DT 29946 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29946

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29946

Hints and tips by Falcon

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

Greetings from Ottawa, where winter has shown itself not quite yet ready to surrender. After several days of mild temperatures, the mercury has taken a significant drop.

I found today’s puzzle from Campbell to be a bit more difficult than usual but, nevertheless, a very enjoyable exercise. Aside from some help in arranging the letters of the Chinese dress in the correct order, I needed no electronic assistance.

In the hints below, underlining identifies precise definitions and cryptic definitions, and indicators are italicized. The answers will be revealed by clicking on the ANSWER buttons.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought of the puzzle.

Across

1a   Dramatist may be cross with end of scene being axed (7)
TRAVERS — remove the final letter of scenE from a verb meaning to pass from one side to other

5a   Stuff cut short in enclosed field (7)
PADDOCK — begin with a word meaning to add extra (often unnecessary) material and finish with a word meaning to remove material (often material that the Good Lord saw fit to place there in the first place)

9a   Slots in here? (9,6)
AMUSEMENT ARCADE — a cryptic definition of a place where slots are plentiful

10a   Depressed, given food at college (3,2)
FED UP — provided with food and the usual term for ‘at college’

11a   Like a ring binder, unfastened, lying by table extension? (5-4)
LOOSE-LEAF — a charade of unfastened or uncontained and a piece that can be inserted in a table to increase its capacity

12a   Change some short fancy dress (9)
CHEONGSAM — anagram (fancy) of the first word and most of the second word

14a   Frequent search across area (5)
HAUNT — a word meaning to search (often while carrying a gun) containing the abbreviation for area

15a   Very very much, up to this point (2,3)
SO FAR — link together words meaning ‘very’ and ‘very much’ (as in “very much removed from reality”)

16a   Funny money flooding bars? Certainly not (2,2,5)
BY NO MEANS — an anagram (funny) of MONEy inside a synonym for bars or prohibits

18a   Some upset eating East European dishes (9)
OMELETTES — an anagram (upset) of SOME wrapped around E(ast) and a European (not the usual Pole but a nearby neighbour)

21a   Adult left with wrong LP (5)
ALBUM — abbreviations for adult and left followed by an adjective meaning of poor quality, bad or wrong

22a   Argue only devils foolishly play with fire (4,11)
LIVE DANGEROUSLY — anagram (foolishly) of the first three words

23a   Book put to one side (7)
RESERVE — double definition, both verbs

24a   Glad last in camp rented out (7)
PLEASED — the last letter of camP and another word for rented out

Down

1d   Freight trade? (7)
TRAFFIC — double definition, the first a noun and the second a noun or verb

2d   One who’s highly strung, nun observed flea jumping (1,6,2,6)
A BUNDLE OF NERVES — anagram (jumping) of the three preceding words

3d   Organ key’s quite something (3-6)
EYE OPENER — an organ of sight and what a key might be when faced with a locked chest

4d   Son in good health? Wonderful (5)
SWELL — abbreviation for son and an adjective denoting not sick

5d   Chap heading for a breakdown, perhaps (9)
PATROLMAN — a cryptic definition of a chap who my fellow blogger Senf tells me once travelled British roads on a motorcycle with a sidecar full of tools and spare parts looking for stranded motorists to assist

6d   Group’s leader cutting dreadful sad song (5)
DIRGE — the leading letter of Group implanted in another word for dreadful

7d   Bulgarians are so bubbly, all the time (2,1,7,5)
ON A REGULAR BASIS — an anagram (bubbly) of the first three words

8d   Hold suitable programme of exercises (4,3)
KEEP FIT — a charade of synonyms of hold and suitable

13d   Material in replacement carriage (9)
SUBSTANCE — an informal short form for a replacement (a reserve player perhaps) and carriage in the sense of the manner in which a person carries themselves

14d   A large individual to follow in Christmas film (4,5)
HOME ALONE — the A from the clue, L(arge) and another word for individual follow the ususal term for present at one’s place of residence

15d   Special tanker? This may give the game away (7)
SPOILER — the abbreviation for special and another term for for a sea-going tanker (derived from the cargo it carries)

17d   Dog might be trained someday (7)
SAMOYED — an anagram (trained) of SOMEDAY

19d   Wife leaving joiner for church official (5)
ELDER — remove the genealogical abbreviation for wife from a worker who joins bits of metal together

20d   Difficult stage round middle of September (5)
STEEP — a stage or phase in a process wrapped around the middle letter of September

My pick for clue of the day is the cryptic definition at 5d which made far more sense after Senf explained to me that the chap in question is not a police officer.


Quickie Pun (Top Row): PICKS + ELATION = PIXILATION

Quickie Pun (Bottom Row) : WRECKED + ORIEL = RECTORIAL


75 comments on “DT 29946
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  1. Wow, what a puzzle to get the week started! I loved all of it except for 12a, which I had never heard of. Despite having all the checkers, I would not have got it so had to resort to electrons but the rest was a delight. I thought it was going to be tough after not getting the first two across but 9a hit me like a sledge hammer and I was away. My paper was covered in ticks so difficult to choose a favourite but I will go with the one that got me started – 12a. Such a beautifully concise clue.

    Many thanks to Campbell for brightening a dull morning here in The Marches. Also, grateful thanks to Falcon for the hints.

    No gardening today – getting ready for our daughter visiting next week from Melbourne.

    Wordle in :phew:

    1. I had the last 4 correct at 3 Steve. Figured there were 7 further possibilities so the next 2 were tactical ones to ensure a phew.

      1. Same here Huntsman, too many choices but got it on the last go. Really enjoy Quordle and managed it in 7 today but it takes a lot of thinking!

    2. Starting with yesterday’s answer (nymph) wasn’t much help but managed luckily in four to SS’s six so the bragging rights are mine today

    3. Hahaha Steve, 12a was an early entry. I love it when the gentlemen get stuck on feminine issues. Own back for the byes and tries, drops and overs!

    4. Relieved to get it at 5, as I had all grey letters in my first two attempts. But at least that ruled out a lot of letters.

  2. Arrrgh. Despite having all the checkers, spotting the anagram and skipping lightly over the misdirect, a complete vocabulary gap let me down. Off to the shops for a c______m as we speak. Huge congratulations to Les Rouges, see you in Qatar.
    Many thanks to the setter and for hints and tips today.

  3. A slow start but once pennies started dropping it went on to be a fun challenge. Don’t think I have ever had occasion to write 12a so had to concentrate with the spelling. Bad penny 18a had to be but I was unaware of Latvian. Fathoming of 2d gave for satisfaction particularly as I originally read run for nun (Specsavers here. I come). Many thanks Campbell for fun and Falcon for being there in case of need.

  4. That took a bit of unpicking and some electronic help with 12a. 9a gets my vote today. Thanks to Campbell and Falcon.

  5. Definitely on the difficult side, particularly the NW, which took me longer to solve than the rest of the puzzle )4*/2*). I felt that the inclusion of a dramatist of the 1920’s and 30’s, whose oeuvre comprised somewhat ephemeral farces,was pushing the envelope of what is televant but it was gettable from the wordplay. 12a was the best clue once I’d looked up how to spell it. Thanks to Campbell and to Falcon for the hints.

    1. I agree, Chriscross, about the rating (4/2) and the dramatist–a Mary Poppins reference there, however, would have been a breeze for me: P. L. instead of Ben!

  6. Not my favourite puzzle and not my best effort, have to admit to writing a couple of the anagrams out.
    I’d never heard of the writer, the dress or the dog but they were obtainable from the checkers and wordplay.
    My podium consists of 21a plus 3&13d with a nod to 5d as it reminded me of the Springsteen song.
    Many thanks to Campbell and Falcon for the fun.

  7. Perhaps I’m still shaken by the violence on a Hollywood / Oscars stage last night–and indeed it really shook me up and upset me terribly–but I found the regular cryptic hard to decrypt at times. I stared at 12a until I decided I needed some coffee, so I shut down my gizmo here and took a long break. Didn’t help much. Anyway, I googled, using the correct 9 letters I had sorted out, and found the solution. The online bonus #701 again seems considerably superior to the backpager. No particular favourite, just glad to finish it. Thanks to Falcon and Campbell. ****/**

    1. I wasn’t happy with Will Smith’s language but the violence would be dismissed as ‘handbags’ over here. Handbags – a confrontation that does not lead to serious fighting

      1. A slap in front of millions of people endorses the use of violence to settle an issue, in my mind at least–handbags or not. It just upset me deep down.

          1. Had it been my wife,I would have said a lot worse and probably hit him harder(and be typing this from a cell!!)

            1. Absolutely right. he needed taking down right there and then. Sometimes a good thumping is called for, and this was one of them.

        1. In light of what’s happening in the world today I consider this a total irrelevance, i couldn’t care less what some lovies get up to , hand bags at dawn in my opinion.

    2. Chris Rock is the one to blame here in my mind. Mocking someone’s alopecia is unforgivable. I am not surprised that Will Smith lost it. Of course it would have been preferable had he waited until he calmed down, and gave Chris Rock a verbal telling off instead.

      1. I agree. Rock’s remarks were tasteless, hurtful and not one little bit amusing. I can comprehend Smith’s wmotional response, although re venge is a dish beat served cold and he would have been better to wait before dealing with it.

  8. The two long anagrams at 7 down and 22 across didn’t jump out so I had to wait for checkers. Split 6,3 12 across sounds like a Chinese hoodlum. That too needed help from checkers. Otherwise very Mondayish which is good because it is a Monday. Thanks to Falcon for the blog. Thanks to Campbell for the puzzle. I’d have thought Will Smith’s role as Mohammed Ali might have taught him to throw a better punch. Congratulations Billie Eilish upon your Oscar for best song. Commiserations to Sir Van Morrison for missing out

  9. I am so traumatised by Campbell introducing such an oddity at 12a that I am going to spend the rest of my life in therapy, in a monastery. It has been a pleasure knowing you all.

    Thanks to Campbell (grrrr) and Falcon

  10. A typically light and enjoyable puzzle to kickstart the crosswording week, with the outstanding 12a my favourite clue. I only knew the word because we used to live in Singapore and they were very popular, particularly with the stewardesses of a certain airline.

    My thanks to Campbell and Falcon.

  11. I also had never heard of the dress and hope not to hear of it again. I had heard of the dog and managed to spell it OK when the checkers were in place. Took a chance on the dramatist who I thought was an author. Anyway thanks to the setter and Falcon. D has his 4th jab this afternoon and I’m going to try and sneak in too.

    1. What’s wrong with use of 12a which is an icon of dignified Chinese fashion well known internationally e.g. Chinese Airlines cabin crew uniforms having the mandarin collar?

        1. Quite right Daisy, we all had one, mine was in white sharkskin. There was a time when we were young and slim!

          1. Inthe early 1950’s there was a craze for all things Chinese. DO you remember the Art Works of Tretchiikoff, with prints of he so-called GreenLady and of aMiss Wong,wearing a 12a. Interestingly, his prints are beingsold now with part of the profit going to Ukrainian refugees. Everything comes full circle, eventually doesn’t it?

    2. Nothing wrong with 12a. I did have to pull it out of the deep recesses mind you, not something I actually have in my closet. But a lot easier for me than any sports related clue. One for us ladies I think 😊.

      1. OMG Tretchicoff! I knew him quite well years ago in Cape Town!! My then boyfriend, Peter something or other, was his personnel assistant. I so wish I knew he was going to be famous as would have bought a couple of pictures at a good price. He was a very crotchety individual but his green woman appeared all over the place – what a blast from the past!

  12. Trickier than his usual Monday back page offering. 12a certainly new to me (he usually confines this sort of pandowdy to the online puzzle) & my only slight gripe was the wordplay gave no direction as to what letter to leave out of the anagram fodder. It was my last in & took 2 attempts & confirmation- my first stab actually wasn’t far away but had the A & O transposed so it’s a technical DNF. I quite liked all the long ones though I’m not entirely convinced 7d is synonymous with the definition. As ever a pleasant puzzle.
    Thanks to Campbell & Falcon

    1. Isn’t the ‘short’ in 12a the same as the oft used ‘briefly’ as a last letter (of the preceding word) deletion indicator?

  13. I found this a very difficult puzzle not withstanding that Mondays are usually a gentle start to the week.!
    Once some checking letters were available things did improve and I began to enjoy the solve.
    Difficult to decide on a favourite, going for 14a, liked 18a even if the european was somewhat obscure,
    Overall a ****/***

  14. It’s Monday :good: It’s Campbell :good:

    Well, I am going to buck the trend, this seemed to be somewhat less challenging than the last couple of Monday back pagers but as enjoyable as ever – **/****.

    Even though I had identified the material for the long anagrams, I had to wait patiently for sufficient checkers to appear to solve them.

    Candidates for favourite – 9a, 21a, 3d, and 14d – and the winner is 14d.

    Thanks to Campbell and Falcon.

  15. An enjoyable coffeebreak puzzle which after a slowish start swiftly fell into place at pretty much standard Campbell pace. All straightforward, some amusing and witty clues, great surfaces and a nice variety of clue types. COTD 5d.

    1.5 / 3

    Many thanks to Campbell and to Falcon.

  16. Agree that this was on the tougher end of the range but not overly so. Like others found the long answers didn’t come easy. However although not a fashioning I had heard of 12a.
    Go for 3d as my COTD.
    Thanks to Campbell and Falcon.
    Back to cutting back the gorse – a Sysyphian task if ever there was one.

  17. I didn’t find this too difficult, probably due to getting the 4 long clues quite quickly.
    However, I wasn’t aware of the European in 18a – the answer was quite obvious but I had to check the parsing.
    Also, had to record a DNF, with 12a defeating me

  18. For me, this was the most challenging Monday back-pager that I can remember but as enjoyable as ever. I learned three new words: the answer to 12a; the European in 18a; and the tanker in 15a.

    3d was my favourite.

    Many thanks to Campbell and to Falcon.

  19. My general knowledge is clearly lacking. I didn’t know the playwrite the dress the Latvian? Or the dog. So for me it was, difficult and not enjoyable.

  20. This Monday puzzle was about the usual difficulty for a Monday Campbell offering. 2*/4* in my books.
    Favourites include 5a, 14a, 2a, 24a, 2d & 15d with winner 2d but so many could have been the winner. Lots of fun clues today.
    12a was a new word for me, but was convinced it was an anagram. Liked that one.
    1a I did not know but Google helped confirm my suspicions.

    Thanks to Campbell and Falcon for the fun.

  21. Easier than the last two Monday offerings but not overly so. We enjoyed it. Favourite was 9a. Thanks to Campbell and Falcon.

  22. Well, I loved it. I live anagrams and actually enjoy writing the letters out in a circle, part of my ritual, so once they were in place I was off. An aunt had a 17d and I’ve made a couple of 12a’s in my time so all thumbs up here. However, I am still struggling with yesterday’s Toughie and of course the stickers are not in the hints. All good fun. Many thanks to Campbell and Falcon.

    1. I tend to favour laying out the fodder in a grid (unused sudoku grids are ideal for this – what else would you want to do with them?)
      If you would like a bit of help on some of the unhinted toughies give me a nudge.

  23. I didn’t have too many problems today, even the tricky 12a came to mind (when I had all the checkers of course) I had bunged in 18a only partially parsed, as the Polish neighbours eluded me. I liked the long anagrams but was pleased that 9a broke the trend.
    My take on the Oscar spat – He shouldn’t have done it (either Chris telling the joke about Will’s wife or Will’s physical and verbal response)

    Thanks to Campbell and Falcon

  24. Our little granddaughter Bonnie spends most of her time being mary poppins so 1a was a doddle … less so 12a which had me looking through Bradford’s dictionary ( to no avail!). Thank you Campbell and Senf … if this one sets the pace for the week Thursday should be *****

  25. Yes, trickier than usual but enough gimmes to provide checkers for the anagrams. My page is covered in scratches of letters. There was nothing new here for me. I remember 5d, my Dad belonged to AA (not the alcoholic one), and as kids straight out of the bush we got a kick out of being saluted on the road when we visited UK. So much to like, I think 22a is fave, didn’t even know it was an anagram.
    Thanks Campbell, really enjoyed this, and Falcon for the hints and tips. I had had enough Oscars by the start of last week so I didn’t watch, missed the drama thank goodness. Wordle in 3, a real fluke.

    1. My father was a fully paid up member of the RAC. Which might explain the amount of money in his bank account when he died.

  26. After a somewhat slow start, I ended up loving this puzzle. Getting 9a, 7d and 22a certainly helped. And no sports questions either. 12a was a late entry after going down the wrong type of fancy dress road, but eventually the light bulb went off. Too many great clues to pick a favourite. Thanks to Campbell for a great start to the week, and to Falcon for helping to dig me out of a couple of holes.

  27. Really did not like this one at all. Some very odd clues not helped by never heard of the dramatist.
    Not difficult if once again you ignore the unhelpful wordplay and find the definition.
    All in all a bit strange.
    Thx for the hints
    ***/*

  28. Got through all but 3 clues relatively quickly but came to a grinding halt with 5d, 12a and 13d left. Had a break and came back to solve all but 12a fairly quickly.

    Worked out 12a but had to Google my answer. As someone else did, I had the a and o the wrong way round.

    Interesting that some girls are saying this pays back for the sporting clues. I struggle with many of them too. Not a fan of any sport involving a ball.

    An enjoyable solve, thanks to all.

  29. I enjoyed this, so thanks Campbell. the 1a dramatist wasn’t high on my awareness list, but the clue was fine, and as for 12a (my last one in) a new word for me, but managed it analogue style by knowing it was an anagram, and working through the limited permutations in my (non-BRB) dictionary – so no problems on that score. A fine start to the week!

  30. Came to a grinding halt in minus * time at last clue, 12a.
    Experimented with the checking letters without, to my shame, realising it was a certain type of clue.
    So, in truth, a DNF.
    And on a Monday!
    Many thanks, Campbell, enjoyed the puzzle and thanks Falcon.

    1. Minus * time means you finished before you started, hardly possible I would suggest, unless you are Dr Who of course.

  31. Generally pretty quick work. But the final four letters of a dress revealed my limited knowledge of such matters. Enjoyable.

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