DT 29962 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29962

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29962

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Good morning from South Staffs this sunny Good Friday morning.

We have one of ProXimal’s trademark X-less pangras this morning (though I see that he has also set the Toughie today, so I may be wrong). I was thoroughly held up by 8d, my last one in, where it took me a long time to latch on to the definition, and to identify the shop involved. I’m not sure how far across the world that particular supermarket chain has spread, so I look forward to hearing from our overseas solvers.

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           Sound of sheep gathering in the morning on hot islands (7)
BAHAMAS – Start by putting together an abbreviation for Hot and the Latin abbreviation for ‘in the morning’. Then wrap the noise that sheep make around the result.

5a           Members of clergy sing in the sticks (7)
CURATES – ‘Sing’ here is criminal slang for informing on one’s associates. Find another slang word for the same act of betrayal, then wrap the sticks used in snooker or pool around it.

9a           Alien conquest in Barking of no significance (15)

10a         Port a person knocked back after golf (5)
GENOA – Put together A (from the clue) and a word for a person or individual. Reverse the result (knocked back) and put the letter represented by Golf in the NATO alphabet at the front, to get an Italian port.

11a         Stubborn and cocky, bishop’s overcome by power (9)
PIGHEADED – Start with a word for ‘cocky’, then replace the chess notation for Bishop with an abbreviation for Power.

12a         Maybe Henry‘s hip is troubled with cyst (9)
PHYSICIST – Anagram (troubled) of HIP IS and CYST, giving us the profession of Joseph Henry, after whom the standard unit of inductance is named.

14a         Butter bread extremely neatly (5)
NANNY – Put together some Indian bread and the outside letters (extremely) of NeatlY, and you get a butter, but not the sort to spread on your bread.



15a         Weep penning a final letter that’s passionate (5)
CRAZY – Another word for ‘weep’ wrapped round A (from the clue) and the final letter of the alphabet.

16a         Father figure returning on ship (9)
FREIGHTER – Put together an abbreviation for ‘father’ (especially a reverend one), a cardinal number, and the reverse (returning) of the Latin word for ‘on’ or ‘concerning’.

18a         Drudge‘s commotion about a thousand runs in stockings (9)
WORKHORSE – Put together the reverse (about) of a word for a commotion or argument, the Greek abbreviation for 1,000, and a generic word for ‘stockings with the cricket abbreviation for Runs inserted.

21a         Bundle up citrus soap boxes (5)
TRUSS – Hidden (boxes) in the clue.

22a         Ushers with little drink remedy, then sailor marries (5,2,3,5)
LEADS TO THE ALTAR – Put together another verb for ‘ushers’ or ‘guides’, a measure of spirits, another word for ‘remedy’ or ‘cure’, and one of the usual crossword sailors.

23a         Exercise before sangrias on vacation is noble (7)
PEERESS – Put together the two-letter abbreviation for the sort of exercise inflicted on schoolchildren by little men whose IQ is smaller than their hat size, a poetic word for ‘before’, and the outside letters (on vacation) of SangriaS.

24a         What’s left of plastic I reused (7)
RESIDUE – Anagram (plastic) of I REUSED.


1d           Mention raise (5,2)
BRING UP – Double definition, the second applicable to raising children.

2d           Taxi cut the old knight up with attitude (7,8)
HACKNEY CARRIAGE –  Put together an archaic way of writing ‘the’ and the chess notation for a knight. Reverse (up) the result and put another word for ‘cut’ or ‘chop’ in front of it. Then add a word for ‘attitude’ or ‘posture’.

3d           Thought chaps inflamed should enter river (9)
MENTALITY – Start with another word for ‘chaps’, then add a Scottish river into which a word for ‘inflamed’ or ‘on fire’ has been inserted.

4d           Replacing contents of shop with small range (5)
SWEEP – Replace the inside letters (contents) of S(ho)P with a word for ‘small’.

5d           Firm desirous feeling oddly to the veg (9)
COURGETTE – Put together an abbreviated firm of company, another word for a feeling of desire, and alternate letters (oddly) of To ThE, to get one of the catering world’s more pointless vegetables.

Courgette – Strawberry Grove Online Farm Shop

6d           Hair solution of brine used totally without restrictions (5)
RINSE – Remove the outside letters (totally without restrictions) from bRINe and uSEd, and put together what’s left.

7d           Dependable three-pronged spear reportedly corroded (5-3-7)
TRIED-AND-TRUSTED – What sounds like (reportedly) a three-pronged spear wielded by King Neptune, followed by another word for ‘corroded’.

8d           Fast food shop invested in oriental sauce (7)
SOLIDLY – ‘Fast’ here means ‘firmly fixed’ and we want an adverbial form of a word that means that. An oriental sauce is wrapped round the name of a German-based international supermarket chain.

13d         Subordinates at home rise for rogue (9)
INFERIORS – A two-letter word for ‘at home’, followed by an anagram (rogue) of RISE FOR.

14d         Birds near small and great jets regularly rising (9)
NIGHTJARS – A poetic word for ‘near’, followed by the reverse (rising) of alternate letters (regularly) of gReAt JeTs and an abbreviation for Small,

Nightjar | Happy Beaks

15d         Plant, toxic ultimately, that hurt one playing in field (7)
COWSLIP – put together the last letter (ultimately) of toxiC, an expression used for ‘that hurt!’, and a cricket fielding position.

Wildlife in Common - cowslip - Norfolk Wildlife Trust

17d         Supply unopened jam (7)
RESERVE – Remove the initial letter (unopened) from another word for ‘jam’.

19d         Speed like the flying swallows (5)
HASTE – Anagram (flying) of THE, wrapped round another word for ‘like’.

20d         Compound in that place with base raised (5)
ETHER – Start with a word for ‘in that place’, then move the last letter to the top.

The Quick Crossword pun HOLLY + DAME + ACRE = HOLIDAYMAKER

72 comments on “DT 29962

  1. Possibly Django Toughie apart, best of the week for me. Slow start then with a few checkers it fell pretty quickly.
    My top three are 14a plus 4&15d though I admired how the shop was engineered into 8d and thought 11a&19d very clever indeed.
    Great stuff.
    Many thanks to the setter (one would naturally think ProXimal) and Deep Threat for the top notch entertainment.

      1. Welcome to the blog.

        It always helps to look in Chambers Dictionary before giving your opinion. Both NAN and NAAN are allowable.

          1. I’ve learned through the years that any comments such as the one above will usually be wrong. The setter the test solver and the editor will see to that

            1. Such remarks are usually from someone who never normally comments, is new to the blog, and/or never makes a positive comment or one that would be useful or constructive.

      2. I had the same problem with this clue. I googled it, and I only found naan as the spelling for the bread. Nan bread resulted in nothing.

  2. Not too many problems this morning. 14a gets my vote. Thanks to DT and today’s setter.

  3. Brilliant puzzle, last in 8d
    Stared at my correct insertion for some time to understand its parsing.
    Very clever.
    Also, too hesitant with 11a, wanting to put two Rs in somewhere.
    So, ***/*****.
    Many thanks ProXimal and DT.

  4. 3*/5*. This X-less pangram made a very fine end to the week’s back-pagers. I couldn’t parse my answer to 11a, so thanks to DT for the explanation, and it took me a while to work out how “supply” can define the answer to 17d.

    Picking a podium selection proved to be quite a tough job, but I’ve settled on 16a, 22a & 7d.

    Many thanks to proXimal and to DT.

  5. Best of the week for me too, SL. 8d was also my LOI, and while I had heard of the company, I’ve never seen any reference to it in these parts; it had to be what it was, however. Mental ticks everywhere, but I think that 15d, 5d, & 14d are my top choices, but just about any trio would suffice. Thanks to DT and ProXimal, if it is he. 2.5*/4.5*

    Finished the Friday Toughie but needed a bit of alms to do so. Still, I seldom fare as well on Fridays.

  6. X-less pangram notwithstanding I’m not sure this is a proXimal production & not just because he’s in the Toughie chair. Though I did enjoy the puzzle I found a few of the wordier clues fun to parse but the surface reads (7d&9a excepted) certainly weren’t Silvanus smooth. The shorter ones were the better in my view & particularly liked 5,11&15a plus 1,4 & best of all 8d – was I the only one to see deli first & think surely selidoy isn’t a word? All over in 2.5* time with no parsing problems but very slow progress with the Toughie. A gentle Paul puzzle in the Graun too that’s worth a look for Dada fans.
    Thanks to the setter (I’ll risk a few bob on Zandio) & to DT
    Wordle – yet another phew

  7. I was sure we were going to get an NY Doorknob production today, but with an X-less pangram, this surely must be the work of today’s Toughie setter. I believe we have had at least one occasion before when the same setter set both crosswords

    Thanks to Mr X and DT

  8. Whoever the setter is, this was a very entertaining and enjoyable puzzle – 2.5*/4.5*.

    Candidates for favourite – 1a, 16a, and 3d – and the winner is 3d.

    Thanks to whomsoever, I think I will go proXimal because as well as the X-less pangram the river in 3d might be his favourite, and to DT.

  9. Super puzzle to end the backpage week, and I’m inclined to agree with Stephen L – only the Django Toughie this week exceeds this one in my view. Coffee still reasonably hot at the end, a very satisfying solve indeed – the amusing constructions of 7d and 22a with the straightforward anagram in 9a gave a useful framework; Hon Mentions went to 5a and 12a (great surfaces), 18a and 19d, with COTD to the sublime 14a.

    2.5* / 3.5*

    Many thanks indeed to the Setter and to DT.

    1. Thoroughly enjoyed this , given I had only just returned from the shop in 8d it really should have come to me more easily. That said, I loved the brevity of the clueing with not a word wasted. I really admire that style thanks to the setter, who is either Proximal or an impersonator, and to DT.

    2. If a super puzzle gets 3.5 stars, MG, I look forward to your adjective for a 5 star one.

  10. Think I got myself too wound up about some of the surface reads (5d for example) to really enjoy this one but it would seem that I’m something of a lone voice today.
    Top picks for me were 11a and the Quickie pun.

    Thanks to our setter and to DT for the review.
    PS Highlight of the day was Matt’s cartoon on the front page!

  11. Not too tricky but for me one of clumsiest crosswords for a while. Very little elegance in the clues and my main thought for 9a was that life’s too short to bother with this sort of wordplay. Having said all that I did like 24a.
    Not my favourite by a long chalk but one I feel pleased to have completed.
    Thx for the hints to explain my answers to 11a, 5a and 23a.
    Thx to all

  12. This made me feel like the teachers mentioned in 23a but the clue for 13d is clearly wrong in my, and others I know, experience. We all have worked under people of both sexes who have got to where they are by horizontal promotion, being put where they can do least harm, and other reasons we cannot fathom.

    As for the clues which in the main had a word count in excess of what could be called verbose and constructions convoluted the less said the better. A very unpleasant morning.

    1. Can you explain why 13d is clearly wrong please. I can’t read anything about sexism in it. As Deep Threat says – In = At home in Crosswordland and the rest is a straightforward anagram with “rogue” as the anagram indicator. I must be missing something.

    2. Must admit, I’m with Weekend Wanda, Corky. 13d seems a perfectly reasonable clue to me.

      1. I guess the solution could be taken to imply they are somehow lesser/worse, but BRB definition is simply that they are of lower rank, with no judgment on whether that is merited. So clue/definition is fine I think. Also … verbose? 1 10-word clue, 1 9-word, remainder 8 or less, mostly a RayT-like 7 or fewer.

  13. Like DT my last one in was 8d and it took as long as the rest combined! could not get Deli out of my mind until the D’oh moment arrived and the shop revealed itself,the seven letter definition did not seem gramatically correct and for me the first five letters only worked -no ly.
    Anyway enjoyed the rest , liked 11a and my favourite was 15d, going for a ***/***

  14. Took a bit of head-scratching to Quickie 11d particularly in NE. Have not previously met 12a but in any case what is inductance DT?! 18a, 3d, 5d and 8d all unparsed. Why abbreviation in 5d clue I wonder? 14a fooled me – presume that spelling of bread is pronounced like granny. Altogether a bit of a parson’s egg. Thank you proXimal and DT.

    1. Is it veg as in to veg out / chill out / relax? That’s how I read it anyway. It works with not wanting to experience firm, desirous feelings!

  15. Really enjoyable. I actually didn’t have much trouble with 8D. We’ve had one of those stores here in my medium sized Maryland town for a couple of years. It’s very small compared to images I’ve seen of other stores of that name, which I was apparently mispronouncing until my daughter-in-law put me right. I went once, hoping for some European foods. Very disappointing. Still, I liked the clue, along with 11A and 14A . Thanks to ProXimal and DT.

  16. The sun is out. We have washing blowing in the breeze. Such a nice day. Too nice to moan about something as trivial as a crossword puzzle. It’s a crossword and it is cryptic. That’ll do very nicely. I thought this was very tough until I realised that I was actually doing the Toughie. I finished that and started on this very pleasant offering. The four long clues almost wrote themselves in giving plenty of checkers to guide me slowly home. Thanks to our setter today for the fun filled challenge. Thanks to Deep Threat for the blog. The wonderful Gracie Fields singing Wish Me Luck As You Wave Me Goodbye was Saint Sharon’s choice for the song at the end of her mother’s funeral. I’m off for a pint. Life’s too short for moaning

    1. What a lovely idea. I’ve been putting together last wishes, I thought Bob Marley’s “One Love” might be good, but Gracie Fields is another idea. I’ll be going back to Jamaica to be with my family, so it’s a tossup.

    2. My friend Clara who was the same age as Vera Lynn and lived into her 100th year chose “We’ll meet again”.

  17. I enjoyed today’s offering but found myself being sent in all kinds of directions. Like Huntsman, I thought of “deli” for 8d but did not get as far as “selidoy”. I began my answer to 11a with “B” and that threw me all over the place and not having heard of Mr. Henry prevented my entering the answer because I couldn’t see how it parsed. I also tried to fit “ladder” into 18a. There were, however, loads of ticks and I liked 14a,1d and 13d with my COTD being 7d, which I thought was very clever.

    Many thanks to ProXimal for the fun challenge and to DT for the most helpful hints.

    Terrific Quickie pun, I thought.

    Not as sunny or warm in The Marches as other places but pleasant enough. I was going to do some planting but the back is still playing up a bit so I better be careful.

    Wordle is 2 and Canuckle in 3.

  18. A rather tricky puzzle for Friday I thought, especially the bottom half. 3*/3* today.
    Favourites include 1a, 12a, 22a, 2d & 7d with 1a&2d co-winners.
    Never heard of the word in 14d, but with cross check letters in, it had to be what it was.

    Thanks to proXimal and Tilsit

  19. 8d was my last one in too. I didn’t see the budget supermarket and thought deli was near enough for piecework. Finally solved over coffee and a scone in Wetherby. Most of the NE quadrant held out the longest. Pleased to remember Henry but liked many others.
    Thanks to proXimal and DT.

    1. I have probably offended half of the SW peninsula so in order to try and keep the peace. I ate t’other half of the scone t’other way.

      1. I’ve to see a photo of Mama Bee. Despite being on the peninsula at the moment, I can never remember which way round it is!

      2. I think that issue is often discussed in cafes and tea shops all over the country, SJB. I’m from Derbyshire, and I just apply my own logic to the proceedings. In that situation jam is a spread, cream is a topping so for me it’s always jam first, cream on top! Have I got it right?

        1. I am equally pragmatic, it all goes down the same way to me, but some people get their undies in a bunch about it.
          Here are some pretty ceramic poppies from yesterday’s Garden walk.

  20. To be honest probably not my favourite but most went in smoothly. It took me some time to work out some of the parsing but could not fault it. Favourites 11a and 7 and 8d. Thank you Setter and Deep Threat.

  21. I found this straightforward until it wasn’t. I’m running late so I’ll be brief. Favourite was 11a. Thanks to the setter and DT.

  22. Thanks to DT for the review and to commenters for comments on both puzzles today. It is Chalicea’s turn in the Enigmatic Variations series on Sunday, if anyone is looking for an accessible challenge this weekend.

    1. Thank you for an entertaining puzzle and for popping in, proXimal. I would try Chalicea’s puzzle this weekend but I’m afraid I cannot make head nor tail of EV’s. :sad:

      1. I am definitely not ‘in the know’ but my five bob is on the SPP being a Floughie Lady production.

          1. But, CS was expecting a NY Doorknob production today and he has been known to provide a SPP occasionally, so . . .

  23. A very nice Friday puzzle, best back-pager of the week for me. Fine clues, a decent challenge and a very enjoyable solve. I’ve ticked a few, but can’t decide on a favourite. 3*/4*.

    *If you like jazz, and especially jazz drummers, have a look at this – the incredible finale of the 2014 film Whiplash:

    1. That was some drumming! Never watched the film but I will now. Reminded me of Sing Sing by The Benny Goodman Orchestra.
      Thanks for sharing, Jose. 👍

  24. Very late in the day again having crawled back from Lymington in the bank holiday traffic. It seemed that every car that is registered was on the motorway network. Anyway, many thanks to proXimal for a pleasantly testing puzzle that was a joy to complete. Thanks, too, to DT. I shall have a crack at our setter’s Toughie now.

  25. I’m with Jane today in being a lone voice. First one in was 7d and has to be my fave, a couple more long ones fell which gave me a base for checkers. A lot of bung ins, having no idea why they were. I’m really getting up there in years and my brain has lost much of its elasticity, it might be time to stick with Codewords and Wordle! I DNF in the NE, though I did remember the veg in 5d, we call it zucchini, so I hope I get points for that.
    Thanks to proXimal, and DT’s hints were much appreciated. Wordle in 3.

  26. I managed all but five which is very good for me. I am just too precise for my own good. So I really hated rat for sing – street slang twice – and using LIDL was just tedious.

  27. Spent too long trying to sound out quickie pun but brilliant when I eventually got it. I enjoyed the cryptic crossword and completed most of it without hints so feeling very pleased with myself. Was shocked to see so many people yesterday in London on trains and tubes coughing without masks – not having ventured into the capital for a while – have fingers crossed that I haven’t caught anything- many thanks to DT and proXimal.

  28. I’m with Jane and Merusa. Not the easiest puzzle of the week. But then I rarely do well on ProXimal days, just a struggle to get on wavelength. Had a problem with 14a, as it wouldn’t work with naan bread. As Merusa mentioned, 5d are called zucchini over here, and I love them. I used to love marrow in England, but we don’t get it here, so zucchini is the closest I can get. Both are great, cooked until just turning soft, and topped with a little salt and better. My GK didn’t extend to the birds in 14d. But did watch a mockingbird flying head first at a crow and seeing it off repeatedly yesterday. Quite something as the mocking bird is so much smaller than a crow. They are extremely territorial. Oh well, tomorrow is another day. Thanks ProXimal and DT.

  29. As an ex PE teacher who enjoys solving the DT crossword evey day, I just want you to know how much I object to your insult.

  30. 3*/4*….
    liked 11A ” Stubborn and cocky, bishop’s overcome by power (9) ” , amongst others.

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