DT 29959 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29959

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29959

Hints and tips by Mr K

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BD Rating  -  Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

Hello, everyone.  Today we have a fun puzzle free of contortions or obscurities. Just right for a Tuesday. 

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    Ordered aaabcehillpt (12)
ALPHABETICAL:  The wordplay is an anagram (ordered) of AAABCEHILLPT. The entire clue could serve as a definition by example

9a    Pick lost niece out (9)
SELECTION:  An anagram (out) of LOST NIECE 

10a   Group interrupting quiet animal (5)
SLOTH:  A group of objects at an auction inserted in (interrupting) an instruction to be quiet

11a   Weather in Azores is terrific (6)
RESIST:  The answer is hidden in the remainder of the clue 

12a   Second best editor cried (8)
SCREAMED:  Link together the single letter for second, the best in the crop, and the abbreviation for editor 

13a   Physician flipping cross bandaging cut, lacking heart (6)
DOCTOR:  The reversal (flipping) of a cross or crucifix containing (bandaging) CUT from the clue minus its middle letter (heartless

15a   Prospective students might have to complete these costumes (8)
UNIFORMS:  The answer split (3, 5) could be something that prospective students might fill out 

18a   Worries about saying cutting things (8)
FRETSAWS:  A synonym of worries containing (about) a saying or adage 

19a   Lawyer's  underwear (6)
BRIEFS:  A lawyer with their S from the clue is also some underwear 

21a   Salt is 50 per cent reduced with each diet, right? (8)
SEAFARER:  Concatenate one half (50 per cent reduced) of IS from the clue, the abbreviation for each, a synonym of diet, and the single letter for right 

23a   Looked for boozer that's disgusting inside (6)
SOUGHT:  A drunk or boozer containing a sound of disgust (… that's disgusting inside

26a   John almost backing writer (5)
ELIOT:  What john means informally (especially over here) minus its last letter (almost) and reversed (backing

27a   Ample bust upset Noel (9)
PLENTEOUS:  An anagram (bust) of UPSET NOEL 

28a   Inspire friend from time to time (12)
OCCASIONALLY:  Inspire or cause with a friend or supporter



1d    Self-confident young woman removing top on river north of Germany (7)
ASSURED:  A young woman minus her first letter (removing top) is followed by one of the usual rivers and the IVR code for Germany 

2d    Pressure on poorly son to get these? (5)
PILLS:  Combine the physics symbol for pressure, poorly or unwell, and the genealogical abbreviation for son. The definition refers back to the rest of the clue 

3d    Adapts a cold area at an airport (9)
ACCUSTOMS:  Assemble A from the clue, the single letter for cold, and an area that international arrivals at an airport pass through 

4d    Utter age, upset (4)
EMIT:  The reversal (upset) of age or duration 

5d    Naive person at home with no money (8)
INNOCENT:  The usual short word meaning "at home" with NO from a clue and a small amount of money 

6d    Long passage I will read out (5)
AISLE:  A homophone (read out) of the contraction of "I will" 

7d    Trade union initially leaving mother in the grip of bully (8)
COMMERCE:  A synonym of mother with the initial letter for UNION deleted (leaving) is inserted in (in the grip of) bully or force 

8d    Sunglasses suit husband rather than papa (6)
SHADES:  A playing card suit with the genealogical abbreviation for husband replacing (rather than) the letter represented in the NATO phonetic alphabet by papa 

14d   Plant beginning to suffer after climate changes (8)
CLEMATIS:  The beginning letter to SUFFER is placed after an anagram (… changes) of CLIMATE 

16d   Overlooked foxtrot got tenor dancing (9)
FORGOTTEN:  The letter represented in the NATO phonetic alphabet by foxtrot is followed by an anagram (dancing) of GOT TENOR 

17d   Pleasant exercises with a climber (5,3)
SWEET PEA:  Cement together pleasant or nice, a usual abbreviation for exercises, and A from the clue 

18d   One who doesn't eat  more quickly (6)
FASTER:  A straightforward double definition 

20d   Please say it's wrong grabbing female (7)
SATISFY:  An anagram (wrong) of  SAY IT'S containing (grabbing) the abbreviation for female 

22d   A detective follows unknown old South American (5)
AZTEC:  Put together A from the clue, a letter that can represent a mathematical unknown, and an informal form of detective 

24d   What dog might do to get bigger meal, finally? (5)
GROWL:  "to get bigger" is followed by the final letter of MEAL 

25d   Food shop fine? Not half! (4)
DELI:  One half (not half) of fine or not coarse 


Thanks to today’s setter. So many great clues here that I can't identify a favourite. Which clues did you like best?

The Quick Crossword pun:  TEE + PAR + TEASE = TEA PARTIES

94 comments on “DT 29959

  1. A terrific puzzle to welcome me on my return from a wonderful weekend in Yorkshire with our daughter. Lots of laughs starting with 1a and ending with my COTD, 27a. The misdirection in the latter sent me down the wrong path at first.

    Many thanks to the setter for the fun and to Mr. K. for the hints.

    Wordle in 2.

    1. Well done in Wordle – a miserable 5 for me.
      Pleased that you had a great time in Yorkshire

      1. Started Wordle with yesterday’s SQUAD and solved with a touch of luck in 3 then I saw this which amused me

            1. We were in there Sunday evening and Roger’s off there tonight for meeting about the Working Boat.

              1. My OH used to have a share in a working boat when she lived on the Roseland – a very elegant thing indeed. And the boat wasn’t bad either!

      2. It was fantastic, Huntsman. A trip to Whitby to show Faye the house where her grandparents and great grandparents lived. A visit to the old town to examine the jet then we hit The Magpie cafe just right before the queue formed. Fish n Chips to die for! Went on the Daffodil Walk and simply had to have a pot of tea at the Daffy Caffy. 😀

          1. A cup of tea and a scone for Mama Bee and Coffee and Coffee and Walnut cake for me last time we were there. (Early March but the daffs were still a bit shy)

            1. Must admit they were starting to “go over” but they still retained a certain glory, SBJ.

              Wonderful to walk by a babbling brook. 🙂

  2. This one suited me down to the ground at */**** and was very enjoyable. 26a was rather amusing and 12a 15a and 7d were excellent and 15a gets my COTD. The anagrams were all pretty visible and helped an easy solve. Thanks to Mr K and the setter.

  3. I thought this was a super little puzzle, light but full of innovative clueing, I hope the setter pops by to claim it.
    I liked it all, 5,6,8&24d plus 21& 23a to name but a few. Favourite however was the clever 7d.
    Many thanks to the setter and Mr K for the fun.

    I can highly recommend the not overly toughToughie today with Dada in the chair

  4. Lots of old chestnuts today with some refreshingly original clueing. Very enjoyable. I think my favourite is 21a, which was my LOI, but I also very much liked 7d and 24d. Great surfaces throughout. Thanks to Mr K and today’s setter. ** / ****

    Splendid Toughie, which I finished while watching my sadly inept baseball team lose 11-1.

  5. 2.5*/3.5*. Apart from the truly awful 1a, for which I would need to adopt some of Brian’s vocabulary to provide an adequate description, this was good fun with 7d my favourite.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Mr K for the splendidly illustrated review.

  6. I have to agree with RD that 1a was grim. I thought at first it was a typo in the online version – not unheard of – but no, it was just a lousy clue. That aside, the rest of the grid was pretty straightforward, with the excellent 7d taking my top spot.

    Many thanks to both Misters involved.

  7. Taking a break from a half finished Toughie. I really enjoyed this especially the ridiculous 1a. COTD, perhaps a chestnut, but amusing, is 15a.
    Now to return to Dada’s puzzle. I doubt I’ll manage much more not being as clever as Robert C !

  8. A fun Tuesday puzzle and just the job on a miserable cheshire morning.
    1a was different !, I liked the two 9 letter anagrams available in 27a.
    Wanted to put in seawater for 21a until I properly parsed the clue, favourire was 14a followed by 26a, reminded me of the public toilets in Elton village near Ellesmere Port christned by the locals as the ‘Elton John’.
    Anyway a **/*** for me

    1. I’m so sorry you have a miserable morning – it is so lovely here I am almost tempted to remove my liberty bodice. !.

  9. RD has mirrored my thoughts re 1a but the remainder was very enjoyable. No real head scratches other than a brief pause to parse 21a. Though the surface read was nowt to write home about I did like the concise 4 word clue at 27a. If, like me, you had 4 of the 5 checkers in but not the O either of the middle 2 words was potentially the anagrind.
    Thanks to the setter & to Mr K.

  10. Light, and fun while it lasted, with COTD to 15a. I share RD’s dislike of 1a: it let the side down!

    1.5 / 2.5

    Thank you to the setter, and to Mr K – the illustration for 24d is the highlight of both the puzzle and the review!

  11. 21a and 3d loi; also found the Toughie very approachable; but the quickie was a dnf!!! Had to use all three freebies (online version). Anyway, thanks to all concerned.

  12. First time for a while I have done the puzzle in the morning or at all! I thought it was great. My grandson William fetched my paper from the St Mawes PO, and all done before breakfast. Only mistake was to put 26 a in the wrong way round until I saw the light. Favourites 15, 19 (for personal reasons), 21 and 26a and 5 and 24d. Thanks Setter and Mr K – I’ll now look at your hints and pictures.

  13. 1 across was a tad unusual but It did give a head start to a very pleasant puzzle. Solved immediate after the accessible Tuesday Toughie so I’m having to refer back to both puzzle’s because I cannot remember what clues and answers were in what puzzle. Thanks to Mr K for the blog and thanks to the setter for the puzzle. Thanks as always to Mr Dylan for today’s soundtrack which will rise greatly in volume when Nurse Ninepence does a fifty-five mile round trip for her hairdressers appointment. There are hairdressers in the village we live in

    1. Mama Bee’s round trip is only about 18 miles but the one 180 metres from our back door doesn’t ‘”know” her hair. At least it usually gives me half an hour to at least look at that days toughie (hairdo is usually Friday)

  14. Yes indeed. Right at my level, with no Oriental aprons or leisure wear of any description. It can be done!

    Today’s crossword soundtrack: The Beatles – Paperback Writer

    Thanks to the setter, and The Celebrated Mr K.

  15. A little more challenging than recent Tuesdays but the amusing 1a helped with providing 6 starting checkers for the Downs – 2.5*/4*.

    Candidates for favourite – 12a, 18a, 5d, and 18d – and the winner is 18a.

    Thanks to the setter and Mr K.

  16. A very enjoyable puzzle with 15A my COTD. Also nice to see a certain author feature as I’m currently reading Silas Marner.

    1. I haven’t read Silas Marner since I was at school, I must read it again, thanks for the reminder.

    2. George Eliot named her books and the characters in them after the wards in The local hospital in Nuneaton

      1. …and she wrote the best novel I have ever read. She was also the subject of my doctoral thesis.

  17. I thought 1a was a cracking clue especially as I hadn’t realised it was an anagram. Nearly two weeks in and still no muntjac in the garden – maybe bars of soap do work! Scaffolding up for the painter whose going to do our windows. He’s rung to say he will be here in about 3 weeks, meanwhile blue tits are making nests in the pipes which is a bit sad. Thanks to the setter and Mr K – is the picture at 15a Christ’s Hospital?

  18. 1a was different, but not in a good way! Thankfully the remainder more than made up for it, with the popular 15a and 7d stand-outs plus 20d and my COTD and LOI 21a. Thanks to setter and Mr K.

  19. This enigma was fun to tackle with NE slowing things down for a while mainly due to failure to come up with 10a animal. After cogitating for a while sought help with 1a in order to kick off as I usually try to begin there. Fav was 26a (possibly more discernible for our transatlantic contributors than for UK convenience). I would never have thought of 28a as being inspire. Clever surface to 27a. Enjoyed 15a illustration (my father’s alma mater). Just for interest – a while ago there was a suggestion at Christ’s Hospital that the uniform might be modernised but a vote amongst students showed they wished to retain it. I now live a couple of miles from CH so visit often mainly for musical performances. Thank you Messrs. Ron and K.

  20. A splendid crossword.

    When I saw 1a, I initially thought ‘What the?’…‘ How the?’…’Who the?’….’Why the?

    But, I now love it as it’s completely nuts.

  21. This was a delightful enigma with NE hanging fire a bit mainly due to failure to identify animal. Sought help with 1a so as to kick off. My Fav 26a may be more obvious to our transatlantic contributors than for UK convenience. Enjoyed 15a illustration as it was my father’s alma mater. Just for interest there was a suggestion a while ago that the outfit might be modernised but a vote amongst students revealed they wished to retain it. I now live couple of miles fro Christ’s Hospital so visit often mainly for musical
    performances. Thank you Messrs. Ron and K.

    1. I tried to change a word in my 15a comment so as to avoid giving the game away but deletion hasn’t worked – sorry.

  22. I did try very hard to appreciate 1a but actually thought it was ghastly and it rather coloured my judgement of the rest of the puzzle. Closest I came to awarding a tick was for 24d, doubtless heavily swayed by Mr K’s glorious illustration!

    Thanks to our setter – I’d be surprised if it isn’t Mr Bringloe in one of his guises, particularly in light of the Quickie pun, and many thanks to Mr K whose reviews are always a highlight.

  23. I, too, thought “What the..” when I read 1A and didn’t see the solution until most of the checkers were in place. Then it made me smile. 7D was my last one in, and immediately became co-favorite with 15A. Thanks to Mr. K and today’s setter.

    Off to have a bash at the toughie now.

  24. Excellent puzzle but with a couple of issues. Don’t understand why the synonym for inspire should be champion, seems very odd to me. Also 27a is a new word to me and 28a is just a bit clumsy.
    Nit picking a bit in an otherwise very enjoyable puzzle.
    Thx to all

  25. I found this quite tricky and failed completely on 21a. Just not on the wavelength today.
    I liked 1a.

    Thanks to the setter and to Mr K …great pics as always.

  26. I’d like to raise a point of order re 22d. The old civilization which 22d refers was in present day Mexico which is part of the North American continent, not the South American continent. Other than that, excellent offering. Thanks to the setter and Mr K for the extras. 🦇

    1. Ff, 22d. Mexico is indeed in North America. But I always tend to support/defend setters and maybe he meant that Mexico is in the southern part of the North American continent, or he’s mixing the answer up with Inca! I’m clutching at straws, admittedly …

    2. I let it go, realising that the compiler could justify anything south of the US and Canada as ‘southern’ America, but the clue did raise my hackles. I then googled to see if perhaps they were not just Mesoamericanos, but nothing below central Mexico shows up.

      1. Morning from sunny Brisbane where it’s staring to get a little coolish at night as we head further into our autumn, anyway…Thanks for the feedback. I spent a minute or so trying to get Incas to work but then realised that the setter perhaps regarded anything south of the Rio Grande as ‘South America’. Latin America, yes but certainly not South American. As you mention Gorgong, compilers are allowed some poetic licence or latitude or a ‘mulligan’. An excellent offering nonetheless though. Time to start today’s 😜🦇

  27. A pleasantly fun and enjoyable puzzle for Tuesday. Rate this 1.5*/4* today.
    1a, 13a & 2d gave me a smile … especially 1a. Thought it was a misprint to begin with then the PD happened.
    Favourites today 11a, 26a, 8d, 14d & 18d with winner 26a

    Thanks to setter and Mr K

  28. Going straight in with two anagrams and a lurker – sheer joy. 1a was hilarious , even audacious. Last one in was 21a as I failed to connect Fare with diet. But I have been ill. Please Mr K tell me how you got all those kittens to jump up the cushions at the same time, I even looked sideways to see if the sofa had been tipped over. Many thanks to the setter and Mr K and to the powers that be for this heavenly sunshine.

  29. Loved this — thank you setter and tipster.

    In honour of 1a, I like the way this child thinks:

  30. My little bit of heaven today. You can’t see the washing blowing gently in the breeze. Bliss.

  31. Did not find this quite as straight forward as most 🤔 ***/*** Favourites 26a & 4d 😃 Thanks to Mr K and to the Compiler

  32. I enjoyed this, and 1a was so bizarre I even liked it. I needed the hints to understand some of my answers, e.g. 7d. Fave was 26a because I like the author. Unlike yesterday when I was totally lost, I was on wavelength.
    Thank you setter, nice offering, and of course much appreciated the hints and pics, which I look forward to. Wordle in 3.

  33. 2/4. Very good puzzle as is usual for a Tuesday. Liked 1&10a and 6,8&22d. 8d wins by a short head. Thanks to the setter and Mr K.

  34. I quite enjoyed this, and didn’t mind 1a as it was clearly an anagram and jumped off the page at me. 27a was a new word for me which I did manage to get right, and then verified by Mr Google that it really does exist. Thanks to setter and Mr K.

  35. Forgot to take a photo of my solving location (outside York Minster). Surprisingly the John clue was my last one in, I was thinking of ending it st for Saint John. It took a moment of concentration before the loo appeared.
    Thanks to setter and Mr K

  36. Tickled that you put a picture of pupils at Christs Hospital for 15a
    Memories. I wore this u………. for 8 years!

  37. 26a reminded me of one of the longest palindromes I know….
    T. Eliot, Top Bard, Notes Putrid Tang Emanating, Is Sad. I’d Assign It A Name: Gnat Dirt Upset On Drab Pot-Toilet
    A better day on the crossword today, thanks to the setter and Mr K.

  38. A slightly raised eyebrow for 1a, but only slightly. Everything perfectly straightforward, just as it should be on a Tuesday. Favourite was 7d. Thanks to the setter and Mr. K.

  39. 1a Very quirky but not “ghastly”.

    (I had expected the “ghastly” comment to come from another member of the commentariat)

  40. Surely the Aztecs were in central not South America (27a)…the Incas were in the south. Is that picky or just plain wrong?! Piers

  41. Screwed up on 4D without looking at Big Dave’s crib sheet – I’d used EVIL/LIVE which I thought was reasonable – Wrong !

  42. Too late to be meaningful again.
    Don’t have anything original a super Tuesday offering. Nice to read all the chat
    Thanks to setter and Mr K
    Crisp breezy sunny day up here in what has become campervan, sorry mobile home, city for the Easter hols.

  43. 3*/4*….
    liked 24D ” What dog might do to get bigger meal, finally? (5) “

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