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DT 29902

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29902

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Good morning from South Staffs where the morning is brightening up after overnight rain.

A steady solve this week, taking me just to the border of *** 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           Winter vehicle, touring grounds, glistened (8)
SPARKLED – A vehicle used on snow in winter is wrapped round the grounds of a stately home.

5a           Am I about to start on clean sort of power? (6)
ATOMIC – AM I (from the clue) wrapped round TO (from the clue), followed by the first letter (start) of Clean.

Barakah, first nuclear power plant in UAE, starts commercial operations - Power Engineering

9a           Most brilliant but least serious (8)
LIGHTEST – Double definition: there’s not really anything else to say.

10a         Typically, you need it when broke but get it when doing well (6)
CREDIT – Cryptic definition of something you can’t get when you’re hard up, but which is a reward of success.

11a         Don and Phil breaking up — one may entertain cruise passengers (7)
DOLPHIN – Anagram (breaking up) of DON and PHIL.

Incredible Dolphin Moments | BBC Earth - YouTube

12a         Deployed in fresco, a tin-glazed veneer (7)
COATING – Hidden in the clue.

13a         Boy of 11 — he’s poor, going astray, one thinks (11)
PHILOSOPHER – Anagram (going astray) of the name of one of the boys in 11a and HE’S POOR.

16a         Mock gross judge (4-7)
MAKE-BELIEVE – Another word for ‘gross’ (as in ‘he grossed £100k last year’), followed by another word for ‘judge’ or ‘consider’.

21a         Perform like Eminem, casually fast (7)
RAPIDLY – Split the answer (3,4) and you have the sort of ‘music’ performed by Eminem (the sort with the silent C at the beginning!), followed by another word for ‘casually’.

22a         Fair to refine tin from Congo? (7)
AFRICAN – Anagram (to refine) of FAIR, followed by another word for a tin.

23a         Emergency rules I — Sir Chris — will hold over (6)
CRISIS – Hidden in reverse (hold over) in the clue.

24a         Note written by one’s European shrink (8)
MINIMISE – A musical note twice as long as a crotchet, followed by the Roman numeral for ‘one’, the ‘S from the clue, and an abbreviation for European.

25a         Heard team were breathing heavily (6)
SIGHED – The answer sounds like (heard) another word for ‘team’.

26a         Gin rates poorly, and most bitter (8)
ANGRIEST – Anagram (poorly) of GIN RATES.


1d           Young man’s brought in special service dishes (6)
SALADS – The initials of one of the UK’s special service regiments are wrapped round a word for ‘young man’ or ‘boy’.

How To Eat Salad Every Day And Like It!

2d           More than one messenger approaches the Spanish to expel the French? (6)
ANGELS – These are divine messengers. Start with another word for approaches (to a question or topic), then replace the French definite article with the Spanish one.

3d           Sauce boat enlarged (7)
KETCHUP – A type of sailing boat, followed by a two-letter word for ‘enlarged’ or ‘higher’.

Heinz Tomato Ketchup Squeezy - 10x342g

4d           Bridge rivals addressed by international partner, primarily (11)
ESSENTIALLY – Put together two geographical points who traditionally oppose each other at the bridge table, another word for ‘addressed (a letter)’, an abbreviation for International, and a political partner.

6d           Ragged song and dance causes a storm (7)
TORNADO – Another word for ‘ragged’ or ‘ripped’, followed by another word for ‘song and dance’ or ‘fuss’.

Tornado facts: How they form and what to look for - CNN

7d           Time when a clock gives four rings (8)
MIDNIGHT – Cryptic definition of the time when a digital clock might display four circular figures.

8d           Order sort of grey coat (8)
CATEGORY – Anagram (sort) of GREY COAT.

12d         What happens in theatre company’s first combined effort (2-9)
CO-OPERATION – An abbreviation for ‘company’, followed by what happens in a hospital theatre.

14d         A crime solved while in New World (8)
AMERICAS – Anagram (solved) of A CRIME, followed by another word for ‘while’.

15d         Leaving out with son asleep (8)
SKIPPING – An abbreviation for Son, followed by an informal word for ‘asleep’.

17d         Raised issue with party girl: when does she sleep? (7)
BEDTIME – Put together a verb for ‘issue’ and one of the privileged young women who went to grand parties during the London ‘season’. Then reverse (raised) the result.

18d         More like a nobleman, apparently, of a previous time (7)
EARLIER – The definition could also be a made-up word suggesting that someone was more like a particular rank of nobleman.

19d         Spirited fourth phase of play requires energy (6)
ACTIVE – The fourth phase of a play could be rendered as ‘— –’ (3,2). Then add an abbreviation for Energy to the end.

20d         Lay out, half dressed? (6)
INVEST – Split the answer (2,4) and you could have a description of someone half-dressed. As a whole it means to lay out funds on a project.

The Quick Crossword pun AXE + SEA + DENSE = ACCIDENTS

81 comments on “DT 29902

  1. I’m afraid I just gave up on this one. After *** time I was still only half done and some of the synonyms were just a tad tenuous. Was this a regular compiler? It didn’t feel like it.

    Thanks to all anyway.

  2. 2*/4*. Another very enjoyable Friday puzzle with only 15d causing a bit of delay while trying to work out why the answer was “snapping” – until the penny dropped that “napping” was the wrong sort of asleep.

    My podium choice: 13a, 25a & 6d.

    My guess is that this is a Zandio compilation, so many thanks to him and to DT. I enjoyed seeing the 13a video clip again.

    1. I was hoping that Vangelis shared Rip Van Winkle’s bed (anagram of ‘leaving’ and ‘s’)

      Fab Friday fun from Zio (Z and io)

  3. I very much enjoyed this typical, I’m guessing, Zandio production.
    Slow start but rapid finish with the benefit of checkers though a couple of parsings arrived on a later bus than the solutions.
    I liked 10a plus the linked 11&13a the best, with 6d&20d raising a smile too.
    Many thanks to the setter and to DT for the fun.

  4. Mmmm. I seem to be having a week of puzzles I am finding each half * and half ***! I got the answers to 16a and 2&17d but needed DT’s hints to understand why. There were many great clues – 21a, 4d, 14d and 19&20d. 4d was my favourite so my COTD. Thanks DT and the setter. All in all ***/***.

  5. I agree with MalcolmR, this felt different today. I did make it over the line but only at a crawl.Thanks to DT for exp!aiming how/why in a couple of places.
    5a held me up in the northeast (static?, stamina?) for a while. Thank you to the setter for my CODs the sniggersome 18d and 20d.

    1. 18d reminded of the Ross Noble classic. Slippery: having some or all the properties of a slipper.

  6. Thanks to setter and DT, an enjoyable puzzle, quite tricky in places but with plenty of anagrams to help out. Didn’t ‘get’ the parsing for 16a, thanks DT. Favourites 7d (nice PDM) and 19d.

  7. A bit of a head scratcher to end the (non-)work week. I was thinking a non-Zandio but I note that two of our company with better setter detection systems than mine think it is – 3.5*/3*.

    Candidates for favourite – 21a. 1d, and 17d – and the winner is 21a – I smiled at DT’s ‘silent C’ comment.

    Thanks to Zandio(?) and to DT.

    P.S. No problems with identifying the setter for Sunday Toughie 2 – Robyn is identified on the Puzzles Web Site list of Toughie setters, but I wonder who the blogger will be.

  8. As DT says a steady solve, tricky in places and a**/**** for me.
    I liked the cluing generally ,favourite by a mile was 11a,very original and cleverly used in13a. A duo never surpassed for harmony.
    Thanks to our setter for a top class end to the week.

  9. Am hopeless at guessing setter so don’t often try and today was just such a case. It seems it was Zandio and I enjoyed his challenge with the East ahead of West. Liked 12d, 15d, 18d and 20d and also 7d with help – originally tried to use twilight. Like Fez 16a was unparsed by me as was 4d (too convoluted!). Thank you Zandio and DT.

    1. No wonder I struggled with 21a – was reading it as Emin ‘cos I’m afraid I have never heard of Eminem – d’oh!

  10. As NAS commented above, definitely a puzzle of two halves. * for the first half and **** for the second. Had to wait for the hints to see how I got the answer to 7d – very sneaky. Completely concur with the comment for 21a, IMHO a load of old rubbish but maybe that’s just me. Thanks to the setter and DT for explaining it all

    1. Best for a while for me…..tough but fairly clued….like others, I was caught napping!?….anyway, thanks to the setter for a v agreeable tussle

  11. I’m afraid I just couldn’t understand the connection between 11 & 13a. Having realised via a process of (anagrammatical) elimination I was actually quite annoyed by it, rather than being annoyed with myself for missing it. Anyway, I felt that usage at 13a was a bit unfair. Having said all that, DT puzzles usually only ever please! All in all, a **/** for me today.

  12. Good solid puzzle. All bar a few clues completed in under 1* time, the final two or three taking me nearly to 3* – I was thinking ships and couldn’t reconcile the answer to 7d with four bells, and had various possibilities for 5a and 10a until convincing myself that 7d had to be what it was.

    Hon Mentions to 5a, 21a and 19d, COTD to 18d which made me laugh and recall some of the greatest ISIHAC panellists – Barry Cryer, Tim Brooke-Taylor and Graeme Garden.

    2.5* / 2.5*

    Many thanks to the setter and to DT.

  13. A jolly diversion. Thanks to the setter. Thanks also to DT for sorting out 7 down. The answer couldn’t be anything else but the whys and wherefores eluded me.

  14. Much the easiest of the week for me, especially after yesterday’s mauling at the hands of Ray-T.
    No real hold-ups, so I managed to do at work, don’t tell the boss; the joys of working from home.
    Thanks both.
    Toughie or Guardian, can’t decide…

    1. Elgar is on duty in the Graun & while I’ve yet to complete it is at least doable for the likes of us & nowt like the horror Dutch has to explain to us fortnightly in the Toughie slot.

      1. Is Elgar Enigmatist? Didn’t realise!
        Odd that the setters have different pseudonyms for different papers and even different puzzles within a paper (Bean/Ray-T)

      2. Sadly not for me, the Guardian. I’m not nearly intelligent enough to tackle that.
        I did get two answers though!

        1. Reckon it’s easier than the Osmosis Toughie where I’ve got 4 & one of those is a bung in.

  15. A pleasantly quirky and entertaining puzzle for a damp Friday morning. 11a was my particular favourite ahead of its link, 13a.

    My thanks to, presumably, Zandio and of course DT.

    Wordle in 4 this morning.

  16. I must be on a roll, I found this quite straightforward for a change when I appreciate that others struggled and I know how annoying it is when people say that so I apologise.
    I really enjoyed this puzzle but particularly 25a and 11a.
    Thx to all

  17. Best one of the week for me! Good clues, a reasonable challenge and an enjoyable solve. Fav: 11a. 3.25*/4*.

    1. PS, 21a. The silent C reference in review is a running joke used often by Chris Hughes on Eggheads (repeats) – nearly every time he gets picked to answer questions on Music.

  18. Are the back pages easier this week. I seem to have zipped through all of them. However when it comes to the toughies I can’t seem to get a toe hold. Perhaps it’s a familiarity thing or maybe it’s psychological. Whatever.

    1. I used to overthink Toughie clues. Now I treat them just like the back pagers. Read through. Put in what’s obvious or stands out. Repeat until finished or at least until you really cannot do any more. The definitions may be a little further down the page in your dictionary of choice. Remember checkers are your best friends and lighten up

  19. Started off not really caring much for this but it gradually grew on me though I thought it a mixture of some so-so clues & rather good ones. Like MP 21a was my favourite (agree with DT’s observation about musical merit though) & also liked the 11/13a combo along with the downs at 3,4,7&20. A *** time solve but didn’t parse 16a.
    Thanks to the setter (Zandio) & to DT

  20. A terrific puzzle with plenty of head scratching along with smiles and dohs galore. Mind you, trying to fit co-production into 12d stumped me for a while. I was so convinced I was right I wrote it all in before getting to the end and finding I was a square short. I liked the 11a and 13a combination and was expecting a clip of Cathy’s Clown. :grin:

    My COTD is the delightful 7d, which gave me the best doh moment.

    Many thanks to the setter for the fun and to DT for the hints, a couple of which I needed.

    Wordle in 5.

    1. Wordle in 2. Ive realised its better to use lots of consonants not vowels to eliminate them. Still a fluke!

      1. I’ve started to use a new random start word every day. My best shot was this. Crikey Me

            1. M. The daily target word is the same for everyone. I think MP’s example is from the past, to illustrate his best effort.

  21. Rain stopped golf this morning,. but this made up for it. Steady solve with some excellent clues. My COD (along with the amusing comment by Deep Threat) was 21a. Thanks to DT.

  22. Nice end to the week, found it very straightforward 😃 **/**** Favourites 24 & 25 across and 17d. Thanks to DT and to Zandio 🤗 not being a sailor just a humble airman 😬 at one stage I thought that 7d could be for the 4 bells at the end of a sea watch 🔔🔔🔔🔔

  23. Enjoyable and straightforward although took a while for the penny to drop parsing 13a. 7d was my favourite. Thanks to today’s setter and DT.

  24. I managed this quite well for a friday.
    I did wonder if we had another genERIC boy in 13a but when I cottoned on to the link with 11a I chose it as COTD for me.
    Lots of others ran it close though. Thanks to Deep Threat and setter (I concur with the guess of Zandio)
    I know it is a bit early for spring cleaning but as Mama Bee has found a willing drone (an UNwilling Me) I will have to postpone tackling the toughie until this evening

  25. At first scan I thought this was going to be a stinker but getting under the surface reading soon put me on the correct wavelength and all done bar 20d in one ***.5 sitting.
    Very enjoyable and thanks to DT and the setter

  26. Hello all, compiler here. Thanks for the analysis and discussion. Yes, it would have been nice to see ‘Cathy’s Clown’ in the analysis — it’s still a favourite after 60 years. Ditto ‘Stan’ by Eminem, still great after 20 years. To each their own! Have a good weekend. ‘Zio’.

    1. Many thanks for popping in, Zandio and for the most enjoyable puzzle. 7d has joined my list of All Time Favourites.

        1. Yes, my favourite Don and Phil song.
          Few have ever managed to vocally harmonise like they could.

    2. Great video to ‘Stan’

    3. Glad you like ‘Zio’, Zio.

      Being a cricketer, albeit an amateur one, I can’t stop myself nicknaming already-established nicknames.

      Combine that will my love of wordplay and being a big, fat kid, then you’ve got yourself someone who should be locked up in a padded cell….nurse!

  27. Not the best puzzle for me to end up the non work week today. Struggled with some of the definitions and clueing. 2.5*/3* today.
    Clues to like include 1a, 10a, 11a, 13a & 15d.
    If 7d is correct with what I have as the answer it gets a big HMM!
    … However, 13a has suddenly just hit me in the head as I had the PDM … that is one clever clue and gets my winner of the day.
    3d, 15d & 18d made me chuckle too
    Several other iffy clues around the grid … maybe it’s just me.

    Thanks to setter and DT

    1. After reading the hints I understand 7d parsing now, but I don’t think any digital clock shows the 4 rings … not that I have seen anyway.
      As to the other “iffy clues” … forget I said that. I understand the parsing now. Just an off day for me solving.
      All good and thanks to Zandio for the puzzle.

  28. Enjoyed this – snow and then sleet and the resulting damp cold stopped me cycling today. It was a steady solve and rating a 3* difficulty for me too. It is so annoying when one struggles through or even gives up and then the solver gives it a 2* rating for difficulty or even a 1*. Thanks BD, setter and DT.

  29. Like Mustapha G I was thinking ships for 7d so I spent some time on Google trying, and failing, to justify it. Never thought of digital clocks, I don’t own one. Apart from that all done and parsed in short order. Favourite was 21a due to DT’s comment, very droll. Thanks to Zandio and DT.

  30. A puzzle in 2 halves after initially staring at a blank grid fro a while.
    Bottom half was easier than the top and the NE held me up for quite a while.
    13a had me scratching my head trying to fit in the name of the little Greek boy who took a ride on one of these before the penny dropped.

    In the end a slow but steady solve and a pleased self satisfied grin when I completed it unaided except for scrap paper and a pencil.

    I will remember the silent ‘C’ comment and drop it into a conversation sometime in the future. Made me smile.

    (4 days to crew change in Civitavecchia, large G+T in waiting)

  31. Most enjoyable and plenty of humour. My favourite was 7d. I’d agree with The Old Seadog about it being a puzzle of two halves, except that I found the top half to be the easier and quicker half to solve. It has been a very good week puzzle-wise as far as I’m concerned, so thanks all round to setters and solvers alike.

  32. Solved at breakfast time before another lunchtime gallivant with a couple of friends – what a ‘hectic’ social scene over the past couple of weeks!
    Nothing to report other than my usual gripes with this setter’s style although I did rather like 20d.

    Thanks to Zandio and to DT for the review.

  33. Cracking, in more ways than one, puzzle.
    Well within * time then too long pondering 20d, in spite of its checking letters, put me into ** time.
    Brilliant clue, I thought.
    Always enjoy Zandio’s.
    Many thanks and thanks to DT.

  34. Finally made it to the parade today after staying up very late last night watching Beatty and Keaton in that old epic ‘Reds’ (not a great film, alas, but fascinating still and very interesting to watch these days when one considers all that has happened to Russia in the 41 years since the film came out). Oh yes, the puzzle: rather whizzed through it, enjoying it here and there (11 & 13a: I loved the Brothers Everly and they often earworm me in the most delightful way), but nothing particularly 1a for me. I wholeheartedly applaud DT’s ‘silent C’ comment re 21a and nominate it as the Coup of the Day! Thanks to DT and Zandio. ** / ***

    1. Haven’t seen it for a few years but always enjoyed it when I did. If I remember correctly Maureen Stapleton won an Oscar & WB best director. I finally got round to watching Parasite last night & thought it was superb.

  35. I don’t want to be negative as I enjoyed some of this but it was a bit like swimming in molasses. I solved enough to get checkers and then used e-help to get words that fit, however, I couldn’t parse a couple and guessed they were wrong, e.g., 14d, I was way off the mark. I thought 18d amused, the 11a/13a combo was fun, but fave was 7d which I thought was nautical.
    Thanks Zandio, and much appreciation to Deep Threat for unraveling many for me.
    Wordle not a complete disaster at 6, in by the skin of my teeth after a huge mistake!

    1. I was quite late wishing you a Happy Birthday yesterday–hope you had a good one. About 7d, I too thought it was a nautical thing and now that I realise how digitally clever it was, I must amend my comment just above yours and include 7d along with 11/13a.

      1. Oh, thank you for your wishes! I know you’re running right behind me at an alarming speed! As we say in cricket, 84 and not out …

  36. I struggled with this having gone astray with 12d incorrectly entered. Too confident! I needed the hints from you DT half way through. I love it when people say they have found the puzzle tricky and Brian says he enjoyed it! We had a huge flurry of snow this morning, it didn’t settle of course as the ground was sodden after a night of rain. But it looked pretty especially as my garden is full of snowdrops. Many thanks to Setter and Hinter, have a good weekend everyone. George watching rugby with a group of lads tomorrow so I am footloose and fancy free and have the DT Prize to myself.

  37. Only got about half way before I had to give in and look at the hints. But I usually struggle with Zandio puzzles so not a surprise. LOL at DT’s 21a comment. I agree that 11a and 13a were a bit on the Toughie side and hard to unravel, beaten only by 16a for LI position. But lots of fun nevertheless. Thanks to Zandio and Deep Threat.

  38. Thanks to Zanido and to Deep Threat for the review and hints. A very enjoyable puzzle. Quite tricky in places. My main hold up was having “profit” for 10a, which made 7d very challenging. Once I corrected the former I got the latter, but still needed the hints to parse it. Favourite was 20d, which made me laugh. Was 3*/3* for me.

  39. Good Morning from my part of the World. I could not agree more with DT’s comment re the silent C in 21a!🦇

  40. Finally finished. Three attempts yesterday and barely a quarter done. Managed a few this morning and considered giving up. However once back from walking the dogs and getting my second soaking of the day I finished it. If getting wet helps, I may start doing it in the shower! A belated ta to all.

  41. 3*/4*…..
    liked 7D ” Time when a clock gives four rings (8) ”
    11A ” Don and Phil breaking up — one may entertain cruise passengers (7) ” reminds me of the cruise ads one sees on the box these days.

  42. I am so behind that I probably will have to skip a whole week to catch up with the daily gossips.
    As RD, I went for snapping in 15d and took a while to see my error as 16a’s synonyms didn’t come readily.
    Quite admire Eminem’s verbose style and really liked the movie 8 Mile about his life.
    Thanks to Zio and to DT for the review.

  43. Loved this one. Took much less time than usual and almost made it,if it wasn’t for 24a. 20d took ages and still not sure I understand 2d. Couldn’t pick a winner. 5a?

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