DT 29944 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29944

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29944

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Good morning from South Staffs on a warm, sunny spring day. No doubt when the clocks go forward for Summer Time this weekend, the weather will revert to miserable.

I thought that today’s crossword was reasonably straightforward for UK solvers (leaving aside the occupants of 18d) but might cause the odd problem for the overseas members of our community.

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           Judges united: lawmakers must restrain anger (7)
UMPIRES – An abbreviation for United, followed by an abbreviation for those who make laws in Parliament wrapped round a word for ‘anger’.

9a           Five entering rocky route on approach (8)
OVERTURE – Anagram (rocky) of ROUTE with the Roman numeral for five inserted, then the Latin word for ‘on’ or ‘about’ added at the end.

10a         Agreement favouring tightwad right to be cancelled (7)
PROMISE – A short Latin word for ‘favouring’ or ‘supporting’, followed by another word for a tightwad minus the Right.

11a         Chuck returning in waterway sees man-eater (8)
CANNIBAL – An artificial waterway is wrapped round the reverse (returning) of a verb for ‘chuck’ or ‘throw away’.

12a         With British mole shot outside Tobermory? (6)
WOMBLE – Start with an abbreviation for With, then add an anagram (shot) of MOLE wrapped round British, to get a fictional creature of whom Tobermory or Great Uncle Bulgaria are examples.

13a         Very tense: keen on arrest (4-6)
NAIL-BITING – A slang term for ‘arrest’ or ‘pin down’ is followed by another word for ‘keen’ (as an easterly wind might be).

15a         Shelley’s Inferno? (4)
HELL – Hidden in the clue.

16a         Holly for instance always the ingénue? (9)
EVERGREEN – Another word for ‘always’ followed by another word for ‘ingenue’ or ‘inexperienced’.

21a         Beastly noise reason tattooist must stop? (4)
OINK – Split the answer (1,3) and read the single letter as representing zero, and you have a reason why a tattooist cannot operate. Put together, we have a farmyard noise.

22a         Democrat among pine trees altered decree in advance (10)
PREDESTINE – Anagram (altered) of PINE TREES, with Democrat inserted.

24a         Milk about to be brought round — moggies love it (6)
CATNIP – Put together an old advertising term for a quantity of milk and a Latin abbreviation for ‘about’ or ‘approximately’, then reverse (to be brought round) the result to get this feline treat.

Drinka pinta milka day - ZENITH from Transdiffusion

25a         Perhaps an 18 can? (4,4)
REST ROOM – If you solve 18d, you know the country where both ‘can’ and the answer here are synonymous.

27a         Thrilling sensation cut short angry speech (7)
VIBRANT – A (shortened) word for a physical or metaphorical sensation is further shortened by having its last letter removed, then an angry speech is added.

28a         Be on diet fixed and disciplined (8)
OBEDIENT – Anagram (fixed) of BE ON DIET.

29a         A new banknote should be announced, one feels (7)
ANTENNA – Put together A (from the clue), an abbreviation for New, and what sounds like (should be announced) a denomination of banknote, and we have the sort of feeler sported by insects.

Ant Insect Bug - Free vector graphic on Pixabay


2d           Monkey doctor holding limb firm (8)
MARMOSET – One of the abbreviations for a medic is wrapped round a limb of the body, then another word for ‘firm’ is added, to get a small New World monkey.

Male common marmosets smell female fertility

3d           Still needing one minute on phone (8)
IMMOBILE – Put together the Roman numeral for one, an abbreviation for Minute, and the type of phone we carry around with us.

4d           Long-running show possibly needs a rest (10)
EASTENDERS – Anagram (possibly) of NEEDS A REST. This could be read as an all-in-one clue, I suspect, though I never watch the show in question.

5d           Ultraviolet decay occasionally seen in eye part (4)
UVEA – The usual abbreviation for ultraviolet, followed by alternate letters of dEcAy.

6d           Magical character one supporting Black Country (6)
BRUNEI – Put together an abbreviation for Black, a letter of an old Germanic alphabet with an extended meaning suggesting use in magic or fortune-telling, and the Roman numeral for one.

7d           Carbon and barium mixed in Carlisle region (7)
CUMBRIA – The chemical symbol for carbon followed by an anagram (mixed) of BARIUM.

8d           Balance on board say amongst elite US Navy personnel (3,4)
SEA LEGS – The Latin abbreviation for ‘say’ or ‘for example’ is inserted into the acronym for the US Navy’s special forces.

11d         Cold fish — picture something to keep it fresh (9)
CLINGFILM – Put together Cold, a type of fish from the cod family, and a moving picture, to get a type of plastic wrapping material used to wrap foodstuffs.

14d         Extra large notice to be dismantled? Vote (2-8)
BY-ELECTION – Put together a cricket extra, an abbreviation for Large, and an anagram (to be dismantled) of NOTICE, to get the sort of vote held when a Parliamentary seat becomes vacant.

17d         Dark scene — small number go bad in church (8)
NOCTURNE – An abbreviation for ‘number’ followed by the abbreviation for the Church of England wrapped round a word for ‘go bad (like milk, perhaps)’.

18d         Huntress coming into bar finds Hoosier (8)
INDIANAN – The Roman goddess known as the ‘huntress’ is inserted into another word for a bar or pub, to get a native of the Hoosier state of the USA (Mr Google was my friend here).

19d         Garden visitor in two arguments (7)
SPARROW – Split the answer (4,3) and you have two words that could be ‘arguments’. Put together, they make a garden bird.

How humans shaped the evolution of the world's most common bird | BBC Earth

20d         Disease sees lamb almost destroyed (7)
MEASLES – anagram (destroyed) of SEES LAM(b) (almost).

23d         Bug one way or another? (6)
EARWIG – A bug can be an insect or a means of listening in on conversations. The answer here is literally an insect, and metaphorically a word for eavesdropping.

26d         Concedes nothing — then three points! (4)
OWNS – the letter that looks like zero or nothing, followed by three compass points.

The Quick Crossword pun PORE + KEEP + HIGH = PORKY PIE

70 comments on “DT 29944

  1. A totally amusing puzzle today,excellent cluing throughout,last in was 12a,my Doh moment and 21 and 24a elicited smiles.
    Some top draw charedes, favourite was 16a,was our setter thinking of Audrey Hepburn playing Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffanys-certainly an ingenue!
    Going for a **/****

  2. A nice finish to the puzzling week for those of us who solve the weekend puzzles but don’t consider them to be part of the weekly offering. Struggled a bit with the 18 down and 25 across combo, otherwise not too tricky. I notice that the setter has offered even less food today than the meagre piece of Pitta that Silvanus gave us yesterday. That’s not quite good enough in my view. Solvers need nourishment. End of. Ta to the setter and ta to DT who must be about to go off on his holibobs soon

  3. I enjoyed this a lot. I like the way we have a variety of Friday setters, all with very different styles and all of whom produce first-rate puzzles for our delectation.

    My top three were 24a, 25a (with its cunningly disguised Americanism indicator!) & 14d.

    Many thanks presumably to Zandio and to DT.

  4. Cracking puzzle, witty and very humorous. On first glancing at the northern clues made me think it was going to be a tough backpager, but on starting along the south coast it all fell into place quite straightforwardly. Had to look up Hoosier but everything else was fair and attainable from the tremendous clueing, with no arcane knowledge required.

    Thought 4d was wonderful (and so true); hon. mentions also to 25a, 29a, and 8d, with COTD to 21a.

    2 / 4.5

    Many thanks to the setter (Zandio? NYDK?) and to DT for the review … and the Wombles’ song!

  5. A nice head scratcher to end the (non-)work week in which I would suggest that 18d is counterbalanced by 12a – no problems with the former, an odd word for which I have never been able to find the etymology, but I did have to reach into the depths of my memory for the latter. ***/****.

    Candidates for favourite – 13a, 8d, and 19d – and the winner is 8d.

    As proXimal was on duty last week and Silvanus ‘appeared’ a day early this week this is most likely a production of the third member of the Friday triumvirate, so thanks to him and to DT.

    1. I missed 12a entirely, bunged in zombie. I kept thinking of Whiskey Galore for Tobermory!

  6. This overseas member of your community (and I would like to think, as an adoptee, mine too?) did indeed have the occasional struggle with this otherwise quite engaging teaser last night. I did in fact know about 4d and the generic 12a, but I thought that 4d should be two words and I didn’t know Tobermory from Shtobermory. I got there in the end, however, thanks to the very helpful terms of each clue. Otherwise, I steadily worked through the rest, especially liking 6d, 8d, & 21a, which made me laugh. Lots elsewhere to enjoy too. Thanks to DT and to today’s setter, *** / ****

    Is that really Elgar today?

    1. The BRB indicates 4d as hyphenated; however, Bill Gates will apparently allow a single word or hyphenated and the BBC seems to believe that it is a single word with the second ‘E’ capitalised.

      1. We have it on our public TV station and it’s listed as one word, not sure that means it’s right!

  7. 4d was absolutely brilliant and certainly sums up my feelings about tv soaps in general; my clue of the week so far. Overall this was yet another wonderful workout from one of my favourite setters (assuming it is indeed a Zandio compilation).

    Thanks to him and DT.

    1. My baby brother was very relieved when his older daughter finally ‘moved out’ late last year – no more 4d and no more ‘Neighbours’ on ‘his’ TV. Although, I understand that it is no more of the latter for everybody in a few months time.

  8. Very enjoyable throughout, just like the weather, bright and sunny….and I’ve learnt what a Hoosier is.
    Top three for me were 25a plus 23d with top spot going to 8d. Great stuff.
    Many thanks to the setter, Zandio I presume and DT for the fun.

  9. It may be warmvnow but it was a chilly 36 F, when I woke up. Today’s puzzle was the most enjoyable Friday backager for a while (3*/4*). I liked 7d and 29a bt the star of the show was the devilishly cunning 18d ( Robert C agould be in his element). Thanks to the compiler a d to DT for the hints.

    1. Well, not exactly my element, though it was the first clue I solved. Hoosierdom is a very Midwestern state of mind, politically and culturally and especially athletically quite remote from my own.

  10. I’m afraid this didn’t float my boat at all – for me the least enjoyable ever. It consisted of so many strange surfaces making for numerous bung-ins which is always frustrating – perhaps that’s my fault and I’m being particularly thick today. West was marginally smoother ride than East. My Fav when the penny dropped was 29a. Thank you setter and particularly DT for much parsing. Hopefully the beautiful sunshine will help overcome my frustration.

  11. I thought that this was an excellent puzzle – thanks to our setter and DT.
    I’d single out 4d as a superb anagram (and I don’t often praise anagrams) – I also ticked 13a, 8d and 14d.

  12. Pretty straightforward & very enjoyable. Not quite sure why/how but I did know Hoosier & thought the referenced clue at 25a neat. Last in & the only head scratch was 6d where I wasn’t sure whether the definition was at the beginning or the the end until the fairly obvious penny dropped.
    Thanks to the setter & to DT

  13. I am with Angellov on this.
    Not particularly enjoyable for me and with so many bung ins and back-solves it was not very satisfying either. All this despite my knowing 18d and figuring out 25a.
    Liked 23d and 29a.
    Horses for course I guess.

    Thanks to the setter and to DT
    Beautiful day here, but certainly not warm. Off to help Mr Meringue lock horns with DVLA to renew his driving licence now…..

  14. This Friday puzzle done on a Thursday night certainly had its challenges, but was a satisfying solve with some head scratching and duh moments. 2.5*/5* for me tonight.
    Favourites include 1a, 12a, 16a, 21a, 3d & 4d and a winner is impossible to pick, but 3d made me laugh as did 12a, 21a & 19d.
    In final comments … 15a … the whole puzzle was 27a and a well clued puzzle and enjoyment was great.

    Thanks to setter and DT for hints.

  15. Absolutely loved this one — some real laugh out loud moments (esp. 4D and 21A).

  16. I’m not particularly familiar with the 12a creatures – they’d been and gone before my daughters arrived – and I didn’t have a clue about Hoosiers, Mr Google to the rescue on both counts.
    Managed OK otherwise and my top three were 22a plus 8&11d.

    Thanks to Zandio and to DT for the review and the lovely 17d.

  17. Very enjoyable and clever puzzle. Like most I suspect I had to look up Hoosier and it was only the hint that allowed me to fully parse 18d.
    Lots to like about this one and refreshingly straightforward for a Friday. I did wonder if it was a Giovanni with the weird word in 18d but there was almost no religious aspects and it was solvable for me which his seldom are these days.
    12a was Mrs Bs favourite but mine was 1a, a difficult job which I have done many times but when I was batting they always seems to get it wrong!
    Thx to all

  18. A bit pushed today after Mrs. C. fell last night and could not get up. Ambulance took 9 hours to get to us so she was lying on a very hard wooden floor all night. No fun at the best of times but with osteoporosis and arthritis in was definitely not a night to remember.

    Great puzzle. Many thanks to the setter and to DT.

      1. Goodness Steve, how awful – 9 hours, that’s dreadful – hope you both are on the mend soon.

    1. What a nightmare Steve. Do hope MrsC will recover well and quickly from the fall and the dreadful after effects. Warm wishes to you both.

    2. Sorry to hear that Steve. Our local hospital is too often getting bad press and this sort of thing does not ease my mind one bit. Get well soon Mrs C.

    3. Oh dear I am so sorry. 9 hours is downright disgraceful. I have the same problems as Mrs C, so I can completely relate to how uncomfortable she must have been on a hard floor. I do hope she got some good treatment and will soon recover from her fall. Thinking of both of you.

    4. My sincere sympathies, my father in law endured something similar. His problem was his emergency bracelet was on the arm of his walker in another room!

    5. Alas, that is a problem that happens more and more as we get older, but a nine-hour wait for the ambulance was unforgivable. I hope she’s feeling better and nothing broken.

    6. That’s just an unacceptable wait time. Disgraceful. I hope recovery is speedy.

    7. SC. Very sorry to hear about your wife. Hope she recovers soon and everything gets back to normal. Good luck!

    8. So sorry to hear that SC. 9 hours on the floor is much worse than Mrs RD’s ordeal of two weeks ago spending 7½ hours in casualty to get her broken wrist set in plaster. Best wishes for as speedy as possible recovery to Mrs C.

    9. So sorry to hear about Mrs C’s fall and dreadful night. My best wishes to her for a speedy recovery. Chin up, old man!

  19. Oh I am so sorry Steve, how awful. I know what it is like to wait ages for an ambulance even though we have an ambulance station in our village. I do hope she is OK. I don’t suppose you could go in with her either!
    To the puzzle. I enjoyed it with several laughs and one or two struggles. I was looking for some time for a palindromic insect, but the answer was a nasty little creature – does it have a purpose in life? It is like wood lice and mosquitoes, would we miss them? Some entomologist will no doubt put me straight. Many thanks to Setter & Hinter, enjoy the sunshine and don’t forget to get up earlier on Sunday!

    1. Sorry to hear about your wife’s a ccident Steve. I hope the damage was treTable and that she is now comfortable. The NHS usually does its best but every now and again they drop the ball. I can’t say ive had to wait for an ambulance but spent several uncomfortable hours in a draughty corridor in A and E when I had my stroke on a Saturday night I didnt complain as all the staff were rushed off their feet and doing their best.

      1. You’ve prefixed your usual alias with ‘stroke’ so your comment needed moderation. Both versions of your alias will now work.

  20. Here’s a way to remember that Hoosier is this state’s nickname (courtesy of Sir L):

    Look who’s here (Hoosier)…it’s ******* Jones!

  21. Thought this was the worse crossword for a long time. Too many leaps of faith to make any sense.

  22. An absolutely wonderful end to the week. Excellent, super-accurate clues and too many amusing items to pick one out for the pedestal. At a pinch I guess 4d shades it, but brilliant all round. Nice work, Mysteron!

  23. I’m in the minority with a few others above in finding this puzzle quite a downer. Almost put me off my toast and marmalade. Even though it is good old English Chivers. Clearly on a totally different wavelength today. Thanks anyway DT.

    1. BL, it’s reassuring to know I’m not the only one who had reservations about today’s cruciverbal exercise.

      [Your email address on this comment was corrupted – I’ve amended it for you, Gazza]

    2. The minority has gone up another one, I’m afraid this crossword didn’t do much for me either. It seems a bit churlish but I’m not a big fan of Friday crosswords generally, not the best day of the week for me.
      Still the sun was shining in 7d today and it was balmy for March.
      Thanks to NYD, hope the Covid is gone soon and thanks to DT for the hints and tips which were needed today.

  24. I thought this was quite tricky in places but got there in the end. I too was looking for a palindromic insect – earwigs are David’s absolute hate in life. Just sprinkled some wild flower seeds in our rough area at the top of the garden – hope they come up as they were extremely expensive. Thanks to the setter and DT. Worldle in 4 and Quordle late yesterday in 9 by the skin of my teeth.

  25. Hello all. I’m glad most of you liked it, and extra-pleased as ever that Brian was okay with it — top man!

    I am currently on Day 8 of SARS-2-CoV Omicron variant BA.2, so just beginning to feel human — or as near to human as I get — again. That’s after triple-vaccination, so I’m sure I would’ve enjoyed it much less without any protection. Hmm. So much for going out on St Patrick’s night for a few beers in a packed Irish hostelry!

    Thanks to Threat and to all for comments. Best wishes to Steve C and partner for a swift recovery from that fall.

    1. Many thanks for a very enjoyable puzzle, and apologies to you and Zandio for not getting the right compiler.

      1. Glad you are on the road to recovery, NYD. Thank goodness for the vaccination. The puzzle was good fun and to my taste.

  26. Yes I found this tricky but strangely 12a and 24a held me up for far too long 🤔 ***/*** Plenty of favourites: 11a, 8d, 11d were my podium selections 🤗 Wordle in 2 for the first time ever 😳 Thanks to DT and to NY Doorknob, and I hope Mrs C is soon on the mend 🤞

  27. Thanks DT for helping me over the line (27a, 23d) in a Marmite of a puzzle judging by the comments. Podium place to 21a for the chuckles.
    All the best Mrs C and hats off to NYD

  28. I’m in the enjoyment camp, though I did miss 12a, have no idea what those are but I think I’ve heard the word. I’m going to google them after I hang up here and look up Tobermory, which I only remember from Whiskey Galore. I remembered the milk ads at 24a, that was a long time ago. Lots to like here but 21a wins for being giggle worthy.
    Thanks for the fun, NYDK, and DT for unravelling a few. Wordle in 4, I wasn’t as lucky as yesterday.

  29. I rather enjoyed that – the only difficulty was getting 6d. For a while, I thought MONO(nucleosis) might be a disease you would rather your tattooist not have. but when I changed from the noise cows make to the noise pigs make it all made sense.
    I knew the womble and I think I inflicted another of their hit songs in a recent blog. ( Hall of the Mountain Womble – After Grieg)
    As I recall it wasn’t Tobermory but Castlebay on the isle of Barra that “played” the fictional Todday in Whisky Galore.
    Tobermory on the Isle of Mull may be better known to parents of children of a certain age as Balamory. What’s the Story Balamory… (Sorry to be such a stickler on Scottish Islands but The Family Bee were from the Isle of Mull)

    Thanks to NYDK and DT and I surprised myself with getting more than usual in the Elgar.

    1. All coming back and I stand corrected! Now where would I have heard of Tobermory for I certainly have. I’ve driven round the perimeter of Scotland, from Glasgow, Ullapool, JOG, down the east coast to Edinburgh, what a beautiful country, but I’ve only been to Skye.

      1. As well as the childrens programme I mentioned Tobermory has featured in a few films. When Eight Bells Toll with Anthony Hopkins as a sort of Proto James Bond was filmed there and featured Duart Castle and Lochbuie ( all parts of the Family Bee heritage ) They also did a lot of Diving on a Spanish Galleon that used Tobermory Harbour as a refuge when escaping from the Armada

        The Spanish Galleon of Tobermory Bay

        but everyone recognises the pretty coloured houses on the bay from the kids tv programme.

  30. I went to Tobermory en route to Iona with good friends- my first holiday after my retirement from teaching- such lovely memories- dolphins – swimming- corncrakes – blissful sandy coves and feeling completely apart from everything and everyone – happy days. What’s the story Balamory? Nowhere to be seen.

  31. Apologies- many thanks to NKDK and I hope that you feel better soon- such a worry how easy it is to catch Covid- thanks too DT for the much needed hints. Good wishes to SC and his wife – such a long time to have to wait for help – I hope that you’re both alright.

  32. As they say on the DT letters page, am I alone in thinking that 24A doesn’t work? A word for milk is brought round, ie reversed, but not the abbreviation for “about”. Or am I up well past my bedtime?

  33. Just a quick note, Big Dave please delete if I am stepping out of bounds, or put me on the naughty step! I think I would enjoy that very much indeed.
    Anyway after umpteen treatments and other daft medical things, I got the all clear on the cancer side yesterday. I may still have to disappoint the good folks at Cirque du Sole or the next Olympics until I get more limber but for now, I’m still here.
    I also managed (I hope) to confuse the heck out of a doctor, as I left his office I said “Ah good, but I knew the cancer wouldn’t kill me, that last impossible cryptic crossword clue will do that!” Bless him, he did smile and nod, probably thinking “That woman is mad as a hatter.” I just wish he would put it in writing, I am truly mad as a hatter, a proper qualified doctor says I am. Unfortunately in these politically correct days he’s probably not allowed to say that.
    Wishing everyone here all the best, I have about 30 unfinished crosswords to catch up on, if there is a heaven, I have it here on my left on the little table. :-)

    1. Good to hear from you again, Carolyn, especially with such good news. I am not a doctor but if it helps I can confidently declare that you are as mad as a hatter and the blog is a better place with you in it.

    2. Terrific news, Carolyn! So very pleased for you. It will be great to see your posts again. :rose:

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