DT 29953 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29953

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29953

Hints and tips by Mr K

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BD Rating  -  Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

Hello, everyone. It's Tuesday again, and the back page puzzle accompanying it is just what we've come to expect on that day. 

In the hints below most indicators are italicized, and underlining identifies precise definitions and cryptic definitions. Clicking on the answer buttons will reveal the answers. In some hints hyperlinks provide additional explanation or background. Clicking on a picture will enlarge it or display a bonus illustration and a hover (computer) or long press (mobile) might explain more about the picture. Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.



1a    Provokes previous lover with quotes (7)
EXCITES:  A usual previous lover with quotes or names 

5a    Lectured son about former education (7)
SCOLDED:  Concatenate the genealogical abbreviation for son, the single letter for about or approximately, former or previous, and the abbreviation for education 

9a    Guide  animal (5)
STEER:  Double definition. The animal might be found on a farm or ranch 

10a   Take out rubbish late and I'm in trouble, finally (9)
ELIMINATE:  An anagram (rubbish) of LATE I'M IN with the final letter of TROUBLE 

11a   Captivating English knight by singing (10)
ENCHANTING:  The single letter for English, the chess abbreviation for knight, and singing like monks, perhaps 

12a   Flipping go mad (4)
BATS:  The reversal (flipping) of a go or attempt 

14a   Result of exercises in airports, possibly? (12)
PERSPIRATION:  The wordplay is the usual abbreviation for exercise followed by an anagram (possibly) of IN AIRPORTS. Since "result" on its own isn't a great definition of the answer, I suppose that we should read the entire clue as a definition

18a   Rabbit turning around a tree initially (12)
CONVERSATION:  A noun synonym of turning containing (around) both A from the clue and the initial letter of TREE 

21a   Some bug likes fruit (4)
UGLI:  The answer is hidden as some of the remaining words in the clue 

22a   Famous church with red table vandalised (10)
CELEBRATED:  The abbreviation for the Church of England with an anagram (vandalised) of RED TABLE 

25a   Grass around small pool came back (9)
RESPONDED:  A grass that grows near water containing (around) both the clothing abbreviation for small and a synonym of pool 

26a   Hearing  test (5)
TRIAL:  Double definition. The hearing might involve a judge 

27a   Wanted gentleman without legal document? On the contrary (7)
DESIRED:  Inverting the wordplay (on the contrary) a legal document is placed around (without) another word for gentleman

28a   Democrat quits, dismissing Republican's plans (7)
DESIGNS:  The single letter for Democrat is followed by quits or gives up minus the single letter for Republican (dismissing Republican) 



1d    Less challenging time for one's religious festival (6)
EASTER:  In an adjective meaning "less challenging" substitute the physics symbol for time for the Roman one 

2d    Pressure middle distance runner before race to ignore article (6)
COERCE:  Seb the middle distance runner comes before RACE minus (to ignore) a grammatical article 

3d    Intimidated doctor treated hen (10)
THREATENED:  An anagram (doctor) of TREATED HEN 

4d    Shilling -- money for perfume (5)
SCENT:  The single letter for shilling with a small monetary unit 

5d    Insect -- it's prepared for entomologist? (9)
SCIENTIST:  An anagram (prepared) of INSECT IT'S.  The ? indicates that the definition is by example 

6d    Road signs regularly going missing? God! (4)
ODIN:  Alternate letters (… regularly going missing) of ROAD SIGNS 

7d    Stirring little drink -- a sign of nerves (8)
DRAMATIC:  Link together a little drink of alcohol, A from the clue, and a sign of nerves 

8d    Daughter impressing naughty child's removed bandage (8)
DRESSING:  The genealogical abbreviation for daughter with IMPRESSING minus a naughty child (removing naughty child) 

13d   Expected winners succeeded after following a very old upper-class ritual (10)
FAVOURITES:  The genealogical abbreviation for succeeded comes after the single letter for following, A from the clue, the single letters for very, old, and upper-class, and a synonym of ritual 

15d   Expelled South American writer departs with editor (9)
SUSPENDED:  Join together the single letter for south, an abbreviation for American, a writing instrument, the timetable abbreviation for departs, and the abbreviation for editor 

16d   Got a cold and left almost embarrassed (8)
ACQUIRED:  Assemble A from the clue, the single letter for cold, all but the last letter (almost) of left or gave up, and another word for embarrassed 

17d   Silly NASA unfortunately losing large probe (8)
ANALYSIS:  An anagram (unfortunately) of SILLY NASA minus (losing) the clothing abbreviation for large 

19d   Police leader formerly protecting queen's procession (6)
STRING:  The leader of The Police containing (protecting) the Latin abbreviation for queen 

20d   A virile chap turned up embracing 50 grown-ups (6)
ADULTS:  A from the clue followed by the reversal (turned up, in a down clue) of a virile chap containing (embracing) the Roman 50 

23d   Finished? Fixed with minutes to go (5)
ENDED:  Fixed or repaired minus the single letter for minutes (minutes to go

24d   Go round hill outside university (4)
TOUR:  A rocky hill containing (outside) the single letter for university 


Thanks to today’s setter. All good fun but no standout favourite for me. Which clues did you like best?

The Quick Crossword pun:  HOW + SIR + LAUDS = HOUSE OF LORDS

76 comments on “DT 29953

  1. Most enjoyable while it lasted, a fun puzzle with some lovely concise clues and no specialist knowledge required. Generous dollop of anagrams and a good variety of straightforward and fair clueing. Smiled broadly at 20d, with Hon Mentions to 6d and 27a, with COTD to the lovely red herring of 19a – for a couple of moments I tried to insert a T into Blair & Dick before the penny dropped.

    1* / 3*

  2. This was fun and fast and very pleasant, with 2d and 19d (with two big names, both 13d of mine) vying for CsOTD. Thanks to Mr K and today’s setter. 2* / 3.5*

    Very nice Toughie that kept me up quite late last night–a finish but not unalloyed.

  3. A straight forward puzzle today,no obscurities and clearly clued, enjoyed the solve.
    Liked the wordplay of 14a, 19d produced the D’oh moment and has to be my favourite followed by the 13d and 25 charades.
    Thanks to Mr K for the skating cat-brilliant. Going for a**/***.
    Top Draw pun.

  4. This would have been a */*** but for the fact I misled myself with 6d taking the other set of alternate letters giving rain (as in rain god) so got delayed on my LOI 5a until the penny dropped! I thought 14a clever and my favourite was 19d which of course had me running through all the police chiefs I could recall😳Thanks to Mr K and our clever setter.

  5. My rating is 2*/3* for an enjoyable puzzle with nothing to alarm the horses.

    I agree with Mr K about 14a, which I think is technically called a “semi-&lit clue” (a rather clunky expression) where the entire clue is the definition but only a part of the clue is the wordplay.

    I don’t think 18d works because the answer is a noun which is not defined by “rabbit”. Rabbit is only a verb when used in the context of talking a lot.

    Now that Kath seems to be on the mend, I wonder what she will make of using the plural form for 13d. :wink:

    Many thanks to the setter and to Mr K.

    1. On reflection, although Collins and Chambers agree with me about “rabbit”, Chas ‘n’ Dave clearly don’t:

    2. Hi, RD. Yeah, 14a qualifies as a semi-&lit. My issue with it is that “result of exercises” would be the best definition, but it’s not allowed because in that case “exercises” would be doing double duty. So the choice of definition is between the vague “results” coupled with saying it refers to the rest of the clue, or the entire clue with its odd qualification of “in airports, possibly”.

        1. No – just because I was replying to RD who was remembering how that I refused to allow multi-favourites – we really need to keep up the standards!!!

          1. A bit late to the show here Kath but I assume you are okay with favourites when two horses have the same odds, ie joint favourites?

            ‘9 to 1 are the odds for the favourites in The National.’

  6. Unlike others amongst a fair few really straightforward ones I found some of the clues in this puuzzle to be more difficult to fathom, the complete antithesis of in yesterday’s clues (3*/2*) and not so enjoyable. I had ro fall back on guesswork and reverse engineering for some of the parsing and used Danword for 19d. One man’s (or woman’s) meat is another’s poison. Nevertheless thanks to thhecompiler for his efforts and to Mr K for the hints.

  7. Just right – I enjoyed that. North went straight in then a little delay in South. 12a is becoming a bit of a bad penny. Last to go in was 18a – rabbit? No particular Fav but overall a good melange of clues. Thank you Messrs. Ron and K.

  8. I loved this excellently designed R and W puzzle.
    Especially the Lego clues eg 16d.
    Many thanks to the setter and Mr.K.

  9. Tuesday seems to be the new Monday. Good fun whilst it lasted. Thanks to today’s setter and Mr K.

  10. A comfortably straightforward and enjoyable puzzle that was largely well clued and fun to complete. My only raised eyebrow concerned the precise meaning of 18a, but that aside, all was good.

    Thanks to both Misters involved this morning. The NE corner of the Toughie is proving problematic in an otherwise accessible crossword.

  11. Enjoyed this a lot more than yesterday’s offering and didn’t have too many hang ups. Loved the pictures especially the cat chasing the goldfish. We did something similar with a torch and we were nearly sick with laughter as the cat tried to catch it. Anyway thanks to the setter and Mr K. Wordle in 3 today.

    1. I’m back on the phews. In golfing terms I’m still keeping the ball on the course but the way things are going lately I feel sure I’m about to hook it out of bounds soon.

  12. As Tuesdayish as it can get – **/****.

    Candidates for favourite – 25a, 7d, 13d, and 16d – and the winner is the excellent four part charade in eight words 16d.

    Thanks to the setter and Mr K.

  13. I enjoyed this puzzle despite finding 13d so complicated that when I got to the end of the clue I had forgotten the beginning.
    Dear old 19d (without the queen) – his relatively recent album ‘The Bridge’ is an excellent throwback to his early solo work.

    Here he is with a new version of one of his songs from the 1980s, sadly still all too relevant today.

    Thanks to the setter and The Celebrated Mr K.

  14. Closest to a R&W for a while. Fun though. I esp liked 14a, a real smiler.
    I needed something on this level this morning after somewhat over indulging last night. I was going well until the restaurant delivered the free brandies after a superb meal. Judgement went at that stage. 🤤
    Thx to all

    1. I think you had better tell us where this restaurant is, handing out free drinks!

    2. It was always the cheese and biscuits that did for me. We couldn’t have them without Port and Brandies.

  15. A quick solve. Just what I needed this morning, not for the same reason as Brian I hasten to add, but because I need to make an early start to what promises to be a busy day ahead. Loved 19D, and it’s my favorite. Thanks to Mr. K and the setter.

  16. Lovely puzzle, I enjoyed that (thank you, setter). I held myself up by putting ‘aural’ as my hearing test for 26A, which made the complicated 13D impossible to solve until I peeped at the hints (thanks for those, Mr K). Lots of happy clues to pick from; I’m going for 11a, 27a and 23d as my 13Ds.

    1. I put in aural too. Thought I was being really clever, a synonym for hearing and a homophone for test with hearing being the indicator. Not so smart after all

    2. Another aurally challenged one here. Otherwise a nice enough solve today.

    3. I had aural too – no problems with the rest, once I had made the correction.
      Many thanks to the setter for a lovely puzzle, and, of course, to Mr K for the hints – and the cats! 😊

  17. I enjoyed this too although I didn’t expect to be sitting here at lunch with the crossword today. We were due to meet junior grandson and ‘serious’ girlfriend for lunch at a halfway house so we both did a test this morning and George was positive. So not only was meeting this young lady off, but George cannot go to Rotary tonight which means I have to cook! Not on the agenda on Tuesdays. He only has a runny nose but keeps looking for more symptoms. He felt a glass of ginger wine would do him good ? ! Thanks to the setter – I am not very Hip but have heard of Police and when the penny dropped it was delicious. I also liked 14 and 28a and 8d. And thank you so much Mr K for the bossy steering cat and the hilarious goldfish hunter.

    1. I’m not very hip either but I have no idea who the Police are, except the kind that give you speeding tickets. I need to google later.

    2. Hope George shakes off the dreaded
      lurgy and that you don’t succumb to it. Best wishes to you both.

  18. No hints needed….hooray. I did find them useful to parse some of the answers though. So thanks to Mr K and to the setter. Now back to yesterday’s.

  19. If anyone confuses entomology with etymology, change the e to an a in entomology to get ANTomology

  20. A quick solve earlier this morning pre golf which was pleasantly free of any need to scratch the bonce. Very gentle but nice surface reads/wordplay & particularly so with the down clues – 2,5,7,13,16,17&19 all ticks on my page, if I had one.
    Thanks to the setter & to Mr K whose review I’ll read later.
    Ps I’m increasingly finding that I can’t bring to mind the name of people I’m fully familiar with (usually actors & what else they’ve been in). A chap in our four ball today was a dead ringer for John Bolton, the Republican former National Security Adviser & I spent a number of holes racking my brain & not concentrating on the golf before googling moustachioed US politicians.

    1. I can get quite distracted watching a drama or film and recognizing a secondary actor. I then lose concentration, spending too much time wondering what I’ve seen them in before. But it is great when I finally place him or her.

      1. Apparently John Travolta is doing some filming round here and was in our local Morrisons shopping and everyone wanted selfies with him. When I saw the photo of him I would never have recognised the man with the bald head.

  21. Nice crossword ***/*** Favourites 25a & 2d 😃 Thanks to Mr K and to the Compiler 🤗

  22. 2/4. The usual good stuff for Tuesday. 9a was my favourite (elegance and brevity) closely followed by 18&28a. Thanks to the setter and Mr K.

  23. That’s more like it. A thoroughly enjoyable puzzle, a relief after my pathetic attempt at yesterday’s offering. I didn’t spot that 14a was an anagram so that held me up but everything else pretty much fell into place satisfactorily. Big thanks to setter and Mr K. We both got Wordle in 4, but I thought I was heading for a flame out, so 4 was good.

  24. Nice gentle Tuesday puzzle 2*/4*
    Favourites include14a, 18a, 13d & 16d with no clear winner

    Thanks to setter and Mr K

  25. Please forgive me —I am about to have a rant! I am suffering from severe withdrawl symptoms. I have been locked out of my puzzles account for weeks and am thoroughly unimpressed. My annual sub was due but my card had expired. I was duly notified by shopper@worldpay.com and entered my new card details, checking that they were correct. I remained locked out so on 19 March I contacted The Telegraph Customer Services who eventually got back to me on 30 March. I was informed someone would phone me that same day and sort things out. Well, I am still waiting! In desperation I thought I would cancel my sub and take out a new one as I have done previously when this happened. I don’t have my password for shopper@worldpay.com with me as I’m away from home with family. Tried to reset it and entered the details required and these were accepted as correct and a new password would be emailed to me. Well, I am still waiting!!! Yes, I have checked spam and junk folders. There is no point in trying to contact The Telegraph again. Wonderful Blog, please, can anyone help?

    1. Catnip
      Tried contacting Customer Services on the phone?
      I have always found them helpful (even if not always successful).

      1. No I haven’t! I shall certainly try and see what happens. Huge thanks LBR for your suggestion.

      2. Further to my comment LBR. Just to clarify, I did phone the Telegraph but that didn’t lead to a successful outcome. I haven’t rung Worldpay.com though and that is what I shall try. Once again much appreciation.

      1. Thank you very much for the link Mr K. I shall try this although I have already updated my card details. I rather think I’ll have to wait untilI get home to login using my existing password. Worldpay.com has not emailed me the promised new one! I’m most appreciative of your help.

      2. I have just followed the link Mr K and updated my card details with success. Worldpay.com says it is now ‘operational’ so I wait to see when I can print off the puzzles. So far nothing has happened. Will try again tomorrow. Once again, my most appreciative thanks.

  26. I started out going great guns but soon learnt it wasn’t as easy as I thought. I bunged in 19d as have no idea of those police, though I have vaguely heard of Sting. I did enjoy it, needed help from Mr. K to unravel some of it. I think it’s time for 21a to be retired.
    Thank you setter, and many thanks to Mr. K for my weekly cats, especially our skating cat! Wordle in 5.

  27. After blogging today’s Toughie this was a bit of a “light delight”.
    Favourite has to be 19d but several others were worthy of mention.
    Many thanks to the setter and Mr K for the fun.

  28. Anyone have any idea why my avatar is not showing up in my previous posts?

    …. or in this one?

    And now they are in the previous ones. I give up.

  29. Pleasantly straightforward after yesterday’s travails and all the better for it. Very hard to pick a favourite but I’ll go with 19d. Thanks to the setter and Mr. K.

  30. Apart from being aurally challenged, this was nice and tuesdayish (unlike yesterday’s, which wasn’t very mondayish) Thanks to the setter and Mr K for some help with the parsing and for some great cat pics.

  31. A mildly enjoyable puzzle for me, */ **. 14 across didn’t really grab me as I’m not usually one for physical jerks at JFK, and — though perhaps I may be projecting — nor is anyone else that I know. 18 across features the Cockney rhyming slang rabbit and pork = talk. I would imagine the verb or the noun can be represented by the slang, as in we could ‘ave a rabbit, or in ‘e just rabbits on, for example.

    * warning: I am not a Cockney.

  32. Not quite sure about 15d. Is not “suspension” temporary while “expulsion” is permanent? If that is correct, they are not synonymous.

  33. A dnf for me thanks to 14a. Not keen on this type of clue which seems to require brain cells I don’t have.

    An enjoyable solve nonetheless.

    Thanks to all.

  34. No time to do the crossword today, guys. Picked our daughter up after her flight from Oz at 8 this morning. We expected a quick zip home of about an hour thirty. No way! Huge hold up on the M56 so we arrived back far later than anticipated. After arriving home all we all wanted was a drink. Go and get the papers, Steve? Not yet. By the time I got the puzzle before me I was exhausted. Still managed about half, though.

    Many thanks to Mr. K – Hudson was not impressed with the cat telling a dog where to go!

    Many thanks to the setter but I fear I had no time to do you justice. The photo explains why. A family reunited after years of Covid.

    I did tackle Wordle but only in 5.

    1. Very excited lots and lots of you – how lovely all of you – have a brilliant evening/night.

    2. Hope you have a wonderful time with your daughter. Children are very precious. Stay safe.

  35. Can’t get today’s (Wednesday’s) crossword in any readable form. Top inch of the screen

    1. Welcome to the blog

      Looking at the Comments page, it would seem that you are not the only with this problem, which has been reported to the Telegraph’s Puzzles Editor

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