DT 29932 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29932

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29932

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Good morning from South Staffs on a sunny, almost springlike, Friday morning.

I got through today’s puzzle with no real hold-ups, but there are one or two less common words which may give pause for thought.

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           Zoom lens that’s employed covertly, by the way (5,6)
SPEED CAMERA – An all-in-one clue: a verb meaning ‘zoom’ and the device which contains a lens. These banes of a motorist’s life are hidden by the roadside to raise revenue.

7a           Ran no more and was heading back (7)
OVERSAW – A word for ‘no more’ or ‘finished’, followed by the reverse (heading back) of WAS (from the clue).

8a           Very in debt, cutting back endlessly in camp (7)
BIVOUAC – A Russian doll clue: BAC(k) (from the clue, endlessly) is wrapped round an informal acknowledgement of a debt, which in turn is wrapped round an abbreviation of ‘very’.

10a         A practice happy families perhaps contest when visiting (4,4)
AWAY GAME – Put together A (from the clue, another word for ‘practice’ or ‘method’, and what Happy Families is an example of.

11a         Minister bringing 150 to Morecambe? (6)
CLERIC – The Roman numerals for 150, followed by the first name of the late Mr Morecambe.

13a         Flipped over small Yorkie or poodle — they’re all divine (4)
GODS Put together an abbreviation for Small and the creature that a Yorkie or poodle is, then reverse the result.

14a         Concert instrument that’s flat (5,5)
GRAND PIANO – ‘flat’ here refers to the shape rather than the pitch of the instrument.

Yamaha Model GB1K Grand Piano

16a         Anticipate spring — what might be shot to accompany article? (4,3,3)
JUMP THE GUN – Put together another word for ‘spring’ or ‘leap’, a definite article, and something which may be shot.

18a         What may cover area with tender loving care? (4)
TALC – Another all-in-one clue: the acronym for ‘Tender loving care’ is wrapped round an abbreviation for Area, and the whole clue shows what you may do with the answer.

21a         Filled one’s sack going round university (6)
IMBUED – Another way of expressing ‘one is’, followed by what is colloquially referred to as the sack, wrapped round an abbreviation for University.

22a         He was paid to paint sign and adorn bust (8)
LEONARDO – A sign of the zodiac followed by an anagram (bust) of ADORN.

Explore Leonardo da Vinci's Notebooks Online for Free

24a         Taken out of context, remembrance may be intense (7)
EXTREME – Hidden in the clue.

25a         Opening for hearing next to old currency reserve (7)
EARMARK – An opening in the head used for hearing, followed by an old European currency.

26a         Spin drier in the bathroom? (6,5)
ROLLER TOWEL – Cryptic definition of a device found in public conveniences which is supposed to allow each user to have fresh piece of cloth to dry his or her hands.


1d           Show a bit of taste, wardrobe attendant (7)
STEWARD – Hidden in the clue.

2d           Standard directions given with clue (6)
ENSIGN – Two compass points followed by another word for ‘clue’ or ‘indication’, giving us a standard carried into battle.

3d           Tabloid rat we’d confused with monk (10)
DOWNMARKET – Anagram (confused) of RAT WE’D and MONK.

4d           Group, Three Degrees — one’s heading north, another fails to appear (4)
ABBA – Start with the letters after the name of three Arts graduates. Reverse (heading north, in a Down clue) the first, add on the second, and give the third the afternoon off, to get the name of a Swedish group formed in 1972.

5d           One’s posted eleven redrafts to capture action in theatre (8)
ENVELOPE – Anagram (redrafted) of ELEVEN, wrapped round the short form of the word for a procedure in a hospital theatre.

6d           A Queen song about upper-class homes for goldfish? (7)
AQUARIA – Put together A (from the clue), the chess notation for a queen, the letter indicating ‘upper-class’’, and an operatic song.

7d           I encourage comic to entertain Juliet, sweet thing (6,5)
ORANGE JUICE – Anagram (comic) of I ENCOURAGE, with the letter represented by Juliet in the NATO alphabet inserted.  Warning for Terence: may contain bits!

9d           Crazy about going to Yale? One counts the hours, chirpily (6,5)
CUCKOO CLOCK – Another word for ‘crazy’, followed by the Latin abbreviation for ‘about’ or ‘approximately’ and the fastening of which Yale is a brand name.

Oompah Band Cuckoo Clock | Hanging Clocks & Barometers | Clocks | Home Decor | ScullyandScully.com

12d         Daughter enters wearing uniform — that comes with stick and carrot! (10)
INDUCEMENT – Put together a short word for ‘wearing’, an abbreviation for Daughter, the letter represented by Uniform in the NATO alphabet, and a word for ‘stick’ or ‘adhesive’.

15d         Delicate and French, that man getting physical (8)
ETHEREAL – Put together the French word for ‘and’, the pronoun for ‘that man’, and another word for ‘physical’ (as opposed to ‘imaginary’).

17d         Tough dragon maybe accommodating British, not northern (7)
MOBSTER – Start with a word for the sort of creature of which ‘dragon’ is an example. Then remove the abbreviation for Northern and relace it with an abbreviation for British.

19d         Announced Prince Charles possibly to get overseas post (7)
AIRMAIL – This sounds like a heraldic term (4,4) describing Prince Charles’ relationship to the Queen.

20d         Warden aggravated the cross nominee for Scotland (6)
ANDREW – Anagram (aggravated) of WARDEN, producing the name of the person  referenced in the flag of Scotland.

The history and legend of the Saltire - History Scotland


23d         Plates of meat ending up in garden party (4)
FETE – Start with what Cockney rhyming slang calls ‘plates of meat’, then moe the last letter up one place.

The Quick Crossword pun KNOW + THREW + RODE = NO THROUGH ROAD

89 comments on “DT 29932

  1. What a great puzzle for a Friday. I still have the first half of 10a to get and I will continue to ponder it for the rest of the day but the rest all fell into place. I needed to scratch the bonce a number of times but on the whole very enjoyable. I couldn’t make my mind up whether or not 18a was a superb clue. If superb, it was candidate for COTD. It was the same for 4d. In the end I went for 19d for my COTD.

    I hope 7d has not bits in it or Terence will not be happy. :grin:

    Many thanks to the setter for the fun and to DT for the hints.

    Slightly overcast in The Marches and the chilly breeze continues. Wordle failure today. I had the last four letters on the third go but there were just too many letters that could have been the first one and I picked the wrong ones.

    1. Just completed 10a so an unaided finish for me today. Can’t think why it took me so long.

      1. I struck lucky with Wordle, also had last 4 letters in 3 but picked the correct letter in 4.

        1. I should have gone with my gut feeling and started at the other end of the alphabet! :grin:

          1. I thought I was destined for my first Wordle failure today. I had the last 4 letters correct at the 4th go & then reckoned there were 6 possibles for the 1st letter so employed MalcolmR’s tactical ruse at go 5 with the only word I could think of that used 4 of them. Needless to say it was any of them so go it was a coin toss at go 6 & called it right.

            1. I used MalcolmR’s rule, made up a word that had three of the four choices and they all came back grey, so the fourth one was it. I got it in 4.

          2. A good way to do it can be to collect the few letters it could be and make a word out of those

            1. Agreed. The trouble was that of the 6 further possibilities there wasn’t a permissible word that used 5 of them, only 4, so if you drew a blank it was pure guesswork if you had one stab left. I’d hazard a guess that there were more failures than usual today.

            2. That is MalcolmR’s approach Toni. However if you select hard mode in settings you can’t adopt that approach.

              1. I had the last four in two and then 6 other possibilities. I also started at the wrong end of the alphabet.

    2. Barely sneaked through in Wordle, at 6th attempt. Was positive at 4, then again at 5, and fingers crossed at 6. Phew indeed.

  2. Not my cup of tea at all, although finished well within 2* time. Still don’t understand the “flat” in 14a, in spite of DT’s parsing. Be interested to read Setter’s reasoning, if (s)he cares to step in. Thanks to both.

              1. Surely if a grand piano is a horizontal piano (as opposed to a vertical or upright) and horizontal and flat are synonyms then the clue is valid?

            1. Yes a stretch too far. Never, ever would you see a grand piano, or a baby grand for that matter, referred to as a flat piano. I’m sure movers have a few choice words for grand pianos, especially if they have to go upstairs, but I don’t think flat would be one of them.

            2. Firstly, the whole clue is misdirectional – suggesting that a concert instrument (of all things) would be “flat” (ie out of tune). Secondly, the setter isn’t implying that the grand piano is officially/literally known as or referred to as a flat piano/instrument. He is proposing (in a crypic fashion) that because the strings on a grand pinao are horizontal it could, compared to its stablemate the upright piano (vertical strings), be described as flat – regarding its shape/string orientation. It’s a kind of play on words – rather similar to describing a candle as a “wicked” object.

      1. I can’t see the problem with 14a. An upright piano has vertical (upright) strings, a grand piano has horizontal (flat) strings.

    1. My interpretation of 14a, with a Hmm and a ‘?’, is that the ‘non-concert’ version of the instrument is ‘upright’.

  3. I really enjoyed this one. Nothing too taxing but a nice variety of clues. 12d gets my vote today.

    Thanks to DT and today’s setter.

  4. Unlile others I continue to struggle with Friday backpagers but cannot complain, as I seemed to emnjoy yesterday’s puzzle more than others so it’s swings and roundabouts. I had to look up7d as was one letter out on my first anderr and it thtew me out with 21a
    Otherwise i managed to finish in4* time (3* for enjoyment). There were some good clues, notably 1a and 9d which were quite good fun. Thanks to DT for the hints and to the compiler

  5. A curate’s egg for me with a conclusion that, of the Friday triumvirate, this is most likely a Zandio production although it could be by an ‘interloper’ – **/***.

    Favourite – a toss-up between 16a and 9d – and the winner is 9d.

    Thanks to the setter and to DT.

  6. Nicely pitched for a Friday methinks. In my puzzle the drink mentioned at 7 down is made from organic fruit pressed within seconds of being picked from the tree in perfect condition, thrice filtered and served exactly how Terence prefers in the glass of his choice. Thanks to the setter for the puzzle and thanks to DT for sorting it all out. I knew the obscure long forgotten group at 4 down from a staff outing to the cinema at Warwick Arts Centre for a screening of Sing Along A Mamia Mia. And sing we did. At the tops of our voices. I am sure we added to the occasion. Saint Sharon wisely sat 10 seats away from me. Happy Days

    1. Similar experience with Mama Mia at the London Theatre some years ago. My eldest daughter Joanna and I came out singing the songs all the way to St Pancras while St Elaine walked on the other side of the street and pretended not to be with us. What larks!

    2. Obscure, long-forgotten? Not by me, my faves, I defy anyone to listen to Dancing Queen without tapping their toes! But then, I’m old and don’t know most of these newcomers.

      1. I was in a restaurant after a show with some members of a top band and some of the bands crew when Super Trouper came on the sound system. One of the band members asked if the lighting boys still used Super Troupers. The answer was yes but they are ten times as powerful and only ten percent of the size

  7. I’ve had an attack of the heebie-jeebies again this morning with the potential horror of 7d. There really should be a trigger warning with these crosswords. I can’t help but wonder if the Telegraph and BD are conspiring to cause me citrus fruit drink related angst.

    Good crossword – I completed it, but needed DT’s help in some parsing.

    Today’s crossword soundtrack: Erykah Badu – Orange Moon

    Thanks to the setter and The Splendid DT

  8. 1a went straight in having been a victim of one not long ago, as did the other long perimeter clues. The ones in between took a bit more teasing out especially 8a where I needed all the checkers and had to confirm my answer though it was sympathetically clued.
    Some cracking clues in there 22a plus 4,17&23d foremost amongst them. Good stuff indeed.
    Thanks to the setter (Zandio I guess) and DT for the fun.

  9. What an enjoyable, if rather tricky, Friday teaser! I immediately thought of Terence, as others already have indicated, with 7d, one of my first solves. The others came rather haltingly as I struggled to parse a few, especially 14a (and still don’t understand ‘flat’ as ‘shape’) and the name of that game in 10a. But 19d, my COTD, which gave me chuckles, 12d, & 17d get my top votes. A nice sense of accomplishment when I finished this one since I’ve been struggling this week. Thanks to DT and today’s setter. 2.5* / 4*

  10. A couple of somewhat stretched definitions – 14a & 7d – rather took the edge of this one for me but I know some of our number always enjoy this setter’s compilations.
    Pick of the bunch for me was 19d.

    Thanks to our setter (Zandio in all likelihood) and to DT for the review.

    1. What a lovely pic of the DofC to mark her 40th birthday, a very pretty girl, but a tad too much hair!

  11. Gosh, if this is Zandio, I thought it rather contrived. No problems, some took a while to parse (12d, 6d, 8a), but was flummoxed by the clue for the beautiful concert instrument. However, that aside, I found 11d in the QC quite baffling 🤔. Don’t think the Toughie holds much hope for me after 0 responses at first pass!

  12. What a difference a day can make. Yesterday’s was a slog whereas today’s was a real pleasure with which to do battle. Agree re 14a which baffled me – surely only flat when not being played in a concert. 10a is fun but Fav is 19d hotly pursued by 5d. 23d might be a challenge for some of our overseas contributors! Surely 7d is not always sweet – bits or no bits! Fun all round. TVM Zandio (?) and DT.

    1. We’ve had the plates of meat enough times for it to be embedded in our memories now!

  13. 2*/4*. Good Friday fun with 19d my favourite.

    Bizarrely the official spelling in the NATO phonetic alphabet for the J-word is Juliett. This came up in a puzzle in the Independent earlier this week which was very cleverly themed around the NATO alphabet with the word for every letter appearing in the clues. The surface of that particular clue looked ridiculous with the girl’s name spelt with 2Ts. Apparently the editor changed the spelling from the setter’s original Juliet because of the theme! It does seem very odd for the creators of the NATO alphabet to have used a non-word for J, especially when the normal spelling is crystal clear.

    Many thanks presumably to Zandio and to DT.

    1. Juliett probably a typo when the alphabetical list was first drawn up by ICAO and carried through to the NATO version. Perhaps it was meant to be Juliette! :wink:

      However, according to that most trustworthy source, Wikipedia – ‘Juliett is spelled with a tt for French speakers, because they may otherwise treat a single final t as silent.’

      So, is 7d incorrect?

      1. Maybe it’s one of those international compromises, like ISO for the International Organization for Standardization — an abbreviation which doesn’t match the organization’s name in any language, thereby ensuring everybody loses out equally!

            1. The spelling of Alfa and Juliett were spelt that way so as not to confuse French/Spanish speakers

      2. The BRB says that “Juliet” is “a code word for the letter J in international radio communication”. Also Collins online gives J as the abbreviation for Juliet so I think the setter is on safe ground here.

  14. A tricky puzzle today and a fair bit of head scratching required, a wide variety of clues and most enjoyable.
    4d and 18a were clever.
    Liked the surfaces of 9d and 16a,not sure about ‘flat’ as others have noted. Favourite was 8a
    Anyway a pleasant way to start Friday morning, going for a ***/****

  15. Hello, compiler here. Thanks for the analysis and discussion. I interviewed Abba at Polar Studios in the Seventies. Who would have guessed they could have a new No.1 album 45 years later? Have a good weekend.

    1. Many thanks for a great puzzle, Zandio and for popping in. It is always appreciated when a setter takes the time to comment. :good:

  16. Super puzzle today with some very clever clues in 19d and 18a and my favourite 1a. Such a relief after yesterdays …….. (fill in your own description). Whoever yesterdays setter was be it Giovanni or A N Other they obviously have a deep seated dislike of anyone who has the temerity to try to solve their crossword.
    Todays setter should be congratulated for producing such a delight.
    Thx to Deep Threat for explaining my answers to 4d and 10a.

    1. Gosh Brother Ian. I know you take no prisoners, which I love you for, but this time you’ve gone to town!

      A dog with a bone ain’t a patch on you.


  17. A very good and enjoyable puzzle
    However, I thought the surface to 23d pointed more to ‘plates of meat’ being the definition and ‘ending up in garden party’ providing the wordplay. That held me up with my last one in – 26a – as I had an unwanted ‘t’ in the first word.
    And it is a long time since I have seen one of those contraptions in a bathroom 😁

    1. My experience is that they were/are not in bathrooms but more usually in cloakrooms, kitchens and public places.

      1. Yes but other makes were available 😁
        I only remember seeing them in office/ works toilets, until they were replaced by hot air blowers

  18. This Friday puzzle was much more approachable and doable than Thursday’s offering … at least for me. Rate this 1.5*/4* today.
    Some really great clues and favourites include 11a, 16a, 26a, 9d, 19d & 23d with my winner being toss-up between 11a & 9d

    Thanks to setter and DT

  19. Thanks to Zandio for a Fine Friday puzzle, I hope Terence recovers from the OJ fright but from his music choice today, it appears it is only the liquid form that brings on the Heebie-Jeebies. 9d amused today but most Proustian moment goes to 28a.
    At school( many many years ago) the urinals were marked “Twyfords Adamant” and could only be approached with the phrase “You don’t argue with Twyford’s Adamant” After using the said urinal, the Roller Towel was usually a brand known as “Advance Towelmaster” which similarly could only be approached with the phrase “Advance Towelmaster and be Recognised”

    Thanks, Zandio and DT. Any news on Sunday’s toughie setter yet?

  20. Some lovely clues stood out in this relatively straightforward puzzle – Hon. Mentions to 1a, 13a (if there is indeed a god, or gods, then it or they will surely be canine!) and 6d, with COTD to 18d. Felt 14a the weakest of the bunch by a considerable margin.

    2 / 2

    Many thanks to Zandio and DT

  21. No time for puzzles yesterday but now back home with ☔️ & gloom in Harpenden so time for a catch up. Yesterday’s puzzle was pretty tricky given the number of unfamiliar words. Last in was the fish & it took a couple of stabs to arrange that anagram in the correct order. I enjoyed today’s much more. I thought there were a number of lovely clues in a largely straightforward puzzle. A toss up between 1&26a for my favourite.
    Thanks to Zandio & DT
    Wed & Thurs Toughies to tackle while watching the golf at a very soggy Sawgrass

  22. Crossword of the week for me. More like this and less like yesterday’s please. I didn’t have a problem with 14a. Favourite was 12d. Many thanks to Zandio and DT.

  23. Thoroughly enjoyable today so thanks to the setter and DT. Thanks for all the remedies for awful backache (except digging holes for posts!) – will try them one by one. Don’t know what I have done to deserve it but hells bells its painful.

  24. I did quite well with this until I got to the NE corner where I needed a hint to get going again. Fave was 19d, closely followed by 9d, we used to have one of those,mi wonder what happened to it.
    Thank you Zandio, and huge thanks to DT for unravelling so many clues. Wordle in 4.

  25. A good puzzle but sorry don’t like the 3d clue … not all tabloids are downmarket? Thank you anyway Zandio and DT

  26. Just seemed to gel with Zandio.
    Off to a flying start and no faltering.
    All most enjoyable.
    4d was an absolute genius clue.
    So, */*****
    Many thanks, indeed and thanks DT but not required today.

  27. Thank you Zandio for a beautifully paced crossword, lots of quiet ah-has and ohs along the way. LOI 10a despite going to all of the other variety this season. Thanks DT for the comments, though for me, for today, you were inutile.

  28. Too tricky for me again, although a tad easier than yesterday. Did enjoy 11a and 9d, with 9d getting prime placement as we saw them being made in the Black Forest four years ago. Never knew they were so very expensive. Still remember the delicious Black Forest cake afterwards, never tasted one so good since. Thanks Zandio, although you are a bit too clever for me, and to Deep Threat for help with unraveling.

  29. What a relief after yesterday’s horror. Solved alone and unaided and enjoyed the tussle.

    Thanks to DT and to Zandio.

  30. I struggled with this and needed your hints DT. perhaps I am discombobulated after doing a skype with DD1 who
    just talked complete rubbish, nothing at all made sense poor darling. And they’ve got Covid in the home again and
    are all closed down. Anyway, crossword a diversion and I liked 11 and 24a, many thanks Mr Setter. When I saw the
    J,X ,V & W I was on pangram alert but I dont think we had a Z.

    1. Well spotted Daisygirl. A Zandio without a Z. Surely intentional. I wonder if we have had them before?

  31. Just to say this puzzle was excellent. My solving has been a bit hit and Miss this week due to a broken arm. Thursday’s I felt was impossible. I did not conclude. Oddly I found many wrong answers which made a total mess. This one I would call intricate. 1a tops for me once the penny dropped. Others 11 13 22 and 25a and 9d. I get the flat piano now but didn’t until I saw the above comments – flat as opposed to upright. Took me a while to enter roller at 26a. The reason being that I thought of a kitchen towel – not the ones in public toilets, but the ones made of cotton towelling, usually striped, on a wooden roller.

  32. 3*/4*….
    liked 6D ” A Queen song about upper-class homes for goldfish? (7) ” … amongst others.

  33. Loved this one. Didn’t get through this without DT’s help but nonetheless… 1a, 4d, and 9d for the chirpy hour counting and 6a for the Queen song. 🙂

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