DT 29916 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29916

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29916

Hints and tips by pommers

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Hola from the Vega Baja where the noise seems to have abated at last.  I think the digging has finished and all that’s left to do is re-tarmac all the roads.  Might be back to normal in a couple of weeks.

Today we have the usual Monday fare but a little trickier than the last one I blogged.  There’s five clues involving anagrams so I know many of you will be pleased but there’s also a couple of head scratchers so it comes out as a very enjoyable solve.  I hope you all agree with me.

As usual the ones I liked most are in blue.  The definitions are underlined in the clues and the answers are under the “click here” buttons so don’t click on them unless you really want to see the answer.  Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a           Dancing better slim lass — one of her pupils? (6-8)

9a           A nip swallowed by bishop and judge (7)
ARBITER: Take two letters for a bishop and insert (swallowed by) another word for a nip and put it all after the A from the clue.

10a         Cordelia’s father protecting the kid, perhaps (7)
LEATHER:  The Shakespearean king who was the father of Cordelia placed around (protecting) the THE from the clue to give you what kid could be an example of (perhaps).

11a         Bowled, dismissed in match (4)
BOUT:  The letter for bowled in cricket notation followed by a word for dismissed in cricket give a word for a match, a boxing match perhaps.

12a         Stubborn chief, resilient (10)
HEADSTRONG: Synonym of chief followed by a synonym of resilient.

14a         Find out what’s legal after start of embargo? (6)
ELICIT:  A word meaning legal or lawful after an E (start of Embargo).

15a         Bird flying low by a port (5,3)
TAWNY OWL:  Anagram (flying) of LOW placed after a type of port wine.  I spent too long trying to do something with MOO for low, d’oh!

17a         Restructuring of NATO unlikely, so don’t mention it (3,2,3)
NOT AT ALL:  Anagram (restructuring) of NATO followed by a word for unlikely as in an unlikely story.

18a         Weapon carried by cop is tolerated (6)
PISTOL:  A lurker hiding in (carried by) the last three words of the clue.

21a         We remind comic about one of Oscar’s ladies? (10)
WINDERMERE:  Anagram (comic) of WE REMIND followed by two letters for about to give a lady in a play by Oscar Wilde.  I like the definition here.

22a         Thoroughly search company doctor (4)
COMB: The usual company followed by one of the many two letter doctors.

24a         Popular one in work on view (7)
OPINION:  Start with the usual two letters for work and the ON from the clue. Into that you need to insert (in) the usual word for popular and the letter that looks like a number one.

25a         The perfect male Republican — Reagan, initially, when put in power (2,5)
MR RIGHT:  R(epublican) and another R (Reagan initially) inserted into (put in) another word for power or strength.

26a         Consider commendable, fine player’s sense of well-being (4-4,6)
FEEL GOOD FACTOR:  This is a charade of a word meaning to consider, a word for commendable, an F(ine) and finally a player on a stage.


1d           Source of berries found on walk in the countryside? (7)
BRAMBLE:  B (source of berries) followed by a walk in the countryside will indeed give you a source of berries found on a walk in the countryside.  This is the best &lit that I’ve seen for quite a while!

2d           Unremitting in support of party in need of a large workforce (6-9)
LABOUR INTENSIVE:  A word meaning unremitting placed after one of the major political parties.

3d           Food kept in meat safe (4)
EATS:  A lurker hiding in (kept in) the last two words.   My gran used to have a meat safe in the days before she had a fridge.

4d           Mouthful from TV detective ending in ‘hell’! (6)
MORSEL:  Kath’s favourite TV detective followed by an L (ending in helL).

5d           Daughter unfortunately knocked over pub’s self-service food station (5,3)
SALAD BAR:  D(aughter) and a word meaning unfortunately are reversed (knocked over) and followed  by another word for a pub.  The village where I live (El Saladar) sometimes gets called this by the ex-pat Brits.

6d           Learn in set playing a racket sport (4,6)
REAL TENNIS:  Anagram (playing) of LEARN IN SET.

7d           Point of view where Plato perhaps studied philosophy? (6,2,7)
SCHOOL OF THOUGHT:  Cryptic definition of where one might study philosophy.

8d           Careful with money, French girl pressing uniform (6)
FRUGAL:  Abbreviation on French and a word for a girl placed around (pressing) the letter represented by the word uniform in the phonetic alphabet.

13d         Able-bodied boys in blue serve adequately (3,3,4)
FIT THE BILL:  A word for able bodied or healthy followed by two words for the boys in blue or police.

16d         Bird, bright orange duck (8)
FLAMINGO:  A word for bright orange or on fire followed by O (duck).

17d         Unknown to knight, famous physicist (6)
NEWTON:  A word for unknown or fresh followed by the TO from the clue and then the letter for a knight in chess notation.

19d         Confused monarch about British seafood (7)
LOBSTER: A word which can mean confused or misplaced and the regnal cypher of our current monarch placed around (about) a B(ritish).

20d         Stiffly formal journalist put in the picture (6)
PRIMED:  A word for stiffly formal or proper followed by the usual journalist.

23d         A short cut in neighbourhood (4)
AREA:  The A from the clue followed by a word for cut or harvest without its last letter (short).

Nearly all these clues are worthy of being in blue so I’ve just picked out my three stand-out favourites for the podium with 1d on the top step.  I think I’ll continue this way as long as the Monday puzzles continue like they are at the moment.

Quick crossword puns:

Top Line:        PIQUE     +     HOCK     =     PEACOCK

Middle line:     RUNNER     +     WEIGHS     =     RUNAWAYS

Bottom line:     CYST     +     EARLY     =     SISTERLY

91 comments on “DT 29916

  1. I agree with pommers an agreeable solve which would have been a */*** had I not rushed 1d and put Barbour! It doesn’t fit and an arbour is hardly a walk but it held me up in those across clues until I twigged my error and so a **/*** for me. I really liked 10a and that gets my star clue prize. Thanks to pommers and the setter.

  2. A wonderful way to start the week. I was able to finish unaided, which is something that has not happened for a while and it certainly made up for my poor effort with Dada yesterday. Loads of good clues and I had ticks all over the paper. However, my favourites are 19d and 26a, which is my COTD.

    Many thanks to Campbell for the fun and also to pommers for the hints.

    Franklin blowing hard in the Marches but no rain.

    Wordle in 4.

  3. 1.5*/4*. The usual light fun puzzle for a Monday with the bonus of three great Quickie puns and a nice reminder for Kath at 4d. Shame about 3d though.

    7d was my favourite with 13d a close second.

    Many thanks to Campbell and to pommers.

  4. I thought that even by Campbell’s high standards this was particularly enjoyable.
    A plethora of winners today, 25&26a plus 2,5&13d to name but a few with the topical 17a top of the pile. Great stuff.
    Many thanks to Campbell and Pommers.

    1. Thought I’d have an afternoon listening to Donald & Walter yesterday & rather than just listen to my playlist (the albums in order) I had a gander at Spotify & came across Somebody Else’s Favorite Songs (Live) – 210 mins from 3 gigs (74 & 93). Excellent. The 73 stuff less polished than 93 but would have loved to see Denny & Jeff play together. Well worth a listen if like me you weren’t aware of it.

  5. A nice and gentle start to the week. I did spend a while trying to justify an alternative answer to 20d before the penny dropped. 21a gets my vote today.

    Thanks to today’s setter and Pommers.

  6. A cracking puzzle that barely lasted to the bottom of coffee #1, only a couple of birds held me up. Mandarin is a duck and an orange?, and I stared at the first word of 15a for ages without seeing the port. I bunged it in any way and saw the port at the same moment the puzzle site marked me correct.
    I did like one of Oscar’s ladies but I will agree with pommers that 1d was COTD, it could only be improved by its re-appearance in the autumn when they are ripe for picking. I will look for it again end of August.
    Thanks to pommers and Campbell I got all 3 puns today!

    1. JB, it’s Auden’s birthday today, and an old article by Hannah Arendt in The New Yorker (the daily briefing) again pays tribute to his greatness. He would be 115 but forever young in spirit and cragginess.

      1. I will have a look for it I think I have a subscription or a few free articles a week for the New Yorker

        1. In the nightmare of the dark
          All the dogs of Europe bark . . .

          Intellectual disgrace
          Stares from every human face—

            1. Great article Robert – I even got an audio link to have it read – when I read poetry I have to go over it several times to get the rhythm in my head, and it is much better when someone else does the work for you. I even followed it up with Clive James view of Auden

  7. Wonderful puzzle – solved unaided – hooray! Good to hear Manfred Mann too.

    Here in Surrey we are once again being battered by very strong winds. Several local towns and villages have blocked access due to dangerous roof conditions, scaffolding wobbling, and so on. All part of the poetry of life, I suppose.

    Today’s crossword soundtrack: Teardrop Explodes – Colours Fly Away

    Thanks to Campbell and pommers

  8. On a day when it is impossible to leave the house thanks to Storm Franklin, I could have done with something a bit more challenging than this perfectly pitched Monday crossword. Very enjoyable while it lasted

    Thanks to Campbell and Pommers

  9. Windy here in South Devon but the sun is out and we have got through the weekend unscathed. I hope CS is back online especially as she is confined to the house. My Kentish friend was without power for 3 days.
    Romped through the puzzle only to be beaten by 21a. I was firmly in the film world and, shamefully, forget Mr Wilde.
    COTD 15a because of the booze!

    1. Our power came back on sometime overnight between Friday and Saturday – I’ve published two blogs since then! Seems even windier today but fingers’ crossed the power will stay on.

      1. Having lost power many times during hurricanes, I know well the feeling of euphoria when it comes back on.

  10. This was a suitably light and refreshing puzzle to offset the raging wind whistling around the corners of the house. 7d was my top clue, with 26a my final entry despite having all the checkers in place. Great fun.

    My thanks to Campbell and pommers.

  11. Thanks Campbell & pommers – a super puzzle, I agree almost all could have been blue, but will pick 17a, 1d & 5d for the podium. Thanks again!
    (By the way, today’s Rookie Corner also well worth a look)

  12. Another super puzzle from the Monday Master – very gentle, but a delightful accompaniment while it lasted for the mid-morning coffee. Appreciated the paucity of anagrams, which allowed for a good range of other clue types. Thought 1d quite outstanding, with hon. mentions to 9a, 17a, 7d and 13d.

    0.5 / 3.5

    Many thanks to Campbell and to Pommers.

  13. Whoosh!
    A nice * time.
    But the wrong way round.
    Answer in first, parsing second. Funny, that.
    8d brilliant amongst some very neat constructions.
    Many thanks Campbell and pommers

  14. Whilst puzzling this morning, I was treated to the sight of a sparrowhawk breakfasting on our lawn, pecking away at one of the many pigeons our neighbour feeds each day – ah well, one down and a couple more dozen to go. As for the crossword, well a nice start to the week, but for the life of me I couldn’t get 26a and struggled for almost as long to solve that one clue as the rest of the puzzle put together. All good fun though and Wordle solved in 3, so I’m quite well content with that. Thanks to today’s setter and to Pommers – glad to hear that all’s now quiet on the Vega Baja front :-)

  15. Pre-empting Senf, it’s Monday it’s Campbell. Again he proves that a puzzle doesn’t have to extend your brain to be pleasurable. A great way to start the week.
    Sorry to be boring but 1d my COTD.
    Thank you Campbell.
    Also pommers glad you are getting back your peace and quiet. . I’m sure the illustration for 4d will make Kath smile. Best wishes bonny lass.

  16. It’s Monday :good: It’s Campbell :good: 1.5*/4.5*

    And, just as much as fun in his On-Line Prize Puzzle.

    Candidates for favourite – 15a, 24a, and 4d (well it has to be a candidate, doesn’t it) – and the winner is 15a – I wonder if Fine Old Ruby has ever been ‘worked’ into a crossword.

    Thanks to Campbell and pommers.

    After another pair of Alberta Clippers we have had 70% more than average snowfall so far this winter!

    1. Unknown base florid bun smells like Port (4,3,4)
      is smells an acceptable anagram indicator?
      I have never liked anagrind as a term but I have just seen why it is used.
      It works as a clue but the surface stinks

  17. For some reason began this cruciverbal week with a hesitant start but once underway all went smoothly and much fun was had along the way. So many great clues from which perhaps I will pick 10a, 15a and 7d. Pity about reappearance of 3d. Failed to parse 19d. Thank you Campbell and also pommers for being there in case of need.

  18. I really liked this Monday puzzle ,an extra * for difficulty.
    Clever cluing throughout and a **/**** as per Pommers.
    Last in was 20d,wanted to put framed in to deal with the picture, then I saw the light.
    Favourites were 15a,21a, and 26a.

  19. Thoroughly enjoyed today’s puzzle and I was actually able to complete it whilst enjoying my hot chocolate: that must be a first for me! Many thanks to Campbell and Pommers. I do hope Kath pops in and sees Morse: I’m sure it will brighten her day.

    A special thanks to Mr Lancaster or the typesetter (?) for placing Sunday’s General Knowledge puzzle all on one half-page it makes it so much easier being able to see the clues and the grid at the same time.

  20. A nice start to the week that fell without too much trouble. I did raise an eyebrow at 1A — unless I’m missing something, isn’t the definition the teacher, not “one of her pupils”? Or have I missed something (cracked the anagram, but didn’t feel the definition really worked). Otherwise a lovely puzzle.

      1. I agree with Andy on this, I’m afraid your explanation didn’t shed any light on it, perhaps it’s just me being dim🤷‍♂️

      2. Agreed SL, the question mark to mean the “better dancing slim lass” could be one of the teacher’s pupils,
        Sorry didn’t see Angellov’s reply.

        1. Exactly LROK..The key to the interpretation is to take the surface read (dancing better slim lass) as perhaps being (hence the question mark) one of the pupils of the solution.

  21. Better than the usual Campbell, I thought, and he is always good and enjoyable. Hard to pick winners among such royalty throughout, but 21a (one of my favourites among his witty plays), 1d, and 26a nudge out a host of nominees for the podium. For once I got the middle pun on the Quickie, and the online bonus Cryptic is quite the corker (5* for that one). Thanks to pommers and to Campbell. 2* / 4*

    1. I meant to ask how many of you have encountered Walter Plinge, as I did for the first time last night while doing the online GK 696? Over here, it’s George Spelvin.

      1. No I hadn’t, Robert, but I looked him up following your comment. The connection to the Phantom of the Opera was extremely interesting, I’ll look out for him in future!

  22. Another enjoyable Monday romp offering a wealth of tick-worthy clues. After much debate, I’m going to award podium places to 17a plus 1&7d although I could have included several others.

    Thanks to Campbell and also to pommers who is doubtless enjoying some peace!

  23. Another bout of Monday simplicity expertly clued and blogged. Thanks to both setter and blogger. I do love the English language in all of its divers forms so 3 down is ok by me and by the OED

  24. Great as usual. Fitted in between two Microsoft Teams interviews. Almost as enjoyable for me as Chalicea on Saturday. I could not ring my favourites as on line today. Too wet and windy to get a paper. Enjoyed all the long ones. Only one that caused me to pause was 2d. Special shout out for 25 who I’ve yet to meet! Thanks Campbell and Pommers.

  25. 2 lovely puzzles from our Monday maestro. Both fairly gentle but beautifully clued. Reckon like Robert I’d give the bonus online one the slight edge. Picks for me here – 15,21&26a.
    Thanks to Campbell & Pommers
    Wordle in 3

        1. This is possibly the fourth appearance of the space dog and indeed the instrument in cryptic crosswords in the last week or so

          1. My octogenarian mind keeps confusing balaclava with 16d regardless of how often I tell it not to.

      1. 1d predictably my favourite. Silence is I reckon his only film that I’ve yet to see. 12a reminded me of a mate who, when it was his turn to buy a round, would declare he’d love to only he had no s******. 16d was a groan as it’s the name of the hotel we stay at in Joburg & is where I would be now if not for Covid concerns.

        1. If it were not for Covid, I’d be able to leave the house! I’ve not seen Silence either.

  26. Pretty much worked my way through the clues in order, they were classically cryptic. The only one I did not get was 11a, I was distracted by the Crickety reference so thank you Pommers for explaining that one. Stars for 9 & 15 & 25a and 17 & 13d, although I could cite many more. Thanks Campbell – and I also got all three of the puns.
    Wordle in 3.

  27. Another fine Campbell offering to start a sunny non-work week on this Family Day holiday in Canada. 1*/4* for me today.
    Candidates for favourite include 15a, 22a, 25a, 4d & 5d to pick just five, but there were many more. Favourite is 4d followed by 25a
    A well hidden lurker in 18a I thought.

    Thanks to Campbell and pommers

    1. Hi, up there. It’s Presidents Day down here, and my top 3 remain Abraham, Franklin, & Barack.

  28. Managed unaided, but 10 and 21a. pure guesswork as my knowledge of plays is zero, the only Cordelia I know is in Buffy the vampire slayer 😂.I had the same doubt about 1a as Andy (20) mentioned but it had to be what it was. A nice puzzle that produced the 26a for me. Thanks to all.
    Wordle in 4


  29. 2/4. Very enjoyable start to the week. My favourites were 10, 21& 26a and 16d. Thanks to Campbell and Pommers.

  30. Got off to a good start, stalled for a while in the middle, and then trotted to the finish, mainly aided by the checkers. I didn’t know the 6d game so stared at the anagram for too long. Hadn’t heard 16d used to mean bright Orange. COTD for me was 13d, LOL moment. Thanks to Campbell and Pommers. Looking forward to tackling 696 over lunch later.

  31. Ah! Monday and another lovely puzzle 😃 **/**** Favourites ( a difficult choice from so many fine clues)🤔 21a, 1 & 13d. Also 3 out of 3 for the Quicky phrases and Wordle in 3 🤗 Pass the 15a but please don’t let it touch the table 😉

  32. Managed to polish this off before going out to lunch with the girls. Very enjoyable with no hold ups – thank God the wind has died down a bit as my garden is a mess. Anyway thanks to the setter and Pommers. Wordle in 3.

  33. Only knew the Barn Owl and didn’t check a list, so had to wait for the review. Once I saw wine after port, the answer fell without a reveal.
    Had time to start on Campbell’s other offering before going to work and going to finish it after this post.
    Always liked the name of the sport in 6d. For my part, I only play Air Tennis.
    Thanks to Campbell and to Pommers.

  34. Found the prize cryptic today very doable and fun. 2*/4*
    Several new words in 4a, 27a & 7d that had to be what they were once all the cross check letters were in.
    Favourites were 1a, 9d & 16d

    Thanks to Campbell

    … oh, and Wordle in 3 again today

    1. How do you get the crossword the same day in BC? I have to wait months in Ontario

  35. Another enjoyable Campbell puzzle (2(_4*) and this one seemed to filli itself on very smoothly. I liked21a, one of my favourire Wilde plays and 7d
    Thanks to Canpbell and to Pommers.
    . Ii

  36. Thanks to Campbell and to Pommers for the review and hints. A superb Monday puzzle, not too tricky, but really fun to do. Needed the hints to parse 15a, and to confirm my guess for 21a, which was my LOI. Favourite was 13d, which made me laugh. Was 1*/4* for me.

  37. I was too distracted by the crossword by Morse (John Thaw) and then a bit later also by Manfred Mann, mainly because of Paul Jones – oh dear, oh dear!!
    All good fun even if I couldn’t make any sense of 26a.
    Thanks to Campbell and pommers.

    1. Hi Kath, thought you’d like the Morse but I didn’t know you were into Manfred Mann. Hope your recovery is continuing well.

  38. I can’t believe another winner! I loved it. Good thing too, I’ve had a busy morning, I do like when folks stop by. We, too, had a meat safe, pommers, I don’t know what the metal was but it had little, tiny round holes punched in it. Having no electricity, we had a paraffin fridge with a freezer just large enough to make ice for the rum and gingers. The SE was the last to fall. I can’t choose a fave, too much good stuff.
    Thanks Campbell for the fun and pommers for some enlightenment. I still have last Monday’s brawta to do now another one on hand in case. Wordle in 4 today.

  39. But Kath you being here gives us all a 26A!
    Also finished unaided today, nice enjoyable solve/

  40. Breezed through this like everyone else with the same level of enjoyment. Favourite was 10a as I knew exactly who Cordelia was, her father being the founder of my home city and one the the adjacent villages to me also bears his name. Thanks to Campbell and Pommers.

  41. 20 down, framed fits the clue’s meaning, except for the word “fram” which does not mean stiffly formal

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