DT 29950 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29950

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29950

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Good morning from South Staffs on a sunny but cold April Fool’s Day.

I didn’t spot any fooling in today’s puzzle, a pangram which didn’t give me any particular trouble

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.


7a           Getting redness in the face from port (8)
FLUSHING – Double definition, the second being a Dutch port known as Vlissingen in its native language,

9a           Leo and Don performing improvise musically (6)
NOODLE – Anagram (performing) of LEO and DON.

10a         Irish fleeing crime at sea, moving fast (4)
PACY – Start with a crime of robbery at sea, then remove the abbreviation for ‘Irish’.

11a         They feature in ninety per cent of Welsh hymns (10)
CONSONANTS – The expression ‘Welsh hymns’ has ten letters. One of them is a vowel, so …

12a         Forward stroke by son producing untidy handwriting (6)
SCRAWL – An abbreviation for Son, followed by a swimming stroke performed facing forward.

14a         Vacuous Etonian and dizzy blonde given peerages (8)
ENNOBLED – The outside letters (vacuous) of E(tonia)N, followed by an anagram (dizzy) of BLONDE.

15a         Article, first one that believes in God’s existence (6)
THEIST – A grammatical definite article, followed by three letters which look like the alphanumeric way of writing ‘first’.

17a         Ship that comes from Newfoundland perhaps, we hear (6)
BARQUE – The Newfoundland in the clue is a large dog, and the answer sounds like (we hear) something a dog might do.

Parma was a four-masted steel-hulled barque which was built (Photos Prints,...) #19800624

20a         Kids with beer staggering, reaching pavement edge (8)
KERBSIDE – Anagram (staggering) of KIDS and BEER.

22a         Exam everyone gets hold of the day before! (1,5)
A LEVEL – Another word for ‘everyone’ is wrapped round a word for ‘the day before’, to get the name of an exam taken at the end of secondary school in England and Wales.

23a         Ignorance evident in elderly care till in-laws retired (10)
ILLITERACY – Hidden in reverse (retired) in the clue.

24a         Facing pet with no energy, the two of us cried (4)
WEPT – A pronoun for ‘the two of us’, followed by P(e)T (from the clue) minus the abbreviation for Energy.

25a         Miss flight (6)
ESCAPE – Double definition, the first being a verb for failing to notice something.

26a         Cutting wood, was Barney regularly finding time for a cuppa? (3,5)
TEA BREAK – Alternate letters (regularly) of wAs BaRnEy, inserted into a tropical hardwood.


1d           Settle on style that’s specific (5-3)
CLEAR-CUT – A word for ‘settle (one’s debts)’, followed by another word for a hairstyle.

2d           Notice mole below nude’s rear (4)
ESPY – The last letter (rear) of nudE, followed by another word for a (human) mole.

3d           Monetary fine is large, around 100 grand essentially (6)
FISCAL – Put together an abbreviation for Fine, IS (from the clue),and an abbreviation for Large, then insert the Roman numeral for 100 and the middle letter (essentially) of grAnd.

4d           It’s hard to go off mansion I refurbished (8)
INSOMNIA – Anagram (refurbished) of MANSION I.

5d           Question Spain supporting second African nation, ultimately wanting another one? (10)
MOZAMBIQUE – Put together an informal word for a second or short period of time, an African country minus its last letter (ultimately wanting), a two-letter abbreviation for QUestion, and the IVR code for Spain, to get another African country.

Flag of Mozambique | UHD | 60fps by zaqariyah | VideoHive

6d           Reluctant to wear extremely cute dress (6)
CLOTHE – The outside letters (extremely) of CutE are wrapped round an archaic or poetic word for ‘reluctant’.

8d           Redhead shopping in German stores (6)
GINGER – Hidden in the clue.

13d         Rare zebra, one Jack found in northern areas around country (10)
AZERBAIJAN – The first 5 letters of this former Soviet republic are an anagram (rare) of ZEBRA. To get the second 5, start by putting together abbreviations for Northern and Area (twice), reverse the result and insert the Roman numeral for one and the abbreviation for Jack found on a playing card.

Azerbaijan- Language, Culture, Customs and Etiquette

16d         Trembled, outwardly shocked about French winter strike’s conclusion (8)
SHIVERED – The outside letters (outwardly) of ShockeD, wrapped round the French for ‘winter’ and the last letter (conclusion) of strikE.

18d         Model almost relaxed for a change hosting politician (8)
EXEMPLAR – Anagram (for a change) of RELAXE(d) minus its last letter (almost), wrapped round the usual politician.

19d         Old man stops others getting meal (6)
REPAST – A two-letter word for ‘old man’ or ‘father’, inserted into another word for ‘(the) others’.

21d         Discovered Kent student is tempted initially to join armed forces (6)
ENLIST – Put together the middle letters (dis-covered) of (K)EN(t), the usual letter indicating a student driver, IS (from the clue), and the first letter (initially) of Tempted.

22d         On holiday touring US city, at all events (6)
ANYWAY – Another word for ‘on holiday’ wrapped round the initials of the American city so good they named it twice.

24d         Fascination over Dick Grayson’s relationship to Bruce Wayne? (4)
WARD – Reverse (over) a word for ‘fascination’ or ‘attraction’, and you get the legal relationship between Dick Grayson (Robin) and Bruce Wayne (Batman).

The Quick Crossword pun DELHI + CASSIS = DELICACIES

87 comments on “DT 29950

  1. Unlike DT, I found this Friday puzzle, like many of them, knotty and hard to unravel, with good few convoluted clues (4*/4*). It was more enjoyable than most nd I particuiarlycenjoyed the well-misdirected geographical clues at 3d and 5d and the reverse lurker at 23a. Thanks to the compiler and to DT for the hints.

  2. I thought this pangram was great fun, even if this was at the gentler end of the Friday spectrum.
    Top clues for me were 17&23a plus 4d ,along with 5&13d (how can you get a cohesive surface reads with those letters!) but top spot has to go to 11a…brilliant.
    Many thanks to the setter and DT for the top notch entertainment.

  3. Really enjoyed todays puzzle,9a was a new synonym confirmed in my Chambers,3d nicely mislead,last in 11a took a while to parse and 17a elicited a smile,
    Favourite was 4d for the wordplay.
    Thanks DT for the picks- going for a ***/****

  4. Last in 11a, penny dropped resoundingly after staring at the clue for too long.
    Just popped me into ** time.
    Two gems, 5d and 24d amongst very clever clueing.
    Many thanks to the setter and to DT.

  5. An excellent Friday offering and I agree with DT’s assessment. 9a was new to me as well but as the only feasible anagram went in. I thought the best of the bunch were 11a my COTD, and 17a and 4d. Thanks to the setter – I liked his style. Just came down to get the first ferry from Plymouth’s Barbican across to Cawsand only to discover the 1200 is cancelled due to an unfashionably low tide at Cawsand. Bah!

  6. I always follow your posts and enjoy them a lot.

    I believe there is also a cake called Newfoundland. And I also think caique is a boat too.

    Can’t recall this happening before

    Lovely puzzle

  7. This all went in with barely a hiccup to interrupt the flow. I agree with SL that 11a is in a class of its own, and is deservedly my COTD.

    My thanks to both our mystery setter and DT.

  8. Thought it was going to be a killer but it turned out to be eminently doable. 9a in musical context is new to me but bunged in as was 24d since I know nothing about Batman. 1d also bung-in. 22d caused me confusion as always was first thought but then 26a wouldn’t work. 3d Fav once I realised I wasn’t looking for a monetary fine – clever bum steer. Thank you Mysteron and DT. Do wish setters could be identified.

  9. 1.5*/4*. This was a light and very enjoyable pangram. I don’t much care for “rare” as an anagram indicator but, that aside, everything was in good order with the outstanding 11a my favourite.

    Many thanks to the setter and to DT.

  10. A perfect end to this (non-)work week of cruciverbalism – ***/*****.

    Favourite – a toss-up between 7a and 2d – and the winner is 7a.

    Thanks to the setter (Silvanus?) and DT.

      1. Thanks CS. I was cautious with my ID-ing because of my unreliable setter detector system and no-one else, not even RD, had come up with a name.

  11. Gentle fun. 9a was a new synonym to me. Too busy solving to spot the pangram.

    Thanks to today’s setter and DT.

  12. Some brilliant clues here. The majority I completed as the sun rose. I struggled then with the Batman clue as I had no idea as to who these characters were. Went through all the four letter words I could think of w*r* until I got there. 10a I also thought of racy before pacy. 7a I immediately got the right answer but struggled with the definition. I only had the seaside village in Cornwall in mind and, although across from the port of Falmouth it could hardly be described as such. I never thought of the other one which I know as Vlissingen. Brilliant, however, and original. Looking forward to being near the Cornish village from next weekend, although due to my fracture and the surgery I may be able to manage only a gin and tonic and not a pint of fine Cornish ale!

    1. Re 24d, I can’t remember when last I had to do so much googling and jump through so many hoops to get a 4-letter word.

  13. Benign for a Friday, very enjoyable while it lasted. LOI 11a for me too. Thought the surface of 3d v good, went well with its answer. Hon Mentions also to the splendidly smooth (and poignant) 23a, and 24a; COTD to 17a.

    2* / 2.5*

    Thank you to the setter and to DT

  14. I found this a bit of a struggle but it is Friday after all. I needed the hints for about half a dozen, which is too many as far as I am concerned. I could have put it down and returned later but our daughter arrives from Melbourne on Tuesday and there is lots to do so have no time. The clues I needed help with I found quite impenetrable especially 11a and 24d although I have to admit that I would give 11a my COTD had I solved it without help. Of the ones I did solve, 4d comes out on top.

    Many thanks to the setter, whom I believe to be Sylvanus, for the thrashing and to DT for the much needed hints.

    The dusting, polishing and vacuuming gets going this afternoon so tonight’s meal is a speedy Hoisin Duck stir fry from M & S.

    Wordle in 3, which makes up for my dismal failure yesterday.

  15. Setter here, many thanks as ever to Deep Threat and to all those leaving comments, I’m pleased to see quite a range of clues making people’s respective podia. I had a sneaking suspicion that Chriscross might like the geographical clues ;-)

    I’ve heard that Jane is under the weather at the moment, so my best wishes to her and to Kath of course, and a good weekend to everyone.

    1. Many thanks for the puzzle Silvanus and for popping in. Please forgive me for always spelling of your name with a “Y”. :scratch:

  16. Like Steve C and Chris, I found this a tricky endeavour. I needed the hints for two or three towards the end. Pleasing to note there were no appearances from exotic Japanese clothing.

    REALLY chilly here in Surrey; I intend to have an afternoon snooze because somehow I found myself agreeing to act as driver and roadie for The Youngster tonight. These days such frivolity is outside my comfort zone.

    Thanks to Silvanus and DT, and very best wishes to Jane.

  17. For a Friday puzzle this was WAY out of the norm as far as I was concerned. Maybe this was an April fools joke but it definitely was tough IMHO.
    A definite DNF (at least 50% of the grid), without a lot of electronic cheat help.
    More of a *really tough* Toughie. Really tough.
    5*/* for me.
    Far too many clues were not even able to be parsed even though the answer was correct.
    Favourites? Maybe 20a, 22a & 24d with 22a the winner.
    So many clues just did not lead me to the answer.

    Thanks to all, but not my cuppa in any way, shape or form.

    1. I found it rather out of the norm too, Portcoquitlambc — but the other way: I could solve nearly all of it, which is unusual for me on a non-Zandio Friday.

      So it seems we can agree there was something different about this one, and apparently our brains suit different crosswords, so it’s good that the Telegraph provides a variety. Hope you get one that suits you soon.

  18. I found today’s puzzle an enjoyable solve whilst cooped up at home – after two years of managing to avoid it, the virus has finally got me. Thankfully the cruciverbalist brain is unaffected. Having grown up in The Netherlands, I also know the port as Vlissingen. And two countries with a Z in one crossword is quite something. My COTD is also 11A because once I saw it, it made me smile most. Thanks to DT for helping me with a couple of clues I couldn’t quite parse (1D and 24D) and to Silvanus for the fun.

  19. Much easier than yesterdays, not that I found it easy. Needed 3 hints to get over the finish line. I know someone will be happy he’s got food at 9a and drink 26a, and nearly more food at 17a ,just needs a B. Thanks to all

      1. I’d have happily risked my last 10 bob that you’d post that song – what a great album.
        Lost a side bet however that you’d take issue with the fact that there was no nut at 8d to have on your 26a.
        Are you seeing Van at Drury Lane ?

  20. Another enjoyable gem by Silvanus, the only holdup for me being the very obvious–once the penny dropped–11a. My brain just died there. I especially enjoyed the geographical clues and thought of Chriscross when I solved them. Hope that Jane is all right and enjoying her IOW family’s visit. Thanks to DT and Silvanus. ** / ****

      1. When I wrote my comment, I had not seen Silvanus’s reference to Jane’s being ill. I was merely wishing her well because she hadn’t posted a comment all week, but she had earlier said that she might be otherwise engaged this week because her IOW family were coming to visit. If that is what you’re referring to, Kath….

  21. Great puzzle again today – never noticed it was a pangram. 5d last one in despite having been there. Some really clever clues so thanks to Silvanus and DT. Get well all you poorly people. Wordle in 5 and Quordle in 8.

  22. Since my head played it’s silly b*****s almost a year ago I’ve had to steer clear of Friday crosswords – I KNOW they’re way beyond me! This morning I spotted a couple of answers and, somehow, just kept going – hurray and thanks for Silvanus and setting a Friday crossword that even I managed.
    I know that this is considerably on the easier side for a Friday – I’ve loved it!!
    Thanks to DT and, again, to Silvanus.
    Off to email Jane – didn’t know she was under the weather – thought she was just busy with her younger daughter and two grandchildren.

    1. It’s a great sense of achievement, when onefeels the mental cogs and wheels slotting back into place, isn’t it? It too enjoyed this one a lot Kath. What I need to do now is focus on hitting the right letter on my phone keypad. Onwards and upwards.

  23. I was about to comment an hour ago when I was diverted by a friend asking me to comment on the village Facebook group who were spewing forth lots of misinformation. 27 years on Parish & District Council plus 4 years work on 3 village history books made me get the short straw to put them all right! Phew. Back to the lovely crossword, sheer delight. I could almost copy & paste what Weekend Wanda wrote, 9a was guesswork , 11,17,23a and 4d were gems. Many thanks to Silvanus, Deep Threat, and very best wishes to all those who are under the weather☔️🌨🛏

  24. Thank you Silvanus for, to quote CS, a fine, friendly Friday. This was plain sailing in my 17a. 11a takes the biscuit. Thanks for the hints and pictures DT.

  25. I found this tricky but doable and enjoyable. I spotted the pangram so that was a huge help. I didn’t know the Dutch port, I thought it was a medical port, they say they’re 7a the port. I find 10a a strange word, does one say “she is pacy”? Sounds like she’s a dingbat. There was so much clever stuff here, 11a and 17a both stood out, but so did a lot more.
    Thank you Silvanus, that was fun. Thanks DT for unravelling some of them. Phew Wordle today at 6.

  26. As straightforward as they come for me but good fun. Favourite was the reverse lurker at 23a. Thanks to Silvanus and DT.

  27. What an absolute nightmare of a crossword typified by 24d! Absolutely dreadful as far as I was concerned, most clues made little if any sense.
    Ghastly! Thanks for the hints.

  28. Help. I think I am losing my marbles (either that or the online cryptic is in error).
    I finished this OK (I thought) and I cannot see an error.
    However, it comes up with ‘Puzzle incorrect’.
    Where is my mistake?

    1. Welcome to the blog, John M.
      You’ve got the first word of your 1d answer wrong.

      1. Many thanks. I knew it had to be me! Obviously mesmerised.
        Thanks to you, Steve, and John B.

  29. Three if you count the partial Zambia in 5d.
    How did that get down here. It was supposed to be a reply?

      1. Sorry that was a reply to Carrot and should have been up there (it is I don’t know why it got duplicated here)
        PS it is 1d where your mistake is.

  30. I really enjoyed that, cracking geological clues a well hidden reverse lurker and 11a really amused me. I didn’t know the Dutch port and assumed it may have come from the place in NY where they play tennis. But I suppose the Dutch who got to New Amsterdam before us named Flushing Meadow for their port.
    Best wishes to Jane and all the other Covid sufferers.
    Thanks to DT and Silvanus.

        1. Another religious reference you will be annoying your namesake at this rate! 😷

        2. I’m talking about the Sunday Toughie which SJB will be providing the hints for

          1. Thanks, CS The DTele haven’t got in the habit of updating the puzzle setters page yet.

  31. Like some others, I too found this difficult and had to resort to hints for 4 clues and then still didn’t spell 13d correctly. 11a was a wonderful clue though.

  32. I think this is an excellent puzzle after reading DT’s clear hints, but alas it was all too tough for me, thank you Silvanus

  33. Was “on wavelength” straight away so found this just under average for a Friday. Helped that I spotted the pangram possibility early
    Re Newfoundland in 17a apparently the Labrador also comes from there to, certainly ours chooses to (sounds like)17a at every car he sees passing.
    However COTD has to be 11d although it is possibly a chestnut.
    Thank you Silvanus & DT for the review.
    Get well wishes to Jane for a speedy & full recovery

  34. An excellent Friday puzzle with great clues providing a good challenge and much enjoyment. I have ticked half a dozen but particularly liked 14a. 3*/4*.

  35. Another belter from Silvanus. Was reasonably sure it was his work when I solved this early morning before a day out golfing (nice & sunny but a 5 layer wind chill) followed by fish & chips. Didn’t know the Dutch port & looked up Batman’s buddy but otherwise fairly straightforward. Another vote for 11a with very big ticks also for 14,17&23a plus 5,16&18d.
    Thanks to Silvanus & to DT.
    Best wishes to Jane (not Covid I hope) & to all under the weather. Well done Kath on your Friday finish.
    Ps another phew with Wordle.

    1. I was a phew with Wordle too. It was the second letter, I needed three goes to get it right!

  36. 11a is a new type of clue for me and had me completely flummoxed. The batman stuff (24a) needed looking up too. Clever stuff with ‘Newfoundland’ which I was proud to twig. Many thanks to Silvanus and DT. ***/***

  37. A mixed bag for me today, with only about half the answers going in unaided. A few more after peeking at the picture clues. But not surprising as I spent a good couple of hours reading in the middle of the night. One of those books where you just have to see what happens next. 9a was a new synonym for me. Thanks to Silvanus and DT. Good wishes for a speedy recovery to Jane,

  38. Harumph. Much to like about this, but some wrinkles too. 7a as blushing isn’t far off (certainly close enough for some crosswords: 17a as Caique is also perfectly fine (and BRB is not the complete bible) and 1d us another one that’s ok with a letter wrong. Thankfully none are crucial, but a bit floppy. Still, it was good fun, and 11a is a potential classic.

    1. Thank you for your comment, but surely in the three cases you’ve mentioned the wordplay only leads to one acceptable answer, not those alternative options you’ve cited. How does “settle” equate to “clean” and how does “blushing” relate to port”? Even if, as somebody suggested earlier, there is a “Newfoundland cake”, this would need to have a definition by example” indicator and it doesn’t. Sorry, but as the setter of the puzzle I think it entitles me to challenge your assertions.

      1. Hi, Silvanus. Thank you for engaging with comments on this blog.

        Your clues all seem unambiguous to me — and I am ignorant of both Newfoundland cakes and caiques, so there’s no way I’m among those claiming that as an alternative answer.

        But, just on your point that interpreting Newfoundland as a cake would require an example indicator, wouldn’t the “perhaps” in the clue do that? I thought the correct parsing also involves Newfoundland being an example of a dog? Thanks.

        1. Hi Smylers,

          Thank you for your contribution. In 17a, the wordplay is a homophone of “that comes from Newfoundland, perhaps…” which I agree is unambiguous. Were the definition to be “Caique”, I don’t think this same wordplay could be valid as my researches suggest that there are various “Newfoundland-style” cakes, but not actually a definitive “Newfoundland cake”, so the clue would have to be tweaked to reflect that somehow, and ruin the surface at the same time. Sorry for maybe misleading you with my “definition by example” reference, but I hope that the above explanation is clearer.

          1. Ah, yes. I see what you mean.

            PS: If anybody wishes to prove that a Newfoundland cake definitely is a thing, feel free to post one to me, and I’ll gladly try it out — in the interests of research, of course!

  39. That was fun! I started on the train to work then finished it at lunchtime, but didn’t have enough time left over to read and comment here. Thank you to Silvanus for the puzzle and Deep Threat for the hints and explanations. [Take 2 at this comment, after a night’s sleep, and hopefully in the right place this time.]

    I hadn’t heard of the port, so guessed and got the first letter of 1a wrong. And for 17a I didn’t know either the dog or the ship.

    23a was my favourite — impressive work hiding that in there! Until then 14a had been my top clue, mainly for its surface, which was so good it overcame both my usual failure to pay much attention to surfaces and my being averse to anagrams (and being even less partial to partial anagrams).

    I was less keen on 2d, where the answer without its first letter shares so much meaning and etymology with the whole word that the wordplay ends up closely related to the definition.

    I’m surprised at the number of people who struggled with 24d: Batman has been around in various forms for decades (my only experience of it is watching the 1960s TV series with Adam West when it was repeated on TV-AM in the 1980s), so it seemed fairer to use than much cultural knowledge which is restricted to being popular at a particular moment in time.

    I did like that with 21d I just followed the instructions as I read the clue, noted the letters, and found I’d ended up with the answer before I’d even got to reading the definition.

    For 10a, can anybody enlighten me as to in which context “Ir” gets used? I see it’s in Chambers, so this isn’t a complaint; I’m just wondering where it crops up, and whether it’s specifically for the language (though the official ISO code for the Irish language appears to be ‘ga’) or when using ‘Irish’ as an adjective in general. Thanks.

    1. Many thanks!

      Perhaps your final question is more for the people at Chambers, but my feeling is that “Ir” can be used as a dictionary suffix, probably in parentheses, when denoting the derivation of a word, in the same way as, for example, (Fr) or (N.Am.) are used. There may be other uses, but that is the main one that comes to mind.

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