DT 29891 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29891

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29891

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This puzzle was published on 22nd January 2022

BD Rating – Difficulty *Enjoyment ***

Chalicea’s turn to provide the Saturday Prize Puzzle. It made a nice change for the puzzle to actually appear on the back page of the paper, as it also did back on the 3rd of December last year (DT 29844), when Chalicea used an identical clue for the same solution as 10d in this crossword

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1a    OTT for film stars in a muddle throughout (4,5,2,4)
FROM FIRST TO LAST- An anagram (in a muddle) of OTT FOR FILM STARS

8a    Escape return of some dreaded aversion (5)
EVADE – Hidden in reverse (return of some) dreadED AVErsion

9a    In retrospect, validate second romantic partner (4-4)
BACK-DATE – BACK (second) DATE (romantic partner)

11a    Fail actors, like some models? (3-4)
DIE-CAST – DIE (fail) CAST (actors)

12a    American-Irish company with ordinary line to control temperature (3-4)
AIR-COOL – A (American) IR (Irish) CO (company) O (ordinary) L (line)

13a    Wander but not at first in leisurely walk (5)
AMBLE – A RAMBLE (leisurely walk) without its first letter

15a    Armistice — constant calm following fury (9)
CEASEFIRE – C (constant) EASE (calm) F (following) IRE (fury)

17a    Close-fitting kit — things adjusted (9)
SKINTIGHT – An anagram (adjusted) of KIT THINGS

20a    Great ledges partly receding in river estuary (5)
DELTA – Another ‘hidden in reverse’ (partly receding) in greAT LEDges

21a    Such a team, say, of top performers, can all also start with no restraints (3-4)
ALL-STAR – The inside letters (with no restraints) of cAn aLl aLSo sTARt – such a shame that the ALL needed for the solution appears in the clue!

23a    70 per cent of French island drink (7)
MARTINI – 70% of the name of the French island of MARTINIque

25a    Desert animal has trouble going round bush (8)
CAMELLIA – CAMEL (desert animal) and a reversal (going round) of AIL (trouble)

26a    Order 51 signs (5)
OBELI – OBE (Officer of the Order of the British Empire) L I (Roman numerals for 51)

27a    NATO triennially reassembled involving many different countries (15)
INTERNATIONALLY – An anagram (reassembled) of NATO TRIENNIALLY


1d    Flash Daimler constructed for top military officer (5,7)
FIELD MARSHALL – An anagram (constructed) of FLASH DAIMLER

2d    Speak pompously of ordinary degree (5)
ORATE – O (ordinary) RATE (degree)

3d    Fuss at first about each man who is under no compulsion (4,5)
FREE AGENT – F (the first letter of Fuss) RE (about) EA (each) GENT (man)

4d    Like a Dalek’s voice? (7)
ROBOTIC – Like the voice of a mechanical machine such as a Dalek

5d    Music created by jazz aficionado wearing new coat (7)
TOCCATA –CAT (jazz aficionado) ‘wearing’ or going inside an anagram (new) of COAT

6d    Arrangement of ornamental edging removing top (5)
ORDER – a BORDER (ornamental edging) without its first letter (removing top)

7d    Typical of writer, dreadful hot air interrupting a university student (9)
AUTHORIAL – An anagram (dreadful) of HOT AIR ‘interrupting’ or going between A (from the clue) U (University) and L (learner, student)

10d    Mutableness of shifting bilaterality (12)
ALTERABILITY – An anagram (shifting) of BILATERALITY I obviously spend far much time solving far too many crosswords as I didn’t remember seeing this before at all – I just thought ‘what a horrible word’!

14d    Splendid fish pursued by one worker (9)
BRILLIANT – BRILL ‘pursued by’ (in a Down solution) I (one) ANT (worker)

16d    Cover that is turned over with red put up above blue (9)
EIDERDOWN – A reversal (turned over) of IE (that is) with another (put up) of RED, both going over (above in a Down solution) DOWN (blue)

18d    Call I roguishly returned, discovering great ape (7)
GORILLA – Another ‘hidden in reverse’ (returned) – this time in cALL I ROGuishly

19d    Almost shy describing rubbish drums (7)
TIMPANI – Almost all of TIMId (shy) ‘describing’ or going round PAN (rubbish)

22d    Liars regularly chasing article belonging to them (5)
THEIR – The regular letters of lIaRs ‘chasing’ or going after THE (definite article)

24d    Dream of trade supporting India (5)
IDEAL – DEAL (trade) ‘supporting’ in a Down solution, I (the NATO Phonetic Alphabet word for India)


3 comments on “DT 29891

  1. My first, and very likely last, contribution to this useful and enjoyable site. I only ever do the Saturday Telegraph crossword and it often occupies my free time throughout the week, so I only ever consult the hints on Thursday evening if I have failed to complete. I am in awe and respect for those of you for whom the challenge is a short of one, particularly those who provide the puzzles, these hints and the subsequent explanations despite clearly living important and busy lives.

    I had never come across the word Obelus or its plural and it is a pleasure to add it to my vocabulary. I had concluded quite early on that the 51 would translate into LI. Nevertheless, even once I had the O and the E, I remained flummoxed but eventually decided that OBELI was the only possible answer, now confirmed.

    But knowing how important accuracy is in these things, may I humbly point out to the setter and reviewer that OBE does not stand for Order of the British Empire? The most noble order of the British empire has various grades. The term OBE refers to one of those grades, namely Officer. So OBE is the abbreviation for Officer of the most noble order of the British Empire.

    Thank you all for your contributions and keep up the good work.

    1. Welcome to the blog

      I should have remembered about the OBE, not least because my dad was an MBE!

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