DT 29893 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29893

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29893

Hints and tips by Mr K

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BD Rating  -  Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

Hello, everyone, and welcome. I felt that today's puzzle came from the more straightforward end of the Tuesday spectrum.  Nothing wrong with that of course. Lots of smooth surfaces made for a very pleasant solve . 

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    Try hat, scratching head with charm (7)
ATTEMPT:  HAT minus its first letter (scratching head) with charm or entice 

5a    Weapon wounded large animal (7)
CUTLASS:  Link together wounded with a knife, the clothing abbreviation for large, and an animal that's a beast of burden

9a    Deception from German woman with diamonds (5)
FRAUD:  The German word for woman with the playing card abbreviation for diamonds 

10a   Almost imprisoning female with debts? Extremely wicked (9)
NEFARIOUS:  Almost or close containing (imprisoning) the abbreviation for female is followed by some debts traditionally scrawled on a slip of paper

11a   Utterly empty cell, criminal has nothing inside (10)
COMPLETELY:  An anagram (criminal) of EMPTY CELL with the letter representing nothing placed inside 

12a   Drink shark oil regularly (4)
SAKI:  Alternate letters (regularly) of SHARK OIL

14a   Splitting up, say, soldiers in depot (12)
SEGMENTATION:  The Latin abbreviation for say or for example and some usual soldiers are inserted together in a synonym of depot 

18a   Cold hermit saves desperately for when stockings go up? (9,3)
CHRISTMAS EVE:  The single letter for cold followed by an anagram (desperately) of HERMIT SAVES 

21a   Bug likes eating fruit (4)
UGLI:  The first two words of the clue are hiding (eating) the answer 

22a   Foolproof plan if ill, be converting papa's shed (10)
INFALLIBLE:  An anagram (converting) of PLAN IF ILL BE minus the letter represented in the NATO phonetic alphabet by papa ( … papa's shed

25a   Rock star's first and second sound (9)
SANDSTONE:  Concatenate the first letter of STAR, AND from the clue, the single letter for second, and a musical sound of definite pitch 

26a   Be east of old tree (5)
OLIVE:  Be or exist comes after ( … east of, in an across clue) the abbreviation for old 

27a   Prize returned by small boxers? (7)
DRAWERS:  The reversal (returned, in an across clue) of a prize or present is followed by the clothing abbreviation for small 

28a   Ring new rep about leaving parking spot (7)
DISCERN:  A ring with its middle filled in is followed by the reversal (about) of the both the abbreviation for new and REP minus the map abbreviation for parking (leaving parking) 



1d    Pretend European court supports a couple of fines (6)
AFFECT:  Both the single letter for European and the map abbreviation for court come after the fusion of A from the clue and two copies of the pencil abbreviation for fine 

2d    Removing feet from trap, US man gets injury (6)
TRAUMA:  Remove the last letters (feet) from the next three words in the clue 

3d    Turkey is part of this set meal I'd ordered around beginning of December (6,4)
MIDDLE EAST:  An anagram (ordered) of SET MEAL I'D containing (around) the beginning letter of DECEMBER 

4d    Belief that goes up and down (5)
TENET:  A palindrome (… that goes up and down) of a word meaning belief 

5d    These go with shirts -- clobber on golf course (4,5)
CUFF LINKS:  Clobber or hit with another name for a golf course 

6d    Some golden retriever picked up bird (4)
TERN:  The answer is hiding in the reversal of (some … picked up, in a down clue) of the remainder of the clue 

7d    A note ignored by sentimentalist is perfumed (8)
AROMATIC:  A from the clue with a synonym of sentimentalist minus the single letter for note (note ignored by …

8d    Nose is broken in ship's drinking bouts (8)
SESSIONS:  An anagram (broken) of NOSE IS inserted in the abbreviation for a steamship 

13d   Boss renegotiated overall sum (10)
MARVELLOUS:  An anagram (renegotiated) of OVERALL SUM. Boss here is an adjective meaning excellent 

15d   Significant second Oscar just unveiled? (9)
MOMENTOUS:  Link together a second or a short interval of time, the letter represented in the NATO phonetic alphabet by Oscar, and the inside letters (unveiled) of JUST 

16d   Defendant maintaining Republican is loathsome (8)
ACCURSED:  The defendant in a courtroom containing (maintaining) the single letter for Republican 

17d   Country is upset about resistance by dull American (3,5)
SRI LANKA:  The reversal (upset, in a down clue) of IS containing (about) the physics symbol for electrical resistance is followed by dull or lifeless and the single letter for American 

19d   Make old boy fib about leader of government (6)
OBLIGE:  Follow the abbreviation for old boy with a fib containing (about) the first letter of (leader of) GOVERNMENT 

20d   Lower debt -- cut by 50% on average? (6)
DEMEAN:  One half (cut by 50%) of DEBT with another word for average 

23d   What rug might go on first? (5)
AHEAD:  Split (1,4) the answer is a place where something informally called a rug might go 

24d   Man, perhaps, is left ecstasy (4)
ISLE:  Put together IS from the clue, the single letter for left, and the single letter for the drug ecstasy. The definition is by example (perhaps


Thanks to today’s setter. I particularly liked 18a, 25a, and 3d. Which clues did you like best?

The Quick Crossword pun:  TEE + COE + SEIZE = TEA COSIES

82 comments on “DT 29893

  1. All over in ** time. The down clues coming particularly quickly. I haven’t heard the use of ‘boss’ in the context seen in 13d. A regional expression perhaps?

    I’m giving 18a my vote for COTD, just because of the time it took for the penny to drop.

    Many thanks to the setter and Mr. K.

  2. Bit disappointed not to see tartan, whisky or haggis in today’s grid, nonetheless very enjoyable, albeit 23d was a bung-in (still don’t really get it after seeing the hint). Particularly smiled when realised I was caught out by the other bird in 6d – touché, M le setter!

      1. Thanks, MalcomR. Amazing how I can be in the world for several decades and still have missed so much in my mother tongue!

  3. 1.5*/3.5*. Another light and fun puzzle with my only hold up failing to understand the definition for 13d until I looked up “boss” in my BRB to find a meaning I have never come across before.

    3d was my favourite.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Mr K.

  4. A pretty straightforward puzzle with some good clues was marred for me by a rather dodgy synonym at 23d (2*/3*). I liked 25a and 17d and the superb 14a was COTD. Thanks to Mr K and the compiler

  5. 3d was a very tidy clue and became my favourite. Overall this was a pleasingly straightforward puzzle with no real delays other than the obscure meaning of 13d, now resolved.

    Thanks to both Misters involved. I can recommend the Toughie today.

    Wordle in 4, with nothing on the first pass and just 2 misplaced letters on the second.

  6. Another very easy one for me, but I do like the way the difficulty, which always seems relatively mild in any case, ramps up over the week in the DT puzzles. That’s a sign of good editing I think. */***.

    Thanks to the compiler and Mr K.

  7. Another fun solve, maybe a tad easier than yesterday. Other than a slight hiccup at 6d where I also initially had the wrong lurking feathered friend it was problem free & all over pretty quickly. I had heard of boss at 13d in this context & don’t care for it in the least. 5d my clear favourite & suffice to say I shall not be sporting them on my first venture onto the golf course in the UK since early November – any more layers & doubt I’ll be able to swing the club. An excellent Dada Toughie today – reckon it’s not much more difficult (if at all) than the last couple of Sundays though my last in (an 11 letter word with 6 checkers) took me an embarrassingly long time to twig.
    Thanks to the setter & Mr K – the review & Wordle will have to wait as time to try & hit a little white ball awaits.

      1. I’m not at all keen on it either and I’ve never heard it used as an adjective in conversation, only ever as a noun.

        1. A bit late, but…
          If you listen to the theme song from the old cartoon “Top Cat”, you’ll hear he’s the boss cat. In those days, _boss_ was a hip jazz word like “cool”.

    1. And me too re 6d H.
      Hope you enjoy the golf. Would have said it was a bit nippy down your neck of the woods mind.

      1. Can’t say that I did much sadly. They’d tined & sanded the greens so didn’t even bother to putt. I’d have been just as happy having a walk & listening to music & with my hands warm. Reckon I’ve become a fair weather golfer…

  8. Almost read and write.
    1a delayed my completion.
    I got stuck in a groove, insisting that part of the clue was at the end instead of the front.
    Memo to self – do not get stuck in a groove.
    Overall, **/****
    Many thanks to the setter and Mr.K.

  9. A fun Tuesday and a **/*** for me.
    Like others ,a new ‘boss”
    Thanks to Mr K for parsing 7d.
    Favourite was 10a ,liked the word, sounded ‘egyption’

  10. Over the last I don’t know how long, as Tuesdayish as they come -**/’****.

    Candidates for favourite – 14a, 7d, and 23d – and the winner is 23d.

    Thanks to the setter and Mr K.

    P.S. I am very pleased that the Dada Toughie didn’t find its way into the Sunday envelope!

  11. After the splendid Dada (*Toughie) workout last night, our Tuesday setter seemed downright generous and welcoming, though the south took me much longer to solve than the north. Enjoyable surfaces throughout, with 25a, 16d (oh the message here!), & 23d leading the parade of stars. Thanks to Mr K (wish I had an epigrammatic cap like that one in 1a) and today’s setter. **/****

    *As Huntsman says, that 11-letter word in the Toughie, my LOI, took me an astronomically long time to solve–must be a first for crosswords, is it? (Probably not.)

  12. I found a bird in 6d, then 5a and 10a wouldn’t fit. Revisiting 6d I found another bird and all was well.

  13. Great crossword – I did get held up around Sussex and Kent but once I solved 23d the rest seemed to follow.

    Recently, a couple of people have asked how little Lola is getting on. She is fine, getting older now and slowing down a bit, but really enjoying life. When I contracted Covid two weeks ago, she knew something was wrong before I did, and would not leave my side. She lolled with me on the sofa for ten days as we watched ‘A Place In The Sun’ and ‘Escape To The Country’. Her favourite TV moments are when there is cricket on.

    Today’s crossword soundtrack is a tribute to The Celebrated Mr K.

    Thanks to the setter and the aforementioned Mr K.

    1. Lola has obviously found her personal ‘place in the sun’ right by your side, Terence. Clever devils, these cats!

    2. It is quite a well known phenomenon for animals to recognize that their owners are ill before their owners realise it. Glad to hear Lola is doing well and that she was looking out for you.

  14. A nice and easy Tuesday ride and I do like the sound of the word at 10a. Same cannot be said for that frightful use of 13d!
    Top clue for me was 3d.

    Thanks to our setter and to Mr K for his well-illustrated review – loved the quote that accompanied 22a!

  15. A most enjoyable solve, if swift, providing some splendidly witty humour and lovely smooth surfaces.

    I enjoyed 13d very much and immediately thought of the comments it would generate on the blog … A puzzle the other day threw in what were to me various antediluvian Scottish words, so I think a very occasional bit of modern language usage is entirely acceptable, even for the Daily Telegraph!

    Plenty of ticks – 25a, 28a, 2d, 13d, 15d – with COTD going to 23d,

    1.5* / 3.5*

    Many thanks indeed to the Setter, and to MrK

  16. This was almost as if written by two different setters. The top half was excellent full of elegant clever clues but the bottom was a real stinker as far as I was concerned. I needed the hints to explain 17d (missed the synonym of dull), 13d (never come across this definition excellent before but it is in the BRB), 22a was just over my head and 28a.
    The top for me was **/*****, the bottom was quite the reverse.
    Top enjoyable, the bottom was for me awful.
    Thx for the hints and to the top setter.

  17. Despite needing a couple of the hints I found this to be most enjoyable with a great level of satisfaction. It was good to see a different cluing for the chestnut 5a although it probably has been clued this way before. Like others, I had not heard of 13d being used in such a fashion. I liked 2d for the simple fact that, if you did exactly what the clue said, the answer was obvious. My favourite and COTD is 25a.

    Many thanks to the setter for the fun and to Mr. K. for the hints. I did like the “rug cat”.

    Wordle by the skin of my teeth in 6.

  18. Light, bright fun solve. Slightly easier than yesterday but almost as well clued and very enjoyable. 13a not heard of before.
    27a my COTD with 3d R/U
    Thank you setter and Mr K.
    Wordle in 4.

  19. Yes agree with the majority of the competitors but I was unseated by the penultimate across clue where I had an American word “diapers” which reversed is s(mall) repaid 😳 Ergo ***/*** Favourites were 25a and 5 & 23d 😃 Thanks to Mr K for getting me back into the saddle and to the Unknown maestro who compiled the puzzle

  20. With 3d and 18a, I wonder if this was originally intended to be released a month or so ago. Similar experience to others that I flew through the top half then found the bottom much, much harder — maybe the setter got halfway through setting this in festive spirits and then came back to it when he needed a puzzle in a hurry.

  21. Not the friendliest Tuesday puzzle today, I thought. 2.5*/3* today.
    21a an unknown word for me.
    Podium contenders include 14a, 18a, 22a, 25a & 5d with my winner being 22a, but 18a close behind.
    Found SW troublesome to complete and was almost last in.
    That was left for the far SE in the end.

    Thanks to setter and Mr K

  22. A very enjoyable crossword for me which I managed to solve and parse alone and unaided.
    Held up by foolishly entering notorious for 10a until I saw the error of my ways.

    Thanks to the setter and to Mr K….Great pictures as always.

  23. A relatively gentle but very enjoyable “dessert” to the Toughie. Top three for me were 25a plus 3d along with my final entry 13d.
    Many thanks to the setter and Mr K.

  24. Very good crossword with some very clever clues, 22,25 & 27 – I thought that 27 was particularly funny. Many thanks to the setter and to MrK – I wonder how often that poor cat gets trodden on when lying in that wig, sorry, rug.
    Wordle in 5
    I wonder how long before the prescriptive text stops turning Wordle into wordless?

    1. Ok,Daisy, got my golden raisins which are now soaking in the last of the Bombay Sapphire, how soon can I start eating them?

      1. Haha. Well I have been soaking mine for about 10 days now and have tasted the odd sneaky one along the way.
        Not that I am doing it for the taste, of course, purely for medicinal reasons. I really do not eat between meals but every
        now and then I get an uncontrollable munchy feeling. The cutting in my book said leave for up to two weeks until all the
        gin has evaporated – mine are still a bit wet but I am going to put them in a jar anyway and start eating them. 😋

        1. I am interested enough in this idea to experiment – Not sure if I am going to buy some Bombay Sapphire or even Golden Raisins but I have put the ordinary raisins leftover from Stir up Sunday into the dregs of some Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference Gin
          I’ll let you know how it works.

  25. A fairly gentle Tuesday puzzle with very good clues providing a pleasant solve. Fav: 3d. 2*/3*.

    *Remember when Turkey was in the Near East? I think that regional term became defunct several decades ago?

  26. OK but for me nothing special today. North came through smoothly then South a different story not helped by never having heard of 13d in that context and 23d unparsed. No Fav(s). Thanks setter and MrK.

  27. OK but for me nothing special today. North came through smoothly then South a different story not helped by never having heard of 13d in that context and 23d unparsed. 27a chestnut. No Fav(s). Thanks setter and MrK.

  28. Enjoyable solve. Yes, 13d was a little outré but doable. I was left with two unsolved, 28a and 23d, the latter gave a chuckle! Lots to like here, 5d was fave, I also liked 10a, lovely word, I use it often to describe a certain person who is banned here.
    Thanks setter for the fun and Mr. K for the usual entertaining pics.

        1. Google it Hoofit, its a highly addictive little game that you can only play once a day which is part of its charm.

          1. And, it’s harmless.Sorry Jose I can’t understand what there is about it to cause offence.

            1. Sorry Jose (from the smiley) even tongue-in-cheek “offence”.
              Mrs LrOK is a member of a running club & they post their scores. There is a lot of luck in a 2 or 3 try solve but keeping a run of no failures can involve crossword-like skills in recognising word shapes.

              1. OK, fair enough. I do apologise, but it was just a bit of tongue-in-cheek banter. I suppose Wordle is a fairly new pastime and the “sharing” novelty will soon wane and people’s interest will fizzle out.

              1. Yes, my first year at Big School, 1946, second form, front row to the left. Malcolm Gladwell’s mother was headgirl, He describes in his book, I think The Outliers, as a Victorian Boarding School for Girls, St; Hilda’s Diocesan High School, run by the CofE. His mother, Joyce Nation is at the back with her identical twin sister. Can you believe it, I’m still in touch with some, they’re all over the world, US, Canada, UK, France, Serbia, and so on. A long time ago, I went to boarding school when I was four, not because I was a Jane Eyre, but because of the distances I couldn’t go to day school.

                1. Fascinating, Merusa! What memories you must have. I don’t know how you’ve managed to stay in touch with so many of your classmates; that’s quite a tribute to you, I think. In September of 1946, just before I turned 8, I started third grade at Chicora Elementary School, in what was then called Navy Yard, South Carolina. I now live two miles from the site of that old school, which is still there, by the way, though quite in need of repair.

                  1. St. Hilda’s is still there but I don’t think it’s a private. paying church school any longer, I believe it is run by the government, all scholarship. A lot of changes in 60 or so years.

  29. As others have said, friendly and a bit easier than yesterday. And 13d was new to me too.
    Just needed a hand parsing 28a.
    I wish it would warm up. My bones are getting older and can’t tolerate the cold like they used to.
    Thanks both.

  30. Enjoyed this a lot today so thanks to all as no particular holdups. Just had an excellent live Art Society Zoom from Venice – next week the Sculpture Park at Stellenbosch. Wordle in 3 for me today – more luck than skill.

    1. The Arts Society Zooms have been brilliant, although I do miss going in to Churchill
      for the real Macoy. We used to go early and get breakfast !

  31. This was a very enjoyable puzzle, with the only exception being 13d = boss? I am sure it is in some dictionaries but I have never heard, or seen it used that way. Will have to try to remember it as I am sure it will pop up again. Everything else came together satisfactorily, so I might even attempt the Toughie later. Still cold here, so cold Peter has volunteered to empty the clothes dryer 😊😊. We hate putting the heat on in the house, as it is the blown hot air type. Not exactly the same as sitting in front of an open log fire. Lots of thanks to the setter and to Mr K.

  32. I made a booboo with 1a – bunging in ATTRACT as a synonym of charm. It took a while to go for the synonym of try it actually was but going up from the downs helped. I too wondered if this has been sitting on Mr Ed’s desk for a few weeks but still enjoyed the tussle.
    I really want that hat in 1a and COTD for me was 10a no real problems with 13d I may not have known the synonym but the anagram indicator and checkers proved conclusive enough for me.
    Thanks to MrK and setter

  33. I haven’t got time to read all the comments but this was as straightforward as they come. Favourite was 3d. Thanks to the setter and Mr. K.

  34. This was a puzzle of two halves for me. I sailed through the top half only to spend an inordinate amount of time on the bottom half. Held back for ages on 13d as didn’t think I could be right! Had to resort to the hints for 23d and last clue in 28a. I was nearly with Brian on this one today!

    Many thanks to the setter and Mr K. Loved the kitty pics.

    Terence, pleased to hear Lola is keeping well.

  35. As RD, I wasn’t aware of the synonym in 13d.
    Lots of great clues made it as enjoyable as the toughie.
    Loved the clues with “first” and “second” in 25a, 15d and 23d.
    Thanks to the setter and to Mr K for the review.

  36. I’m in the top half straight-forward, bottom half not camp but go there eventually. I’m fine with 13d ‘cos I married a Scouse Lass and my in-laws are boss! Thanks to the setter and Mr K

  37. 2*/4*…very entertaining…
    liked 21A ” Bug likes eating fruit (4) ” ….. amongst others.

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