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DT 29914

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29914

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Good morning from South Staffs, where after a bright and breezy start, Storm Eunice is starting to make its presence felt. Best wishes to those of you already in the firing line.

I found today’s puzzle, which seemed to have a higher than average number of anagrams, to be fairly straightforward for a Friday.

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           Trip of passengers on ship that might get wrecked? (5,6)
BOOZE CRUISE – Cryptic definition of a sea voyage on which the passengers may over-indulge in alcohol. Overseas readers may need to know that this comes from the habit of taking short trips from England to France to take advantage ofdifferences in taxes on alcohol.

7a           Lane, maybe, traversed by drunk person unaccompanied (7)
SOLOIST – The Lane here is Superman’s girlfriend, and has a word for a drunk wrapped round her.

8a           Warning about ferret oddly seen on the house (3,4)
FOR FREE – The sort of warning given on the golf course is wrapped round the alternate letters (oddly) of FeRrEt.

10a         You give title to vocal mate (5)
UNITE – This sounds like (vocal) a phrase (3,6) meaning ‘you confer a title (on someone)’.

11a         Not certain brave tale should be broadcast (9)
AVERTABLE – Anagram (should be broadcast) of BRAVE TALE.

12a         Midge‘s closing of wings with flap on trousers (7)
SANDFLY – Put together the last letter (closing) of wingS, another word for ‘with’, and the opening flap on a pair of trousers.

14a         Workers veto unprotected manual device (7)
HANDSET – Some factory workers, followed by the inside letters (unprotected) of vETo.

Yealink-Replacement Handset from £8.00 @ InternetVoipPhone

15a         American tramp bishop guided faltered (7)
BUMBLED – Put together an American tramp (not ‘hobo’), the chess notation for a bishop, and another word for ‘guided’.

18a         Port was repaired after hostilities (4-3)
POST-WAR – Anagram (repaired) of PORT WAS.

20a         Rum or the ale’s making you despair (4,5)
LOSE HEART – Anagram (rum) of OR THE ALE’S.

21a         Vigilant outlaw a Kenyan conceals (5)
AWAKE – Hidden in the clue.

22a         Slum it travelling across India for kicks (7)
STIMULI – Anagram (travelling) of SLUM IT, wrapped round the letter represented by India in the NATO alphabet.

23a         Nominate father back at home to fill vessel for tea (7)
APPOINT – Reverse (back) a short word for ‘father’, then add a vessel used to brew tea wrapped round ‘at home’.

24a         Those learning step in Highland dances (11)
FLEDGELINGS – Some Highland dances wrapped round a step or shelf.


1d           One wearing bangle transported from Bruges, say (7)
BELGIAN – Anagram (transported) of BANGLE, with the Roman numeral for one inserted.

2d           Yellowish-green duck not good to serve up (5)
OLIVE – The letter that looks like a cricket duck, followed by the reverse (serve up) of a word for ‘not good’.

3d           Established a railway to cross middle of rough waterway (7)
ESTUARY – Put together an abbreviation for ‘established’, the middle letter of roUgh, A (from the clue) and an abbreviation for ‘railway’.

4d           Fortify engineers with meat changing hands (7)
REFRESH – One of the usual sets of military engineers, followed by a generic term for meat, but with the Left becoming Right.

5d           Those bugging artist in criminal circles start to record (9)
IRRITANTS – Anagram (criminal) of ARTIST IN, wrapped round the first letter (start) of Record.

6d           Clothes seen strewn around sack (7)
ENROBES – Anagram (strewn) of SEEN, wrapped round a word for ‘sack’ or ‘pillage’.

7d           Drink before parties? They’ll be bouncing off the walls (6,5)
SQUASH BALLS – A type of soft drink, followed by some formal dancing parties, giving us some pieces of games equipment.

9d           Emergency device soldiers in jet see act strangely (7,4)
EJECTOR SEAT – Anagram (strangely) of JET SEE ACT, wrapped round the usual soldiers who are not officers.

13d         Cast Sue of Hull for sell-out performance (4,5)
FULL HOUSE – Anagram (cast) of SUE OF HULL.

16d         Dog rising in the morning moving with difficulty (7)
MASTIFF – Reverse (rising) the two-letter abbreviation for ‘in the morning’, then add a word for the way you feel if you’re having difficulty moving.

mastiff | breed of dog | Britannica

17d         Enticing artwork (7)
DRAWING – Double definition, the second being a piece of art done with a pen, pencil or charcoal.

18d         Danger following advice that’s upset everyone (7)
PITFALL – Put together an abbreviation for Following and a piece of advice, reverse (that’s upset) the result, then add a word for ‘everyone.

19d         Don that is head of staff gets tired (7)
WEARIES – Put together a verb for ‘don (clothing)’, the Latin abbreviation for ‘that is’, and the first letter (head) of Staff.

21d         Tree borders removed from vast enclosure (5)
ASPEN – Remove the outside letters (borders) for vASt, then add an enclosure for keeping animals.

The Quick Crossword pun HIGH + BURN + EIGHT = HIBERNATE

59 comments on “DT 29914

  1. It is some time since I submitted a review of the DT crossword, but today’s (29914) is so entertaining, I feel I just have to write praise the setter. Crossword full of original and amusing clues. I tackle both cryptic DT crosswords daily. This is the most enjoyable for some time. If I have to choose a favourite, it is 24a. Must be on a roll. Just finished today’s Toughie in record time. Elgar’s Friday crosswords are usually well beyond me, so today’s contribution from Sparks was, to me, a welcome relief. This is not a criticism of Elgar – it is just a recognition of my own limitations.

  2. Pretty blowy here in Plymouth but apart from many overturned bins and the odd bits of tree flying around not too bad. I thought there were some cracking clues in this **/**** effort including 1a my COTD 7a, 10a, 12a and 1d. A nice end to a slightly easier week. Thanks to DT and the setter.

  3. 2*/5*. What a better of a puzzle to finish the week.

    The toughest part was to pick a favourite from such a good selection, but I think 24a just edges it.

    The X-less pangram points to proXimal as the setter so many thanks to him for the fun and to DT for the review.

  4. Top, top puzzle from one of my favourite setters, no obscurities, any difficulty coming from the craftsmanship of the wordplay.
    I needed all the checkers and knowing that I was looking for the unused Z before 1a, my last one in, finally fell. Podium…I’ll just go for 15a plus 16&18d but could have been a whole host of others. Great stuff
    Thanks to ProXimal and DT.

    Thought this lovely song most appropriate.

  5. Unlike others i found it really tough to get on the compiler’s wavelength and nearly gave up half way through . However, perseverance paid off and I finally finished with the splendidly wily 5d and 1a in 5* time, 3.5* for enjoyment
    Thanks to the compilet and to DT for the hints.

  6. Really enjoyable. Many thanks setter and DT.
    I don’t think I have seen 24a spelled with a central E before? Chambers gives either option, so not an issue. It just looks a bit odd to me.
    I am also not a fan of the expression at 8a……. “free” and “for nothing” work for me but a combination of the two doesn’t. Am I just an old pedant?

    1. For me, ‘DGE’ verbs ‘converted’ into nouns as in 24a just look very strange if the ‘E’ is deleted. So, for instance, at the risk of upsetting one of our company, I will always write ‘JUDGEMENT.’

    2. I am with you on 8a. Horrid! I’m not an old pedant, just old and think I know what sounds right!

    3. 8 across is fine. I’ve always found that when gigs or sporting events are sold out and I hadn’t got a ticket, if I gave the bloke on the gate a tenner he’d let me in for free

  7. An entertaining X-less pangram from you know who but, to me, it seemed to have less ‘sparkle’ and took a little longer than usual – 3.5*/3.5*.

    Even with the ‘maybe,’ a Hmm on the 7a ‘Lane.’

    Candidates for favourite – 10a, 24a, 16d, and 19d – and the winner is 19d.

    Thanks to proXimal and DT.

  8. Comfortably the best of week for me. Loved the 4 peripheral long ‘uns, 2 of which were my last in so slow to twig the X-less pangram. Full of excellent clues & with ticks aplenty but if pressed I’ll plump for a podium of 7&22a plus 18d.
    Wind is slowly whipping up here in Harpenden so looks like a day for staying indoors.
    Thanks to proXimal & to DT
    Wordle in 4 today – I see from the article in DT lifestyle that I wasn’t the only one who had to look up caulk the other day. 4 additional suggestions on top of LBROK’s for MP as his starter word too.

  9. Terrific crossword. 1a was my last one in despite having the second word from early on. Doh!

    The storm is kicking in here. We have a fence down, and apparently a roof has been dislodged nearby. Lovely neighbour came to help me with the fence but we decided to leave it for now as conditions are dangerous and more damage may follow anyway. All the best to anyone else in the middle of this storm.

    ***Miff*** As a devotee, I’ve seen Todd many times but I wasn’t at Knebworth. The story goes that The Stones were so late on because Keith was unconscious and so the Stones’ roadies cut a few cables, to delay everything, just before 10cc were due on stage, and poor 10cc got all the blame.

    Today’s crossword soundtrack: Talking Heads – Listening Wind

    Thanks to the setter and DT.

    1. The Knebworth day was a great day out. I hitchhiked from Coventry with a girlfriend. Every act was a winner. One of Todd Rundgrens amps caught fire. Skynrd went from unknown zeros to absolute heroes in the space of one song. The Stones coming on so late just added to the thrill. I also went to see The Rolling Stones play The Granby Hall in Leicester and Earls Court that year. I’ve only seen David Byrne once in Cardiff on The American Utopia tour. What a great gig that was. Well worth seeking out on YouTube

    2. Reckon even your wonderfully eclectic musical tastes might not stretch to both of the acts in 6d – my favourite clue in today’s Toughie.

      1. I’ve never seen The Doors or Steps. A friend once played a Steps CD all the way to and from the Lake District in retaliation for the hours of Tom Waits Jeff and I subjected him to when we drove. Agony

            1. The Beatles have a Bass Guitarist and a Drummer left alive. The Who have lost their Bass Guitarist and their Drummer. The surviving members of The Beatles and The Who should get together and form a group called The Whootles or The Boo

  10. Eunice is giving us a real battering here in North Devon so I thought I’d better leave my comment before the power goes off.
    I thought the puzzle was excellent – thanks to proXimal and DT.
    My medals are awarded to 7a, 24a and 7d.

  11. Waiting here in West Sussex for Eunice to hit us for real as presently it’s just blowy (oh dear, the lights have just flickered). Such an entertaining cruciverbal exercise which in fact was plain-sailing. Fav was 10a for its parsing. Yes indeed I worked on hobo for some time for 15a. Don’t know much about Superman or his girlfriend so 7a was a bung-in. Look forward to a Chopin Études session later today – thanks DT and of course TVM to proXimal for lots of fun if all too brief. Wordle quickly done so may resort to Wheeldle later on although not keen on their vocabulary. 🌬💨🌊💦.

  12. I found the NW corner quite tricky and the remainder a steady solve, excellent puzzle all round , like others agreed probably the best of the week, I noticed Richards comments re Elgar whose crosswords are always 5*/5* according to Dutch and as tough as they come.
    If in the mood ,and with sufficient time, I usually join forces with Mrs B to enable completion.
    Difficult to find a favourite today, going for 7d followed by 7a for the misleading ‘Lane’. Going for a ***/****
    Thanks to setter and DT for the pics

  13. Well, a DNF was only 11a via a teensy Danword this morning, having been kept 21a by too many gale-related 22a. After three smooth quarters I 15a around in NE, 18a’s aplenty. Thanks DT for unraveling 5d, and Proximal for a great puzzle.

  14. **** crossword which just crept into *** time for me. Loved the squash game – reminded me of me at my best (in my dreams!) Criminal that squash is not an Olympic sport when you see the fitness and skill of the players. Thanks to all.

  15. A very pleasing Friday puzzle. Great clues, a resonable challenge and an enjoyable solve. I’ve ticked 6 clues and will pick 9d as my favourite. 3*/4*.

  16. 1a was my pick from a superb set of clues to cheer up this stormy Friday morning. Many thanks to proXimal for an enjoyable challenge and to DT for his review.

    Good luck to everyone in the UK as Eunice does her worst.

  17. Good fun all the way as is usual for Fridays whichever setter turns up. Sweden have just scored a four in the curling. Here in Barrel the visit of The Mobile Curling Rink is one of the weeks highlights

  18. Tricky in parts esp at the top end but enjoyable except for 10a (dreadful homophone) and 7a (Superman’s girlfriend – Oh Really!). Both were solvable by definition but if the setter is going to use such obscure wordplay, a bit more assistance would be appreciated.
    Rather spoilt the overall experience as far as I was concerned.
    Thx to all
    Very little impact from the storm up here in the NE, Arwen was far more destructive but that got little media coverage.
    Typical Southern bias in the media.

  19. Not especially difficult, but boy, how entertaining it was. Loved 7a & 5d, but tops for me were 3d & 7d. Thanks to setter and DT.
    So far today Eunice has been much less violent than had been forecast, but we will feel happier once this evening arrives and she has blown away. Wordle in 3.

  20. Again, I needed far too many hints for this to be enjoyable. No real favourites – just happy to struggle to the end.

    Many thanks to the setter for the thrashing and to DT for making sense of it for me.

    Eunice being relatively kind here in the Marches with no bins rolling around or trees and roofs flying away.

    Wordle in 4.

  21. Not my best day today. Despite realising it was a pangram, I still managed to miss 1a and 7d….not clever.
    Oh well, tomorrow is another day.

    Thanks to ProXimal and to Deep Threat.

    Weather so far unremarkable here….cold with sleety rain and a bit of wind. But I hear that Perth just along the road is almost cut off by snow…..it’s only about 25 miles away. The difference between being inland and coastal I suppose.
    Off to watch the curling where Eve and co are doing their best to pull things back from an awful start.

  22. Will comment later but does anyone know what this bird is? Awful pic but it was far end of garden. I think it is a kestrel?

      1. Thanks Ian – David thought it was a Sparrowhawk but my bird book had a SH much darker. We still have the Red Breasted Goose on the marsh, apparently its pretty rare.

  23. My goodness, what a great proXimal for ending the week! I’ll confess to struggling with the top half after the bottom went in rather quickly but I loved every minute of the challenge. I’ve never heard of a 1a though I’ve been on a few sea voyages which turned out that way for some aboard. Hard to pick winners for this scintillating grid, but I’ll opt for the four long ones, in no certain order, and 7a, 12a, & 5d (my LOI) picking up honourable mentions. Thanks to DT and to proXimal. *** / *****

    Good luck with Eunice to everyone over there.

  24. Not much activity from Eunice in my neck of the woods overnight but the winds are really picking up now so maybe we have the worst yet to come. Either way, it’s obviously troubling me sufficiently that I didn’t share in the obvious enthusiasm for this back-pager, hardly our setter’s fault!

    Thanks to proXimal and apologies for not making the most of it – thanks also to DT for the review and the soothing Chopin.

  25. Well this Friday puzzle was definitely a little convoluted as the synonyms/clueing were hard to parse.
    My rating 2.5*/3*
    Clues for favourites include 1a, 15a, 2d, 9d & 16d with 16d the winner as that is me in the morning!!

    Thanks to proXimal and DT for hints.

  26. Yes, this almost pangram was a delight from start to finish (5d). I missed the other American tramp so 15a gave me pause for thought. 24a top of the pile.
    Many thanks to ProXimal and Deep Threat. I am very worried for our large roof span which has a 2ft overhang all around and I can just see the whole lot coming off – we have already lost finials from our conservatory roof which went bowling away and our road outside blocked by two fallen trees. Roll on tomorrow. Wind makes me bad tempered usually but this is just frightening. How do people cope when these winds are frequent?
    Wordle in 4.

  27. 8a is one of my pet hates. That apart this was great. I spotted the X-less pangram which helped. Favourite was 7d. Thanks to ProXimal and DT. I might look at the toughie today.

  28. I found this harder than most people seem to – NE held out the longest. COTD 24a although I was looking for reeling somewhere in it. This wind is seriously scary and have battled to take the cover off the garden furniture as the whole lot was going to fly away. Wordle in 5 today – see they are putting devious cookies into Wordle as a way of getting their money back. Thanks to the setter and DT. had no idea about Superman’s girlfriend. Thanks to Ian for identifying the bird from such a tiny and pretty poor picture.

  29. Good ** puzzle but like Manders I simply could not get the lane for 7a … must reread my old DC comics! Thanks setter and DT

  30. Thanks to Proximal and to Deep Threat for the review and hints. A very nice puzzle to finish the working week. Took me ages to get 1a & 7d,but got there in the end. Favourite was 24a. Was 3* /4* for me.

  31. Nice end to the week 😃 ***/*** Favourites 8a, 10a & 22a Thanks to DT and to the Compiler 👍 💨 🌊 🌨 hope you all keep safe

  32. Like Manders, I found this trickier than most, the north in particular. I never did get 1a, though I think I’ve heard of it before. I missed a couple of others as well. I found south very doable and fun. Fave was 24a.
    Thanks proXimal and DT. Keep safe everyone, I know too well what you must be going through and most don’t have hurricane shutters. Wordle in 5.

  33. I managed this all on my ownsome today but appreciate the guidance on parsing a couple – Thanks Deep T.
    I think all the Midges will have been blown away today but it never takes them long to re-assert themselves.
    Thanks to proXimal
    and I hope Eunice spares us from too much damage ( I hit a large twig/small branch and suspect a new tyre will be required but it’s not too bad as I was told at a recent MOT that I only had a couple of thousand more miles in the fronts anyway)

  34. Firstly, been thinking of you all as you bear the brunt of Storm Eunice, and hoping it’s damage is not as bad as forecast. Being well experienced at suffering through hours of high winds, followed by the inevitable power outages, we can truly sympathize. I really could not get to grips with this cryptic today, needing too many hints to derive any satisfaction. But on a plus side, I finally convinced Peter to have a go at Wordle yesterday, and he got it in 3! Whereas I was a dismal 6. We have not had a go at today’s, saving that for teatime. Thanks to proXimal and DT.

  35. Didn’t know 1a but it is probably something from the past as the UK is not part of Europe anymore.
    7a was the last to fall as I was looking for the drunk inside the Lane.
    2a favourite in this great crossword.
    Thanks to ProXimal and to DT.

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