DT 29928 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29928

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29928

Hints and tips by pommers

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

Hola from the Vega Baja where winter has finally arrived!!!!  After a really benign January and February it’s become March and gone cold. Also we’ve had fairly consistent drizzle since Friday evening and it’s forecast to go on until Tuesday lunchtime. At least it’s not like the storms the UK has had.  Normal service is promised for Wednesday but I will believe it when I see it.

This crossword was a bit tricky for me. Maybe it’s because I’m doing it at night after a wine or three but there seemed to be a bit of a stretch in some clues. Still, the same elegance in the surfaces as we’ve come to expect on a Monday and nothing to cause total brain fade.

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.


5a           In with a group in possession of Ecstasy (7)
WEARING:  This is in as you might be in your trousers or any other bit of clothing.  It’s W(ith) followed by the A from the clue and then another word for a group or cartel. But into that lot you need to insert (in possession of) an E(cstacy).  Nicely concealed definition here. It rather set the tone for the rest of this puzzle..

7a           Acknowledge it after dam burst (5)
ADMIT:  The IT from the clue after an anagram (burst) of DAM.

9a           Blackbeard for example, power mad (6)
PIRATE:  P(ower) followed by another word for mad or very annoyed.

10a         Uninformed, go in unwisely before storm (8)
IGNORANT:  Anagram (unwisely) of GO IN followed by a storm as in a tirade.

11a         Scary ride travelling straight on (5,5)
GHOST TRAIN: Anagram (travelling) of STRAIGHT ON.

13a         Wild West dish? (4)
STEW: Anagram (wild) of WEST.  We’re having a chicken one of these for dinner tonight.

14a         Order wine with enthusiasm for soulmate (7,6)
KINDRED SPIRIT:  A word for order as in genus followed by a colour of wine and then a word for enthusiasm or elan.

16a         Genuine  old Spanish coin (4)
REAL:  Double definition.  It might be an old Spanish coin but it was also a Portugese one and is now the currency of Brazil.

17a         Scan skip, riveted (10)
SPELLBOUND:  Someone will have to tell me why scan equates to the first part of this answer ‘cos I can’t see it. The second part is a skip as in a jump.

19a         Bishops perhaps curse dinner jackets and bow ties, say (8)
MENSWEAR:  Bishops are chess pieces and they are also termed as what? After that word you need another word for curse or blaspheme.

20a         Note about thin rope (6)
RECORD:  Two letters for about followed by a thin bit of rope or string.  Here’s one of my favourite records of the sixties . . .

22a         Warm temperature kiln required (5)
TOAST:  T(emperature) followed by a kiln used to dry hops.

23a         What a monk may have on, certainly after end of Lent (7)
TONSURE:  This is a monk’s haircut.  It’s the ON from the clue followed by a word meaning certainly placed after a T (end of lenT).


1d           Long story of French novelist, unfinished (4)
SAGA:  A French novelist without her last letter (unfinished).

2d           Dreadful player scratching a manager (8)
DIRECTOR:  You need a word for dreadful followed by a player on stage and the remove the A (scratching a).

3d           Law surrounding new big gun (6)
CANNON:  A religious law placed around (surrounding) an N(ew).

4d           Showman from Paris? Rome, I suspect (10)
IMPRESARIO: Anagram (suspect) of PARIS ROME I.  I always thought there was a double S in this word. One lives and learns.

5d           Consider method announced (5)
WEIGH:  A word meaning to consider sounds like (announced) a word meaning a method.

6d           Keep a stiff upper lip in Britain with danger being involved! (4,3,4,2)
GRIN AND BEAR IT:  Anagram (being involved) of BRITAIN with DANGER.  This could also be viewed as an all in one and is a very elegant clue. Has to be the clue of the year so far.

8d           Flog squire for touching (7)
TANGENT:  Flog as in beat followed by a squire or toff give you a line which touches a circle.

12d         Pick-up joint? A blessing in disguise close to pier (7,3)
SINGLES BAR:  Anagram (in disguise) of A BLESSING followed by R (close to pieR).

14d         Most devoted in what sounds like important home (7)
KEENEST: This sounds like the most important bird’s home.  The swallows have returned here and are rebuilding their homes.

15d         Exert one’s authority in row after row (4,4)
PULL RANK:  It’s a word for a row as in a boat followed by a word for a row of soldiers (row after row).

17d         Film  bloodhound (6)
SLEUTH:  Double definition. Bloodhound as in detective.  I’m not familiar with this film but it seems it features Laurence Olivier and Michael Caine so it’s probably worth a watch.

18d         Square up holding bottom of beer bottle (5)
NERVE:  Square as in quits reversed (up in a down clue) around (holding) an R (bottom of beeR).

21d         Cheeky youngster pinching pounds in disco? (4)
CLUB:  A cheeky youngster placed around (pinching) the symbol for pounds sterling.

Just the three blues again with 6d on the top step.  I will try to find a way to get to see the film in 17d as it has a couple of my all time favourite actors, it might be in our internet TV box.

Quick crossword puns:

Top line:       YEW     +     KNIGHTED     =     UNITED

Bottom line:     BRIGHTEN     +     ROC     =     BRIGHTON ROCK

84 comments on “DT 29928

  1. Oops! Didn’t mean to hit the publish button but hey Ho! I’ve done it before so here’s an early blog. I’m off to bed now.

  2. It’s Monday (well still Sunday night as I write) :good: It’s Campbell :good: except that he definitely seems to have ‘upped the ante’ on his back pagers, thankfully he hasn’t done the same with his OLPPs – yet. 2.5*/4*.

    Favourite – a toss-up between 14a and 15d – and the winner is 14a.

    Thanks to Campbell and to pommers.

  3. Golly bongs. I’d better comment before somebody alters the timings for publication. A normal Mondayish Monday delight from Campbell and a fine blog from Pommers who hasn’t added any puns as yet. Clue of the day 6 down as I rather like the modern harmless equivalent phrase suck it up. Thanks to Pommers and Campbell

  4. I’m wondering about the first part of 17a too but it is what it is. Thought both of Campbell’s offerings today to be absolutely superb with my clue of the day going to 12d for the anagram indicator. Thanks for hints and for publishing early Pommers.

  5. 2*/4*. Light and fun – just the job for a Monday morning!

    My usual routine on a Monday is to get up, visit this site, print out the Rookie Corner puzzle, and solve it whilst eating breakfast. My first thought this morning when reaching step 2, was “bother (or something a bit like that), no Rookie Corner posting yet”. Then my addled brain wondered why there was a posting at the top of the pile from pommers, and all was well with the crosswording world again when I found the Rookie puzzle lurking down the page.

    Like pommers, I was puzzled by “scan” in 17a and was surprised to find it listed under “spell” in the BRB but not the other way round.

    Not sure why “cheeky” is needed in 21d?

    With plenty of goodies on show, 6d was my runaway favourite.

    Many thanks to Campbell and to pommers.

    1. P.S. Thanks too to pommers for the Jimi Hendrix track. Arguably the best ever “cover version that was better than the original”. Even Mr Zimmerman thinks so.

  6. Very enjoyable indeed.
    No doubt the first part of 17a can be justified but nothing immediately springs to mind. Didn’t 11a come up in another of this setter’s puzzles very recently?
    I rather liked 23a plus 15d but top spot goes to the lovely 6d.
    Many thanks to Campbell and Pommers for providing some light relief from the gloom imposed by wider events.

  7. Yesterday and today, I had a start and moved on to read the news. When I came back it had completely wiped my answers. Has anyone else come across this?

    1. Markl, did you press the ‘Save” button?

      It always works for me on the DT puzzles.telegraph web site.

      Or are you using the Telegraph Edition app?

    2. It has started doing it with mine every time I leave it. Would appreciate a solution.

      1. if you’re on the puzzles site, just hit the save button….regularly…..as you solve the puzzle

    3. Deleting and resetting the app might help. Are you using the Daily Telegraph newspaper subscriptions app or the Daily Telegraph puzzle app. Or maybe you use a pencil to fill the dead tree version and your kids are rubbing out the answers when you leave the room

  8. Very enjoyable crossword today.
    Needed Pommers’s help to parse 5a.

    Thanks to Pommers and to Campbell.

    Chilly up here today. Frost has only just gone from the roofs. But gloriously sunny.

  9. Definitely a step up in difficulty from our Monday man but nevertheless as enjoyable as ever.
    The two long ones – 14a & 6d taking the honours here with a nod to the charming little 13a.

    Thanks to Campbell and to pommers for the review – enjoy your 13a this evening.

  10. I enjoyed this, it felt Monday+ to me. I hadn’t heard of the film in 17d but might check it out. I do not possess a BRB but assumed the first half of 17a would pass muster. 15d is my pick.

    Thanks to Pommers and today’s setter.

  11. Elegant and reasonably straightforward. A perfect Monday puzzle.
    I liked the four long clues best. Thank you setter and Pommers.

  12. Isn’t the French novelist’s first name at 1d Francoise and thus the hint should be to ‘her’? Sorry to be so pedantic, pommers. Very enjoyable Monday puzzle for me, held up briefly at the end by 17d, which, when it finally dawned on me, is in fact one of my favourite films, with Caine outacting the great Lord Laurence. No doubt about the COTD: it’s 6d. Thanks to pommers and Campbell. ** / ***

  13. For once I did not get on with Campbell needing far too many hints and electrons to get it finished. So, for me, it was not enjoyable but I realise this is down to me and not our esteemed setter, whose puzzles I usually enjoy.

    Hey ho! Tomorrow is another day.

    Many thanks for the beating, Campbell and to pommers for making sense of a great deal of it for me.

    Overcast and chilly in The Marches.

    Wordled in 5. Is it me or are they getting tougher since NYT took over?

    1. Oh don’t you start about Wordle Steve!
      Yesterday I had my second-ever 2. Today 5. I don’t think TOUGH has come up yet NYT or not

    2. My goodness me too, on the cryptic and Wordle. I need more coffee clearly, but as I can only have decaf not sure that would have helped.

  14. Good solid Monday fare, all straightforward and fairly clued. The use of the first half of 17a was new to me – I looked it up in the BRB afterwards, and scan was surprisingly high up the list! 17d was a very enjoyable film.

    Hon Mentions to 1a, 19a and 15d; COTD 2d.

    1 / 2.5

    Many thanks to Campbell and to Pommers. Next stop, the Online-Only Cambell!

  15. A tricky Campbell, but a joy as always. 17d last one in.

    A lovely walk yesterday in rural Berkshire, in which we ran the risk of being blown over each time we crossed an open field. We didn’t see many people but mostly, those whom* we did encounter, gave us a raised eyebrows “Oh my goodness, what are we all doing out in this?” look. “It’ll soon be summer!” I gasped to an elderly couple walking their dog.
    A couple of hours to escape from the terrible events in the world.

    Today’s crossword soundtrack: Gundula Janowitz – Du bist die Ruh (Schubert)
    (There’s no caterwauling, Brian!)

    Thanks to Campbell and pommers

    *This is one of those really difficult ones as ‘whom’ is almost certainly technically correct, yet ‘whom’ feels clumsy here, and I feel ‘who’ actually sits more comfortably in the sentence.

    1. Why not forget “whom” or “who” and just say “those we did encounter”? :grin:

    2. Terence you have given me food for thought because I have to admit that I have always thought of ‘whom’ being the accusative case of who in the singular only.

      1. Angellov, I think it’s fine in the plural, e.g. as in: “Those whom the gods wish to destroy, they first make mad”.

        1. Exactly RD I now realise I have been wrong in the past. One lives and learns – back to school for me!

    1. I think that’s a fine shout, Jay Pux, as I couldn’t see it at all.


  16. Methinks the novelist in 1 down was a she. (But she might have self identified as a wheelbarrow, you never can tell these days.

  17. A tad more difficult than the usual Monday puzzle but an enjoyable start to the week.
    Some excellent charades, liked 11a and14a-like others confirmed 17a scan in my dog eared Chambers.
    Going for a **/****.Thanks to Pommers for Jimmy,s cover version one of Mr D’s I believe.

  18. Campbell a little bit fiercer this Monday.
    Satisfying throughout, completed unaided.
    Well in ** time until 17a, brilliant clueing, and 17d which required considerable mental effort.
    So, ***/*****
    Many thanks, Campbell and Pommers.

  19. Thiis was a delight with lots of crafty clues. My joint Favs were 14d and 23a when I realised I wasn’t looking for an item of clothing (clever bum steer!). As for Terence last to fall was 17d. 5a unparsed as I failed to suss “in”. TVM Campbell and Pommers.

  20. Very enjoyable although failed to parse 5a. I seem to remember 17d was an excellent film. I think this is harder than the usual Monday puzzle but maybe because I had a physio session on my back which was downright agony. Wordle in 4 and Quordle in 4, 5, 6 and 9 (by a squeak!)

  21. Just right for a Monday

    Thanks to Campbell and the early bird/night owl

    I don’t often buy the paper on weekdays, and now they’ve put the price up, I probably won’t again

    1. Fifty five rats per annum for a digital subscription. The whole paper delivered to my device overnight. No trees involved (they probably are but not obviously)

  22. A Glorious spring day here but very cold still. Puzzle finished over a cautiously eaten lunch as my stomach had a bashing yesterday! I really liked 11,13,14 and 19a and 4d. 13 was particularly neat. Thanks to Campbell & Pommers. I am resolutely refusing to look at Quordle!

    1. I couldn’t resist having a go at Quordle and have to admit to now being fully on board – good fun!

  23. Currently enjoying the delights of the Peak District so late on parade. Oiled by a glass of Pinot Grigio this one fell nicely for me at */**** with 2d being my favourite although 15d a close second. I nearly slipped into ** time when I paused at my LOI 5a but the penny dropped after a few moments. Thanks to Pommers and the setter.

  24. Oh dear another one where I needed hints to get over the line, it’s getting to be a habit. Definitely trickier than the normal Monday fare but who cares , when I stop enjoying them I’ll stop doing them. 23a is my favourite as I’ve now adopted the hairstyle, although an expanded version of it. Thanks to all.

  25. For me LOI was 1a so things got off to a bad start &, like others I found this a toughish Campbell test. I did complete the solve unaided although needed pommers to explain 1a.
    Agree with pommers’ choice of 6d for COTD.
    Thanks to Campbell and pommers.
    Looking up a word in the BRB I opened it at the exact page that contained the word – first time in living memory as they say.

  26. Another nice start to the week, if a little trickier than recent Mondays 😃***/*** Favourites 17a, 8d and 21d 👍 Wordle in 3 (lucky) and a middle Quicky phrase “Populariser” 😬 Thanks as always to Pommers, for his dedication to duty, and to Campbell

  27. Definitely not a gentle Campbell today. 2.5*/3* for me.
    Some really tricky clues here that I needed help on today so have to say really a DNF.
    Favourites 11a, 14a, 6d & 17d with winner 17d

    Thanks to Campbell and Pommers
    Wordle in 4 today using MP’s three starting words

        1. My recommended start words if you want a challenge
          My three start words to get a result in 4 or 5
          FORUM TYING DALES Just put them in the first three rows regardless of what’s right or wrong. You should have enough to form an anagram of sorts
          My other start words to make it more interesting
          Like the Daily Telegraph cryptic crossword puzzle it is a futile pastime. A trifle. A bagatelle. Not worth getting worked up about

          1. I generally use adieu ( as suggested by someone on this blog) and then strop which cover a good proportion of the most common letters. Getting a reasonable success rate with those.

          2. I alternate between LEARN and RENAL as my first word. Helpful a lot of the time, but not always.

  28. Phew, that was hard work, particularly for a Monday. I got about half way and then it was hints and checkers from then on. Even more deflated by needing 5 attempts to solve Wordle. Thanks to Campbell and Pommers. Have to admit we are in the middle of our south Florida winter here, which is quite the best time of year, for all outdoor activities. Sadly, there aren’t any opportunities for field or woodland walks so I do envy Terence.

    1. I seem to have been on the same wavelength as you BusyLizzie. Started off OK but had to resort to too many hints and Wordle in 5! But I did manage a short walk on the moors in the cold sunshine!

      1. Oh that sounds like heaven. When our in-laws lived in Weymouth, I loved going for a solitary walk on the beach in the middle of winter during our visits.

  29. Tricky Campbell today but most enjoyable, I needed pommers to parse a couple, such as 11a, missed the anagram completely. I needed the hint for 14d, didn’t get that at all. Very surprised to see the scan in my thesaurus has spell listed, can’t see when they would be interchangeable. Fave hands down was 6d, but I liked 14a too.
    Thanks to Campbell, I’ve saved the Monday brawta for later in the week when I’m stuck. I did need your hints today, pommers, so thanks for that. Wordle in 3.

  30. I really liked the anagram indicators in this puzzle, 11a and 12d especially. Thank you Campbell and Pommers

  31. I, too, thought this difficult for a Monday
    I agree with the dubious use of spell for scan but it is no 5 in my online dictionary.
    COTD 14a probably because of its alcohol content!,

  32. When I saw the early blog I was tempted to call in for a few nudges to get me going, but discipline took over and more considered application of brain cells made this and the bonus cryptic come to mind. My pick of lots of good clues are the 17’s across and down, surely there is a link between these rather good films and 14a in the bonus 698.
    For a while, I thought 1d may be Duma(s) as I thought Duma may be one of the Indian Mahabharata type epics buta quick investigoogle found this;
    A duma (дума) is a Russian assembly with advisory or legislative functions. The term comes from the Russian verb думать (dumat’) meaning “to think” or “to consider.” :O There are one or two Russians who need to do a bit of thinking about their behaviour IMHO.
    Thanks to Campbell and pommers.

    1. Poor value grid. Only 26 clues and answers. We can have 32. Are the setters paid less for this grid?

  33. Thanks to Campbell for two very pleasant crosswords.
    Last in were the two 17s but got there after much cogitation.
    We are suffering from a cold spell too.
    Had to put the heating on again.
    Thanks to Pommers.

  34. Very hard. I had three tries at this and then had to resort to the hints. Usually, Monday is my banker.

  35. Found this extremely tricky – needed help with 17d as I just didn’t know the film. Got the rest ok if a little slowly.
    Today will be the last time I do the dead tree version as I am disgusted by the price hike. Does anyone have a link to the puzzles online?

  36. Like others I couldn’t equate scan to spell and decided it was a typo and hadn’t heard of the film so needed electronic help for them. No real COTD. Certainly not my favourite Campbell crossword but thanks to him anyway and Pommers.

  37. No problems with the back-pager which I rather enjoyed (though it didn’t have the feel to me of Campbell’s usual clueing style) but still scratching my head with 3 to go in the bonus one. Enjoyed Dada yesterday & the Toughie. Golf at West Cliffs today great fun but a real struggle. Far too difficult a course for a first round of 2022 but at least I didn’t lose a ball until the 18th.
    Thanks to Campbell & Pommers

    1. Of all the clues to be stuck on – one of my favourite Kubrick movies & a while for the penny to drop.

  38. 3*/3*…
    liked 12D ” Pick-up joint? A blessing in disguise close to pier (7,3) “

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