DT 29940 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29940

Daily Telegraph Cryptic 29940

Hints and tips by pommers

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty *Enjoyment ****

Hola from the Vega Baja where the chilly and wet weather is continuing.  We have a forecast of light rain for the whole week which will please a lot of people as there is an official drought in Spain due to the unusually dry winter we’ve had.  Hopefully normal service will be resumed next week.

I thought today’s crossie was up to the usual standard we’ve come to expect on a Monday but was at the rather easy end of the spectrum.  I got ten of the acrosses and all but two of the downs on first pass so * seems about right for the difficulty level.  There are six full anagrams and two other clues that involve an anagram so there’s plenty of ways into the puzzle.  I don’t think many of you will need any hints today.

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.


1a           Slightly scary counterpart back in Cyprus (6)
CREEPY:  Your counterpart or equal is reversed (back) and inserted into (in) the IVR code for Cyprus.

4a           Choose randomly from all the players, a great many (4,4)
CAST LOTS: The first word means all the players in a play and the second word means a great many.

9a           Expedition party turned back making stand (6)
TRIPOD: Another word for an expedition or voyage followed by the usual party but it’s reversed (turned back).  I think we’ve had this picture before. Anyone else remember the TV series?

10a         Nice at Naples, at sea (8)
PLEASANT:  Anagram (at sea) of AT NAPLES.

11a         Has rector upset band? (9)
ORCHESTRA:  Anagram (upset) of HAS RECTOR.

13a         Bishop not participating in very tight game (5)
LOTTO:  Start with another word for very tight, as in bladdered or drunk as a skunk, and remove (not participating) the B(ishop).

14a         Government employee cut verbal spin when broadcast (6,7)
PUBLIC SERVANT:  Anagram (when broadcast) of CUT VERBAL SPIN.

17a         Slide  headlong (6-7)
HELTER SKELTER:  Double definition.  The slide is one found in a fairground.

21a         Small baked items for operatives (5)
SPIES:  S(mall) followed by some baked items of food.

23a         Unprepared, I’m put out about concert (9)
IMPROMPTU:  The IM from the clue and an anagram (out) of PUT placed around (about) a concert.

24a         Hold on tightly crossing short incline that’s frightening (8)
CHILLING:  A word meaning to hold on tightly placed around (crossing) an incline or rise without its last letter (short).

25a         American referendum over space programme (6)
APOLLO:  A(merican) followed by a word for a referendum or vote and then an O(ver).  I usually have trouble remembering whether it’s two Ps or two Ls in this word. Here, fortunately, the wordplay answers that question.

26a         French daily taking in a fizzy drink (8)
LEMONADE:  Start with the title of a French daily newspaper and insert (taking in) the A from the clue.

27a         Happy days for model? (6)
PROSIT:  Three letters meaning for or in favour of and the a word for to model or pose for an artist.


1d           Champion golfer’s yarn (6)
COTTON:  A three time winner of the Open Golf in the nineteen thirties and forties is also a thread.  I’m sure he was a very nice chap but isn’t he a tad obscure nowadays?

2d           Special changes encompassing work of bishops (9)
EPISCOPAL:  Anagram (changes) of SPECIAL placed around (encompassing) the usual two letters for work.

3d           Saw senior scout in lead (7)
PROVERB:  A senior scout is inserted into (in) the chemical symbol for lead.

5d           Can we please fans winning everything? (1,5,5)
A CLEAN SWEEP:  Anagram (fans) of CAN WE PLEASE.

6d           Vessel left during high water, heading for Rotterdam (7)
TRAWLER:  Anagram (high) of WATER with an L(eft) inserted (during) and finally an R (heading for Rotterdam).

7d           Style of painting round Split? (2,3)
OP ART:  Take the round letter and a word for to split or separate and split (2,3).

8d           Leave with group on Scottish river (3,5)
SET FORTH: A word for a group of people followed by the river that flows past Edinburgh.

12d         Consider taking in second pub with editor quick to take offence (4-7)
THIN SKINNED:  Start with a word meaning to consider and insert (taking in) an S(econd).  After that you need another word for a pub and then the usual editor.

15d         A storage tower erected to store produce in citadel (9)
ACROPOLIS: Take the A from the clue and a reversal (erected in a down clue) of a storage tower for grain and insert (to store) a word for the grain or produce that is harvested.

16d         Medical  material (8)
PHYSICAL:  Double definition.  Material as in corporeal.

18d         Slip one prepared for Greek character (7)
EPSILON:  Anagram (prepared) of SLIP ONE.

19d         Information sent over about old soldier (7)
TROOPER:  Some information or a document containing information is reversed (sent over) and is placed around (about) an O(ld).  Yes, I know the spelling isn’t the same but any excuse . . .

20d         Found  shelter (6)
DUGOUT:  Double definition.  The shelter might be for the soldier in the previous clue!

22d         Turn of phrase in papers I’m carrying round (5)
IDIOM:  Two letters for your identity papers and the IM from the clue are placed around (carrying) the round letter.

My top three on the podium today are 1a, 15d and 20d with 15d on the top step.

Quick crossword puns:

Top line:     GREENE     +     GAUGE     =     GREENGAGE

Bottom line:    TRICE     +     SICKLE     =     TRICYCLE

The grid looks to have lots of potential for a third pun but if it’s there I can’t see it.

60 comments on “DT 29940

  1. Very enjoyable with a touch more about it than the average Monday.
    I’d never heard of the expression at 4a or the ancient golfer but both were obtainable from the checkers and wordplay.
    Last two in were 27a/20d…I suspect I won’t be alone in that respect. Isn’t the numeration 3-3 for one of the definitions in the latter?
    Top three for me were 13,23&26a with the aforementioned 27a running them close.
    Many thanks to Campbell and Pommers.

    1. My immediate thought on 20d was (3-3) but the BRB only shows the unhyphenated version used by Campbell.

      And, for 27a, I was thinking a word ‘borrowed’ from German but the the BRB does not show that, just etymology with derivation from Latin.

    2. I spent more nights in a 20d than I care to remember as a small child AND was trapped in one for four hours on my own when a doodlebug hit Banstead. The tales I could tell……..

      1. Me too DG, as I comment in No. 10. A doodlebug hit our next door neighbours in Kingswood and they had gas lighting so their house went up in flames and one occupant was killed. We were fortunate to escape more or less unscathed as the whole family was in fact on the way downstairs and we were blown down them.

  2. It’s Monday :good: It’s Campbell :good: but I think I might have made heavier weather of this, and the companion OLPP, than I needed to – 2.5*/4*.

    Candidates for favourite – 9a, 23a, and 7d – and the winner is 23a.

    Thanks to Campbell and pommers.

  3. I think that today’s regular cryptic wins the weekly duel with the online bonus (# 700) for a change, for me. I enjoyed both puzzles but 23a, 5d, 27a, 15d, & 1a lift this one slightly above the relative strengths of the other. Pleasant way to start the week, so thanks to pommers and to Campbell. 1.5* / 4*

  4. Tjis was a straightforward puzzle until I reached the SE corner, where 27a and 20d took me almost as long as the rest of the clues(3*/3* . I wasn’t keen on 27a, a word I have rarely heard used, even in bubulous conversation, but enjoyed 8d and17a. Thanks to Campbell for the crosswordl and to Pommers for the hints.

    1. CC – if you were to visit the Munich Oktoberfest it is one 27a after another but obviously it’s not so popular in the UK!

      1. Unfortunately I although i have had the pleasure of learning 5 l anguages German is not one of them. Yet, when I was a teacher, if I was scheduled tocover alessonfor an absent colleague, it was invariably German.

  5. Like others, 20d and 27a were the last ones to fall. Slightly trickier than a normal Monday, or perhaps I am just being a bit slow today.
    I knew the golfer, but sympathise with others who might struggle. It was a very long time ago!

  6. Not quite as easy-peasy (for me) as reported by pommers. I became fixated on ‘draw’ as the first word for 4a, and although I knew it could not be correct, I couldn’t get past it for ages.
    Similarly to Stephen L, 27a and 20d were last in.

    The weather is superb. It looks like I cannot postpone the fence mending/replacing business any longer.

    Today’s crossword soundtrack: Hildegard von Blingin’, featuring Friar Funk – Somebody That I Used To Know

    Thanks to Campbell and pommers.

  7. I agree with pommers about the difficulty level for three quarters of this puzzle but the SE corner proved to be a much tougher nut to crack with 20d my last one in. It was as enjoyable as ever, as we have come to expect on a Monday.

    My top three are the classically inspired trio: 25a, 27a & 15d.

    Many thanks to Campbell and to pommers.

  8. I found this more challenging than the usual Monday fare for some reason, but it was a very enjoyable and satisfying solve. Nothing particularly arcane, a very (overly?) generous dollop of anagrams – not something one can say of the Online-Only puzzle today – and generally very smooth surfaces. Hon Mentions to 12d and 16d; COTD to 15d. The Online-Only puzzle has Campbell starting to echo RayT for concise clueing: it’s a very good puzzle.

    2.5* / 3*

    Many thanks to Campbell and Pommers.

  9. I’d agree with Robert that the back-pager comfortably edges it over the bonus prize puzzle despite the appearance of Ray T’s sweetheart in the latter. Unlike others 1d was my last in. It was the only brief head scratch despite knowing that he was the resident professional at the wonderful Ashridge Golf Club, which in my view is Hertfordshire’s finest. 14&23a my joint favs.
    Thanks to Campbell & Pommers
    Wordle in 4

    1. Hi, H. I replied very late last night to your queries about the Guardian puzzles. Don’t know whether you happened to see my comment.

  10. No real problems except in SE where, as for other commenters, there was a slight delay for 20d/27a combination. 20d reminded me of the one in our garden where we sometimes sought shelter during WW2 – ouch can I really be that old?! My Fav in fact was the last-in 27a when the penny finally dropped – cheers! An enjoyable way to start to the cruciverbal week. Thank you Mysteron and pommers.

  11. Quite straightforward and enjoyable with the exception of 1d. Thanks to today’s setter and Pommers.

  12. Typically Mondayish fare from Campbell. Thanks to him. Thanks also to Pommers. A steady solve until I too had 27 across and 20 down left. With 27 across one just needed to follow instructions and that made 20 down obvious. I’ve wanted 17 across to appear in a puzzle that I am blogging so I could use this photo of our lovely egg s*****r

    1. That looks just like part of the breakfast machine Caractacus Potts invented to prepare the breakfast on Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

  13. Just like so many others all done in * time until 20d and 27a were dealt with so ended up a nice **/***. My favourite clue was 26a. Thanks to Pommers and Campbell.

  14. Looks as though it’s the intersecting 27a/20d that’s causing most of the problems today, certainly did for me!
    Favourite here was 24a with a nod to the anagram at 14a.

    Thanks to Campbell and to pommers for the review.

  15. Same thoughts as most on 27a & 20d
    I do understand 27a after reading the hints.
    However, with 20d, I still don’t see the link between the first definition and the answer even when split 3,3.

    1. Scratch that remark
      Am I thick!!
      Got totally focused on ‘found’ meaning established and missed the bleedin’ obvious

  16. My solving time was stretched by a couple in the SW corner, otherwise this was a typically light and enjoyable Monday morning delight. 15d was my top clue of many, and 24a was for some reason my final entry. I suppose one of them has to be.

    Thanks to Campbell for the fun and to pommers.

  17. I got there in the end after a fair amount of head scratching. Still, I managed unaided so a very satisfying solve for me. Plenty to like with ticks by 10a, 26a, 27a and 20d and yet another clue for the big band. How many are there, I wonder? My COTD is 6d because I loved the construction.

    Many thanks to Campbell for the interesting and fun puzzle. Many thanks, also, to pommers for the hints.

    Pleasant enough day in The Marches but no sun as yet.

    Not finished Wordle yet and I fear a failure is looming.

  18. I did not think that this puzzle was easier than the usual Monday’s and in particular agreed with RD on the difficult SE corner.
    Going for a 2/3*-4*,certainly enjoyable and diversely clued.
    Favourite was 17a followed by 25a.
    Thanks to Pommers and our setter.

  19. I struggled to get the same two as most of the other commenters. I heard a ping from the repetition radar re 19d too ( it was in yesterdays toughie but clued quite differently)
    I tried to justify maxim for 22d for too long.
    Thanks to Campbell and pommers.

  20. Excellent work from the Monday master.

    Re 16d, medical has four anagrams:


    I’m very, very happy with that.

      1. I most certainly do approve, especially as I can add one to the list!

        Thanks for the nod, RaDa.

    1. Skinny had “Maliced” in the Indy (see RD). It is in the BRB as an obsolete transitive verb.

      1. PS. Have a listen to this, a young lady playing an Irish jig on the violin. I bet you start tapping your feet …

  21. Ah, this seems like a Campbell from the past without his alter ego from the past fortnight or so . O pleasant solve for me on Sunday night without any hints required. Some fun clue san many favourites including 17a, 23a, 8d, 12d & 16d with winner so hard to pick, but I choose 16d. I did like a lot 17a though.

    Thanks to Campbell and pommers

  22. I guess being pedantic is what crosswords are all about, but at 14a isn’t a Government employee a civil servant, with public servant reserved for local authority employees?

  23. I am with most of you being stuck on 20d, having a deep seated dislike of them. The smell of earth and the darkness, ugh. Much preferred the Morrison we had in the dining room where the most important accessory was a whistle which you could blow to let folks know you were alive under the rubble. I just cannot bear reliving it all with the scenes in Ukraine. So thanks for the Xword as a diversion – stars by 3,5d. My father was a Rover Scout and worked on the Hackney Scout Song Book, of which we had many copies and sang from lustily all the way down to Cornwall. I can still sing Ging gang gooly gooly etc and the Māori war cry Karmate Kara not to mention all the verses of Darling Clementine. Sorry, 20 d has pushed me right down Memory Lane, a sign of getting old! I will shut up and say thanks to Setter & Hinter.

    1. I wonder if modern families sing in the car as our generation did? We had no paved roads so any journey took forever, my Dad used to sing Edwardian music hall songs and we all joined in, My Darling Clementine was a huge favourite.

      1. We played ‘I stake my penny on ….’ Aged about 6 I stuck my penny on ‘a woman with a face like a sheep’s bottom’. We drove all the way from Sussex to Devon without spotting one so I won the game!

      2. The wheels on the bus go round and round…
        Twinkle, twinkle, little star
        How I wonder what you are
        Up above the world so high
        Like a diamond in the sky
        Twinkle, twinkle, little star
        How I wonder what you are

        The wheels on the bus was a daytime song, and Twinkle Twinkle… was saved for nighttime journeys when it was sung so Adagio we were inevitably asleep before the 3rd verse.

  24. Starting out was tricky for me, have no idea why. I got stuck in the NW and needed a hint to get going again. I agree that the golfer at 1d is pretty obscure. Someone like WG Grace, for instance, was an historical figure in cricket so I don’t consider him obscure, but what did this chap do for golf? I needed e-help to get 20d, but I had all the checkers. Fave was 15d, followed by 17a. There was a book about the Manson murders called that.
    Thanks Campbell, enjoyed that, and pommers for his help. Wordle in 3.

  25. Didn’t enjoy this much maybe because I spent the morning doing my volunteer printing which is very noisy so had a splitting headache. Had 4 left in SE so just pressed the button to reveal answers. I’ve never heard of prosit. Hey ho. Wordle in 3 and missed Quordle by 1 as there was an American spelling – they don’t appear to use the letter ‘u’, so my run of 10 is over but into the 70’s with Wordle. Thanks to the setter and Pommers and sorry I’m so grumpy

  26. My last two were 1d and 4a, both being new to me.
    No need to write the anagrams in a circle today. All were of a jumpatyou kind.
    Went for a 16d not long ago and the good doctor complained that I hadn’t seen him since 2012. He said he would call me if anything untoward showed up. Still waiting for the call.
    Thanks to Campbell and to Pommers.
    A bit of sun finally showed up but easterly wind still prevalent.

  27. Workmanlike progress to completion.
    Enjoyed the Greek theme.
    Last in 17a and 20d
    So, */****
    Many thanks Campbell and pommers.

  28. * for difficulty, are we doing the same puzzle. It is at least a **** if not a 5*. I managed less than half the clues, the rest are a complete mystery to me.
    Worst one for me for along time. No fun at all.
    Way out of my comfort zone.

  29. Nice start to the week but I thought it more difficult than our recent Monday offerings 🤔 It felt like a different Compiler ***/*** 28a was a new word for me! Favourites were13a, 21a & 23a. Thanks to Pommers and to the Compiler 😃

  30. I am afraid I have to record a did not finish for this one, so definitely nothing like a 1 * for difficulty for me.
    Like Brian, only managed about half of it.
    Not my day today.

    Thanks to the setter and to pommers.

  31. Also found this tough, more like *** than * for difficulty….some great clues but marred for me by a couple of obscurities, particularly the antediluvian golfer….

  32. Agree a tad tricky for a Monday. But on the plus side I had no problem with the golfer despite him being from so long ago. I know few golfers, and Palmer and Jacklin aren’t threads, so I took a chance on the answer. I should have got 17a much more quickly as we have a lovely picture of Peter and our eldest coming down the one in Ryde, IOW when she was about 3 (she’ll be 53 in May!). I don’t understand 3d or 16a, both bung ins because of the checkers. I did drag 27a out of the deepest recesses, but not a word I ever use. But overall not bad, quite enjoyable. Thanks to Campbell and Pommers.

  33. A dnf for me today. Being ill with covid isn’t helping, but I thought both 20d and 27a were poor clues.

    Thanks to all.

  34. I’m with Brian on this one, I’ve done easier toughies. A well done for everyone who found it * difficulty. Any road up I got there in the end. No real favourite but if pushed I’d go for 24a. Thanks to Campbell and Pommers.

  35. I’m sorry some of you found this hard but for me it was a gimme. I even got 27a on first pass without any checkers. Just seems obvious – PRO for for and SIT for model. Job done. I also got 20d on first pass but I did have all the checkers and I must confess I’ve seen this wordplay before so it just sort of wrote itself in. I must do too many crosswords!

    Anyway, I can only call it as I see it and there have been times when I’ve said **** and you’ve all found it a breeze. ¡No pasa nada!

  36. Thanks to Campbell and to Pommers for the review and hints. Sometimes I can’t do Campbell’s puzzles, and today was one such instance. Found it impossible. Needed the hints for 13a,6,8,15&20d. Favourite was 26a. Was 4*/3* for me.

  37. Found this trickier than usual and finally ran into the buffers on 20d/27a. Tried sleeping on it but to no avail – so had to resort to hints. Not a lot of fun… ****/**

  38. Thanks. Got stuck on Prosit. Not a word I was familiar with tho I am now!

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