DT 29926 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29926

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29926

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty *** – Enjoyment ***

Good morning from South Staffs, where the grey and drizzly start to the day mirrors the constant grim news from Ukraine. It’s good to have a crossword to divert one’s attention.

Today’s puzzle was a steady solve for me, with no particular hold-ups, and just into *** 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.

Across

1a           Exclamation of mistake from doctor attending surgical procedures (6)
WHOOPS – The name attached to the TV sci-fi doctor, followed by an abbreviation for some surgical procedures.

4a           Language buff (6)
POLISH – Double definition: a European language; or a verb for ‘to buff’.

8a           Gathered parent essentially is stopping friend travelling (8)
INFERRED – Anagram (travelling) of FRIEND wrapped round the middle letters of parent.

10a         One after another articulate apprentice (2,4)
IN TURN – This phrase for ‘one after another’ sounds like (articulate) a type of apprentice.

11a         Finish off aircraft design (4)
PLAN – Remove the final letter (finish off) from another word for an aircraft.

12a         Cut back on comedies broadcast (10)
ECONOMISED – Anagram (broadcast) of ON COMEDIES.

13a         Flashy style, one’s suit to a T! (12)
OSTENTATIOUS – Anagram (style) of ONE’S SUIT TO A T.

16a         Type of bread in grill with very bare metal (12)
PUMPERNICKEL – Put together another word for ‘grill’ or ‘question’, the inside letters (bare = uncovered) of vERy, and a metallic element.

So, Pumpernickel Bread Was Named After A Farting Devil | HuffPost Life

20a         Legendary little guy developing Herculean power is inspired (10)
LEPRECHAUN – Anagram (developing) of HERCULEAN, with an abbreviation for Power inserted.

21a         Clarified butter Frenchman maybe picked up (4)
GHEE – This Indian word for clarified butter sounds like (picked up) the way a Frenchman called Guy might pronounce his name.

22a         Ring Eric about touring Cornwall on vacation (6)
CIRCLE – Anagram (about) of ERIC wrapped round the outside letters (on vacation) of CornwalL.

23a         Learned rubbish mostly over period of time (8)
LITERATE – A word for the rubbish dropped in the street, minus its final letter (mostly), is wrapped round a long period of time.

24a         Dirty newspaper I left filling hotel yard (6)
FILTHY – Put I and Left (from the clue) inside the two-letter acronym for a pink newspaper, then add the letter represented by Hotel in the NATO alphabet and an abbreviation for Yard.

25a         Review of court decision to attract interest (6)
APPEAL – Double definition, the first being where a higher court is asked to review the decision of a lower one.

Down

1d           Overheard complaint initially about student that waiter brings? (4,4)
WINE LIST – A word which sounds like a complaint or moan, and three letters which look like an alphanumeric way of writing ‘initially’, placed either side of the usual letter indicating a student or learner.

2d           Indian is one from Haryana ecologist upset (5)
OCEAN – Hidden in reverse (upset) in the clue.

3d           Warning powerful rainstorm’s beginning to come in (7)
PORTENT – Another word for ‘powerful’, with the first letter  (beginning) of Rainstorm inserted (to come in).

5d           Foreign banker loves keeping Republican in touch regularly (7)
ORINOCO – One of those crossword bankers which have nothing to do with finance. Put together an abbreviation for Republican, IN (from the clue), and alternate letters (regularly) of tOuCh. Then add two examples of the letter which looks like a love score at tennis, one at each end.

Orinoco | Wombles Wiki | Fandom

6d           Repeatedly discovered fine string so essential (9)
INTRINSIC – The inside letters (repeatedly dis-covered) of fINe sTRINg, followed by a Latin word for ‘so’ or ‘thus’.

7d           Set tough English examination at last (6)
HARDEN – Put together another word for ‘tough’, an abbreviation for English, and the last letter of examinatioN.

9d           Fail to catch someone in, perhaps? (4,3,4)
DROP THE BALL – Cryptic definition of what happens when you fail to catch someone who is in on the cricket field.

14d         Based on observation, claim pier suffered damage (9)
EMPIRICAL – Anagram (suffered damage) of CLAIM PIER.

15d         Stand is quiet at Leeds surprisingly (8)
PEDESTAL – The musical symbol for ‘quiet’, followed by an anagram (surprisingly) of AT LEEDS.

17d         Rising actor receives award that’s primarily for play (7)
MACBETH – Put together one of the higher orders of  the British Empire and the first letter (primarily) of That. Then reverse (rising) a word for a (bad) actor and wrap it round the result, to get the name of a play that theatrical folk avoid pronouncing.

18d         Lebanon’s to prioritise housing constantly (3-4)
NON-STOP – Hidden in the clue.

19d         Give false impression female will find confidence (6)
BELIEF – Another word for ‘give false impression’ or ‘contradict’, followed by Female.

21d         Cheddar, for instance, attractive old American ignored (5)
GORGE – Remove the abbreviations for Old and American from the end of a word for ‘attractive’, to get this geographical feature, one of which is at Cheddar.

Cheddar Gorge - cycling -


The Quick Crossword pun ANNE + TEETER = ANTEATER

68 comments on “DT 29926
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  1. My rating is 3*/5* for a perfect Friday back-pager, which bears all of Silvanus’ hallmarks. This setter’s mastery of surfaces is epitomised in the first two clues: 1a & 4a. One is relatively long, the other very short but both surface readings are immaculate.

    My page is full of ticks and all the clues are excellent, but I will just single out 9d as a consummate cryptic definition.

    Many thanks to Silvanus and to DT.

  2. I thought this was a terrific puzzle, full of misdirection and canny clueing, not to mention some highly original anagrams.
    Where to start in choosing favourites? 1a is a good place plus 13,16&20a along with 5&17d. Really good stuff.
    Thanks setter (Silvanus?) and DT for the top notch entertainment.

  3. I agree with DT a steady solve although I rated it **/***. Whilst most of the clues were good I didn’t really have a stand out one as they were all consistent in difficulty and the satisfaction value was uniform too. A nice end to the week. Thanks to the aforesaid and the setter.

  4. Well, I just loved it all. 1a set the humorous pace for unbridled and unbuttoned brilliance throughout, with those remarkable anagrams, especially 20a (how great is that one, really!?), and surfaces sparkling glitteringly as they always do with this setter, who just has to be Silvanus. On balance, I think that 6d gets the top nod for me, with 1a, 9d, and 20a rounding out the creme de la creme. Thanks to DT and to Silvanus, if is indeed he. 2.5* / 5*

    And an excellent Osmosis to boot! I needed one letter-reveal to finish, drat it, because I was too impatient, but it’s the best I’ve ever done with a Friday Toughie, I think.

  5. The NW corner took a while to parse, especially 1d and initially. Last in was 1a and produced the D’oh moment, the remainder were a steady solve!
    Thanks to DT for the 21a Frenchman as per G De Maupassant.
    Favourites were 6d and 12d, really enjoyed the solve and a ***/****.
    Thanks to setter and DT’s pics.

  6. What a delightful ‘lifter of the global gloom’ which was over all to soon and seemed to be not so tricky as some of Silvanus’s Friday productions – **/*****.

    Candidates for favourite – 10a, 16a, 5d, and 9d – and the winner is 9d.

    Thanks to the aforementioned Silvanus and to DT especially for the resident of SW19 at 5d.

  7. Rather tough going for me but that’s not to say it isn’t an excellent puzzle. I was already a little eccentric and absent-minded but since Covid I’ve had this (common outcome I believe) form of brain fog, which leads to searches for words, in an already congested brain, to be a frustrating exercise. Like stretching for an apple from a tree, but it remains tantalisingly just out of reach.

    Today’s crossword soundtrack: Franz Schubert – Nacht und Träume (Dame Felicity Lott)

    Thanks to the setter, and DT in his drizzle.

      1. I tend to agree with you, Brian. I may be branded a philistine but I do not like sopranos either.

  8. Thanks DT and the setter for so much to enjoy, a well paced puzzle with a satisfying deceleration for the final few (6d, 10a). Top marks for 5d, 16a. I can stride smugly out into the flat, grey morn with the hound.

  9. As usual I found thjis friday crodsword hard to parse. Following the twisys and turns of the clues was loke going down a rabbit hole and, although finished, I had 5clues unparsed. So thanks to DT for help with that (4*/3*). The best clues were 16a and 20a. Thanks to the compiler.

    1. Chris, I am beginning to look forward to your eccentric typing after your illness. It is quite endearing – I like twisys and turns and the reference to Alice in Wonderland is apt. Go girl!

      1. I’ve got my left wrist inplaster and it’s the hand I generally write and yype with thT one. I can wrote slowly with my yright hand but typing is not so good. Hence the crazy bloopers. Strangely, my right hand works well for ironing, sewing amd embroidery playing hockey and using a sharp lnife for food prep. . “Go figure:, as my American relatives say.

        1. Oh dear you poor soul! But whatever we are suffering, and we’ve all got problems, nothing comes near to what is happening in Ukraine. Unbelievable. Heartbreaking.

            1. It sounds tempting but if you cut the head off the snake what or who fills the power vacuum. If the US or a European or a NATO member gets the blame, could it triggerWorld War 3? Also Putin is well guarded so it could be a suicide mission

  10. A pleasant and gentle crossword with which to end the week. All pretty straightforward, with a generous dollop of anagrams. Hon Mentions to 1a, 16a 21a, 24a,1d and 5d; COTD to 17d.

    2 / 2.5

    Many thanks to the setter and to DT

  11. We really have been spoiled this week. Top quality cryptic crossword puzzles every single day. Nothing to dislike here and the same goes for today’s Toughie. More of the same please. Thanks to Silvanus for surely it is he and thanks to DT for the review. My how the Blackadder clip seems so dated. Did we really find it funny all those years ago? How innocent we were.

  12. This was a good Friday puzzle except for 21a which I thought very poor. My favourite and COTD was 24a. To insinuate that the impeccable pink newspaper was less than pure was mischievous and amusing.

  13. Most enjoyable even though a couple foxed me and I needed the hints for. As usual, once the answers were revealed, I wondered why I needed them. So many terrific clues that it’s almost impossible to pick favourites but I will nominate 10a, 16a and 3d with my COTD being 1a because of the great “doh” moment.

    Many thanks to the setter for the fun and to DT for making sense of the ones that foxed me.

    My watch has been recalled and I am to get a refund. That is, I will get a refund if I can negotiate the complicated registration procedure.

  14. I came by today to fully understand 6d (I couldn’t get past seeing ‘repeatedly discovered fine ‘ as meaning in + in), so thanks to DT, and also for the Dave Allen joke. An enjoyable crossword and review.

  15. On the right wavelength today because this was a steady solve. My only issue was the parsing of the obvious answer for 21A. Thanks Silvanus and DT.

  16. We just don’t see enough of Silvanus. Thought this was an absolute belter of a puzzle. I didn’t overly care for the 21a homophone & annoyingly missed the cricket context of 9d but otherwise all parsed. Another vote for 1a as my favourite but frankly you could make a strong case for a dozen or so others.
    Thanks to Silvanus & DT
    Wordle in 2 for only my 2nd time & a nice way to mark my run of 40.

    1. Well done, my Wordle was 3 but my run is now 54! Won’t last though but I will be disappointed when it comes to an end.

  17. As everyone has already said, a cracker. From the moment I got 1a I knew it would sparkle (speaking of which, Mr Sparkle is coming to clean my cooker next week. I cannot wait, although he may well turn round and walk out when he sees the task ahead). I had to turn to the hints for 16a as I was hooked on interrogate or an arcane metal alloy. 20a was clever too, it was all good thanks to Messrs Setter & Hinter. We have set up a Zoom this afternoon with DD1. Quite apprehensive to see how it goes, I am afraid it will make her unhappy to see us “at home” where she thinks she ought to be, but the staff seem to think it will be good. Apropos nothing, I have stuck a picture of a sunflower in my window. 🌻

  18. Overall a relatively untaxing exercise with rather more application required in the North than in the South. I somehow picked up mistletoe for 22a rather than de Maupassant! 4a is becoming a bit of a bad penny. Once again I tried to go for wrong kind of banker in 5d. Podium places in no particular order are 22a, 7d and 9d. Thank you Silvanus and DT. Felicity Lott’s Nacht u Träume is so lovely particularly in these stressful times.

  19. Aside from the dire situation in the Ukraine, nothing can mar my delight today – a brilliant puzzle from Mr Smooth plus my beloved 19 year old Civic emerged triumphant from her annual service and MOT. My cup runneth over!
    I was slow to register the workings of a couple of clues which is as it should be for a Friday but I certainly enjoyed every minute of the solve. Ended up awarding a ridiculous number of ticks but if pushed I would put 16&20a on the top of the pile.
    1a put me in mind of an old sketch concerning a surgeon in an operating theatre – thought it was Bob Newhart but Youtube doesn’t seem to have heard of it so maybe I’ve thought of the wrong comedian.

    Thank you so much, Silvanus and thanks to DT for the review – slightly sorry not to have Enya to illustrate 5d but I guess I’ve had more than my fair share of treats today.

  20. Absolute quality. Most enjoyable. Favourite was 9d. I can’t say any more. Thanks to the setter and DT.

  21. Many thanks to Deep Threat and to all those who have taken the time to leave comments, I’m so pleased that you all seem to have found much to enjoy. A good weekend to you all.

    I’m in a state of shock having just heard about Shane Warne, a true sporting great indeed. The fact that he and another legend of the game, Rod Marsh, should depart this world within a matter of hours of each other is staggering. RIP to both.

    1. I agree wholeheartedly with your sentiments about these two fantastic Aussie cricketing legends. The word great is bandied about so much in the sporting press and in commentary but it fits Warne like a glove.

      Thanks for the wonderful puzzle today Silvanus.

  22. A nice puzzle to finish of the non-work week. 2*/4* for me today.
    Candidates for favourite include 1a, 20a, 23a, 5d & 21d with winner 1a
    Didn’t know the word in 21a
    Like the word in 20 … and I so like watching the re-runs of Dave Allen … he was so funny.

    Thanks to Silvanus for a great puzzle and DT

    P.S. Wordle in 2 today

  23. 3/5. What a splendid puzzle. My favourite from a packed podium was 16a. A word to savour. Thanks to DT and our setter for a brilliant end to a great week of cryptics. RIP Shane Warne.

  24. I did wonder if this was an old-fashioned Giovanni from the days when set elegant puzzles. Apart from 6d which was just plain silly, all the clues contained everything one needs to solve the clue. 1a and 4a were my favourites just but apart from the dreaded 6d all the rest were excellent and very enjoyable to solve.
    ***/****(*) (would have had the extra star but for the above)
    Thx to all

  25. Great and challenging puzzle marred only by 22a.
    I am very reluctant to say stretched, Heavens above, but will on this occasion.
    So, ***/****
    Many thanks Silvanus and DT.

      1. My sincere and humble apologies, silvanus,
        My error, I meant 21a.
        And, on reflection, perhaps stretched is too harsh.
        Rather, more my irritation at not solving this clue.
        Otherwise, all very enjoyable.

  26. I found this quite tricky in places 😳 ****/*** I was another one who was slightly dubious about 21a 🤔 Favourites 1a, 16a and (the very convoluted) 2d 😃 Much thanks to Deep Threat and to Sylvanus for a nice end to the week. At least I know where Haryana is now

  27. Very tricky but doable. I found some a bit abstruse, 21a particularly, “g.e.”, it could hardly be anything else. I needed to go in for a hint to get me going again in the NW, having never watched 1a he doesn’t readily come to mind. Lovely words at 16a, yummy, and 20a, so I’ll pick those as leaders of the pack.
    Thanks to Silvanus and Deep Threat, the latter for unravelling so much. Wordle in 4.

  28. Usual Friday performance on an excellent puzzle. 2/3rds done early doors the final few tricky ones solved while Mama Bee had her barnet done. I think the bread pleased the most when I stopped looking for a type of currency. 17d ran it close when the Commander of the Order of the British Empire revealed him/herself. Thanks to DT for explaining a couple only semi parsed and thanks to Silvanus for a Fine Friday workout.
    Is it ProXimal for the Sunday Toughie?

        1. Coming in late. My young grandson (well, 24 and 2 metres tall!) has just arrived from Canada so I’m tied up for a while. Despite this I always look at the Toughie. Usually Tuesday and either Wednesday or Thursday are doable but no not even mention Fridays and Elgar!
          Good luck with your blogging. I’ll be looking at tomorrow’s Dada(?)

  29. Absolutely loved this which I finished earlier today although I started very slowly. Cannot see the puzzle as I am writing this on the same machine but really loved the clue for the bread, a right cracker. Many thanks to Silvanus for a terrific puzzle and to DT for telling me how I got there. Village is collecting clothes, bits and pieces in the Village Hall tomorrow for Ukraine. David has put on so much weight during lockdown most of his wardrobe is in bags – will do mine tomorrow.

  30. Well I’m afraid I have to go against the tide and admit I could not get going on this one today. But then I am rarely on wavelength with Silvanus. Congrats to all above, but above my pay grade sadly. Thanks to Silvanus and Deep Threat.

  31. Really enjoyed today’s offering but completed it in fits and starts this evening. Held up in the NW corner and had to resort to the hints despite having most of the checking letters. Many thanks to Silvanus and Deep Threat. Great puzzle.

  32. Thank you to Deep Threat for explaining what I should’ve been doing, and Sylvanus for the puzzle. I was almost there, so I don’t think it’s too unrealistic to think I might get to being able to solve puzzles of this level.

    I marked 5 as potential favourites, and now find myself unable to pick between them (7d, 9d, 19d, 1, and 11a).

    With 23a I (mis)interpreted ‘rate’ as ‘over period of time’, then couldn’t work out how to get rid of the second T in ‘litter’. (Or the first T, come to think of it.)

    For 17d I’d got ‘mah’ and wondered if the award was a ‘gong’, then spent a while wondering if that was an alternative spelling of ‘mahjong’, or if the clue’s reference to ‘primary’ was indicating to change ‘gong’s first letter, and whether the game is named after a move (or ‘play’) one can make it in.

    Like Jane, I was wondering if there’d be some Enya for 5d.

  33. An interesting solve which required some toughie thinking. Have scanned the comments but it seems that nobody else tried to fit Mona Lisa into 1d. Held me up for a while!

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