DT 29933 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29933

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29933

A full review by Rahmat Ali

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This puzzle was published on 12th Mar 2022

BD Rating – Difficulty *Enjoyment ***

Greetings from Kolkata. A very gentle and straightforward Saturday puzzle from Chalicea that I enjoyed solving and thereafter writing a review of the same for your kind perusal and valuable feedback.

I learnt about the migraine that Steve Cowling is enduring and the agony that followed Mrs Rabbit Dave at her local hospital after she broke her wrist. My sympathy to both of them. I pray to the Almighty for restoration of their sound health. Incidentally, my mother also tripped around four weeks back. She broke her right femur for the second time and had to undergo a surgical operation after a gap of around thirteen years for the same reason. A pacemaker was also implanted in her chest through a surgical procedure eleven years ago when she suffered from full heart block. As the battery will need to be replaced soon, she will have to undergo another surgical operation within at the most five months.

Minotaur as the answer to the clue of 24a took me to my schooldays. I remembered having read about the Cretan monster in a history book called ‘The March of Time’ in Class IV in Joseph Day School. The monster dwelt at the centre of a maze built by Daedalus, the head architect of the tyrannical King Minos of Crete. As the unnatural offspring of a woman and a beast, the Minotaur had no natural source of nourishment and hence devoured humans for sustenance. After his confinement, he was given a periodic tribute of youths and maidens from Athens as food until he was slain by Theseus, son of Aegeus, king of Athens.

Tau as the answer to part of the wordplay to the clue of 24a and as another name for a tau cross is so called because it is shaped like the Greek letter tau, which in its upper-case form has the same appearance as the Latin letter T. Another name for the same object is Saint Anthony’s cross because of its association with Saint Anthony of Egypt.

It’s no wonder that I had to take a walk down memory lane while staring at ‘parrot’, the answer to the clue of 25a. I reminisced the good old days of my childhood. There was a small cage that housed a parrot that my maternal grandmother and I were so fond of. I was then around six years old. The cage door was always kept open. The parrot would come out on its own as and when it felt like and roam around inside the small room in which I stayed with my grandmother. She would feed the bird with wet raw gram seeds. A neighbour of hers, whom I also called grandma, used to visit her often. She would persistently tell the parrot to utter Nabiji rozi bhejo which in Urdu meant “Prophet, send (us) food”, which it would repeat so distinctly. But a day arrived when the parrot decided that it had had enough. The bird, which never flew at any point of time during its two to three years of stay at our home, came out of the cage as usual, but all of a sudden took to the air, leaving all of us stunned. It then began to fly higher and higher up in the air until we lost sight of it. In almost no time we were sure that it had already left for an unknown destination for good.

I learnt from the net that Messi, being part of the wordplay to the clue of 27a, is often considered the best player in the world and widely regarded as one of the greatest players of all time. He has won a record seven Ballon d’Or awards, a record six European Golden Shoes and was named, in 2020, to the Ballon d’Or Team Dream Team. During his entire professional career with Barcelona until he bade goodbye to the club, he had won a club-record 35 trophies including 10 La Liga titles, 7 Copa del Rey titles and 4 UEFA Champions Leagues. He also holds the record of 80 international goals by a South American male. He has scored over 750 senior career goals for club and country and has the most goals by a player for a single club.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Admonisher unexpectedly reconciled (10)
HARMONISED: An anagram (unexpectedly) of ADMONISHER guides to the definition of a verb in the past tense meaning brought into agreement or reconciled, for example, points of view

6a    Third note followed by second note (4)
MEMO: ME (third note) as the third note of doe-ray-me-far-sew-la-tea, the anglicised homophones or near-homophones of do-re-mi-fa-so-la-ti of the solfège system of the major musical scale for singing notes accompanied (followed) by the abbreviation of moment, MO (second) as a slang term for a very short time, arriving at the definition of the contracted version of memorandum that is a note to assist the memory or a brief note of some transaction in law

8a    Phrase badly: editor changed again (8)
RESHAPED: An anagram (badly) of PHRASE is followed by ED (editor) as the abbreviation for editor, taking to the definition of a verb in the past tense meaning shaped or formed something differently or again

9a    Bishop leaves trash in this place for housing vehicles (6)
GARAGE: B (bishop) as the abbreviation for bishop in chess notation comes out of (leaves) GAR[B]AGE (trash) as rubbish or waste, especially domestic refuse, arriving at the definition of a building or indoor area for parking or storing cars and other vehicles

10a    Dogged son had had a debt (8)
SHADOWED: S (son) as the genealogical abbreviation for son is followed by HAD from the clue and OWED (had a debt) as had an obligation to pay or repay something, especially money, taking to the definition of a verb in the past tense meaning followed every moment of someone so as to observe them closely and secretly

11a    Pressed on in anger with Democrat (6)
IRONED: ON from the clue is put inside (in) IRE (anger) as wrath or intense anger and followed by (with) D (Democrat) as the abbreviation for Democrat who is a member of the Democratic party in the United States, leading to the definition of a verb in the past tense meaning smoothed clothes, sheets etc with an iron

12a    Crafty part of researches (4)
ARCH: Part of or hidden inside (part of) reseARCHes unfolds the definition of an adjective meaning clever and mischievous, cunning or shrewd

14a    Essential constituent of diet for one in ten (7)
PROTEIN: PRO (for) as the Latin root word for the preposition ‘for’ followed by I (one) as the Roman numeral for one placed inside (in) TEN from the clue, arriving at the definition of any member of a group of complex nitrogenous substances that are an important constituent of the bodies of plants and animals

18a    Environs of ancient area of land captivate (7)
ATTRACT: The edges or the outermost letters (environs) of A[NCIEN]T are followed by TRACT (area of land) as a measured area of land or typically a large area of land, taking to the definition of a verb meaning to cause someone to have a liking for or interest in something

20a    Astound enthusiasts heading west (4)
STUN: NUTS (enthusiasts) as persons with an obsessive interest in something or enthusiastic about a specified thing going backwards or westwards (heading west) as a reversal in the across clue take to the definition of a verb meaning to astonish or shock someone so that they are temporarily unable to react

23a    Severely criticise a small journey at sea? (6)
ASSAIL: A from the clue is followed by S (small) as the abbreviation for small and SAIL (journey at sea) as a sea voyage or trip across water in a ship, leading to the definition of a verb meaning to oppose, challenge or criticise harshly and forcefully

24a    Underage person grasping cross bullish monster (8)
MINOTAUR: MINOR (underage person) as a person under the age of full legal responsibility taking in (grasping) TAU (cross) as another name for a tau cross or a T-shaped cross, sometimes with all three ends of the cross expanded, arriving at the definition of the fabulous bull-headed monster of the Greek mythology in the Cretan labyrinth, offspring of a snow-white bull and Pasiphaë, wife of Minos

25a    Exotic raptor bird (6)
PARROT: An anagram (exotic) of RAPTOR guides to the definition of a bird, often vividly coloured, with a strong downcurved hooked bill, upright stance, strong legs and clawed zygodactyl feet

26a    Different forms of volume and notes from time to time limiting melody (8)
VARIANTS: V (volume) as the abbreviation of volume as used in physics and chemistry and NoTeS from the clue with oddly-placed letters (from time to time) in its entirety confining (limiting) ARIA (melody) as an air or melody, especially an accompanying vocal solo in a cantata, oratorio or opera, leading to the definition of forms or versions of things that differ in some respect from other forms or versions of the same things

27a    International leaves footballer in difficulty (4)
MESS: I (international) as the abbreviation for international as in IB or International Baccalaureate comes out of (leaves) Lionel Andrés MESS[I] (footballer) as the celebrated Argentine professional footballer, taking to the definition of a situation that is confused and full of problems

28a    Resolves to prevent explosive devices (10)
DETERMINES: A charade of DETER (prevent) as to ward off an undesirable occurrence of something and MINES (explosive devices) as explosive charges in an excavation dug under a position to give secret ingress, to subvert it or to blow it up, as in the military guides to the definition of a verb in the 3rd person singular present tense meaning comes to a firm decision or resolution about something


1d    Trouble with stern on vessel (8)
HARDSHIP: HARD (stern) as strict and severe and not showing sympathy or affection is placed upon (on) SHIP (vessel) as a large seagoing vessel for transporting people or goods by sea as in the down clue, taking to the definition of a noun meaning severe suffering or privation

2d    Rogue crashed cars going over a lake (6)
RASCAL: An anagram (crashed) of CARS crossing (going over) A from the clue and followed by L (lake) as the abbreviation for lake, leading to the definition of a mean, unprincipled or dishonest person

3d    Men supporting old renegade, one who makes speeches (6)
ORATOR: OR (men) as the abbreviation for other ranks that describe the military personnel who are not commissioned officers bearing the weight of (supporting) a combo of O (old) as the abbreviation for old as in OT or Old Testament and RAT (renegade) as one who deserts their party, side or cause in the down clue, arriving at the definition of one who makes formal speeches, especially at ceremonial occasions

4d    Popular English stage worker lacking in good taste (9)
INELEGANT: A charade of IN (popular) as characteristic of, influenced by or representing a current popular style, E (English) as the abbreviation for English, LEG (stage) as a distinct part or stage of a course or journey or as a section of a relay or other races done in stages and ANT (worker) as a social insect working together in groups, arriving at the definition of an adjective meaning having or showing a lack of physical grace, elegance or refinement

5d    Struggle for supremacy of pair of boxers maybe (8)
DOGFIGHT: What could be (maybe) a FIGHT between a pair of boxer DOGs cryptically leads to the definition of a ferocious struggle for supremacy between interested parties

6d    Person making proposal involving source of metal as a further matter (8)
MOREOVER: MOVER (person making proposal) as a person who makes a formal proposal at a meeting or in an assembly taking within its fold (involving) ORE (source of metal) as a naturally occurring solid mineral containing a valuable constituent, such as metal, that can be mined or extracted, treated and sold at a profit, taking to the definition of an adverb meaning additionally, furthermore or over and above that

7d    Fascinating spells describing web? (8)
MAGNETIC: MAGIC (spells) as the power of apparently influencing events by using mysterious or supernatural forces enclosing or outlining (describing) NET (web) as a web of deception, often used figuratively, leading to the definition of an adjective meaning very attractive or alluring

13d    Ingenuous, worried examinee (9)
CANDIDATE: A charade of CANDID (ingenuous) as truth and straightforward or innocent and unsuspecting and ATE (worried) as bothered or annoyed takes to the definition of a person taking an examination

15d    Poison that could make ten Arabs unwell (8)
RATSBANE: An anagram (unwell) of TEN ARABS leads to the definition of a white powdered poisonous trioxide of arsenic used as a rodenticide and weed killer

16d    The rates adjusted in drama venues (8)
THEATRES: An anagram (adjusted) of THE RATES guides to the definition of buildings or areas for dramatic performances

17d    Lonely single very excited to go topless (8)
ISOLATED: I (single) as a hit for one run as in cricket is followed by SO (very) as to a great extent or very much and [E]LATED (excited) as ecstatically happy that has to go with its topmost letter removed (topless)

19d    Trains regularly covered by ticket sellers for holidaymakers (8)
TOURISTS: The evenly-placed or alternate letters (regularly) of tRaInS is embraced (covered) by TOUTS (ticket sellers) as persons who buy up numbers of tickets for a popular sporting event etc and sell them at a large profit, leading to the definition of persons who travel for pleasure, especially sightseeing travellers

21d    Singular repugnance for reactive element (6)
SODIUM: S (singular) as the abbreviation for singular and ODIUM (repugnance) as a general or widespread hatred or disgust in a charade, arriving at the definition of a soft, lightweight, silvery-white reactive element of the alkali metal group with symbol Na and atomic number 11

22d    We hear member of cathedral staff is a great gun (6)
CANNON: CANON (member of cathedral staff) or a member of a body of clergymen performing duties for a cathedral or other church and living under a rule serves as a homophone heard by the audience (we hear), taking to the historical definition of a great gun, usually mounted on wheels

Some of the clues that I liked in this puzzle were 6a, 10a, 14a, 18a, 26a, 27a, 28a, 4d, 6d, 7d, 15d and 21d; 28a being the clear winner. Many thanks to Chalicea for the entertainment and to BD for the encouragement. Would love to be here again. Have a pleasant day.


11 comments on “DT 29933

    1. Thank you so much, Manders, for finding my review interesting. Thanks also to Miffypopys.

    2. Me too, but I don’t always comment. Perhaps I should do. I always learn so much, so thank you for that, sir.

      1. Thank you once again, Steve Cowling, for your kind comment. I hope there is some improvement and your suffering has alleviated. However, you need to get your migraine thoroughly checked, whether it is migraine aura or a retinal migraine and consult your ophthalmologist for proper treatment.

  1. Many thanks, Rahmat, for your generous, enlightening blog. A joy to read. I wish I had had more students like you during my 43 years of teaching!

    1. Thank you so much, Robert Clark, for finding my review a joy to read. As a matter of fact, I am myself a voracious reader and have been, throughout my life, an avid learner.

  2. Top review as usual Rahmat, on word count I could fit about ten of mine into one of yours!

    1. Thank you once again, Stephen L, for your kind comment and, of course, for your meticulous perusal.

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