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DT 29890

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29890

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Good morning from South Staffs on a cold, grey January morning.

I was sailing through today’s crossword until I hit the buffers with the crossing entries at 19a and 16d which pushed me into *** time.

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           Enter lift, disorderly charge to get in first (10)
INFILTRATE – Start with IN (from the clue), then add an anagram (disorderly) of LIFT and a charge or price.

6a           Garment from southern India a queen wears (4)
SARI – A (from the clue) and the Latin abbreviation for a queen are tucked inside (wearing) the abbreviation for Southern and the letter represented by India in the NATO alphabet.

Why Saris are Indian Material Culture - JSTOR Daily

9a           Artist seen where arty types drink — from these? (7)
CARAFES – The usual crossword artist is inserted into places where arty types or others may meet to drink coffee or something stronger – which may be poured from the answer.

Carafes - Glassware - Accessories

10a         See what I’m trying to say? (3-4)
LIP-READ – A cryptic definition of a method of communication for the deaf.

12a         Cricketer’s skill with revolver — it should make a good yarn (8-5)
SPINNING-WHEEL – The skill of a particular type of bowler in cricket, followed by something that revolves.

14a         Fifty-fifty odds on getting good service (8)
EVENSONG – Put together another way of expressing fifty-fifty odds, ON (from the clue), snf sn abbreviation for Good.

15a         Cooler to be employed in backing Ono, Sir Paul (6)
PRISON – Hidden in reverse (employed in backing) in the clue.

17a         This person’s left something from China, say (6)
IMPORT – Another way of saying ‘this person is’, followed by a sailor’s word for left.

19a         Run over Victor — in shock or OK? (8)
APPROVAL – Put together abbreviations for Run and Over and the NATO alphabet letter represented by Victor. Then wrap a word for ‘shock’ or ‘dismay’ around the result.

21a         Lawyer opposing pieces local officials broadcast (6,7)
QUEENS COUNSEL – Two chess pieces, one on each side, followed by a homophone (broadcast) of a group of local officials, giving us a senior lawyer.

Rory Mullan is formally sworn in as Queen's Counsel - Tax Chambers

24a         Pictures created by writer — one’s a peculiar grey (7)
IMAGERY – Put together another way of sating ‘one is’, A (from the clue), and an anagram (peculiar) of GREY,

25a         Where planes may fly and luggage disappear? (4,3)
THIN AIR – Cryptic definition of a medium in which planes fly, and, metaphorically, into which one’s luggage may disappear without trace.

26a         Wishes to offload power tools (4)
HOES – Remove the abbreviation for Power from a word for ‘wishes’.

27a         Not in fashion, American clothes old and horrible (10)
OUTRAGEOUS – Put together a word for ‘not in’, another word for ‘fashion’ (as in ‘all the —-‘), an abbreviation for Old, and an abbreviation for ‘American’.


1d           Pine fixture in kitchen (4)
ITCH – Hidden in the last word of the clue.

2d           Divine class of 14-year-olds in report? (7)
FORESEE – When I was at school the 14-year-olds were in the 4th year, and possibly divided into classes A, B and so on. Here we have another word for ‘divine’ or ‘prophesy’ which sounds like (in report) one of those year groups.

3d           One’s dying to make this pay! (4,9)
LIFE INSURANCE – Cryptic definition of something which pays out when you die.

4d           Creative arts, none booming (8)
RESONANT – Anagram (creative) of ARTS NONE.

5d           Twisted ungodly act — occasionally it could be gripping (5)
TALON – Alternate letters (occasionally) of uNgOdLy AcT, but read from right to left (twisted).

Talon Bird Claws - Free vector graphic on Pixabay

7d           Classic that will be read in language lesson (7)
AGELESS – Hidden in the clue.

8d           Popular hospital dept’s broken toy with no zip? (10)
INDOLENTLY – Another word for ‘popular’ often seen in crosswords, followed by a child’s toy wrapped round the usual hospital department.

11d         Maybe steam sauce that’s designed to impress (5,8)
POWER DRESSING – Something designed to impress clients or colleagues in the world of business is made up of two words. ‘Steam’ is an example of the first, and ‘sauce’ an example of the second.

13d         Enjoy welcoming knight who French let go (10)
RELINQUISH – another word for ‘enjoy’ is wrapped round the chess notation for a knight and the French for ‘who’.

16d         Uplifting pop records? Absolute babble (8)
SPLUTTER – Reverse (uplifting) some vinyl records which may or may not be pop, then add another word for ‘absolute’ or ‘total’.

18d         Speed to surround referee — one gets in the book first (7)
PREFACE – Another word for ‘speed’ wrapped round the shortened form of ‘referee’ gives us a passage found at the beginning of a book.

20d         Rocking on vocal, one issues hot stuff (7)
VOLCANO – Anagram (rocking) of ON VOCAL.

22d         S American native reserved and turned up (5)
COYPU – Another word for ‘reserved’ or ‘shy’, followed by the reverse (turned) of UP (from the clue), producing an animal native to South America, but since imported to other countries.

File:Biberratte - Nutria - coypu - Myocastor coypus - ragondin - castor des marais - Mönchbruch - March 23th 2013 - 01.jpg - Wikimedia Commons

23d         They kill members (4)
ARMS – Double definition, the second being members of the body.

The Quick Crossword pun FRANC + INNS + TYNE = FRANKENSTEIN

104 comments on “DT 29890

  1. I started at a sprint and finished at a crawl, crossing the line in a full **** time. 9a and 2d were the last ones in, and 2d gets my vote for COTD.

    Many thanks to the setter and DT.

  2. 2*/4.5*. I really enjoyed this, and it completed a very fine run of back-pagers this week.

    I’m very happy with 2d, but I think it’s many years since 14-year-olds were described as fourth formers. Aren’t they Year 10 in current parlance?

    The grammarian in me has to mention that 13a should say “whom” not “who” and the clue would still work! And does 16d need “pop”?

    I had ticks aplenty with 10a my favourite.

    Many thanks presumably to Zandio and to DT.

    1. Yep, it’s 30 years since I was a 14-year-old, and we were already called Year 10 by then.

      My children’s school has classes 4E, 4H, and 4S, full of 8- and 9-year-olds.

    2. Oh no, say it isn’t so? No more lower fourth, upper fourth and so on? I can’t believe it! Year 10 just isn’t the same. We went to Upper Sixth when we did Higher School Cambridge Certificate, then we were thrown into the wide world.

    3. I’m not sure ‘whom’ would work, RD, as I think it would be ‘que’ in French, whereas the clue requires ‘qui’ (unless I’m barking up the wrong tree here).
      I agree about 2d: I’d like it to read ‘Divine *old* class of 14-year-olds …’ Then 4C would be fine! Good clue as it is, though.
      Given my collection of classical LPs I also agree about 16d. I wonder if ‘pop’ was put in the clue to help us think of EPs/LPs rather than lists, logs, registers etc.

      1. My French is very rusty TJC, but I think there are some constructions where they use “qui” and some where they use “que” for “whom”. I believe that “to whom”, for example, is “à qui”. Perhaps if Jean-Luc sees these comments, he can provide a definitive answer for us.

  3. 2d would also get my vote for COTD along with 18d from this slightly quirky puzzle. I had no real hold-ups, although 19a was awkward and my final entry.

    Many thanks to our setter and DT.

  4. Some complicated clues made this puzzle rather a long-winded slog (3.5*/2*). Although I completed it, I couldn’t t parse 19a or4d. The best of the clues were 2a ( I had a class of East End 14 year old boys with rhat name) and 22d. Thanks to DT for the hints and to the compiler.

  5. The old “when in doubt…..” came to my rescue with 7d my LOI in this stonkingly good quirky and cryptic Friday offering. Slowish start, fast finish with my only problem being the parsing of 16d, though I thought 2d required a leap of faith.
    17&19a plus the aforementioned 7d make up my podium. Great stuff.
    Thanks to setter (going for Zandio) and DT.

    Ps…sad to hear of the passing of Meat Loaf, his “Back into Hell” is one of my very favourite albums, hard rock meets opera. Got to post a song.

        1. In July son is going to an Eagles concert at Murrayfield in the”fairly cheapo seats” at over £100 each. Top tickets over £500 I think
          Just about right probably.
          Not that the Eagles compare to Meat Loaf for me. (from what I remember).

      1. Miffy I know it says “ to be retained “ on the bottom but I don’t think it means forever 😂

        1. But if I hadn’t retained it and others I wouldn’t have had it to show. The memories of the concert are overshadowed by the events on the journey there but that’s another story

          1. Interesting to know what £7.50 is in today’s money – more like £40 I guess, or perhaps more.

              1. A one off. Not to be repeated. Stephen Fry said “ I hope paradise is as you remember it from the dashboard light”?

  6. I found this puzzle to be quite difficulf, especially the NW corner, not helped by taking an age to spot 1d.
    Favourites were 21a and 9a, liked the S American in 22d.
    2d was a unique clue and I needed the checking letters to provide the D’oh moment.
    Going for a ****/****. an excellent finish to the week thanks to setter and DT.

  7. A jolly good effort all round. It’s been a great week for puzzles. I too finished with the 16 down and 19 across pair. Slightly held up by Jenny at 12 across. Thanks to both setter and blogger. The Toughie is quite tame for a Friday but watch out for the bite at the end.

  8. Typical Friday tough puzzle that took quite a bit of concentration to complete. Thx for the hints to explain 16d and 26a (not sure if the unadulterated answer really means the answer with the P, isn’t it usually expressed as ***** and wishes?).
    No real favourites except perhaps for 10a which was clever.
    I find I derive more enjoyment with these tricky puzzles in completing them rather than enjoying the often complex wordplay.
    Thx to all

    1. B, 26a. There is a phrase “***** and wishes”, but the clue is just offering ***** as a simlpe synonym of wishes – both with the meaning “desires”. That’s how I read it.

      1. But doesn’t the first imply expectancy and the second a hopeful desire? Sorry just splitting hairs.

        1. Possibly, but keeping it elementary, in the sense of desires they’re synonymous. Happy Birthday, btw.

  9. Most enjoyable and I found this reasonably straightforward, albeit that my LOI, 8d, was a bung-in: couldn’t parse it for the life of me, trying unsuccessfully to work out if there was an anagram, and had a “Doh!” moment on reading DT’s review.

    Generally smooth surfaces throughout, admirably few anagrams and a great variety of clue types. Hon mentions to 12a, 21a, 25a, 26a 11d and 22d, with my COTD to 5d.

    2* / 3.5*

    Many thanks to the setter and to DT (and to SL for the Meatloaf clip: he was an incredible singer and performer.)

  10. Another fine puzzle, what a good week it’s been – today’s Toughie also highy recommended. 2d misses out on COTD for me, as noted by RD the kids should be 8/9 year olds, or some ‘in the past’ indicator needed. I particularly liked 10a (chestnut?), 14a, 16d, 22d but favourite was 25a. Thanks to setter and DT.

  11. Solved from the bottom up & I’d have finished a darn sight quicker than the near *** time it took me had I entered the correct answer in at 4d – bunged in sonorant which didn’t even fit the anagram fodder. Once that mistake was spotted the NW yielded pretty quickly. Can’t say it was my favourite puzzle of the week but still very enjoyable nonetheless. I’ll plump for a podium of downs at 8,13&16 as my pick of the bunch.
    Thanks to the setter (Zandio?) & DT.

  12. A very enjoyable end to a good week of back pagers with a good example of a Friday puzzle – ***/****.

    Candidates for favourite – 10a, 25a, and 3d – and the winner is 25a.

    By a process of elimination, Silvanus last week (and also on Toughie duty yesterday) and proXimal two weeks ago with his XY-less pangram, this must/should be a Zandio – so thanks to him and to DT.

  13. No secret that this setter isn’t one of my favourites but I did rather like today’s 21a and gave a rueful smile to 25a.

    Thanks to Zandio and to DT for the review.

  14. Started off with a whizz and a bang, and then slowed down to a sedate amble, particularly in Hampshire and Sussex. Great crossword though.

    A bit bored with the whole Covid thing as I’m still testing positive ten days on. It’s only at the strength of a ‘normal’ cold now but I just can’t shake it off.

    Thanks to the setter and The Estimable DT.

    Happy Birthday, Brian!

      1. I think you’re allowed to whinge a bit if you’ve got Covid. There’s light at the end of the tunnel. My late mother swore by a whisky toddy before bed to see off flu or a cold…

        Or perhaps just the Scotch.

        1. Thanks, Chris – I’m teetotal so I’ll have a glass of Robinson’s Orange Barley Water!

      2. My goodness, what a relief. Ten days of positive testing is enough to drive anyone up the wall.

  15. I didn’t get on with this at all and needed far too many hints to get it finished.

    Many thanks to the setter for the drubbing and to DT for the much needed hints.

    Happy Birthday, Brian – have a good day.

    Wordle in 4.

    1. I was 5. It should have been 4 but I thought they wouldn’t use that word would they? They did.

      1. It took me 6 and even that was only by bearing your comment and that of Manders in mind once I had first 3 letters! However it doesn’t of course necessarily have to be a dodgy word.

  16. Good one with some head scratchers – 2d was a “doh” moment – good clue. Otherwise steady and enjoyable solve – agree DT’s rating. It’s been a good week with the sub 5 degree temperature precluding our regular cycling and DT crosswords taking precedence. I cycle with the (misleadingly named) 40 Plus Cycling Club (most of our members are over 60). Generally cycling and crosswords go well together (although I prefer them to be not too hard on long warm sunny cycling days). Cricket and golf are probably more useful solving wise but take up similar amounts of time.

  17. I like these Friday puzzles from Zandio! For me, this was another just above average difficculty for a back-pager, with fine clues providing an an enjoyable solve. I’ve ticked a few but no stand-out favourite today. 3*/4*.

  18. ** difficulty but just loved so many of the clever surface readings, so **** enjoyment. Keep it up, Zandio. Thanks to DT.

  19. Oh I struggled towards the end, eventually yielding to DT’s help for 1 & 2d. Otherwise a lovely puzzle and I enjoyed everyone else’s CODs.
    Thank you setter, happy birthday Brian and congratulations on the all clear Terence.

  20. I needed four hints to complete this tough puzzle. I thought 2d was so stretched the answer should be elastic, even though it was one that I’d bunged in. Does 1a mean get in FIRST , can’t see it myself or am I missing something as usual. Made life difficult by putting council as the second word in 21a, must read the clues properly, and it wasn’t till I read the hint for11d that I saw my mistake. Thanks to all.

  21. For me this was a very quick start with a slower finish. Most of the cryptics wrote themselves in. 2d did not hold me up but it would not make sense to young solvers and perhaps non-Brits. It is the equivalent of Year 10, although in my day at my school it was Lower Fifth. It was just 19a 20d and 16d which slowed me down at the end. I realised there was probably a V in both 19a and 20d, the first two of which helped me to arrange the anagram. Last one in was 16d which was my least favourite. There are so many synonyms for blabber including sputter and I agree that the clue did not need Pop. Many favourites including
    10 12 and 21a and 5 11 and 22d. Many thanks Zandio. It’s a wavelength thing which I’m glad to be on. Thanks to DT. I always enjoy the hints especially to check parsing.

  22. I’ve been lurking on these pages for a while. I started teaching my OH to do cryptic crosswords during lockdown, and it’s now a regular after lunch date for us to sit down to do this together online. We’ve gone from taking well over an hour and having to use various ‘cheats’ (crossword solvers and/or this website) to feeling disappointed if we have to look anything up and/or missing the 45 minute cut off for the online points bonus. We finished todays in just over 38 minutes
    My first question, if you could be so kind…
    Can you tell me what are the time targets that you use to give the star ratings ?
    And how do you identify each of the setters – is it simply a case of identifying their idiosyncrasies (we’ve started to recognise RayT’s Thursday queens and sweethearts!
    Many thanks – now to give the Toughie a try!

    1. Welcome to the blog

      Times are a personal thing. One star reflects the easier end of the scale and five star the most difficult.

      There’s a slightly out of date list of setters on the Frequently asked questions page

  23. Thank you to Zandio for the puzzle, and to early commenters for identifying it as such: I had a quick peek to check that before starting, confident I would enjoy solving it by myself.

    2d is ridiculous and made me smile a lot when I got it. I also particularly liked 14a’s good service, 7d’s classic (which I thought clever), and 11d’s sauce.

  24. Somehow managed to multi-task by completing this whilst watching Nadal match from Melbourne (where I enviously gathered temperature is over 30 degrees). 2d unparsed as 4C etc. didn’t exist at my alma mater. I agree that “pop” is superfluous in 16d. Was trying to come up with a human native for 22d. Joint Favs 12a and 16d. Thank you Zandio and DT.

    1. We only get a short shot at the tennis during the day, most broadcasts are overnight when I’m away with angels.

      1. Most of my watching is at very unsocial hours hence I am missing a lot of sleep at present – not sure if I will be able to last out the Melbourne 2 weeks!

  25. What a plum!
    This would have been finished hours ago if I had not thought the second word of “QUEEN’S COUNSEL” was spelt like Croydon Council!
    Once I sorted that, it was plain sailing to finish.
    This was excellent, a bit trickier than of late, but great fun.
    Fav was the South American native.
    Thanks both, now for the blog.

    1. Always consider the purpose of every word in the clue. In this case I think “broadcast” means sounds like. You can’t then go wrong so long as you can spell the local officials. You are not alone. People often fail to distinguish between a Councillor and a Counsellor!

  26. I enjoyed this very much this afternoon and finished unaided but needed the hints to see how I got there. Dreadful morning – did my printing stint for the Glaven Valley Newsletter. I think the paper must have been damp as the printer kept taking 5 or 6 pages at a time so I had to keep stopping. Brainwave! Put the paper it was refusing to take on the pathetic excuse for a radiator only to find it had sort of curled up and the printer did not like that at all! My 3 hour stint turned into 5 hours and my head hurt from the noise so delighted to get back to the civilisation that is crossword land. Thanks to Zandio and DT. Wordle today 3. Like YS above, I was rather surprised by the word.

    1. In my experience it is rarely damp paper, next time try fanning the paper;
      [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UrrTkVzhORs&w=560&h=315%5D

      I think it is actually static that makes the paper stick. Other problems I have had include the little rollers that pull the paper in getting shiny and a q tip with meths helps but that is usually when it won’t drag paper at all not 5 or 6 at a time.

  27. Late start today. Nice Friday puzzle rated at 2.5*/4* today. New word for me in 22d.
    Well hidden lurker in 15a, I thought.
    Favourites 10a, 14a, 25a, 3d & 16d with winner 10a , but could just as easily have been 25a or 16d … all were good

    Thanks to Zandio and DT

    If I had gone with my gut instinct, Wordle would have been done in 2 but I ended up at 5 instead

  28. Normally a late night solver but a warm fire persuaded me otherwise today.
    Found the top half went in quite quickly but the bottom a little more challenging, really enjoyed it and best clues probably 12a and 14a.
    Thanks to Zandio and DT.

  29. Sometimes I wish I know who the setter was when I started.
    I really like Zandio’s puzzles but they unfold slowly and gradually for me so when I start I think Oh oh what’s this some long boring slog with no joy? Then I carry on and it’s lovely.
    Thank you Zandio and DT

  30. I seem to get behinder and behinder, especially on these very cold, wet, and windy January days that keep me abed. Stayed up late last evening to work both puzzles and found this Zandio most enjoyable. (Toughie not quite done….) I especially liked 13, 16, & 8d, with 2d (a bung-in for me) winning the Clarkie (a ‘special performance’ kind of award). Thanks to DT (whose review I’ll read now) and to Zandio. ** / ****

    Winter Storm Jasper is ploughing its way through the Carolinas, schools and government offices closing at noon, some icy conditions predicted later today.

  31. Thoroughly enjoyed completing this except and all but for 2d.
    Inadvertently saw the correct word and thought the clue a bit stretched.
    So, ****/*****.
    Loved the various misdirections and lurkers.
    Many thanks, Zandio and DT for the nicely illustrated analysis.

  32. A very nice end to a very enjoyable crossword week 😃 🎵…and so say all of us🎵 Favourites were: 10a, 14a, 25a and13d🤗 Happy Birthday to Brian ( I feel we may be of a similar age 🤔) and many thanks to Deep Threat and to Zandio

  33. Tricky little number, mainly in the NW. I did use more e-help than I’m comfortable with, but as I did complete it, maybe that’s not too bad a result. Fave was 21a, 25a coming close. I wanted to put Tabasco in at 20d but knew it was wrong so waited for mor checkers.
    Thanks Zandio for the workout and Deep Threat for his much-needed help.

  34. Foound this tough but just about doable and eminently fair. When I got some of the answers I found myself asking why did I not see it earlier.
    Like Brian the “satisfaction factor” of finishing unaided was greater than the “fun factor” but that is all part of why I do the things in the first place.
    10a was my COTD.
    Thank you setter and DT for the review.

  35. 10a as the stand out clue for me; 2d less so, but overall a great challenge! Thank you Zandio and DT and happy birthday Brian

  36. I found this an enjoyable puzzle. I completed it alone and unaided, but needed help with parsing 2d and 27a….just could not see them.

    Thanks to Zandio and to DT.

    Happy birthday, Brian .

  37. Thanks Zandio for another great challenge 👍
    Thought 2D was definitely in the ‘slightly quirky’ bracket and needed DT’s explanation to confirm my bung-in completion!
    Not quite ‘Snowmageddon’ here yet in VB…but it’s still a tad ‘brisk’!! ❄️
    Stay warm all…cheers!

    1. How much snow did you get up in Virginia Beach, BH? Here in Charleston, just some icy patches, with slight coatings on my camellias.

  38. Whizzed through this, at least my version of whizzing, I may even try the toughie. That should wipe the smug look off my face. Good fun and lots to like. Favourite was 10a. Thanks to Zandio and DT.

  39. Sorry but just not my cup of tea today, just could not get on wavelength. Have set aside and perhaps all will reveal itself later. Thanks to Zandio and Deep Threat.

  40. I did this in two distinct parts today – First half I did on the bus into York but I left the printout at the coffee shop. had to wait until I got home for the rest and had the same problem as others with 19a 16d. I got there in the end with DT’s help. Also, a frustrating day as I spent toooo long installing a new ethernet cable only to find I had boosted my speed by a paltry 3%.
    Fond memories of Mr Loaf – BOOH was an anthem to my youth.
    Thanks to DT and Zandio

  41. Thanks to Zanido and to Deep Threat for the review and hints. A very good puzzle, I had more difficulty with 19a & 16d thanthe reviewer, I couldn’t get either of them, even with the hints. Favourite was 1a, for the misdirection. Was 3*/4* for me.

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