DT 29887 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29887

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29887

Hints and tips by Mr K

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BD Rating  -  Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

Hello, everyone, and welcome to Tuesday.  Today we have an accessible and fun crossword that might introduce a few old favourites to our newer solvers. 

In the hints below most indicators are italicized, and underlining identifies precise definitions and cryptic definitions. Clicking on the answer buttons will reveal the answers. In some hints hyperlinks provide additional explanation or background. Clicking on a picture will enlarge it or display a bonus illustration and a hover (computer) or long press (mobile) might explain more about the picture. Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.



1a    Reprimanding two females after revealing nothing (7,3)
TELLING OFF:  Two copies of the abbreviation for female come after revealing or indicating and the letter representing nothing 

6a    Party remains behind Boris, initially (4)
BASH:  The remains of a fire placed behind the first letter ( … , initially) of BORIS 

9a    Rabbit in the sack? (6,4)
PILLOW TALK:  A cryptic definition. Rabbit here is informal and not an animal, and sack is also informal and not a bag 

10a   Dad's collecting new cooking equipment (4)
PANS:  Another word for dad's containing (collecting) the abbreviation for new 

12a   Reach a temperature that isn't regularly dropping (6)
ATTAIN:  Link together A from the clue, the physics symbol for temperature, and alternate letters ( … regularly dropping) of THAT ISN'T 

13a   Starts to reimburse everyone there if money's withdrawn (8)
RETICENT:  The first letters of (starts to) REIMBURSE EVERYONE THERE IF are followed by a tiny amount of money in, for example, the USA 

15a   Urges Cumberbatch, perhaps, to get food (4,8)
EGGS BENEDICT:  Urges or encourages followed by the first name defined by the example (perhaps) of Cumberbatch the actor 

18a   Opening statement in court I don't fancy (12)
INTRODUCTION:  An anagram (fancy) of IN COURT I DON'T 

21a   Lean right out of bed -- time to reveal bust (8)
BANKRUPT:  Concatenate lean like a turning aircraft, the single letter for right, a short word meaning "out of bed", and the physics symbol for time 

22a   A slice each (6)
APIECE:  A from the clue with another word for slice 

24a   See red  pimple (4)
BOIL:  Double definition. The pimple, I just learned, is technically known as a furuncle. It looks like "furuncle" has not yet appeared as an answer in any of the broadsheet cryptics 

boiling mud in Rotorua, NZ

25a   Shaken drink going round is Tango (10)
DISTRAUGHT:  A drink from a tap and not from a can containing (going round) both IS from the clue and the letter represented in the NATO phonetic alphabet by tango 

26a   For that reason monster returns (4)
ERGO:  The reversal (returns) of a human-eating giant monster 

27a   Nude except pants? Not anticipated (10)
UNEXPECTED:  An anagram (pants, in its UK informal sense of "nonsense") of NUDE EXCEPT 



1d    Heading for opera, papa wears such? (3,3)
TOP HAT:  In the wordplay, the combination of the first letter of (heading for) OPERA and the letter represented in the NATO phonetic alphabet by papa is inserted in (wears) a synonym of such. The entire clue can serve as the definition 

2d    Left behind schedule after parking -- sign of a new driver (1-5)
L-PLATE:  Putting the bits in order, we join together the single letter for left, the map abbreviation for parking, and a word meaning "behind schedule" 

3d    Decreasing surface? (7-5)
IRONING-BOARD:  A cryptic definition of a flat surface on which things are de-creased 

4d    Holiday house in Strasbourg I test (4)
GITE:  The answer is hidden in the remainder of the clue 

5d    Felt these bats surrounding adult -- they come out at night (5,5)
FALSE TEETH:  An anagram (bats, as in crazy) of FELT THESE containing (surrounding) the single letter for adult 

7d    Not pragmatic  scholar (8)
ACADEMIC:  A double definition, the first an adjective and the second a noun 

8d    The man scoffed after model's delay (8)
HESITATE:  Chain together a pronoun meaning "the man", model or pose, and scoffed or ingested 

11d   These may prevent fighting if people space out, leaving line (5,2,5)
PIPES OF PEACE:  An anagram (out) of IF PEOPLE SPACE minus the single letter for line (leaving line) 

14d   Animal backbone? Not good guess (10)
ASSUMPTION:  An animal that's a beast of burden is followed by a synonym of backbone minus the single letter for good (not good) 

16d   Zulu and Bambi broadcast by western European country (8)
ZIMBABWE:  Glue together the letter represented in the NATO phonetic alphabet by zulu, an anagram (broadcast) of BAMBI, the single letter for western, and the single letter for European 

17d   Upright  position (8)
STANDING:  A double definition. Permanent would be another 

19d   Burden women's rowing crew? (6)
WEIGHT:  The single letter for woman followed by the largest crew in rowing 

20d   Swindled Conservative departs, furious (6)
HEATED:  A synonym of swindled minus the single letter for Conservative (Conservative departs

23d   Continue abandoning area and cross river (4)
STYX:  Continue or remain minus the single letter for area (abandoning area) is followed by the letter representing a cross 


Thanks to today’s setter. Top clues for me were 6a and 21a. Which clues did you like best?

The Quick Crossword pun:  CAP + TIN + SLOGS = CAPTAIN'S LOGS

121 comments on “DT 29887

  1. Another great puzzle from the Tuesday setter and a very satisfying one to solve. Plenty of penny drop moments and smiles to go with the morning coffee. One did fox me though. I think I have the answer to 1d correct but I cannot for the life of me see why. Favourites are 9a, 13a and 5d. The latter reminded me of the old joke “Your teeth are like stars…”.

    My COTD is 3d because the misdirection had me thinking of how a surface could reduce.

    Many thanks to the setter for the fun and to Mr K for the hints and pusskits.

    Cold and frosty here in the Marches.

    I failed Wordle today.

    (Just looked at the hints and now understand the parsing of 1d)

    1. I just managed Wordle but needed 6 probably as it didn’t originally occur to me to use the multiplication sign!

      1. Angellov,
        Sorry to post something negative but some visit these discussions before solving Wordle. Perhaps hints, subtle or otherwise, would be best posted after midnight so as not to spoil it for others.

  2. I thought this a little gem of a puzzle, not particularly difficult but with lots of innovative and amusing clueing.
    I really liked several but my top three are 13a plus the hilarious 3d and the clever 14d, with 25a running them close.
    Many thanks to the setter for a top puzzle and likewise Mr K for the blog.

    Re the river, here’s the band

  3. A really enjoyable puzzle , with so many fun clues that it was difficult to limit myself to a few (2*/5*). I liked 1a, 9a, 5d and 16d but my COTD was 15a. Many thanks s to the compiler and to Mr K for rhe hints.

  4. Sped through this despite a dose of Covid. 3d was my favourite. Thanks to today’s setter and Mr. K.

        1. Hope you feel better soon. Jonners. I bet you’re glad you were vaccinated. I was appalled to read this morning that Covid patients had been removed against medical advice from hospitaks in Milton Keynes and Liverpool by antivaxxers/ conspiracy theorists.

    1. May I add my good wishes for a full recovery, Jonners? I hope the vaccine has kept it mild.

    2. I think we are all fearful of getting a dose of Covid despite our triple Vax, do
      hope that it is only a mild version.

  5. Fun, and perfect for doing after accidentally waking up far too early, with a headache. (Quite possibly also well-suited for other situations, too, but that’s the only one I can verify.) I finished in one sitting, and still had time to fit in the final few chapters of The Main Who Died Twice before the children got up and insisted I took them to school.

    In the first pass I wrote in about as many answers as I got in the first passes of the previous 3 crosswords added together. Maybe I should try solving at 5AM more often?

    1d is clever, 6a is topical (how long in advance was it written, I wonder?), 3d made me groan when I eventually got it, and 15a is my favourite. Thank you to the setter, and Mr K for the well-illustrated hints.

    I’ve just come out of a (virtual meeting) with a business we want to do something technical for us, a follow-up to last week’s meeting with a salesbod. Today’s meeting also included an account manager. The outcome is … arranging another meeting, with a techie, who might actually be able to contribute something useful. Why couldn’t they just let me talk to the techie the first place, and save everybody else’s time?

  6. Seems to be a mini phonetic alphabet theme going on today. I found it enjoyable and not too taxing. Childish I know, but the surface of 21a made me smile. Thank you compiler and Mr Kitty xxx

    1. With temperature (12a), time (21a), and tango (25a), there’s a mini ‘insert a T’ theme going on as well!

  7. Agree with Mr K re the old favourites and agree with the fun puzzle.
    Excellent surfaces today,favourites were 9a and 5d and a giggle worthy 15a.
    Going for a **/****.
    The fog has lifted and its a cold blue sky day in mid cheshire, good start to te day all round, many thanks to setter.

  8. Fun solve & on a par with yesterday in terms of difficulty. 3d along with 9&15a my picks for a witty podium. Today’s Toughie also very accessible though currently 3 shy of completion in the NW.
    Thanks to the setter & to Mr K.

  9. Co-favourites this morning with 3d and 6a sharing the honours. This was top drawer entertainment with a lovely mix of clues, so many thanks to our Tuesday setter and Mr K.

    Wordle in 4 today after five blanks in the first pass.

  10. Loved it, loved it – full of humour and great fun. My favourites included 3d, 5d, 9a &15a, Thanks to the setter and Mr K of course.

  11. An enjoyable Tuesday morning coffee-break challenge. Until the last 5 clues I barely took my pen from the paper but cracking the next 2 took as long as the previous 23; the final few then fell swiftly.

    Hats off to 9a, 15a, 21a, 3d and 23d, with the laurels shared between the bust and the sacked rabbit.

    1* / 2.5*

    Many thanks to the setter (Chalicea?) and to Mr K.

  12. A very enjoyable crossword. No Chinese dynasties; always a blessing.

    Today’s crossword soundtrack is inspired by 17a in the Quickie. The vastly underrated Prefab Sprout – Appetite
    (from the excellent album ‘Steve McQueen’ – retitled ‘Two Wheels Good’ in the USA.

    Thanks to the setter and The Celebrated Mr K.

    1. No word of how you are feeling? Do hope that you only have a mild
      dose of the dreaded lurgi.

  13. 2*/4*. Another lovely light puzzle to continue the week with 3d my favourite.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Mr K, particularly for the very appropriate picture for 9a.

  14. Typically Tuesdayish – **/****

    Candidates for favourite – 9a, 15a, and 17d – and the winner is 9a.

    Thanks to the setter and Mr K.

    And, well done to the seven of our company I recognised who received ‘mentions’ of various types for SPLENDIFEROUS in the Newsletter clue competition especially Stephen L for his ‘Bronze Medal.’

    1. I can only recognise Steve Cowling as he uses his full name – I’d love to know who the others were.

      1. M. I can reveal 5 of the 7, in the order they appeared in yesterday’s Newsletter:

        Myself, Jose Torres (Jose on here).
        Michael Callaghan (Prolixic).
        Steve Cowling.
        Jane Ainsworth (Jane).
        Stephen Lord (Stephen L). Well done!

        Be interesting to know the other 2.

          1. Ah, yes, interesting! I’ve sussed it now, from nickname/Christian name and location. That leaves one mystery person……

  15. A wonderful puzzle today from beginning to end – bang on my wavelength. I love the cat being ironed! I had a cat years ago that loved being hoovered. Anyway thanks to the setter and Mr K. Wordle in 4.

  16. I really enjoyed this. I was especially tickled by the oldie that is 5d because it reminded me of my 4 year old son being disappointed to discover that his teeth did not come out like his grandfather’s.
    My downfall was the pesky 24a as I had “spot” which also fitted the clue.
    The Toughie, being by Chalicea, is well worth tackling.

    1. I fell for ‘spot’ for a while as well but the correct answer obviously fits much better as a double definition.

      1. I nearly inserted Spot too, but the second word of the clue would have been superfluous. Happily I hung on until I had a checker. I did something very stupid which was to insert 26a the wrong way round! Luckily I cottoned on and then quickly inserted 16 and 17d.

  17. Like Mustafa, I immediately thought this was a Chalicea production, I think she has done double duty at least once previously?
    Now that she’s popped in to disclaim responsibility, I haven’t got the faintest idea who penned this one, perhaps he/she will pop in to let us know.
    A fairly gentle but amusing puzzle with my top marks going to 6a & 3d and a special mention for 15a – one of my favourite brunches.

    Thanks to our setter and to Mr K for the review, especially the video clip for 3d!

  18. Super puzzle to finish over breakfast. Lots of clever and amusing clues such as 15a and 5d and an old favourite 3d.
    For once I actually managed to parse all the clues, I usually need the inestimable hints to explain at least one.
    I wish all DT crosswords were this good. Very enjoyable.
    Thx to all

    1. Congrats on the completing both the grid fill and the parsing, Brian. We hinters are always happy to hear that our services are no longer required.

      Your conclusion will have made our compiler very happy.

  19. Nice witty puzzle 😃 ***/**** Lots of favourites but on the podium 🤔 15a, 9a and 3d, Thanks as always to Mr K and also to the unknown Compiler 🤗

  20. Witty is a good adjective to describe this puzzle. I enjoyed it but some good things it was over too quickly. More please! Apart from my error in entering 26a backwards the only other thing that held me up was the parsing of 13a. Obvious once I looked at the hint. I had filled it in but was 14a to do so, as I thought there could be other possibilities with those checking letters. I am a fan of decreasing although I missed the fun this time as the checkers gave it to me without reading the clue. Top favourite is 5d as it had me thinking of nocturnal animals and things that glow in the sky. It must be an oldie but I don’t remember seeing it. Other favourites 6 9 15 and 24a and 3 14 and 23d. Thanks setter and Mr K

    1. Talking of things nocturnal, our neighbourhood owl was having a good old hoot last night,
      under the Wolf Moon!

    2. Hello, WW. Re 5d, the “they come out at night” definition has been used many times before, but it looks like the wordplay is original.

  21. This was fun. Like Smylers, I woke early with s headache and made a good start. It’s hard to unsee spot at 24d Fortunately 16d was certain enough to force a rethink. I stared at 20d for 10 minutes, so little help from the checkers but penny dropped eventually. COD 21a for me. Thanks Mr K for the parse at 1d and wonderful illustrations. Get well soon Jonners

  22. As one of the thousands who nearly always need help from this site thank you to all concerned. I was surprised to complete today’s puzzle unaided, more so when most of you gave it ** for difficulty!

    1. And a big welcome from me as well, SD. Thanks for sharing your experience with the puzzle, congrats on the unaided solve, and do keep commenting.

  23. A relatively straightforward puzzle for Tuesday. Nothing to scare the horses today.
    1.5*/3* for me.
    Favourites include 1a, 9a, 15a, 2d & 5d with winner 2d for the 60’s memories.
    6a, 9a. 24a & 3d made me smile.
    A nice gentle puzzle that was a fun solve.

    Thanks to setter and Mr K

      1. Yes, and woe betide trespassers😎

        Actually he’s a lovely cat who came here as a stray (abandoned in the countryside once he became too adventurous in the kitchen no doubt). But he is a rascal!

      1. No idea. I think the cats have superior smell. But I don’t thinks it’s oil .., perhaps a sort of resin/sap that leads to the production of oil.

        This is not the first time I have witnessed this. It happens regularly when I bring the freshly cut wood in.

        PS thanks for the blog and also to the setter.

  24. 2/5. Splendid puzzle with a packed podium of favourites – 9&15a and 3&5d. Thanks to our setter and Mr K. Now back in Canada after nearly a month in the UK, a trip which cost me nearly $1000 in PCR tests alone. Covid, dontchaluvit!!!

    1. PS Spike is the cat in my avatar and likes solving the Toughie (with his “clause”)!

        1. This was one of the stars. Smokie, another stray who arrived in the chimney of the pizza oven surrounded by 3 baying dogs! She was no bigger than my hand and had been starved of all nutrition. She rarely lefy the house and rarely did anything but sleep (for about 10 years!). But this her on a trip to the UK😎


          1. SW
            Lovely, must be something about cats called “Smokey”. We had a Smokey that followed me & our Labrador home on day and stayed for 19 years!
            Like yours with the toy he was pretty aggressive and ruled the Close. He wasn’t afraid to let the dog or the neighbours know if he was displeased.

  25. nice puzzle with not too many difficulties. 7 and 11d needed a bit of thinking about. 26a, 21a and 14d pleased me the most.
    Thanks to Mr K and setter.
    I have a bit more to do with Chalicea’s excellent toughie and am still listening to…

  26. No real problem with this excellent puzzle, just needed the hint for 13a ,although it now seems obvious . I too thought of spot for 24a but getting 16d soon corrected that. I knew 4d from watching programmes like a place in the sun. Thanks to all.

  27. Fairly typical Tuesday standard for me, although the SE corner slowed me down a little.
    Smiles from 3d, 5d and 27a, with 3d taking COTD.
    Thank you to setter and Mr K the review complimented the puzzle perfectly.

  28. An amusingly witty and enjoyable Tuesday offering, with some splendid wordplay–in 1d, 13a, & 21a–but it’s 25a that gets my COTD vote as I stared at it for ages until the penny finally dropped, at which point I actually shouted Yay! Thanks to Mr K and today’s setter. Lots of fun. ** / ****

    If Corky, who has been absent from the blog for a while, is still looking in these days, I’d like to thank him for enlightening me about the Mick Herron ‘Slow Horses’ series, which I am enjoying while my old bete noire arthritis keeps me recumbent in the sack. Hope that Corky is doing well.

    1. Thank you Robert but sorry to hear about your arthritis and hope you get some relief.

      I am still on my sabbatical reading crossword solving books one more to go and when that is finished will return, perhaps part time. Stay safe stay cool.

    2. Whilst looking up my recipe for marmalade in my handwritten special recipe book
      which is falling apart, I found a very old cutting from the DT – a cure for arthritis.
      Empty a box of golden raisins into a large shallow container. Completely cover with gin.
      Stand for 7 days until the gin has evaporated, put raisins into a covered container.
      Eat NINE raisins a day!
      This was on the Monday doctor’s column and had apparently come from several sources.
      Worth a try?
      PS you cover the raisins with gin, not yourself – and it is the raisins that stand for 7 days, not you!

      1. I’m definitely going to try that one! It can’t hurt and the arthritis is hurting enough anyway to make you try anything.

        1. I have a teaspoonful of apple/cider vinegar each day diluted in fruit juice (or water). In 6 months it has done wonders. You can up the dose, but I believe more than a tablespoon is not recommended.

          Not as exciting as DG’s recipe though🍸

            1. But give it 6 months at least. I didn’t realise it was working but I used to wake up with clenched fists and sort of had to prise them open. Now that rarely happens. I work a lot with vibrating tools .,, chainsaws and strimmers (weed whackers) and they used to give me hell … touch wood that’s over.

  29. Just the right amount of exercise for the ol’ grey matter. NE slowest to acquiesce mainly ‘cos I filled in last two words of 11d but then cancelled a wrong letter Favs were 21a and 5d. Thank you Messrs. Ron and K.

  30. I really enjoyed today’s puzzle completed in two halves. Many thanks to the setter and Mr K.

    My husband, Bill went to have his pacemaker checked this morning. All appears to be OK but for a small blip and asked whether he can remember what happened at mid-day, on 19th September, last year? We have spent sometime contemplating the matter but can’t remember anything earth-shattering. Apparently, he has 8.5 years of battery life left!

  31. Rushed in writing Ironing Table in 3d.
    That’s how we describe it in France.
    That slowed me down a bit until I noticed the anagram in 18a.
    6a made me laugh.
    A few chestnuts but oldies are goodies.
    Thanks to the setter and to Mr K for the review.

    1. I’ll probably get thrown out for this, but re 6a, I wonder how soon another baby will appear.

  32. This was a huge treat, laughs galore and very friendly. I only had to use e-help for one, 13a, so cross with myself, I should have been able to work that out. I can’t believe I remembered 4d from before, but I did! Fave? So much choice, 15a was giggle worthy, but 9a and 3d also amused. I loved it all.
    Thank you setter, please take a bow, and Mr. K for my cat fix! Much gratitude to Stone Waller for his cat contribution too.

  33. Very late in, it has all been said. Book Group Zoom at 2 p.m. then I had to take the library
    book back and get the next one out. Then I had to make a start on supper. Now it is only
    15 minutes off gin time, hurrah. Lovely crossword, laughed at 9a and 14d. Thanks to the setter
    and to Mr. K and the kitties. I’d love to explore the clue competition but it would mean even less housework being done!
    Wordle in 4.

        1. It’s an interesting idea, but it’s possible that gin may not be best. The only way to know would be to carry out a set of experiments: gin, whisky, vodka, rum, tequila, …

    1. I must tell Jimmy, who does all the shopping, to add GIN and RAISINS to this week’s grocery list. Thanks, Daisygirl!

      1. GIN and RAISINS anagrammatize as SIN IS A GRIN :)
        I would be grinning and sinning especially if I ate the raisins before the gin evaporated.

  34. Do we know the setter today? Just a thought but the last time I got almost all the answers the setter was DOORKNOB – today I failed only four – and they were being dim so I’ll not going to count them . . .
    Thanks to the setter and to Mr K.

    1. Oh, Kath, you’re doing better and better, not long now and you’ll be knocking them off in no time.

    2. Nobody’s called in to claim it as yet, Kath, and Doorknob usually does, so it remains a mystery for now.

      1. Thanks – yes, you’re right that he does almost ‘pop in’ – oh well, doesn’t matter . . . it kept me happy and busy for a very long time – in fact for such a long time I’d have been embarrassed – no longer . . . just to have finished one!!!!

  35. Late getting to this today, but my goodness what a treat. Wish we knew who the setter is for this one. I can’t pick a COTD as I have too many favourites, 1a, 9a, 15a, 26a, 3d, and 5d. A joy to solve. Thanks to setter and Mr K, for setting me straight about 24a.

  36. I rarely comment, usually because as today I tend to complete them a day or to after they’re published, but had to add how enjoyable this was to solve. Sometimes the crossword can feel like a chore, but this left me smiling, just brilliant!

    1. Hello, Owdman. It’s never too late to comment, Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the puzzle. The compiler will enjoy reading them.

  37. 3*/5*….
    liked 6A ” Party remains behind Boris, initially (4) “….
    and 9A ” Rabbit in the sack? (6,4) “

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