DT 29907 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

DT 29907

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29907

Hints and tips by Miffypops

Wise Wordlers Welcome

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Today’s puzzle should entertain and amuse most of our readership today. It is quite accessible. The easily spotted and easily solved anagrams together with a few lighter clues should give enough checking letters to see you through to a satisfying completion. Having failed to spot Jay’s puzzle a fortnight ago I’m not going to hazard a guess at today’s setter but it does seem a little light hearted for a Giovanni puzzle

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


6a        Kind of deterrent head organised (6-7)
TENDER HEARTED:  A simple anagram to kick start today’s back pager. The word organised suggests an anagram is on the cards. DETERRENT HEAD is the anagram fodder

8a        Ill feeling of mum when confronting insects (6)
MALICE: An endearing term for ones mother is followed by the sort of unwanted insects one’s children bring home from school. Those were the days. Who remembers Nitty Nora, the bug explorer?

9a        Moral excellence   that is surprising! (8)
GOODNESS: A double definition is at play here. Synonyms of the second include: Blimey, Wow, Bloody hell, Bloody Nora, Gosh, Golly, Golly Bongs, Gracious Me and Cor!

10a      Atmosphere around drowned valley (3)
RIA:   A long, narrow inlet formed by the partial submergence of a river valley is the reverse of a synonym of the word atmosphere

11a      City information provided by president’s wife? (6)
GENEVA:  A three-letter word meaning information is followed by the wife of a president. “Which President? “ I hear you shout. Juan Domingo of course. The geezer born in 1895 the same year as my grandmother who was born before man first flew and died after man landed on the moon

12a      Mine host is droll and awkward (8)
LANDLORD:  Anagram (awkward) of DROLL AND. I will cheerfully accept that description of me in my former role

A publican stood at the Golden Gate,
His head was bent and low,
He meekly asked the Man in White,
“Which way should I go?

“What have you done?” St. Peter said,
“That you should come up here?”
“I kept a public house below
For many and many a year.”

St. Peter opened wide the gates,
And gently pressed the bell.
“Come right inside and choose a harp,
You’ve had your share of Hell.”

14a      Church Street crossed by underground worker (7)
MINSTER:  The abbreviation for street sits nicely inside an underground worker best known for digging coal, tin, copper or gold

16a      Expect to get going again after end of trip (7)
PRESUME:  A verb meaning to begin again comes after the last letter of the word trip

20a      How to make pot or one sort of bottle (8)
SCREWTOP:  The answer is what one needs to do to the word pot to find this type of bottle. Remember. Checkers are your friends and reverse parsing is just another weapon in the solvers armoury

23a      No cleric will come back to a foreign city (6)
VERONA:  Slightly south and mostly east of 11 across lies another city which according to William Shakespeare contained two gentlemen. Begin with the word NO from the clue. Add a cleric (short for reverend) reverse what you have and add the letter A, also from the clue

24a      ‘That’s disgusting,’ said this Greek character (3)
PHI: The twenty first letter of the Greek alphabet sounds like an exclamation used to express disgust

25a      Demolished one pub as required by legal instruction (8)
SUBPOENA: Anagram (demolished) of ONE PUB AS

26a      Drink-sounding types getting whisky etc (6)
SHORTS:  Possibly how a word synonymous with types sounds when spoken by drinkers who may have had too many whiskies. I am open to other parsings though. I’ve missed the obvious before

27a      Go round the bend or start to improve? (4,3,6)
TURN THE CORNER: A rather obvious double definition. No further help necessary I feel


1d        People in the know — are they not out and about? (8)
INSIDERS:  The opposite of those outside might have knowledge not yet in the public domain

2d        Learner always needing time to gain advantage (8)
LEVERAGE:  A straightforward and simple charade. The abbreviation used to denote a learner. A word meaning always. A period of time

3d        Artist making visit, hugging old woman (7)
CHAGALL:  An old woman or witch sits inside a word meaning to visit upon someone. The answer is one of many artists who can say “Don’t sit on that chair. I’ve just painted it”

4d        Sticky stuff in road mostly coming from lake (6)
LAGOON: A three-letter sticky or slimy substance sits inside most of a narrow country road

5d        What’s played a lot and mostly unlike much music? (6)
ATONAL: Anagram (what’s played) of most of A LOT AND. Six sevenths actually

6d        A knocking-off opportunity for the builder? (5,8)
TRADE DISCOUNT: A cryptic description of a reduction in pricing given to certain companies engaged in various aspects of building

7d        Romantic sir, I’d fancy, could be racist maybe? (13)

13d      Two performers, having lost time, expected any minute? (3)
DUE: Do as the clue says and no explanations are necessary here

15d      Marble used in monument — a waste! (3)
TAW:  The answer lies hidden within the words of the clue as indicated by the words used in

17d      Change school subject with set of imaginative new ideas? (8)
REVISION: A two letter abbreviation for a school subject Religious Education is followed by a noun meaning the ability to think about or plan the future with imagination or wisdom

18d      Knight, said to be on horse, is overcome (8)
SURMOUNT: A homophone (said to be) of the title appended to a knight is followed by a synonym for a horse

19d      Clothes seem only half full length — real daft! (7)
APPAREL: Begin with half of a word meaning seem. Add an anagram (daft) of REAL

21d      Item sent abroad no longer — a fortified wine (6)
EXPORT: A two-letter prefix meaning once or former is followed by a fortified wine. Not enough letters for sherry so it will be the other one

22d      A number that could be double-crossed! (6)

TWENTY:  This clue refers to the number denoted by the system of Roman numerals when the letter X is written twice – thus XX

Quickie Pun   Weight  +  Ammo  =  Wait a mo(ment)


82 comments on “DT 29907

  1. Very enjoyable, trickiest one of a (very gentle) week but very well clued throughout.
    I particularly liked the “knocking off opportunity” at 8d and the clever 5,17&22d but my favourite was the excellent 19d.
    Many thanks to the setter (I did think The Don but who knows) and MP for the fun….what a great band the Jam were.

    1. Split your answer 5,3 and you get an instruction to screw or twist the word pot. Screwtop bottles have a screw on top as opposed to bottles with corks. I do hope we don’t get an outbreak of wine snobbery now. As long as the contents are alcoholic, anything will do

      1. Cork wine bottles are practically non-existent in Oz. We started the trend. As they say necessity is the mother of invention. Who needs a corkscrew🦇

    2. Reminds me of the old joke about the bus driver repairing his engine, one of his lady passengers asked if he wanted a screwdriver, to which he replied, very kind of you madam maybe later, I’m a bit busy now.

  2. I absolutely loved this with 20a my COTD. So many clever clues. 6d last in. Wordle in 5 today. Thanks to the setter for a great puzzle and to MP for his humorous hints. Have just bought some halibut for supper – just under £19! So all of MP’s synonyms for 9a crossed my mind.

    1. Yes halibut, very nice. We prefer rainbow trout, wild caught salmon, and yesterday it was some very nice cod. But sometimes halibut. I look at the bronzini every week, but haven’t tried it yet.

  3. Pleasant enough but for me nothing special which would be surprising if it was indeed a DG offering because I usually really enjoy his challenges. 20a almost too clever. No Fav. Thank you Mysteron and MP. I see BD has overtly declared his interest in Wordle.

    1. If you are referring to the blog heading today, that is all my own work. I enjoy the daily challenge which takes up so little time and provides some friendly competition between Saint Sharon and myself

      1. Well done! But I don’t understand because I had a different wordle answer today. I thought it was the same puzzle for all?

          1. Oh thank goodness. I don’t do wordle until later in the day, so I was afraid it was today’s above. Should have known you wouldn’t do that.

              1. I don’t think so, and I got it in 3 today, my best effort so far. I was reluctant to start playing it until this week but when I heard it was just one short puzzle a day, I knew it wouldn’t make much of a dent in my waiting chores.

  4. I am sure that 20a will divide opinion but I thought it was brilliant and easily my top clue. The whole grid was a delight and pleasingly tricky in places, although not too tough yet needing some careful thought.

    My thanks to our setter (not The Don, surely), and to MP for his usual comprehensive and amusing review.

  5. 2 coin tosses this morning & lost them both. The first was which of two possible consonants for the 1st letter in Wordle so nearly my 2nd ever finish in 2. Last in with this puzzle the central letter of 24a – the same dilemma & again I chose wrong & plumped for the 23rd letter letter initially – neither option sounds like an expression of disgust to me. I was also nowhere near parsing 22d. Otherwise pretty straightforward & with lots to like. 20a top of the pops for me with 6&17d on the podium plus mentions for the 2 cities.
    Thanks to the setter & to Miff.

  6. Unusually for a Thursday I completed this unaided . A lot of bung ins, never heard of 3d before nor 10a. 24a must be pronounced differently to what I normally do ,as I cannot see the why for that🤷‍♂️. 22d probably an old chestnut but I liked it. Thanks for the music at 4d, a bit of Bob is always welcome. Obviously not a RayT as I understood most of it, I’m afraid he’s too clever for me. Thanks to all for the enjoyment.

    1. Phi the Greek character or Fie, a somewhat archaic exclamation of disgust or outrage like that of some Wordlers yesterday

      1. fie exclamation, facetious or old use expressing disapproval or disgust, real or feigned.
        ETYMOLOGY: 13c: imitating the sound made on perceiving a disagreeable smell.

        That’ll teach me to check the BRB before I post.

      2. Oh dear I’ve been saying it as pie all these years and nobody has corrected me, although a few smiled at the time, now I know why🥴

      3. “Fie on goodness, Fie” (from Lerner & Loewe’s Camelot)–or 24a on 9a! A perfect ironic context for “It’s disgusting!”

        1. Shakespeare sprinkled a few ‘fies’ around as expressions of disapproval, disgust etc.
          Very enjoyable puzzle, as all have been this week – oh dear, perhaps we’re due something tortuous tomorrow! So many nice clues, couldn’t pick a favourite!

      4. I never knew that’s how you pronounce it. Come to think of it, when would I ever have to say it out loud?

    2. Sydney Harbour is an excellent example on 10a. I was taught that in primary school. Now kids would be flat out pointing to Sydney on a map of Oz. Don’t get me started…

  7. Flummoxed by 1d and 24a today.
    I saw Invitees for 1d and although I couldn’t quite bung it in I couldn’t unsee it for the right answer.
    24a had to be what it was, but I must pronounce it wrong because no way I try to say it out loud sounds disgusting. I have been Fee fie fo-ing around the living room so much Mama Bee thinks I am auditioning for Jack and the Giant Beanstalk.
    10a remembered from an earlier appearance here and 15d a well-hidden lurker in the print version ( across three words, a hyphen and a line change to hide 3 little letters)
    Thanks to Miffs and setter.
    Anyone else singing On Ilcla Moor Baht at? ( first row 12345d)

  8. Solid *** time.
    Some vey clever clues, eg 20 and 26a and 17 and 19d.
    Needed to deeply excavate the grey matter and spell check one or two.
    Many thanks to the setter and to Miffypops.

  9. I had two or three ‘hmms’ in this otherwise excellent puzzle. Several drinks related answers, which reminded me that I should keep going with my ‘dry’ February. Dry January was a fail, so here’s to better this month. 20a was by far my favourite today, with 6d & 22d close runners-up. Needed a hint for 4d – thanks MP :-) and thanks to setter too.
    Wordle in four today.

    1. Mrs SB had her first try at Wordle today – she managed it in two. Competion is now most definitely on, lol :-) :-)

  10. Light and straightforward, enjoyable and quite generous I thought for a Thursday. Did not feel at all Don-like, not Ray T, doesn’t feel like a Chalicea, nor a NYDK or Zandio, so I haven’t a clue and I’m probably wrong!

    20a the COTD by several lengths.

    1.5* / 3*

    Many thanks to the setter and to MP

  11. I’m usually way off the wavelength of Thursdays, but today I sailed happily through, only needing help, for some reason, with 18d. For 20a I spent some time trying to make an anagram from “pot or one” before coming to my senses. I was glad to see my home city at 11a and thank the setter and Miffypops for the fun.

  12. That was enjoyable.
    A good mix of clever anagrams and lateral thinking.
    Spoiled very slightly by 24a – I don’t think I have ever heard that sound as an expression of disgust. However the answer had to be one of two characters.
    Wasn’t overly keen on 26a either
    But the rest of the puzzle more than made up for those two

  13. Well, I am going to buck the trend, I’m afraid. I did not get on with this at all but I have distractions at present so I will put it down to those and move on.

    Just one of those days.

    Thanks to the setter for the drubbing and to MP for making sense of it.

    Wordle in 4.

  14. Bit of a headscratcher. The disgust in 24a was new to me, I failed to make sense of 26a and had to look the artist up in 3d. All of this pushed out my time but didn’t diminish my enjoyment. Thanks to today’s setter and MP.

  15. A nice Thursday puzzle of average-ish difficulty with good clues providing an enjoyable solve. Fav: 20a. 3*/3.5*.

  16. A typically slow start for me after a very punishing NYT Thursday puzzle (usually the week’s craziest), but once the long ones obliged (nicely), I was on my way to a blissful finish. I do think that the word for disgust in 24a could be the other 3-letter Gk word beginning with ‘p’ (which is what I had at first); it’s just a matter of context, seriously. The witty winners today: 20a, 22d, & 3d: I fell in love with him at the Knesset (and elsewhere) in Jerusalem; you simply have to see his work there to believe it. Terrific puzzle. Thanks to the irrepressible MP for the review and to today’s setter (doesn’t feel like the Don to me). 2.5* / 4*

    Cheers to the great Nathan Chen, Gold Medallist for Ice Skating last night (very late!)!

    1. Is it a phi or a psi drives me potty. It was in Nutmeg’s Graun puzzle on Tuesday (psi) & I chose wrong there too.

  17. A slight step up in division today and an enjoyable solve. My COTD podiums; 12a and 1 and 21d. 24a is still a hmm. I think Ray is on Toughie duty today. Aside from an absence of his trademarks, I don’t think he uses ‘cornerless’ grids. I’ll stand corrected on that. Thanks to the setter and MP for the extras.

  18. An exceptionally friendly crossword (for a Thursday or any other day except possibly a Monday) but an enjoyable solve

    Thanks to the setter and MP

  19. An enjoyable solve, thanks to setter and MP. I’m guessing 26a includes a typo, “drunk-sounding” makes more sense? 15d new, but obvious from clue. 4d and 19d in contention, but really 20a has to be the winner for me. Thanks again!

  20. Late start today dentist first, never mind , enjoyed the challange.
    Mainly straightward but a few tricky clues thrown in resulting in a ***/****.,
    Failed to parse 22d-thanks MP ,nothing wrong with the clue , thought last in 26a was somewhat ‘strained’.
    Favourite was 23a, started to rewatch Brideshead Revisited ! brilliantly shot.

  21. Great grid: clever enough to make me feel smug at completion – but not so clever that I needed a lie-down.
    Btw, I thought 5d was really funny; I may, however, be the only musician on here who prefixes the second word of “popular music” with “so-called.”

  22. Found this puzzle today quite approachable and nothing too obtuse in it. My hold up was the SE again today. Overall 2.5*/4* for this puzzle.
    Some nice contenders for the podium include 20a, 24a, 27a, 1d, 18d & 22d with winners 27a and 22d.

    Thanks to Giovanni(??) and MP

  23. Completed it without fully understanding the parsing on a few 20a, 5d, 19d.
    Favourite is 20a (now I have read the above.)

    1. Well so did I. Betwixt deciding so and sorting the blog it all went wrong. Not my favourite clue either

  24. Out all the morning so did not sit down to this until about 3. Very enjoyable, no problems other than 26a which was my last one in. Daisy stars
    for 6,9 , 12 and 25a and 7 & 18d. Many thanks to the setter and hinter. Off to do the ironing now. Such fun.
    Wordle in 3. Pure luck

  25. Many thanks to Big Dave for the hints and tips during the last year.
    I have greatly improved at solving the DT crossword as a result.
    4D was my last one in today. Very enjoyable.

  26. Way way above my pay grade. A Giovanni special that requires skill that I simple do not possess.
    Good luck to all who try. For me no fun at all.

  27. Found this a little tricky in the NE quadrant 😬 ***/*** Favourites were the phrase in the Quicky, 20across and 18down 😃 Thanks to MP and to the Compiler 👍

  28. I did pretty well with this, considering it’s Thursday. I only needed e-help to get the anagram at 7d, a bit shameful as I had lots of checkers and should have been able to work it out, and how to spell 25a. I had a bungin at 26a, glad to see it’s right. I guessed 22d, it had to be but I didn’t know why, thanks M’pops for explaining that, isn’t it clever?
    Thanks setter, I enjoyed that and was pleased to be able to finish it. Of course, all sorts of appreciation to M’pops for the unravelling.
    Wordle in 5, But I got there!

  29. Fourth solve in a row! So is this just a freak string of accessible puzzles? Most struggled over LOI 26a which I thought was a poor clue. **/***

  30. This was a strange one today. Lots of answers fell nicely in place, but then there were a few stinkers that defeated me. I have never heard anyone say phi as an expression of disgust… perhaps it is a regional thing. I know I use much stronger words than that if I’m disgusted 😊. Didn’t know 10a either and 9a, well I still don’t understand that either. Both everything else was very enjoyable. And topped off by getting wordle in 3, whoo hoo. Thanks to the setter and to the always splendid Miffypops. Had to laugh at your poem at 12a. We have very good friends who ran a country pub at one stage in their working lives, and I know they would relate to this. I have to copy it and send to them.

  31. Struggled in the NE though having got it I can’t see why apart from the artist in 3d. Never heard of the disgust in 24a either. It took me longer than the toughie in the end. Favourite was 22d. Thanks to the setter and MP.

  32. Could not do any of this, gave up after getting 4 answers in about an hour.
    Thanks all.

  33. Steady but rather lengthy solve.
    Both towns were a leap of faith until correctly parsed.
    The Mine host was new to me.
    Thanks to the Don and to MP.

  34. A bit quirky in places, but all completed…if indeed Giovanni then many thanks for the challenge!
    Although correct, I definitely hadn’t quite understood 26A…only upon reading MP’s suggested parsing, and slurring the word “Sorts” as if ‘heavily imbibed’ (polite description…) did it suddenly dawn on me…LOL!

  35. Thanks to Giovanni and to Miffypops for the review and hints. A very good puzzle, but spoilt my run of completions this week. I managed to work my way through most of it, but I ran out of steam in the end. Still don’t quite understand 26a, but guessed the answer. Needed the hints for 4&5d and 9a. Favourite was 22d. Was 4*/3* for me.

  36. I whizzed through this – all good fun but only one star for difficulty – it must be a wavelength thing…..one thought for the blog – I mostly do puzzles in the wee small hours but can’t post thenand am busy all day so alwYs v late: could there be some mechanism to post before the hints are up?

Comments are closed.