DT 29923 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29923

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29923

Hints and tips by Mr K

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BD Rating  -  Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

Hello, everyone. We're back in solid Tuesday puzzle territory this week. I found this well-crafted puzzle to be a steady solve. I shall be interested to read what others thought of it. 

In the hints below most indicators are italicized, and underlining identifies precise definitions and cryptic definitions. Clicking on the answer buttons will reveal the answers. In some hints hyperlinks provide additional explanation or background. Clicking on a picture will enlarge it or display a bonus illustration and a hover (computer) or long press (mobile) might explain more about the picture. Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.



1a    Cocktail of wine duly hard to handle (8)
UNWIELDY:  An anagram (cocktail of …) of WINE DULY 

5a    Cost of maintenance of high castle tower (6)
UPKEEP:  A synonym of high followed by a castle tower 

Old Keiss Castle

10a   Thrilling tale: unknown items recorded here? (8,7)
SUSPENSE ACCOUNT:  Fuse together synonyms of thrilling and of tale 

11a   Shelters not opened in these pleasant garden spots (7)
ARBOURS:  Some shelters minus their first letter (not opened

12a   Unorthodox and rotten cricketer restricting English (7)
OFFBEAT:  Rotten or rancid is followed by a cricketer (not being a fielder) containing (restricting) the single letter for English 

13a   Went up as century came to a close (8)
ASCENDED:  Put together AS from the clue, the single letter for century, and "came to a close" 

15a   Car, primarily an old banger, not costing a lot (5)
CHEAP:  The first letter (primarily) of CAR with another word for an old banger 

Only  rolled once ... :)

18a   The top's come off loudspeaker -- bother! (5)
ANNOY:  A sound-reproducing and amplifying system minus its first letter (the top's come off …

20a   Men gathered for a board meeting? (5,3)
CHESS SET:  A cryptic definition of a collection of men gathered for a board game

23a   Dull brown, new-age material found in ship's hold (7)
DUNNAGE:  Assemble a dull brown colour, the single letter for new, and AGE from the clue 

25a   Female made a record -- it's sold (7)
FLOGGED:  The single letter for female with made a record in a book or file 

26a   Men with horns closest to fight mythical creature (4,4,7)
LOCH NESS MONSTER:  An anagram (… to fight) of MEN HORNS CLOSEST 

27a   Standard achieved without Mike in street procession (6)
PARADE:  Standard or average with achieved or reached minus the letter represented in the NATO phonetic alphabet by Mike

Kattenstoet (Festival of the Cats) in Ypres, Belgium

28a   In favour of pipes and various manufactured items (8)
PRODUCTS:  A short word meaning "in favour of" with pipes or tubes 



1d    As tune changes, remove an MP, perhaps (6)
UNSEAT:  An anagram (changes) of AS TUNE 

2d    Sink was given nasty bash at home (9)
WASHBASIN:  Concatenate WAS from the clue, an anagram (nasty) of BASH, and a usual word for "at home" 

3d    Perform in river? Lovely (7)
EXECUTE:  A river that flows through Devon with lovely like these kittens, say 

Cute kittens

4d    Odd odes and singular measures (5)
DOSES:  An anagram (odd) of ODES with the single letter for singular 

6d    Peaceful -- or perhaps loco? (7)
PACIFIC:  An adjective meaning peaceful is also a type of steam locomotive that originated in New Zealand. Here's a photo of one of those locos that I took earlier 

The "Kingston Flyer" is still a tourist attraction iin New Zealand

7d    Issue as former partner getting cuddles on a regular basis (5)
EXUDE:  A usual former partner with alternate letters (on a regular basis) of CUDDLES 


8d    Mine's the best of places for rapid vehicle maintenance (8)
PITSTOPS:  A mine for coal with its S from the clue is followed by an informal word for best 

9d    Kit often seen with this in taxi -- a lot? Almost (8)
CABOODLE:  An informal synonym of taxi with all but the last letter (almost) of an informal word for "a lot". The definition is explained here   

14d   Get less iron, one could say? (8)
DECREASE:  A verb meaning "get less" could also, whimsically, mean "iron" 

16d   Lively quote half-hearted author's written up (9)
ENERGETIC:  Quote or name and English author Graham minus one of his middle letters are joined and then reversed (written up, in a down clue) 

17d   Arrives at rim to see rockfall? (8)
LANDSLIP:  "Arrives at" on a plane, perhaps, with another word for rim 

19d   At last, Harry gets what's deserved and longed for (7)
YEARNED:  The final letter (at last) of HARRY is followed by a synonym of deserved 

21d   Any number in goal maybe, with Germany held in contempt (7)
SCORNED:  A letter used in mathematics to stand for any (integer) number is inserted in a synonym of goal and that's all followed by the IVR code for Germany 

22d   Publicity material with alternative directions for ornaments (6)
ADORNS:  Join together publicity material, a short word for alternative, and two compass directions 

24d   New diamonds, right? That's better! (5)
NICER:  Chain together the single letter for new, a slang word for diamonds, and the single letter for right 

Diamonds are a girl's best friend

25d   Bone incorporated into life mural (5)
FEMUR:  The answer is hidden by (incorporated into) the remainder of the clue 


Thanks to today’s setter. Top clue for me today was 7d. Which clues did you like best?

The Quick Crossword pun:  CANNES + DELL + WHACKS = CANDLE WAX

64 comments on “DT 29923

  1. For some reason 3d defeated me and I had to resort to electrons so my run of unaided finishes has ended. Two I had not heard of were 10a and 23a but the clues gave exact directions to the answers. No real favourites today because I thought most of them were great in their own way. I liked the Quickie pun as well.

    Many thanks to the setter for the fun and to Mr. K. for the hints and pusskits.

    A lovely sunny day in The Marches so a long walk with Hudson beckons after a bit of spring cleaning this morning. We bought the armchairs yesterday – now have to wait four months for them to be delivered!

    Wordle in 4.

        1. My daughter waited just over a year for a couch, and the reason was also COVID.

  2. The NW quarter riddled with anagrams filled easily and the rest followed to give a */**** puzzle with some excellent clues. Like SC I hadn’t heard of 23a before and momentarily put in tonnage wondering if it was tannage but did 17d and all became clear. I enjoyed the well hidden anagram in 26a so that gets my COTD. Thanks MrK and the setter.

  3. I thought this very light but pleasant, the setter’s style is similar to Chalicea.
    I have to admit I bunged in 6d on the more obvious definition then forgot to investigate the other!
    Top three for me were 12a plus 8&9d, the latter as it’s a great word as well as a clever clue.
    Many thanks to the setter and to Mr K for his usual fun review.

  4. A very benign Tuesday challenge but no less enjoyable for being so. Delayed very slightly in the SE trying to parse 21d, my LOI, but otherwise all swiftly done. Thought it a detraction to use both was (2d) and age (23a) in the answers.

    Hon Mentions to 10a, 20a and 18d, with COTD to 16d.

    1 / 2.5

    Many thanks to Setter and to MrK

  5. Steady, satisfying, unaided progress to completion.
    But, although correctly constructed, 23a was a new word for me.
    As was 6d in one of its two meanings.
    Taking time to realise that 26a was an anagram popped me into ** time.
    Many thanks to the setter for the challenge and to Mr.K

  6. 1.5*/3.5*. This was light and enjoyable. 23a and the type of loco in 6d were new to me.

    My top two were 10a & 20a.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Mr. K.

    1. Found this was ok apart from the NW corner, where the clues wer rather confusing and held meup a lot (3.5*/3*)
      Someof the surface reads were a tad ciumsy, which didn’t help. I did finish ot but wasn’t sure of the parsing insome of them. So thanks to Mr K for some much needed help and thanks to the compiler for his efforts.

  7. Quickly out of the starting blocks with 1a and 1d going straight in and then an absorbing progression through a fascinating puzzle? Many clever surfaces with 19d standing out for me. Many thanks Messrs. Ron and K.

  8. A delightfully straightforward yet enjoyable amble through a sunny crosswordland this morning. I particularly liked 9d, a lovely word, plus the excellent 10 and 20a.

    My thanks to both Misters involved in today’s production.

  9. Like Mr K I found this a steady solve, 10a and 23a were new to me but well clued so no problem with the definition.
    liked 9d ,remembered the whole kit and ! also Penelope for 8d.
    Favourites were the 26a anagram and the cryptic 20a which unlocked the SE corner.
    Thanks setter and Mr K for the pics, going for a **/***

  10. Very Tuesdayish – 1.5*/4.5*.

    Candidates for favourite – 10a, 20a, 6d, 21d – and the winner is 6d.

    Thanks to the setter and Mr K.

    Dydd Gŵyl Dewi hapus i bawb sydd yn nhir eu tadau.

    1. Happy St David’s day! I’m not Welsh but my husband’s antecedent s were from Pembrokeshire and spoke only Welsh

    2. Plenty of celebration parties going on around here, with small children dressed in traditional Welsh costume.

  11. A brisk problem free solve albeit, like others, 10&23a along with the loco context of 6d were all unfamiliar. Happy to go with Stephen’s top 3 of 12a along with 8&9d. A reasonably gentle Toughie today though currently stuck with 2 to go.
    Thanks to the setter & Mr K
    Wordle in 4 having played all the right notes but in the wrong order at 3.

    1. I can only thing of one other word with the same letters but the first three reversed. I got the last three in the right order and then had difficulty in getting the others.

  12. A relatively swift solve here with a couple of new things to learn along the way in the shape of 10&23a.
    Favourite slot filled by 8d along with the pic of the ‘cute kittens’!

    Thanks to our setter and to Mr K for another well-illustrated review.

  13. A treat after yesterday most of which was OK but left with a few that didn’t suit me. I was on the right page with this one only hesitating on 23d. I did not know the word but the first three letters were obvious and then the rest fell into place. 10 11 18 and 28a and 16 and 21d were favourites. Thanks Setter and Mr K.

  14. Hi – X-Type here: yes it’s mine, this Tuesday! It’s interesting that some of you have compared me (again) to Chalicea: she and I are often on the same wavelength vis-a-vis cluing… As always, some liked certain clues, whilst others didn’t: and someone’s favourite was another’s disappointment – but that’s human nature (and one’s own mental furniture, as well), I guess! On balance, I think it went well, though. 😊

    1. A most enjoyable puzzle, X-Type and many thanks for dropping in. It is always appreciated when setters visit.

    2. Thanks for popping in, X-Type, always good when we can get a positive ID on our setters. I hope Chalicea is suitably impressed by the comparison!

  15. Thanks to the setter for an enjoyable puzzle and to Mr K. Solved this one while on hold with the bank. All except 3d which would not write itself in, despite all the checkers and both bits of Lego pretty obvious. 🤦

  16. Re 26a, some would maintain that the Loch Ness Monster is real not mythical.

  17. A satisfying workout, so pleased that I dragged 23a up from somewhere in the depths of my brain, proves parts of it are still alive. 26a was favourite with 19d close behind. Thanks for the kittens, Mr K, and the cat with comfortable cushions. By the way I have just completed Sunday’s Toughie which was brilliant. So glad I cracked it in the end without any help. Many thanks to Messrs Setter and Hinter. It is cold today in Cambridge, and damp. Not conducive.

  18. A puzzle on the same level as Monday, perhaps a tad easier. My rank is 2*/4*
    Some cleverly misdirecting clues in this one too. Favourites 20a, 2d, 4d, 9d & 14d with winner 9d.
    Smiles came from 5a, 15a, 18a and a groan and chuckle from 14d. Like that one!

    Thanks to setter and Mr K.

  19. As others have indicated, 10a and 23a were new to me, and I had not heard of the loco, but the clues were fair and I worked through them successfully. Favourites today: 9d, 8d, and 16d, my LOI. Very enjoyable throughout. Thanks to Mr K and X-Type. ** / ***

    A proper Toughie for me today and I needed some Googling to complete it.

    1. I think some of us know the loco from the old song ‘Canadian Pacific’. That could be why Senf named it as his favourite!

      1. A “pacific” railroad engine has a wheel formation of 4-6-2 but that’s not as interesting or picturesque as the Canadian Pacific Railway. :smile:

        1. Pity about the ugly train. Stick Mallard, Coronation Scot or King George V in there & that would be picturesque Steve!.

      2. Not the same “pacific” I’m afraid Jane. As any old anorak trainspotter will tell you pacific was a 4-6-2 wheel arrangement on steam locomotives.

        1. OK I’m no train anorak although I will own up to being a bird-watching anorak! Fortunately, just remembering the song was sufficient to lead me to the answer so all was well in my crossword world.

          1. Jane,
            Given the variety of visitors to our bird table I wish I knew more about our avian friends than I do about the Whyte wheel arrangement notation. So I know an Atlantic from a Pacific but not a chaffinch from a goldfinch sad to admit.
            One of those useless pieces of information my brain insists on retaining.

  20. Mr K, 7d – the photo. I just couldn’t help thinking about the lyric in Brimful of Asha by Cornershop: “Everybody needs a bosom for a pillow.” :-)

    1. PS. RIP: Ukrainian girl Polina, aged 11, and her parents, mercilessly and unnecessarily shot dead by Russian forces.

      1. Amen. Another victim of Vlad the Mad’s psychopathic quest for world domination

        1. I hope they send a drone to blow up that convoy otherwise there will be mass slaughter. Why is no-one doing anything?

          1. My thoughts exactly, alas, we (the West) are providing, money, arms, support in any way we can, moral and verbal support, but we need to avoid any appearance of physical involvement in the actual fighting as it could be interpreted as an attack, the resulting warfare wouldn’t be any good for anyone.

            1. Unfortunately, help and sanctions are also probably going to trigger this criminal. So perhaps some drone attacks might have to be the answer, ideally if they could be anonymous. Definitely between a rock and a hard place.

  21. Alovely start to the day. Quite a number of anagrams set me up for a steady and pleasing solve..
    Like others 23a a new word but a straightforward clue makes it fair.
    14d gets my COTD.
    Thanks to Messers X & K for a pleasing start to what has turned into a gloriously sunny St David’s Day

  22. Easy to solve for the most part but one or two proved to be quite tricky 🤔 A new word for me at 23a ***/*** Favourites 26a & 8d 😃

  23. Another stonking puzzle today – 23a also new to me but easily gettable. I was given the carcass and legs of the goose we had for Sunday lunch – not sure what to do with it except make soup. Any ideas? Wordle in 5 – guess my luck will run out soon. Thanks to X-Type and Mr K – lovely comfy cushion!

  24. 2/4. Another really good Tuesday puzzle. My favourite was 9d because it is such a good word. I needed to check 23a but the clue was very clear it had to be what it was. Thanks to the setter and Mr K.

  25. All the same new words as everyone else but they had to be what they were. Excellent crossword fairly clued. Favourite was 20a. Thanks to X-Type and Mr. K.

  26. Right up my straße! I loved it all, not brain mangling but every clue a piece of fun, X-type you’re indeed a star. I didn’t know 23a but easily worked out. I feel quite brilliant, getting up there with Rabbit Dave et al. I didn’t know the loco in 6d but what else could it be? So much choice, but I think I’ll pick 9d as fave for being such a lovely word to say.
    Thanks X-type for all the fun and Mr. K for the gorgeous pics, I do look forward to those. Wordle in 5.
    Phoned my dear friend in Llanybydder, we immigrated to UK together in 1960, to wish her happy St. David’s Day, she had a bundle of daffodils given to her to brighten her day.

  27. Went out for a walk and an early breakfast, and delighted to find this treat of a puzzle waiting for me when we got back. I even figured out the loco clue. Did put tonnage in 23a at first even though I couldn’t justify it, but 17d made me see the error of my ways. LOL at 9d. Thanks to X-type, keep them coming! And to Mr K of course, had forgotten all about those types of loudspeakers.
    We both got Wordle in 3 today. See some are complaining that it is not an English word … I guess they never, ever do any crosswords.

    Good luck to Ukraine today, the world is thinking and praying for you.

    1. Oh for Pete’s sake, how many centuries does a word have to be used in English before it becomes an English word? Give us a break.

  28. Late on parade. Never heard 9d without kit. Thanks to Mr. K and today’s setter.

  29. A couple of old chestnuts here, methinks, but otherwise all v enjoyable – thanks to all…

  30. Such an enjoyable challenge, which I almost completed on my own. Many thanks to Mr K and X-Type. My London family now have a gorgeous kitten so I have been cat sitting this week. I’m having to disguise my enthusiasm as I’m not always as keen to babysit! Having been inundated with Christmas murder books I’m now reading Her Last Request by Mari Hannah, which I’m enjoying.

  31. I didn’t find this as easy as the rest seem to have, had trouble parsing quite a few, but managed to complete it this morning, so a happy ending there. Thanks to all ,especially for the picture of the lucky cat in 7d😊.

  32. Missed this puzzle and just got round to it. Very enjoyable with elegant clueing.

  33. 3*/4*….
    liked 10A ” Thrilling tale: unknown items recorded here? (8,7) ” despite it reminding me of my bookeeping days.

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