compared with the previous day’s Dada, with very few answers on the first pass, but I got there in the end. My top few were 1d’s church close to Bradford, 5d’s prize flower, 7d’s South African papers, and my favourite was 10a’s consumption of beer in grounds.

    Thank you, Campbell and Falcon — and well done for eventually working out that bottom pun! Personally I can’t see how else it could be pronounced; I’m apparently incapable of thinking of a way of saying “talk” or “torque” so that they aren’t homophonic.

    1. Smylers, if you were an American you would probably pronounce the first word of the bottom Quickie “TOK” as opposed to “TORK” so the solution to 23a doesn’t really help.

      1. Thanks. Presumably I’ve heard that pronunciation on TV shows, but somehow translated the sound into the correct word without remembering what the sound actually was.

  5. I’ll settle for 22a as my COTD because the fish was, to me, really novel. I’d never heard of it and it’s good to learn something new.

    1. I agree. I thought it must be the Dickens but couldn’t see why and George said there must be a fish called a bleak. No way I said, I’ve never heard of it. Which was pretty arrogant of me and sir is not going to let me forget it.

      1. There can’t be a fish by that name, why waste time looking it up … but it can’t be anything else … finally, I put myself out of my misery and looked it up. I, too, can be pretty cocky at times.

        1. My Chambers online dictionary gave the fish as their second meaning. The fish can be used to make artificial pearls. Something else I didn’t know.

  6. Another Monday rattled off in double quick time but with double enjoyment factor too.
    I agree with Falcon – They are all good and hardly worth picking one over another but 5d or 22a if I am pushed to choose.
    Thanks to Campbell and Falcon

  7. 1.5*/4*. The usual great start to the week!

    I don’t think I’ve come across the fish in 22a before but what else could it be? Then I looked it up and found it in my BRB.

    My top two from a great selection are 10a & 14a – not that I’m obsessed by alcohol, of course.

    Many thanks to Campbell and to Falcon.

  8. A fun beginning to the week, with 22a providing my chuckle and clue of the day.

    JB, there used to be shoals of them in the Severn, but herons and mergansers etc seem to have decimated them along our stretch of the river in recent years.

  9. 22a is one of my favourite books. Dickens being my literary hero. Though I had never heard of the fish.
    Thanks for a very enjoyable crossword and thanks for the hints.

        1. Did you have a go at the Friday cryptic ? I’m ashamed to say I had to look up the Blake referenced clue which I did know but couldn’t bring to mind.

          1. No, sorry, I was playing golf all day.
            Very good quiptic, thanks.
            I found Everyman tricky yesterday, still a few to do.

  10. Quite gentle. **/*** I’d never heard of the fish in 22a either but it had to be. For some reason I thought of MP whilst filling in 10a. Imagine the outcry if it really was rationed. Favourite 14a. Thanks to all.

  11. It’s Monday :good: It’s Campbell :good: **/****

    However, an incorrect enumeration in Campbell’s On-Line Weekly Prize Puzzle (22a) did cause a few problems.

    Candidates for favourite – 5d, 7d, 15d, and the ‘Middle’ Pun (the best of the three) – and the winner is 7d.

    Thanks to Campbell and to Falcon.

  12. Unlike Smylers I reckon I could have knocked off 4 of these in the time it took me to complete Dada yesterday. As usual it was 13d to kick off the week & a problem free solve though I too had never come across the fish before. Top 2 for me are 7d&18a.
    Thanks to Campbell & Falcon.
    Ps the enumeration for 22a in his bonus cryptic is 3,5,2 & not 3,8 as stated unless I’m mistaken.

    1. You are partly mistaken. Definitely not (3,8) but I thought it would be (3,5-2) and I sent an e-mail to our esteemed editor yesterday evening (my time) accordingly. He apparently agrees with me, or got input from someone/where else, as the enumeration has now been revised to my ‘version.’

  13. I do enjoy the jolly little stroll that the Monday quickie puzzle and the Monday cryptic puzzles provide. A gentler approach with some smiles and groans along the way paving the way towards the tougher end of the puzzling week. The Quickie puns are fun today. I enjoy our Canadian bloggers struggle with them. Not only the pronunciations but the quirky sayings can throw him off course. Thanks to Campbell as always and thanks to Falcon too

  14. All doable.
    Great start to the crossword week.
    Beautifully clued throughout.
    Just popped into ** time because of an infrequently used anagram indicator in 18a.
    Many thanks Campbell and Falcon.

  15. I must mention a little gem of a rookie corner puzzle for those who have time on their hands. With this progress I don’t think Hubble will be in rookie corner for long.

    Today I am mostly listening to https://youtu.be/8G44lWMlGUI
    Whenever Nils plays with Niel I love it

    1. I love the Unplugged album. Apparently the recording was rife with tension & took a second go to get it right but the end product superb. Fully agree they work wonderfully together.

      1. I do find that Neil Young has a slight nasal whine that can be annoying but I forgive him when Nils accompanies him on piano or guitar.

  16. Another slow start then things started to fall into place. Monday’s standards are so consistent it’s amazing.
    Never heard of the fish – thank you Mr G.
    My COTD was 25a with 18a close behind.
    Thanks to Campbell and Falcon for the review.
    Lovely sunny day up here solar panels earning their keep.

  17. Completed this with less than full application as have been hooked on first day of Australian Open Tennis (minus Djokevic!) but eventually made it. Fav was 14a however also liked little 24d clue. Thank you Campbell and Falcon.

  18. Another great start to the crossword week and a new fish now stored in the memory bank.
    It really does seem unfair to pick out favourites but my initial thoughts were to go with 10&14a plus 5d so I’ll stick with those. Have to also make mention of the excellent Quickie puns, particularly the middle one which really made me smile.

    Thanks to Campbell and to Falcon – can’t say that I’m at all envious of your weather!

  19. Can somebody please explain 6d – I understand the answer but have no idea what it has to do with clubs suit or cards or discarding. What am I missing?

    1. Welcome to the blog

      As Falcon’s hint says, the C (an abbreviation used in card games for the suit of clubs) is removed from a rule or law

  20. Everyone has said it all, as usual by the time I have finished my lunch and the crossword. But I can say it again, a delicious crossword done in the conservatory with the hot sun beating down on my back. Freezing everywhere else! Stars for 10, 14,35 and 27a and 5 and 8 d. Unlike Rabbit Dave I think I possibly am addicted to alcohol but frankly at my age……. Thanks to Campbell and to Falcon for explaining the new fish.

  21. I must confess that I do not find Campbell’s puzzles quite as Mondayish as others do, and today is another typical example of a slight struggle. The fish was indeed new to me, but the three-word expression for 13d is unfamiliar to Americans; in fact, I put in a different third word that we would say over here (and it was parsable!), though that was no help for solving 26 & 28a. I soon did a Google and remembered the obvious one. Anyway, I did finish in good time and very much enjoyed the 15d. Podium winners: 7d, 25a, 14a. Thanks to Falcon and Campbell. ** / ****

    1. Late on parade Robert due to a hospital appointment for various tests and reviews.that lasted over 3 hours. I don’t find the Monday puzzles that Mondayish either. Today’s took me longer than yesterday’s Dada. VAlthough I did enjoy 12a, like some others the double definitions held me up.

  22. Another Campbell puzzle that was not exactly a breeze through today. SE was very troublesome and took me from 2* to 3* time with enjoyment dropping a smidge to 2.5* due to the inability to parse many of the clues in that area. I admit I may be thick sometimes, but 22a completely eludes me parsing wise as does 26d (not really a cryptic answer methinks), and to some extent 25a hard to parse. Just me I expect.
    Favourites include 5a, 11a, 7d, 15d and the winner 16d!
    Great word!

    Thanks to Campbell and Falcon

    1. I agree the SE was the toughest nut to crack.

      22a: BLEAK (a Eurasian fish new to me) + HOUSE (store used as verb) giving a novel by Charles Dickens

      26a (there being no 26d): JAUNT[Y] (brisk) with the final letter removed (short)

      1. Thanks for the clarity on the 26a clue … and I was sure it was Bleak House, but darned if I could find a fish of that name.
        Live and learn. Enjoy your snow today … ugh!

  23. We found the parsing more problematic than the solving and had to look the fish up. Favourite was 11a with 25a coming a close second. Thanks to Campbell and Falcon.

  24. I must have been on the right wavelength today or maybe it is a gentle Monday puzzle.
    Most enjoyable, of course, and I would agree with Jane on the podium places being occupied by 10a, 14a and 5d in no particular order.
    Thanks to Campbell and Falcon.

  25. My last one in 10a was top favourite. 16d took some time as I was forgetting that endless can mean both ends. I got 18a but did not parse as I thought that furious was the anagram indicator. I think I just about see the double definition in 27 but that is my least favourite clue. Favourite runners-up are 11 14 and 25a and 5 13 16 and 19d. Thanks Campbell and Falcon.

    1. It definitely took a period of contemplation before I reconciled myself to 27a. The first definition means to notice, the second to surveil.

  26. I enjoyed cantering through today’s puzzle but spent ages trying to get 16d. Easily got noodles without ends but never seen /heard the expression ‘toodle-oo’ so reckon, as a child, I mistook it for toodle-do!
    Many thanks to Campbell and Falcon.

    I recently bought a book (My Stroke of Insight by Jill Bolte Taylor Ph.D published by Hodder& Stoughton) for my husband. Given that his father had 2 strokes many years ago I know that Bill (79) has concerns regarding such a crisis. It’s only 183 pages and he has just finished reading it. Enjoyed the first half more was his comment but it was informative, as the author a brain scientist, experienced a stroke and was able to observe her own mind deteriorate over a few hours. She shares understanding gained from her journey to recovery. It took time but she has completely healed her mind. She comments on the back cover ‘My Stroke of Insight’ is both a recovery guide for anyone touched by a brain injury and an emotional testimony that deep internal peace is accessible to anyone.

    Over the last couple of years there has been an increase in strokes (understandable) and we have fellow bloggers who have unfortunately, been afflicted during that time. I hope this little book which I picked up for a song from ‘The Works’ may be a useful aid to anyone.

    1. Re 16d: I always thought the word was spelled TOODLE-LOO (which is how my ear perceives it). However, no dictionary seems to agree.

        1. Hilary, thank you for your comment – I’ll see if I can get hold of the book that you mentioned.

          1. Hi Kath, Bill found the first half more interesting and you may too. I didn’t pay the full-price so look out for offers! Take good care.

  27. Not difficult but didn’t really enjoy and I’m not quite sure why. Many of the clues seemed clumsy and the wordplay complicated.
    Did like 14a but that’s about it. Seems a bit churlish to say I didn’t enjoy it but there we are.
    Thx to all

  28. I was very slow to get going this morning, until I tried the Down clues, and found it tougher than yesterday’s Dada. Most of my early answers were gained from checkers and inspiration, rather than the clues. But did enjoy lots of lovely phrases. I didn’t know the fish but it just had to be. LI were 28a and 23d, both of which were so obvious once I clicked on the hints. COTD for me was 10a which made me laugh. Thanks to Campbell and Falcon.

  29. 1a got my appetite going after which it all went down well but must brush up on my cockney as I got the ‘wife’ clue but did not know why. Thank you Campbell and Falcon

    1. If I recall correctly, the Cockney wife ultimately comes from ‘ Duchess of Fife” (after a couple of stages of shortening).

  30. I found this a steady solve in a puzzle which could have been designed for me, I do like multiple word answers. I sailed through this until I got to the SW, that took a little longer. I liked so much of this, hard to choose a fave, maybe 14a? I think 13d deserves honourable mention.
    Thanks to Campbell for the fun and Falcon for unravelling a couple.

  31. I read in today’s Guardian blog that they don’t find their Monday puzzles necessarily all that easy either, despite that editor’s stated aim, so no worries about the general state of affairs for me. I’m up for anything the DT allows in, as I can always be sure it is likely to be well-written, as today. Correspondingly, I enjoyed this one with a **/*** sort of an experience!

  32. Enjoyable Monday puzzle apart from 16d which I failed to solve 🤔 I was convinced there had to be noodles in it somewhere 😟 so ***/*** Favourites 14 & 25a 😃 Thanks to the deadly duo Campbell and Falcon

  33. Nice one Campbell to start the week👍
    Didn’t know the fish…but every day’s a school day!

  34. Would have finished earlier but I managed to misspell 1d.
    Having an E as opening checker in 11a, it made it very difficult.
    The tree in 4d was the last to fall.
    The fish was also new to me.
    Thanks to Campbell and to Falcon.

  35. The fish was new to me but evidently the right answer. Apart from that, not enough of a challenge for me!

  36. Just finished the extra cryptic 691. A good steady solve, but two answers eluded me, 18a and 21a. I know what they are now as I had to succumb to danword, but for the life of me I cannot understand the rationale for the answers. But another fun crossword nevertheless.

    1. Hi, BL: 18a: the person who deadens one’s feelings in the OR is an 18a. 21a: R for Republican + Ave (Latin for Greetings!) = a rave, a wild party of sorts, I hear.

    2. Hi BL,

      It’s a shame the weekly online cryptic doesn’t feature on a blog (as far as I’m aware) although the completed grid is shown in the weekly Puzzles Newsletter.

      18a is the guy/girl who ‘puts you to sleep’ prior to an operation – thereby numbing most of your body’s reactions and responses.
      21a is a 3-letter Latin form of greeting preceded by the single letter abbreviation for Republican.

    3. As the weekly cryptic 691 (and others in the series) are Prize Puzzles, shouldn’t the rules about not helping with prize puzzles before the closing date apply to them too? Mind you, I bet if you typed the whole clue into a search engine, the usual helpful sites will be lining up to give you the answer

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